WATCHMEN RECAP S1EP1 IT’S SUMMER AND WE’RE RUNNING OUT OF ICE

Paul Mendoza

“Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick Tock”

David Lindelof co-created my favorite show LOST. It was a challenging, complicated piece of work that was also incredibly emotional and sentimental. I loved it but it also incurred the ire of a large amount of people who came to hate it and be highly disappointed with its conclusion. Lindelof also co-created the HBO show The Leftovers, which was based on a popular novel. He went beyond the novel and adapted the story and infused it with his own special touches. He created another complicated maze of a story that also divided audiences into those who loved it and those who were annoyed with it.

Now he has adopted Watchmen. This may prove to be his most controversial and divisive project yet. Watchmen, the immensely popular and influential 1986 graphic novel by Alan Moore was made into a three hour epic film by Zach Snyder in 2009. It received a mixed reception. I actually loved it! So when I heard that Lindelof was doing his own adaptation for HBO I was very excited. But this isn’t just another version of the comic or the film, Lindelof has set his story 30 years after the action of the comic and the film and he’s constructed a fresh story that is sure to enrage fans of the comic and divide audiences yet again.

 

The original comic took place in the 1980s in an alternative reality where The US won the war in Vietnam, Nixon has been President for 30 years, the Watchmen are outlaws and the threat of nuclear holocaust loomed large while the world watched as the Doomsday Clock got closer to 0. Lindelof dubs the comic “the old testament” and his adaptation as the “new testament”. Just as in LOST, ‘what happened happened’ , everything we know from the comic exists but as the past. The new threat to humanity is white supremacy.

 

Check out this video that explains the Black Wall Street Massacre that is depi

 

The first episode opens in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921. We see a recreation of one of the most violent acts of racial violence to take place in the United States. I’ll be honest, I was not aware that this happened. This is a horrific event. We see a young black couple and their little boy trying to escape the city. The little boy survives as does a little baby. In the present we are introduced to a character played by Louis Gosset Jr. and I’m thinking he is that little boy.

“all the whores and politicians will look up and shout, ‘Save us!’…and I’ll look down and whisper, ‘No.’” 

Lindelof is tackling a big subject here, racism, white terrorism, which is a real and current problem still and perhaps, with the current politics I the country, more front and center than ever. It’s quite daring.

The differences in this alternate reality are many. The action takes place in Tulsa, 30 years later. The police all wear masks for their own safety. The white supremacists call themselves the Seventh Kavalry who follow the writings of Rorschack, an original vigilante from the comic. They organize in protest of President Robert Redford’s reparations (Redford-ations) to those who suffered from racial injustice. They wear the Rorschack masks and attack the police and are plotting some sort of terrorist attack. . Don Johnson is the chief of police Judd Crawford and Regina King plays an ex-cop who goes into action wearing a mask and calls herself Sister Night.

Jeremy Irons plays Adrian Veidt, another original from the comic. He’s living in a castle, riding horses and being looked after ny some very odd acting servants. What does he have to do with the current story?

The first episode is the set up. A cop is killed. The Seventh Kavalry, quiet for years has now re-emerged. We meet all the characters most notably ex-cop now the masked vigilante Angela Abar aka Sister Night who will be our main protagonist. We see another terrible murder that is a shocker. And away we go……

As with all of Lindelof’s other projects, there are a lot of things thrown at you that are not explained. He gives you pieces of the puzzle, episode by episode and you need to figure it out. There are a lot of references to the comic expecially the final shot of the episode. It is a very challenging and entertaining first episode. I look forward to delving deeper into this new world and seeing what Lindelof has up his sleeve.

SIDE TICK TOCKS

What was with the raining squids? Something from the comic I think.

Loved the use of the song Unforgettable in the episode. A nod to the the film.

Black Oklahoma!

I loved seeing The Watchmen space pod make an appearance. It crashes but I’m sure they’ll get it back in the air.

Talk about topical! Lynching is being used by our President these days and just like that Watchmen catches the zeitgeist!!

The final shot of the blood dropping on the police badge is a nod to the blood stained Happy face pin that signaled the death of The Comedian. As with the comic, the murder of a main character ignites the investigation by another character.

5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW

1 Adrian Veidt is behind what The Seventh Kavalry is planning

2 Kavalry was collecting watch batteries. Watches seem to be a thing of the past. Veidt’s servants gift him a watch for his birthday. Tick Tick indeed.

3 We will see more Don Johnson. Flashbacks!!

4 Regina King’s character is related to that baby that survived the Tulsa attack in 1921

5 Tim Blake Nelson’s character – Wade aka Looking Glass could be a double agent