Welp, I have to say this episode left me far more frustrated than episode 7. Maybe its supposed to? While I personally enjoyed the Dr M reveal, I was worried about how they would write him. After I’ve sat with with it and thought about it, I think what I found “particularly infuriating” was supposed to be just that.
As I mentioned in my last opus to you guys, sorry for the long emails, my beef with episode 7 was more about the character exposition, plot pushing, and retelling of facts we already knew. But I did personally enjoy the Manhattan reveal. I was concerned about how they would write him and they definitely took some liberties I wish they hadn’t. At the same time, they told a very compelling love story between Cal and Angela while answering larger questions the season has proposed. Here’s my pros, cons, and what I’m torn on.
Pros first. The “Arrival” esque nature of their story was very clever. The idea that she could be presented with the entire story all at once, the two of them acknowledging the imminent tragedy, and proceed forward is quite human and very compelling. The reveal that Angela was who in fact alerted Will to Judd’s affiliation with the Cyclops was super cool and a fun continuation of the egg motif inside this chicken/egg quandary. Seeing Adrian alone in his success, unknown to the world, was a perfect explanation for why he might desire living in this utopia on Europa (for a time). It’s fitting to learn what made Dr M uninterested in this place also left Adrian feeling unfulfilled. Beings created to serve don’t challenge them. And their thinking has been similar in previous events in the comic: IE when they both feel human peace is worth perpetrating the squid fraud and those who might compromise that perception should be eliminated.
Cons now. Introducing this new non canon idea that Dr M can bestow his powers to someone feels a bit cheap, underdeveloped, and solely for the purpose of setting up the finale. Also, why have I seen 3 entire episodes without the coolest damn character in this show?? Even with a great save the day entrance, I’ve really missed Looking Glass and its been a little disappointing that he’s had zero screen time after the cliff hanger ending to his backstory episode (my personal favorite of the season so far). Another hole to me, if Cal saved Angela in the white night, why didn’t he wonder to himself in that moment.. “whoah.. I just zapped a guy out of existence with my mind” <-- Keanu voice. And where I'm torn. These racist morons have done what not even Adrian could do!! They got the best of Manhattan. Riiiiiight <--Dr Evil voice. A large part of me thinks its absurd that he would sit and knowingly let a guy behind him capture/teleport him over to Cyclops base. He could vaporize that dude in a microsecond. Why's he making waffles? Just teleport the racist lynch mob outside to Pluto and then we'll finish our waffles and have this conversation. And on the other hand, there are many moments in both the comic and this episode where Dr M himself acknowledges that while he can see his future, he cannot or will not change it. He can see the strings, but is a puppet himself. This is what happens. That is when it happens. Now it has happened. And perhaps the immense frustration I experienced as the episode ended was the very same that pissed off Janey, Laurie, and Angela something fierce. As he says: "the way I experience time is unique, and for you, particularly infuriating". All and all, writing Manhattan has got to be a tricky thing and they did a pretty bang up job. Can't wait to hear the deep dive, guys! josh king Austin TX PS for King Bee I talked a bit about this in my previous email - I always understood the tachyon block in the original comic that Adrian creates to prevent Manhattan from knowing the big squid plan also prevented him from seeing beyond that moment. Otherwise, why would Manhattan not know what Adrian's original plan was. Unless of course its because he left the Galaxy & subsequent tachyon block and never returned in Alan Moore's eyes.. But yeah, now I'm left wondering... so when Dr M tells Angela he knows that this will end in tragedy after the device is removed, isn't that inconsistent? I certainly enjoyed this story telling element, the inevitable tragedy, whether canon or not. But it does seem to create a plot hole in the original. What do you think fellow King?[text-blocks id="16627" slug="watchmen-bottom"]