Major spoilers below for the most recent episode of Watchmen, titled "A God Walks Into Abar."
After a long and enjoyably meticulous wait for Doctor Manhattan to officially enter the fold on HBO's Watchmen, viewers were quickly thrown into mental turmoil when it appeared that he got completely obliterated by the Seventh Kavalry's tachyon weaponry. With only one episode left to go in Season 1, and no clear sign of a Season 2 renewal (or more appearances from Lube Man), Damon Lindelof and his creative team have a very limited timespan to give audiences a legitimate conclusion to Doctor Manhattan and Angela's narratives. Is the big blue super-being actually doomed for death, though, or is there hope?
Watchmen scribe Jeff Jensen, who has an interesting Lost-tethered history with Damon Lindelof, spoke to CinemaBlend about myriad details and oddities within this TV universe. But most pressing was the issue of Doctor Manhattan's fate going into the season finale. When I asked the longtime Watchmen fanatic about possibly committing the ultimate sin of killing off Doctor Manhattan, here's what Jensen told me.
Doctor Manhattan's case-specific omniscience is such an intricate element when it comes to speculating about what will happen in Watchmen's finale. From his first meeting with Angela, it was made clear that their relationship would face tragedies ten years down the road, which tied into the Senator Keene's plans with the Seventh Kavalry and their teleportation device. And by all means, having Doctor Manhattan's physical nature torn apart right in front of Angela counts as a tragedy, though it's thought that the character isn't necessarily dead yet, but is rather transitioning to the abandoned mall where the Kavalry's equipment is set up.
After all, Watchmen couldn't possible introduce Doctor Manhattan without putting the character in a one-on-one conversation with his former romantic partner Laurie Blake. I assume that the whole reason Keene is holding Laurie captive is so that she can witness a new kind of Manhattan transformation. It's impossible to gauge how she'd react to such news, whether the superhuman being is in Cal form or in Keene form.
For all the inherent nervousness that comes with delivering a TV finale to viewers, Jeff Jensen is humbly confident that everyone who's been invested in the Watchmen ride so far will still be just as enthused by everything that goes down in the season finale. Here's what he told me:
As Jeff Jensen is fully aware, viewers are going to voice their opinions loudly and clearly regardless of how they felt about the episode, so reactions are definitely on the way. And Doctor Manhattan's fate certainly won't be the only thing everyone will be talking about.
Update On Lube Man
Watchmen's fourth episode introduced the silver-suited oddity now known to increasingly obsessed fans as Lube Man, but the show has yet to bring the silent and slippery character back in any follow-up episodes. However, the Episode 8 supplemental material on HBO's Peteypedia website did offer an origin story of sorts for the mysterious Lube Man, by way of the Petey-penned synopsis of the oft-seen Max Shea novel Fogdancing. While obviously not concrete evidence, Petey's essay also isn't coincidental, and thus serves as light evidence that Petey himself was the one wearing the silver costume, which is the most popular theory on the matter.
When I asked Watchmen's Jeff Jensen about any possible Petey and Lube Man connections, and whether or not the character would return in the finale, the Tomorrowland co-writer humorously opted out of a hard "yes" or "no." However, he did provide an update on the matter that should have fans of the supplemental material pretty excited. According to Jensen:
I know I'm not the only one whose jaw dropped a little upon reading about Howard McNulty wearing his skintight silver suit, especially since the Fogdancing summary offers such a different and original idea behind what the suit stands for. (It's worth noting, however, that Lube Man apparently doesn't don a gas mask as Howard does in the novel.) Many viewers no doubt wrote Lube Man off as a way to show off that sewer-sliding stunt, but the Watchmen-verse is one where zero characters and details are merely incidental. Everything is there for a reason, even if it's squirting liquids all over itself. After all, this is a world that does embrace bizarre humor.
Stay tuned for more stories from my nerdery-filled conversation with Watchmen's Jeff Jensen, and mark your calendars in triplicate to remember Watchmen's season finale airs on HBO on Sunday, December 15, at 9:00 p.m.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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