Watchmen Buried a Major Easter Egg Right in the Original Poster
Watchmen had a just about perfect 9-episode run. Creator Damon Lindelof and his incredible cast and crew took Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic graphic novel and made something entirely new out of it. Building from where Moore and Gibbons left off, Lindelof and his team hatched a completely gripping new story centered on Angela Abar (a sensational Regina King), a masked, ninja-like Tulsa Police Officer who goes by the name Sister Night.
Characters from Moore and Gibbons seminal source material were present in Lindelof’s Watchmen, most crucially Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons) and the elusive, blue-hued, Mars-dwelling god-like Dr. Manhattan. (Spoilers ahead). We learned in the brilliant 7th episode “An Almost Religious Awe” that Dr. Manhattan has not been on Mars this whole time, but rather has been living incognito as a human being—in Tulsa, no less—in the form of Angela’s husband Cal (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). Once Angela pried Dr. Manhattan out of Cal with a hammer, the action of the final two episodes was set. The white supremacist organization The 7th Calvary was attempting to snatch Dr. Manhattan, destroy him, and let preening Senator Joe Keene (James Wolk) take his power. Meanwhile, supposed do-gooder, the billionaire brainiac Lady Trieu (Hong Chau) was stage managing the entire thing, allowing the 7th Calvary to take Manhattan so that she could then swoop in, kill them, and take the blue god’s power for herself.
And Lady Trieu’s plan would have worked out had it not been for Adrien Veidt and his interdimensional squid attack. Trieu succeeds in killing Dr. Manhattan, but she doesn’t get his power. It seems he’s gone for good, as is his world-shaping or destroying abilities. Until Angela goes home.
Then we get that glorious callback to episode 8, “A God Walks Into Abar” when a newly returned Dr. Manhattan makes an omelet, for some reason, in Angela’s kitchen, despite the fact that the 7th Calvary are outside and ready to take him. In the last sequence in the finale, Angela returns home to find the eggs smashed on the floor—she’d done that out of fury over his making an omelet instead of fighting for his life. Yet there’s one remaining egg, unbroken. Dr. Manhattan had theorized in episode 8 that he could possibly transfer his power to someone else via organic matter. That’s what this egg represented, it contained, possibly, all of his powers.
So Angela goes outside, eats the egg, and is just about to step onto her pool to test whether or not she’s can walk on water. Then the series fades to black right as her foot touches the water, and we’re left on the precipice; is Angela a god now or not? It turns out, the answer has been there all along, hiding in the poster that was released 15 weeks ago. Note Angela’s hue in this power—she’s blue:
If you think we’re stretching here, read what Lindelof himself said to The Hollywood Reporter about the finale:
“This is not me saying what happens when her foot hits the water. There are certainly two possible outcomes. But if you watch the entire season again, or if you look at the poster for Watchmen that existed fifteen weeks ago, our intention is clear. That’s what I’ll say.”
The remaining white supremacists in the world better watch out. As Will Reeves (Lou Gossett Jr.) said of Dr. Manhattan, “he was a good man, but considering what he could do, he could have done more.” One suspects that won’t be the case now that Angela’s got his power.
What a series.
For more on Watchmen, check out our interview with cinematographer Gregory Middleton and costume designer Meghan Kasperlik.
Featured image: Regina King. Photo: Mark Hill/HBO