In the ‘Watchmen’ recap, reclusive trillionaire Lady Trieu makes her first appearance with connections to everything happening in Tulsa, Angela and Laurie Blake continue their investigations and Adrian Veidt plots his escape…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s safe to say that ‘Watchmen’ is not a fill in the blanks kind of story.
For every answer that creator Damon Lindelof reveals, he envelopes it inside a seemingly endless number of questions and after four episodes in the first season, we’re not really that much closer to knowing what’s really happening just yet.
This week introduced a new power player into the mix — a trillionaire named Lady Trieu, who purchased Veidt Industries from Adrian Veidt just after he disappeared several years ago and he’s now presumed dead. It seems Lady Trieu has been picking up right where Veidt left off with all sorts of scientific experiments that can’t quite be explained but she’s obviously plotting for something much bigger that’s about to happen in three days’ time.
Over the course of the latest episode, Lady Trieu trades a baby and $5 million for a plot of land where some sort of object from space lands. She reveals to Angela that she’s the person who lifted her grandfather into the sky via a gigantic flying magnet and before it’s all said and done we discover that she’s been working with Will Reeves this entire time. To what end these two are working together is yet to be revealed but Will believes whatever happens, Angela will hate him for it.
Elsewhere this week, Angela continues her secret investigation into Chief Judd Crawford’s secret life while also attempting to figure out the connection her newly discovered grandfather had with him before ultimately hanging him from a tree. She’s also looking over her shoulder as Special Agent Laurie Blake officially sets up shop in Tulsa to continue her own investigation into Crawford’s death and her suspicions about Angela seem to grow by the day.
And finally there’s Adrian Veidt — living in some sort of purgatory prison where he goes on a rampage killing all of his servants only to then go fishing for more in a local lake. He then takes the dead bodies of those servants and launches them into the air via a catapult as he watches them disappear into the ether.
What does all of this have to do with Veidt’s role in the larger storyline? At this point it’s anybody’s guess but we’ll lob a few theories that may be plausible.
With that said, let’s get to our recap of ‘Watchmen’ for the new episode titled ‘If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own’…
The episode begins at the Clark farm — a small husband-and-wife owned operation on the outskirts of Tulsa. The Clarks are chicken farmers, who sell produce on the side of the road but their seemingly mundane existence is interrupted late one night when a knock at the door is heard. When they answer, the Clarks are greeted by Lady Trieu — the world’s first trillionaire and the person responsible for building the giant Millennium Clock that’s being constructed in Tulsa.
Apparently, Lady Trieu is a bit of an urban legend around town because she’s the richest person in the world, a well-known maven of technology, who is rarely seen outside of her own compound.
On this particular night, however, Lady Trieu explains that for three minutes she’s anointing the Clark family as the most important people in the world. Lady Trieu goes onto reveal that she wants to buy the Clark farm but she’s not offering an absurd amount of money, although she has plenty of that to spare.
It seems a decade ago the Clarks visited a fertility clinic searching for help as they tried to conceive a child. Lady Trieu has arrived with an answer to their prayers because she took the egg and sperm from the Clarks that was deemed unable to produce children and she’s somehow managed to engineer a baby. She’s willing to hand over this baby along with $5 million in exchange for the Clarks’ farm and the 40 acres of land surrounding it.
The Clarks only have 30 seconds to decide but they quickly sign the contract, take possession of their child and hand over their family farm to the new owner.
A few seconds later, a giant fireball streaks across the sky before crash landing on the Clark family farm property. When the Clarks ask what it was that just crashed into the ground, Lady Trieu will only answer back by saying ‘mine’.
It’s unclear what was falling from space but obviously Lady Trieu wanted it badly enough that she was willing to engineer a baby in exchange for ownership over the land where the object landed.
During the time in last week’s episode when Laurie Blake was telling a joke to her ex-boyfriend Dr. Manhattan in a phone booth that calls Mars, Angela Abar was digging into her past and the connection she shares with Will Reeves, who personally took responsibility for killing Police Chief Judd Crawford.
Knowing that Agent Blake was starting to get a little too close to comfort to her own internal investigation into Crawford’s murder, Angela was forced to clean up the mess left behind by her grandfather. She chopped up his wheelchair into pieces so she could carry it out in a bag and she accidentally burnt the note he left behind that said “watch over this boy” that was handed to the people tasked with protecting him in the wake of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
She then visits the Cultural Center to seek more answers on her family tree and that’s when Angela is told the story about her great grandparents Obie and Ruth Williams, who were both killed in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Obie and Ruth also had a son, who was unnamed in the family tree because any record of his name was lost during that terrible tragedy in Tulsa. Of course Angela knows that little boy grew up to be Will Reeves, her grandfather.
Just as Angela is preparing to leave, she hears a giant crash outside her bakery and that’s when she discovers the car that was picked up by a giant magnet, carrying her grandfather away in the night, has returned to the Earth. Laurie is just laughing maniacally at the car just falling from the sky while Angela is quick to confess that the vehicle belongs to her, although she claims to have no idea who stole it or why it was stolen.
Rather that dig any deeper, Laurie just smiles and tells Angela that she can handle this as she walks away. Obviously, Angela knows that Laurie is getting closer to the truth so she has to finish this investigation before the FBI is completely breathing down her neck.
The next morning at breakfast, Angela listens as her husband Cal explains to their adopted children how Uncle Judd didn’t go anywhere after he died because heaven is just pretend. A harsh reality for sure but as Cal points out, he’s only telling them the truth.
When Angela leaves, she first stops to see Wade Tillman aka Looking Glass, who is currently living in a fallout bunker behind his house. It seems Wade is consumed with the Dimensional Incursion Event (DIE)— aka the giant squid that landed on New York City and killed 3 million people, which simultaneously stopped a potential nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia.
Of course in reality, Adrian Veidt orchestrated the greatest trick ever conceived in order to stave off a nuclear holocaust but outside of a few conspiracy theorists, no one believes that to be true. Instead it’s testament that aliens attacked Earth by crossing over dimensions, which led to the brutal attack back in 1985.
More than 30 years later, the world still gets constant reminders of that initial slaughter when thousands upon thousands of little squid creatures rain down from the sky. Wade’s obsession includes running out to photograph the little squid creatures in the 30 or so seconds they live before expiring on the ground.
Angela has arrived to ask Wade a favor — she found her grandfather’s special pills in the glove compartment of her smashed up stolen vehicle and she wants Wade to identify what’s inside. Of course the police department has a lab of its own but Angela is trying to avoid the prying eyes of the nosey FBI lady who has arrived in town.
She also reveals to Wade that she took the Ku Klux Klan uniform that she found hidden in Judd’s closet following his death. The hood and robe were adorned with an old police badge, which Wade believes may have belonged to Judd’s grandfather, who was a lawman in his own right years ago. Wade wonders if perhaps this was just an odd family heirloom but then again maybe this is an indication that Judd Crawford was involved with the Seventh Kavalry.
Either way, Angela asks him to have his ex-wife investigate the pills — apparently she has a lab of her own — and to keep the Klan outfit that belonged to Crawford while Laurie Blake is still sniffing around.
After leaving Wade’s house, Angela dresses for work as Sister Night before making one more stop to drop off the remains of the dismantled wheelchair that belonged to her grandfather. Just as Sister Night watches the bag full of parts fall into a garbage truck, she turns around to see a masked vigilante staring at her from across the street.
The vigilante is dressed in a shiny silver spandex suit from head to toe and he quickly runs away when Sister Night spots him. She gives chase but the mystery masked man eventually covers himself in some kind of lubricant, drops his utility belt, and then slides into a sewer drain where Sister Night cannot follow. The identity of the masked man remains a mystery but given his build, it would seem entirely possible that this is Agent Dale Petey in disguise.
He’s a veritable treasure trove of information about the masked vigilantes that used to patrol the streets of America and Petey also has the slender build that would allow for him to fit into that tiny spandex outfit.
Back at the precinct, Angela asks her colleagues Red Scare and Pirate Jenny if they know of any masked vigilantes who fit this particular description. Red Scare dubs him “Lube Man” and plays off her curiosity because unless it has something to do with the investigation into Chief Judd Crawford’s death, the new boss in charge probably won’t care much.
That’s when Angela finds out that Special Agent Laurie Blake is now the person in charge and she’s even moved into Crawford’s old office.
When Sister Night goes into the office, Agent Blake passes along information into the investigation of her stolen car. It seems the police dusted the vehicle for fingerprints and they found a random pair that belong to a man named William Reeves, who was apparently a cop in New York back in the 1940’s and 50’s before retiring young and then disappearing off the map.
Now this only strengthens a theory we floated back in the season premiere that Will Reeves is actually the man known as ‘Hooded Justice’ — the first masked vigilante, who helped form the Minutemen, which was the initial superhero group that also included Laurie’s mother, the original Silk Spectre. Hooded Justice never had his identity revealed but rumors swirled that he was actually a strongman from Germany. That theory was seemingly debunked earlier this season during an episode of “American Hero Story” that sought to tell the tale behind Hooded Justice’s true identify when it was immediately dismissed that this German strongman was actually the masked vigilante.
It would stand to reason that Will Reeves is Hooded Justice including the fact that he hanged Judd Crawford when killing him to start the season. Hooded Justice used to wear a noose around his neck as part of the outfit he wore while serving as a masked vigilante hero.
While this new information is still rattling around Angela’s head, Laurie then gets a visit from Agent Dale Petey, who tells her about another lead into the investigation of the mysterious car that fell from the sky.
The three of them take a trip to visit Lady Trieu at her Millennium Clock tower but along the way Laurie questions Angela about the reason she decided to fight crime as a masked vigilante. Angela answers back that she’s just protecting her identity after the events of White Night but Laurie believes there’s more to this story.
“People who wear masks are driven by trauma. They’re obsessed with justice because of some injustice they suffered, usually when they were kids. Ergo the mask, it hides the pain.”
~ Laurie Blake
Angela disagrees but Laurie knows all about the kind of trauma that leads to a person wearing a mask. That’s when she instructs Agent Petey to tell Angela about the trauma that was inflicted upon Laurie.
He then tells the story about her father The Comedian attempting to sexually assault her mother Silk Spectre back when they were both members of the Minutemen. Years later, Petey says that Laurie then found out that The Comedian aka Edward Blake was her father.
Just then they arrive at the Millennium Clock where it seems Agent Blake has figured out that aircraft being designed and built by Lady Trieu are capable of flying into the night sky with a giant magnet big enough to pick up and then drop an automobile.
The authorities have arrived attempting to ascertain the identities of any pilots who might have flown one of these vehicles out a few nights earlier, picked up a car and then dropped it back to the Earth a day later.
Agent Blake and Sister Night are then invited to sip tea with Lady Trieu in her private vivarium.
It seems Lady Trieu grew up in Vietnam, much like Angela Abar, and she keeps this vivarium as a way to remind herself of home. She hands over the list of employees who could have flown the vehicles but then turns to Angela to tell her an old proverb that she remembered from the time when she was a child.
Speaking in Vietnamese, Lady Trieu passes along a message from her grandfather asking if she retrieved the pills he left behind in her car. Angela answers by saying the “old fucker” can ask her himself in person. Obviously, Lady Trieu was the person who orchestrated Will’s daring escape but she also knows that Angela isn’t telling everything to her superiors at the police department because nobody has come looking for Will Reeves.
Before leaving, Agent Blake can’t help but notice the giant gold statue of Adrian Veidt that rests inside Lady Trieu’s vivarium. Lady Trieu speaks highly of the man formerly known as Ozymandias and the incredible intellect that helped him create technological advances that she has now furthered since taking over his company.
Lady Trieu has deeper ties to Adrian Veidt than she’s letting on, which might explain some of the strange interactions we’ve had with the world’s smartest man thus far during the season. Speaking of which…
The scene then shifts back to Adrian Veidt on his island prison where he’s fishing with lobster traps except instead of finding a crustacean that tastes delectable with butter, he instead finds creepy little baby like creatures floating just beneath the surface. After examining several of these fetuses, Veidt picks out two good specimens before returning to his home.
There he places the fetuses into some kind of aging chamber, cranks up the heat and while he enjoys a slice of his honeycomb cake, two new servants are created. The latest versions of Mr. Phillips and Ms. Crookshanks are birthed into the world as servants to Adrian Veidt — and their first bit of business is to clean up the corpses of all the former Phillips’ and Crookshanks’ that he slaughtered the night before. As he explains, it was a rough evening.
Veidt then takes his new servants to a field where they load the dead bodies onto a giant catapult where he watches one after the other fly off into the sky before disappearing into nothingness. It’s still unclear what kind of experience Veidt is running but now at least we seem to know the ultimate goal — he’s trying to escape captivity.
“Four years since I was sent here. In the beginning, I thought it was a paradise. But it’s not. It’s a prison. And so, with your help, with your lives; with your broken, mangled bodies. One way, or another, I will escape this godforsaken place.”
~ Adrian Veidt
Again there’s no real clue about where Veidt is located or why he’s trapped there but a guess would be that he’s currently locked in some kind of purgatory like prison perhaps somewhere on the moot. It’s entirely possible that Lady Trieu is the one responsible for his capture and subsequent imprisonment given that she ultimately benefitted from his disappearance by taking over Veidt’s company. She also seems to have the technological know how to keep the world’s smartest man prisoner for the past four years.
We also don’t know if Adrian Veidt’s predicament is running parallel to our current story in terms of time. Veidt went missing in 2012 and seven years later he was finally declared dead. It seems entirely possible that we’re witnessing Veidt’s imprisonment sometime around 2016 but obviously if that’s the case, then what happened three years ago that still holds so much importance now?
Whatever the case, it seems inevitable Veidt will eventually engineer his escape but when that will happen and what that means to the larger story remains to be seen.
Passive Aggressive Exposition
After work, Angela returns home where she questions her husband Cal about his brief interaction with Agent Blake earlier that same day. It seems Agent Blake paid him a visit to ask about Angela and the missing car and Cal told her a lie to cover for the fact that his wife discovered her grandfather was alive and that he’s responsible for killing Chief Judd Crawford.
Angela and Cal talk about how they met in Vietnam and how he suffered through some kind of accident that she wants to keep away from Agent Blake. Another mystery to unravel in a future episode.
And finally back at Lady Trieu’s home inside the Millennium Clock, she’s visited by her daughter Bian, who has been haunted by a nightmare where her village was attacked and ransacked by invaders before she was ordered to walk so far that her feet still hurt when she woke up. Now the story goes no further but it would certainly seem to paint a vivid picture of the world where Lady Trieu grew up in Vietnam and the war that was ended with the involvement of Dr. Manhattan on behest of the U.S. government.
Dr. Manhattan along with The Comedian ended the war in a matter of minutes with the U.S. being declared victorious before Vietnam was named the 51st state in the union. Considering Lady Trieu’s feats of genetic engineering it would seem entirely possible that her daughter Bian is actually a clone of herself and those are her memories that are haunting the little girl in her dreams.
When she sends Bian back to bed, she tells Mr. Reeves goodnight and that’s when it’s finally revealed that Lady Trieu and Will Reeves have been working together this entire time.
She asks him why tell Angela to investigate his mysterious pills rather than just tell her the truth about his identity but Will refrains and says this is something she needs to discover on her own because she’s not ready to know everything just yet. The truth may be that Will Reeves is Hooded Justice but for now he’s concentrating on a plan that’s been hatched alongside Lady Trieu.
She questions his commitment to the cause but he promises that he’s all the way in — and then Will stands on his own two feet, proving the wheelchair was nothing more than elaborate ruse to fool his granddaughter for some reason. Lady Trieu then speaks about an event that is happening three days from now and Will knows that Angela will hate him for being involved in whatever project they’ve been working on together.
Will then joins Lady Trieu in looking towards the sky as he utters the words made famous by the Seventh Kalvary — tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
Is it possible that Lady Trieu and Will Reeves have orchestrated another DIE that will once again serve as a reminder that we are not alone in the world? Or perhaps they plan on exposing Adrien Veidt’s original attack as nothing more than an elaborate trick? Whatever the case, Lady Trieu and Will Reeves are counting down the days until this event takes place that will apparently change the world forever.
‘Watchmen’ returns with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Check out a preview for the episode below: