Where do babies come from?
The episode begins on, of all places, a farm. The Clark Acres Farm to be exact, as a woman sits outside of her egg stand. They’re apparently the freshest in Oklahoma. Can’t be that fresh since no one’s buying, not helped by the fact that she trips and drops some of the eggs. These are the Clarks: Katy, played by Christine Weatherup, and Jon, played by Robert Pralgo.
Katy and Jon are awoken that night by a woman at the door. This is Lady Trieu, played by Hong Chau, and she wants to know what the Clarks know about her. She’s the billionaire building the big clock down the road. Actually, she’s a trillionaire and she’s building more than a clock. She only comes out when it’s important. For the next three minutes, though, the Clarks are the most important people in the world.
She pulls out an hourglass and tells the two that she wants their home and the acres. The Clarks don’t want to sell because it’s part of their family legacy. Trieu understands legacy, but knows that the Clarks have no children, so they don’t have a legacy. Pulling out a document, she explains how she made her trillions from pharmaceutical companies right here in Tulsa. She knows that the Clark tried to get pregnant.
But Mrs. Clarke was told that she’s non-viable. To that, Trieu says bullshit. Trieu isn’t offering money for the land, but legacy. Katy is livid about this midnight intrusion, prompting Trieu to apologize. She’s not going to make the Clarks a baby- she already did.
She and a young woman- we’ll get to her later- then literally bring in a baby in anticipation of the negotiations. The son is theirs, biologically. Also, $5 million has been placed in an account for moving expenses, all that stuff. What a deal! And the two have 30 seconds to decide. Jon holds the baby. The Clarks quickly agree to the terms just as the ground begins to shake.
They head outside just as they see something falling from the sky and crash-landing in the ground. That, Lady Trieu says, is hers.
We then jump over to Angela as she laments that Will Reeves has been taken from her. She cleans up the room where he was held and starts taking apart his wheelchair. She considers burning the note with him when she gets a phone call. The message is about the DNA results from the Greenwood Cultural Center. Apparently a new branch has been identified.
Also, Angela accidentally burned the note anyway. Lovely.
Suited up, Sister Night calls radios to the other officers and asks about any silent alarms tripped at the Cultural Center. Seems someone broke the glass on the side door and she decides to check the premises. However, she won’t need any backup.
At the center, she goes over to one of the machines and asks Skip about seeing her family tree. He encodes her family tree, and there’s no wait in the tree-house, so she can plant her acorn. She heads straight to the Ances-Tree- clever name- and plants the acorn. A new line has been found on her father’s side, so she looks up her grandparents. Will Reeves has not been identified, though he is still her grandfather.
His line matches two others in the database and the center can render them now. Angela is asked if she would like to meet her great-grandparents. She’s then taken on a tour about her great-grandparents: Opie and Ruth. Opie’s background was lost family was killed in the Tulsa Massacre in 1921. But Angela knows that Will isn’t dead- he just disappeared and then came back to fuck up Angela’s life.
Will wanted Angela to know where she came from, and now she knows. So wherever Will is, Angela wants him to leave her the fuck alone.
She then hears a crash and heads outside to find Laurie Blake laughing at the sight of a crashed car- Angela’s car. She examines it and informs dispatch that the stolen vehicle has been recovered. Nothing was taken, though. Laurie tells Angela that the car fell out of the sky, and Laurie doesn’t kid about things that fall out of the sky.
She then refers to Angela by her first name. As Laurie leaves, Angela examines the pill bottle in her glove compartment.
Following this, Angela returns home and heads to Topher’s room since the girls are with Cal in her bed. Angela explains to Topher where she’s been, and the girls are okay, even though Topher clearly remembers seeing the Kavalry man getting shot in the head. He also remembers his mother saving everyone’s life and asks if she was scared.
Angela says that she was, and she still is. Topher then passes down his stuffed animal to Angela.
The next day, Angela informs Cal about the car that fell from the sky, as well as the random encounter with Laurie Blake. She then explains that she broke into the cultural center when the kids start arguing about where Uncle Judd went when he died. Cal tells the kids that Heaven is pretend. Judd was a baby, then adult, and then he died. Now he’s nowhere. Such is the circle of life, am I right? Anyway, it’s time for waffles.
Later, Angela pays Wade a visit and he brings her into his chambers. He’s examining photos of the squid storm from a few episodes ago. She asks him about the eggs in the pills and if Wade can ask his ex about that, given that things are apparently amicable. Wade wants to know where the case came from, and is asked by Angela if he knew that Judd was a racist.
She pulls out the Klansman robe and hood. Wade figures that this could belong to Judd’s grandfather. Wade will hold onto the robe for now, partially so Laurie won’t get her hands onto it. It’s worth noting that despite the Klansman robe revelation, neither Angela nor Wade seem to dwell on it for too long.
Angela suits up and drops a duffel bag onto a trash truck, but then she spots a man in chrome watching her from a distance. He runs, prompting her to give chase through a junkyard. He eventually squirts himself with some fluid, removes his utility belt, and slips into a storm drain.
At the precinct, Angela has a brief run-in with Senator Keene- he knows her identity- who thanks her for saving his life. She gives the utility belt to Red Scare and Pirate Jenny while explaining that the man put the oil all over himself before slipping into the sewer. But the new boss probably won’t give a shit about Lube Man- yes, that’s what we’re calling him.
Wait, new boss? It’s Laurie Blake, who has a lead on Angela’s stolen car. It was dusted for prints, and Laurie guesses that Angela doesn’t have many friends, so the prints were run through another database. The prints belong to one William Reeves, who was a cop in the 1940s and 50s before he retired and fell off the grid.
By Laurie’s math, this Will would have to be over 100 years old and can only get around via wheelchair. Petey enters the room to inform Laurie that there’s another lead on Angela’s car.
On the road, Laurie informs Angela that the FBI cares about the car because it was stolen and returned after Judd was murdered. This is a thermodynamic miracle. Laurie’s ex used to talk about them when he wasn’t talking about quarks. He’s no Cal, though. Laurie even spoke with Cal when she dropped by Angela’s house.
Laurie says that people who wear masks are driven by trauma, but Angela wears the mask to protect herself. From the pain, Laurie says. Laurie then explains that she once wore a mask as well, and she asks Petey to explain what she did as a vigilante.
Petey then says that Laurie’s parents were the Comedian and Silk Spectre, like in the TV show. Petey doesn’t like the show. In the real world, Comedian- Edward Blake- sexually assaulted Silk Spectre, and Laurie here didn’t find out until much later.
The three arrive at a huge warehouse and asks one of the employees if the space ships could be used to pick up a car in downtown Greenville. Laurie asks for information on employees working last night, but that will have to wait. Bian, played by Jolie Hoang-Rappaport, the young with Lady Trieu from early in the episode, invites the three to have tea with her mother.
Did I say three? Make that two, as Petey isn’t invited. It’s for ladies only, apparently. Maybe Petey’s a coffee guy anyway.
Bian meets Laurie and Angela. Laurie explains that whoever took the car dropped it right back from where they stole it, prompting Trieu to ask who the car belonged to. Angela admits that the car is hers, and she follows up with asking for the names of employees who can fly these machines. Bian offers said list.
Trieu gives her condolences over Judd’s passing, and she brings up an expression on grief: “your grandfather wants to know if you got the pills.” Angela, understanding the language, says the old man can ask himself. Pretty sure neither of these are actual sayings, but what do I know?
Laurie’s drawn to a statue of Adrian Veidt and asks why he looks so old. Turns out he is old, and old are revered in Trieu’s culture. Well, true, but this is still America, and as far as Laurie is concerned, Veidt looks like shit.
Speaking of Veidt, let’s catch up with Veidt, as he fishes up a…fetuses from the river? And he tosses one back in?
Anyway, Veidt heads to his chambers where he puts in two of the…um, bundles of joy, inside some machine. They start heating up while Veidt plays some music and eats some cake. When the procedure is done, the babies have developed into a full-grown man and woman: it’s a new Mr. Phillips and Ms. Crookshanks.
Veidt informs the two that he is their master, and they are a few hours away from gaining the ability to speak. But they should be able to at least understand. He asks if they know what they are, but they do not respond. Veidt dresses the two while explaining that while he’s their master, he’s not their maker. To have the gift of life, one must have purpose. They have none, except to serve.
He takes the two inside and apologizes for the ‘mess,’ which turns out to be a room littered with corpses of other now dead servants. Veidt just had a rough night. And fuck me, this room looks like the aftermath of the church scene from Kingsman.
The bodies are then loaded into a catapult and launched into the stratosphere because this is exactly what normal people do. Veidt takes note of this and explains how he’s been here for four years. He thought it was a paradise, but now believes it to be a prison. One day, Veidt will escape.
That evening, Angela returns home and asks Cal what he’s reading- it’s Things Fall Apart. She gives away the ending because she’s a dick, but also she’s trying to pick a fight. She then asks when Cal was going to tell her about the FBI woman talking to him, and she apparently wanted to know who called the FBI when Judd was killed. Cal explained to Laurie that he was having sex with Angela in the closet.
The phone rang and Angela answered it. He recounts everything that happened with Angela, but Cal didn’t know Angela had a grandfather. Obviously Cal said none of this, even though he hates lying. Angela asks if Cal brought up his accident, but it never came up, even though Laurie knew that Angela and Cal met in Vietnam. Cal believes that Laurie wants to help Angela- it’s just a feeling.
Angela is confident that she can find the old man on her own. Also, Angela will meet Cal in the closet. Kinky.
Bian awakens and tells her mother that she had a nightmare. Trieu wants to know all about it, and Bian explains that she was in a village. Men came and burned it, and then the men made them walk. Bian’s feet still hurt. Bian asks her mother if she’ll walk her back to her room, but Trieu refuses. As Bian heads to bed, she bids a good night to the nearby Mr. Will Reeves.
Trieu and Will talk about keeping secrets from their daughters, and this is the source of Trieu’s concern. Will isn’t in, as far as she’s concerned. As Will rises to his feet, he tells Trieu that his feet work just fine. He asks Trieu how much longer, and it will be three days. As for Angela’s family, Will betrayed Angela’s family and knows that Angela will hate him for what he’s done. However, he is in. All in. Tick-tock, tick-tock indeed.
Four episodes in and the world of Watchmen continues to grow larger and adds more intrigue with this installment. While things seemed largely contained until Laurie Blake and Dale Petey arrived, the door has been blown wide open with the arrival of Lady Trieu.
Didn’t expect Trieu to make such a huge impact after we got one quick name-drop of her in the previous episode, but she makes a hell of an impact here. The way she comes in with such presence, helped by a great first impression by Hong Chau, and the amount of power and influence she wields makes her feel like the second coming of Adrian Veidt. Given that she bought Veidt’s company, that’s no surprise.
There’s already a huge level of intrigue and mystery surrounding the character of Trieu. In her opening scene, she comes off as almost godlike. She comes to a husband and wife and offers them wealth and a child in exchange for their property. In effect, the couple gets what they want and all they have to do is submit to what Trieu wants, which is essentially everything they own.
However, she doesn’t strike me as a Republic serial villain. At least not yet. She’s not asking anyone to bow before her, but it’s clear that she carries great influence. You’d have to if you can buy something that once belonged to Adrian Veidt. That she can just produce a baby for the Clarks and $5 million to provide for any and all expenses makes Trieu a godsend. She could run a hell of an adoption agency.
But this is Watchmen. I’d be a fool to just accept everything about Trieu at face value without questioning it. This business that she’s running- I can’t really put my finger on what exactly she’s planning. Could her plan and these vessels revolve around time travel? Maybe she’s not the only one attempting to get in touch with Manhattan who. First episode so far without any direct reference to him, by the way.
Given that we see Veidt dip into cloning in this episode, it’s not impossible that Trieu could be doing something similar. How the hell else do you explain her producing this healthy baby out of nowhere? It could also explain the potential link she has with Bian, who has dreams about Vietnam and whose feet still hurt. Obviously Bian couldn’t have been around during the Vietnam war, but a clone could still have those memories.
By the way, this being Watchmen, you and I both remember who else was around during the Vietnam War. The show doesn’t point it out, but you remember, don’t you?
Like Veidt, Trieu is interested in legacy. She’s a trillionaire, but there’s more to life than money. She knows that the Clarks have no legacy without a child, so she gives them exactly what they want and need.
If she was able to judge a person’s fate, I’d say she’s closer to being God than Dr. Manhattan is. Per the episode’s title, she’s writing someone else’s story because she has the resources to do so.
What isn’t so clear yet is how Will Reeves factors into her plan. Both Trieu and Will are hiding something from Bieu and Angela, respectively. Will has done something that will lead to Angela hating him, but given that Angela wants Will to leave her the fuck alone, he doesn’t have to do much to get on her bad side. He’s already there.
The reveal that Will is not only working with Trieu, but capable of walking was a good surprise and strong way to end the episode. It just increases the mystery surrounding this 100-year-old man who could somehow hang Judd Crawford from a tree. Despite only showing up at the end of the episode, I still have plenty of questions about him and his past.
Clearly Angela does as well, even if she’d be perfectly fine with Will leaving her alone. But now that she’s learned Will has a direct connection with her, she’s not going to just let that drop. She doesn’t ignore Trieu’s question from Will about whether she got the pills. So even though Angela wants Will to leave her alone, this familial connection is still a major revelation for her.
But then, Angela’s got a full plate no matter the circumstances. The visit to the Cultural Center was good for a few reasons. For one, she learned even more about her family history and how much they had been impacted as a result of the Tulsa riot. The look of the Ances-Tree was very futuristic and just makes present-day museums pale in comparison.
Furthermore, even though Angela would probably prefer to get past Will Reeves as soon as possible, I appreciate that she’s proactive enough to research her own history. We don’t have to wait for someone to make a big reveal or for some information to become known in order to service the plot. The Cultural Center has already been established, so I get Angela wanting to learn more about her lineage.
Lube Man aside, Angela’s day went off without a hitch. Even though she wants to find out about Judd’s supposed Klansman robe, it doesn’t seem like she and Wade in particular are giving it their full attention. Hell, Wade doesn’t even seem that surprised that Judd has the robe, but he also doesn’t think it belonged to him, either.
With so much going on, the Klansman revelation- which should seem like a big deal to the officers- feels like it could fade into the background. Given the more pressing matters, Klan regalia isn’t a huge priority. Angela doesn’t even mention it to Red Scare or Pirate Jenny- not that they’d care either- because, quite frankly, there are bigger things to deal with now.
Like just how much is Laurie Blake going to play a part in Tulsa now that she’s here. Again, I’d think that local officers have an issue with a federal agent coming in and taking over a case. But hey, she does outrank them and she’s not out to ruffle any feathers. She wants the case of Judd’s death solved just like anyone else, even though she’s not a fan of vigilantes.
I did like her line about how people who wear masks must do so because they’re driven by trauma. In a way, she’s dead-on in regards to the officers whose lives were impacted by the White Night. In that regard, yes, they’re absolutely driven by trauma and the need to protect themselves and their families.
Again, going back to superhero lore, heroes wear masks as a way to protect the people they care about. In regards to Watchmen lore, both the Minutemen and Crimebusters members wore masks for their own individual reasons. To many heroes, the mask is their true face.
No hero better exemplifies this than Rorschach. Don’t forget that when he was apprehended and unmasked, he demanded that the officers give him back his “face.” Considering how the murder of Blair Roche transformed Walter Kovacs, whoever Rorschach was before then ceased to exist. As such, the mask would be his true face.
The same can’t be said for the other heroes or Laurie Blake in particular because, well, Silk Spectre doesn’t even wear a mask. That said, there’s still plenty of trauma in her upbringing. The show brings up Laurie’s tragic comic origin and how her mother, the original Silk Spectre, had been sexually assaulted by the Comedian. Even though that was a brutal moment, I appreciate the references to the source material.
If anything, I hope that those who haven’t read the graphic novel or seen the film take the chance to do so once the first season ends.
What the hell, Adrian Veidt? Literally, what the hell is going on with this guy? Okay, my bafflement aside, his storyline remains intriguing as always. Him harvesting and creating life helps connect this thread to what Trieu is doing since both are in the business of creating life. However, with all of the corpses we see Veidt just carelessly discard, it seems that he’s creating life out of boredom.
Four years in this purgatory and all he can do is attempt to hunt, put on plays, train his servants, and think of Dr. Manhattan. It’s a hard knock life to be Veidt, but even harder to be Mr. Phillips or Ms. Crookshanks when you’re born with no purpose except to eventually die.
Both Veidt and Trieu are engaged in man-made creations, as if to elevate themselves to godhood. At least Manhattan’s creation was an accident. Jon Osterman didn’t step into a generator expecting to be reborn with his abilities. By the same token, Bian or Phillips and Crookshanks didn’t have a say in how they were born- if Bian truly is a clone- but their births were manufactured.
But go back to the title. “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own.” If people like Trieu and Veidt aren’t satisfied with how the world was created, then they could just their own resources and rewrite how people are created. They have the ability, so this is their take on writing the story to fit their own view.
That’s a cynical way to look at it, I know, but hey, much of Watchmen is cynical. Cal doesn’t even believe in Heaven and he flat out tells his kids that it’s not real. You’re born, you die, and then you’re nothing. That’s a far cry from a program like The Walking Dead where characters try to believe in Heaven in order to hope that a loved one is still alive in some way.
Another week, another series of questions arise from Watchmen, such as what plan do Trieu and Will have over the next free days. The Veidt segments continue to be as dark as they are humorous, and I’m curious just what it is that Will’s done that will cause Angela to hate him. Until then, see you next week for more Watchmen!