Spoilers for the latest episode of Watchmen are below, so be sure to catch up before reading on.
Going into Watchmen's Season 1 finale, many fans agree that it seems impossible for the HBO vigilante drama to fully wrap up the various narrative threads that kicked off in the premiere. Rumors and theories abound for just about every main character, from Doctor Manhattan to Angela Abar to Looking Glass. So when Watchmen writer Jeff Jensen recently spoke with CinemaBlend, I definitely had to ask about characters that earn my endless fascination: Hong Chau's Lady Trieu and Adrian Veidt's clones played by Tom Mison and Sara Vickers.
In particular, we talked about the Peteypedia article centered on Lady Trieu rumors, along with some major questions about Veidt's eternally faithful clone minions. (I hope nobody is ready to see any major comic crossovers with the latter pair.) We'll start off with the smartest woman in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Lady Trieu Rumors
Following the monumentally groundbreaking Episode 6, "This Extraordinary Being," HBO put out a piece of Peteypedia supplemental material called "Lady Trieu: Fact or Fiction." It was presented as if written by faux society reporter Jay-Jay Whitman, who bounced questions about Lady Trieu's life off of her spokesperson. In reality, the piece was largely crafted by Jeff Jensen, and it served as a way to address the multitude of questions and assumptions that viewers have had about the mysterious billionaire.
Though Jeff Jensen didn't offer up any concrete answers about the ideas that were addressed in the article, he did talk about how enjoyable it was to make. More interestingly, though, the Watchmen TV scribe raised the idea that fans shouldn't take everything in that article to be gospel truth. In his words:
Yeah, that was fun. That was a fun one to make, 'Lady Trieu: Fact or Fiction.' I wrote that with help from Damon, and I really love the design that HBO came up with for that one. But yeah, Lady Trieu doesn't talk to the press all that much, and there's certainly a lot of mystery and lore attached to her. It was definitely a fun way to download a tremendous amount of content about Lady Trieu, some of which may prove to be not true. We'll see, you know. When you don't talk to the press much, but you do the kind of things that Lady Trieu does, a lot of myths and lies and far-out rumors get attached to you, and it'll be interesting to see by season's end how much of that is accurate, how much of it is not accurate, and then maybe how much of it is close to the truth, but they got some huge stuff wrong. So all I know is that the society reporter at the Tulsa Star Sentinel is not exactly the most careful journalist, so we'll see how well he and his fact-checking department got things right about Lady Trieu.
Not every entry in that article needs further speculation – I'm not sure that disputing mother Bian My's parenting guru skills helps solve anything – but some definitely inspire second looks. For example, it was rumored that Bian My tasked someone skilled in psychic combat to battle Lady Trieu to the death. It was marked as "fiction," but that bit may hold signs of how the mother's somewhat amoral personality may come through in her clone.
Perhaps the biggest rumor for longtime Watchmen fans is the notion that Lady Trieu's father could be The Comedian, based on ideas that Edward Blake got several women pregnant while stationed in Vietnam. (Meaning Bian My wouldn't necessarily need to be the woman The Comedian shot in the comic book.) The Peteypedia entry calls this "Fiction," which ties into other theories that she's actually Adrian Veidt's daughter somehow, but minds would be blown if she was in fact Laurie's half-sister.
This entry also brings up the proposed idea that the Millennium Clock is just a clock, but that's 99.9999% hot garbage and not worthy of pure discussion. The other question most in need of attention is whether or not Lady Trieu is in love with Doctor Manhattan. She certainly didn't tip her hat to that when revealing to Angela that she knew of the super-being's presence in Tulsa, but it would be extremely interesting to discover that the Millennium Clock is actually meant to bring Trieu and Manhattan together in some way. (I can't imagine Laurie or Angela would want to witness that.)
Mr. Phillips And Ms. Crookshanks Rumors
Knowing full well that it would border on impossible to try and get hard facts about where things tie up for Jeremy Irons' Adrian Veidt, I instead opted to talk to Jeff Jensen about Tom Mison and Sara Vickers' Phillips and Crookshanks, who have inspired their own cottage industry of rumors from week to week. Thankfully, Episode 8 revealed the Europa-born clones were initially modeled after the couple that took in Jon Osterman and his father after they escaped Germany, and that Veidt's Game Warden nemesis was actually the first male clone that Manhattan created.
Learning about the O.G. Phillips made me wonder whether or not Watchmen would be clarify the whereabouts of the very first Crookshanks clone, and whether or not viewers had already seen her. When talking to Jeff Jensen, I asked about that, offering up my guess that the prosecutor in Veidt's trial was the "Eve" to the Game Warden's "Adam." (Largely tied to the idea that she was the only Crookshanks we'd seen with a grounded sense of authority to this point.) Here's how he answered:
That's a really cool theory. So I guess that people are speculating that theory, right? What I would say is that we are certainly not done with Veidt's time on Europa and his conflicts and rapport with the Game Warden and all of the clones, and all of their permutations. And we will definitely be seeing them once more in the finale. Whether or not Crookshanks-Prime is in play, and whether or not she was the winking prosecutor in The Flatulent Trial of Adrian Veidt is a question I really don't know how to answer. And I'm coming to you with something of a disadvantage, which is that, while I am very aware of what's in the finale from the script-writing stage, I actually haven't seen it myself. I really like your theory, and the line of questioning. I look forward to seeing myself whether or not the finale will give us anything to nurture or debunk that theory.
As one might imagine, Jeff Jensen's answer wasn't fully expected, though I do enjoy the idea of only Damon Lindelof and the finale's director Frederick E.O. Toye knowing where to look for the final piece of that puzzle. Assuming there is a final piece to that puzzle, of course.
The longest-standing rumors surrounding Tom Mison and Sara Vickers' characters goes back to when the actors were first cast, with some reports claiming that they would respectively be portraying comic book villains Mime and Marionette, who were first introduced in DC's official Watchmen sequel series Doomsday Clock. No further details ever surfaced on that front, making things all the more mysterious as the clones' stories developed over the season.
When I addressed those ideas with Jeff Jensen, it became very obvious why no other clues had ever popped up in Watchmen's first season: he wasn't even aware the Mime and Marionette claims existed. At one point reflecting on his years pulling apart Damon Lindelof's Lost while working at Entertainment Weekly, Jensen completely shut down the Mime and Marionette rumor mill.
Oh, you got me, man. I don't even know what these rumors are. I think I can speak on behalf of Damon with this one, for sure. We are huge fans of Geoff Johns and the good folks at DC, and are avid readers of Doomsday Clock, and I can't wait for them to finally come out with issue #12 so I know how it all ends. What I would say is, it's very different and separate creative processes. I hate to be the guy that blows up theories, because I love theories, and the crazier the theory the better. I mean, I made a living at that, and I love delighting in that. I would say that as far as I can remember, and I was there for like 95% of the days that the writers room existed, there is no connection between Mime and Marionette and Crookshanks and Phillips, I'm sorry to report.
On the one hand, I would love to see live-action iterations of the silent-but-deadly Mime and the string-flinging killer Marionette, especially in a TV universe that has the care and thought put into it that Watchmen does. On the other hand, the limited and standalone nature of Veidt's arc this season hasn't provided the most fruitful ground to introduce comic characters that weren't even in the original comic series. And to try and cram that event in the finale, with everything else going on, might have felt like pure overkill.
Which of those Lady Trieu rumors do you think will end up being proven false? Do you have any ideas about what might have happened with the original Crookshanks? Are you disappointed that Mime and Marionette aren't getting TV debuts soon? Let us know in the comments!