Familiar faces begin to surface, and with death comes some laughs. This week’s episode of HBO’s new hit television series Watchmen is magnificent in all aspects.
“She Was Killed By Space Junk” is directed by Stephen Williams (who has directed over two dozen Lost episodes) and written by Damon Lindelof and Lila Byock.
If you haven’t seen the first two episodes (or this one for that matter) and want to avoid spoilers, do so now then return to this article.
This episode is chock-full of juicy information, a well-written teleplay, excellent cinematography, and a lovely musical score.
Transitioning from Laurie Blake in one scene to the next scene is such a sight to see. The painting of the old Watchmen group features her as her former vigilante guise Silk Spectre, then we transition to the character driving on the road. Another example shows the character at Crawford’s funeral transitioning to the next scene, which shows a statue head wearing Ozymandias’s mask.
Additionally, the soundtrack in the episode is a splendid listen.
The episode brings in Jean Smart from FX’s Legion television series, and the actress is so good in her introduction as character Laurie Blake. She stands out as the best of the episode alongside Regina King’s Angela Abar.
Laurie Blake is written well enough that this may just get the show an Emmy nomination of some sort, for either the episode or the character as a supporting female cast member. In her introductory scene, she stages a bank robbery to capture vigilante Revenger. In another scene, she hilariously checks her teeth for sunflower seeds by looking into Looking Glass’s mask.
Her phone call to Mars adds flavor to the episode. Here, she makes jokes like her father the Comedian.
Every brick has its place.
Just when you think the joke has ended, you soon discover it’s only begun, and it’s the punchline that really hits. On another note, her dynamic with Abar as seen by the midway point is great. By the end, we get something threatening:
Here’s the thing about me, Sister Night. I eat good guys for breakfast.
Laurie Blake sends chills down nearly everyone’s spines in the episode, at least most of whom she crosses paths with.
The Master character of the show, played by Jeremy Irons, is revealed to be none other than Adrian Veidt aka Ozymandias, but most of us pretty much found that out on our own, right? In the episode, he conducts some kind of experiment which leaves a servant’s body frozen cold like a statue.
In a smaller scene, the show also brings in another familiar face from comic book cinema: Jessica Camacho as Pirate Jenny. The actress previously portrayed the character Gypsy in CW’s The Flash, although she is coincidentally written off in this week’s episode.
The cruelest way to tell the story of this episode is through Blake’s joke. A little girl throws a brick into the air and doesn’t seem to land. Years later, she (implied to be Blake herself) arrives at the gates of Heaven and drops it on God himself:
It hits him so hard, his brains shoot out his nose. Game over. He’s dead, and where does God go when HE dies? He goes to Hell.
From the start of the episode (as referenced in a momentary advertisement of fictional meta-television series American Hero Story), we’re shown that “Comedy Begets Tragedy.” Blake jokes about Nite Owl, Ozymandias, and Doctor Manhattan going to Hell, then bringing God to Hell as well. By the end of the episode, Abar’s car mysteriously drops in front of her, and she looks up through the night sky at Mars and laughs in hysteria, taking this as a sign.
One of the episode’s best scenes is during Chief Crawford’s funeral when Blake and Abar save the attendees from an attack, only for Blake to lose a major piece of evidence for her investigation in the process. Concealing identities continues to be an issue for our characters.
You know how you could tell the difference between a masked cop and a vigilante? Me neither.
Blake doesn’t think this is necessary, but a Senator argues otherwise when he says, “It works. Crime is down 80% in Tulsa since we passed DOPA (the Defense of Police Act),” then adds that other cities and towns want to join in on this. He believes that “masks save lives.” How true can this be, especially for our Oklahoman characters?
“She Was Killed by Space Junk” contains some juicy Easter Eggs:
- Nite Owl
- Laurie Blake makes a phone call to Mars in hopes that her former lover Doctor Manhattan will get her message. She tells a joke about three heroes who “all show up at the pearly gates.” Here, she makes a reference to Nite Owl and the flying ship he made. In the joke, she says he killed no one and is sent to Hell.
- The Rorschach Journal makes an appearance.
- Its contents exposed the Watchmen and sparked the events of the television series, but it appears the vigilante’s methodologies are obsolete. “Who gives a shit about Rorschach?”
- Angela Abar’s mysterious milieu has more evidence.
- My theory is she’s somehow connected to the Comedian. When Blake views Abar’s profile, it’s revealed that the Tulsa detective was born on January 16th, 1976 in Vietnam, which means she had to have been conceived by the end of the Vietnam War. Only two Watchmen members were present at that time: The Comedian and Doctor Manhattan. The former raped a local at a bar then shot her to death. What could this mean? We’re not too sure yet.
- The Lone Ranger
- Blake makes a reference to a famous Western figure. “You’re a federal agent, not the Lone fucking Ranger.” The Lone Ranger is an iconic character in American culture who donned a mask and fought outlaws. Blake doesn’t want her federal government companion to go down that same route.
- Veidt’s creation
- Blake makes a reference to the finale of the Watchmen comic arc when she paraphrases Ozymandias in her phone call to Mars: “I dropped a giant alien squid on New York, and everybody was so afraid of it, they stopped being afraid of each other.” And in the process, three million people were killed.
- In Blake’s allusion to Ozymandias, she jokes about his intent to reshape the planet in 1985: “You can’t break an omelet without breaking a couple eggs.” This could also be a continuation of the egg references that started with Angela Abar comparing egg whites and yolk to walls.
- Doctor Manhattan
- In Blake’s phone call, her joke refers to her former lover as “Blue God.”
Overall, this episode of Watchmen is to die for. Jean Smart in her role as Blake is enough to convince us that the character can act as a femme fatale even in the age that she is in. Hell, she even sleeps with her “fan.” The ultimate takeaway we can get from this is that sometimes it’s okay to make light in dark moments and events. Blake has a surface nihilistic attitude towards life, but in private still weeps about the tragedies she’s faced.
So far, Smart and King deliver the most stellar performances of the show. Here’s to hoping the rest of the show can be as great as this episode is.
What do you think? Have you seen Watchmen yet? Have you read the comic series? If not, do you plan to? Let us know! For more DC-related news and reviews follow The Cinema Spot on Twitter (@TheCinemaSpot) and Instagram (@thecinemaspot_).
Watchmen is out on HBO now!