Watching Watchmen: Episode Two

watch2.jpgHey, now. Hang on a minute. This was great. I mean, really, I thought the first episode was good but “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship” , despite its absurdly extravagant title (originating from the painting hanging on Crawford’s wall that the camera finally lingers over), was a much better episode, cementing this series as a must-watch. I’m really excited by this series now and can I admit to being keen on an eventual 4K set on disc someday next year? The danger remains that the series will alienate and bore mainstream viewers unfamiliar with the comic or film, but for fans such as me, this is an early Christmas present, much better than I had expected.

Some of the parallels to the original comic are clearer to see- it would seem the narrative arc of the series will be the central mystery of who killed Police Chief Judd Crawford, mirroring the ‘who killed the Comedian?’ arc of the comic, the mystery no doubt unravelling into a much bigger conspiracy than one murder, just as what happened in the comic. I enjoyed the nods to the comic during Angela Abar’s search of Crawford’s home, with the secret compartment in the closet holding the Ku Klux Klan uniform (revealing Crawfords ‘true’ secret identity in just the same way Rorschach discovered the Comedian uniform hidden behind Edward Blake’s closet). Its clear the teasing hints at Adrian Veidt’s new scheme to ‘save the world’ parallel the slow reveal of that of the comic, and I’m pretty sure this will prove to be as deadly and horrible as his original effort that killed three million.

The glimpses of the American Hero Story television programme will function in a similar way to Tales of the Black Freighter in the comic and Watchmen movie, it seems (the background disclaimers and warnings from the ultra-liberal network airing the show were hilarious).

Indeed, its clear that Damon Lindelof has created a show that is really a Watchmen Remix. A labour of love, evidently but I suppose if it does leave the show open to criticism, in regards originality and perhaps at worst of being a disguised reboot. I suppose we need to see more episodes (possibly all nine if it builds to some great reveal) to see the ‘big picture’, so to speak, in just the same way as the Watchmen comic really works best when considered over its twelve chapters. Definitely looking very good so far though.

I’m not surprised, I’m actually shocked how good this is. Hope it keeps it up, but with Lindelof involved, a note of caution is required, even in the wake of The Leftovers.