While the return of Silk Spectre and the revelation of the identity of Jeremy Irons’ character are now out of the way, Watchmen is still not done introducing new characters. In this week’s episode, we finally met the elusive and mysterious Lady Trieu, and the story around Ozymandias’ situation took a turn. Though not as heavy on lore from the graphic novel, there’s still plenty going on in “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own.” As always, we’re were to guide you through all the references to the original Watchmen and more. Once again, this will be spoiler-heavy.
Max Shea’s “Fogdancing” Makes an Appearance
The original graphic novel is full of dozens of tiny details that are just namedropped but never explained. This is one of those. In the beginning of the episode, we see a woman reading a book titled “Fogdancing.” Fans of Moore and Gibbons’ Watchmen will recognize that title as one of the classic novels written by comic book artist and writer Max Shea, better known as the creator of the Tales of the Black Freighter comics.
After the Black Freighter series was cancelled by DC following accusations that the last couple of issues were pornographic, Shea left comic books and worked on The Hooded Basilisk and of course, Fogdancing, which was adapted into a film twice. Sadly, we don’t know exactly what the novel is about. Shea, like dozens other writers, were killed by Adrian Veidt to erase all traces of his alien project.
Once again, Watchmen is giving us slightly different takes on the origin story of the world’s first superhero, Superman. In the pilot episode, we saw William Reeves escaping from his hometown as it burned and crash-landing on a farm. Now this episode begins with a kind farming couple with the last name Clark – a clear nod to Superman’s secret identity, Clark Kent. The couple is desperate for a baby, which they get from a mysterious figure who hands them a child wrapped up in a blanked, at the same time as something falls from the sky and crashed near their home. Also, the father’s name is Jon, just like Pa Kent, adoptive father of one Clark Kent.
If You Don’t Like My Story
The title of the episode, “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own,” is a reference to the novel “Things Fall Apart” by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, a wrestling champion in a fictional Nigerian clan, and how his life changes with the arrival of British colonialists and Christian missionaries. Angela then spoils the ending of the novel, so be mindful of that if you haven’t read it yet.
Is That You, Bubastis?
When Angela talks to Topher in his room, he is holding a purple stuff animal that looks an awful lot like Ozymandias’ a genetically engineered red and black-stripped lynx named Bubastis. The stuffed animal is purple, which looks more like the 2009 movie’s version of the animal. This may very well be a hint that exotic, genetically engineered animals are more accessible in this world.
Is Soccer The National Sport?
All credit for this one goes to Mike Cecchini over at Den of Geek, who noticed that the hat Looking Glass is wearing has the logo of the Tulsa Tornadoes, which was apparently a professional soccer team from Tulsa that played for just one season – in 1985, when the graphic novel takes place. This may not account for anything other than a cool nod to soccer fans, or it may be a hint that in Watchmen’s version of America soccer is a much more popular sport.
Not exactly a reference to anything in particular, but we get another vigilante sighting this week. While last week we got a Batman rip-off, we now get…a sliding man?
There’s No Such Thing As Miracles
According to Laurie, a thermodynamic miracle is “the sciency version of ‘it’s all connected, man!’” She says her ex used to talk about these miracles all the time when he wasn’t distracted by quarks. This is a clear reference to Doctor Manhattan, who not only worked with subatomic particles, but used the term thermodynamic miracles to describe astronomically unlikely events – such the nature of Laurie’s existence, and by extension humanity’s existence.
Masks And Trauma
Not only do we hear about Laurie’s upbringing, but she reveals her thoughts on vigilantes. When talking to Angela about her past, Laurie says she believes that people who wear masks are driven by trauma. Then Dale Petey recounts the story of how Laurie was traumatized by discovering that The Comedian, the man who sexually assaulted her mother, was actually her father.
Is That Where Babies Come From?
If you were wondering where Ozymandias got his clone assistants, you’re probably regretting ever having those thoughts. We discover that not only does dear old Adrian Veidt have a lake full of translucid and kind of gelatinous babies, but he uses a machine that makes them grow in a couple of minutes by stretching them? We don’t exactly know, but the whole thing is just plain horrifying.
Prison Life Is Tough
We also got confirmation that Ozymandias is actually imprisoned somewhere and has been in his castle/jail for four years. As /Film’s own Chris Evangelista has theorized before, it is possible that Veidt was imprisoned back in 2012 when he his disappearance was first reported. This would mean that each time we see him eating cake, it’s been one year later. It could also be that he’s actually on Mars, in the castle that Doctor Manhattan tears down in 2019, after Veidt either escaped or maybe died?
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