MAJOR SPOILERS below for anyone who hasn't yet viewed Watchmen's Season 1 finale. Be warned!
As much as it pains me to say it, HBO's Watchmen has come to its brutal, emotional, tragic and yet still hopeful end. The Season 1 finale somehow succeeded in tying off just about all the various plot strands that Damon Lindelof and his creative team wove throughout this dense adaptation, while still keeping more than enough thread to carry Watchmen into a second season and beyond. Much as it went with the previous eight episodes, "See How They Fly" left me with plenty of questions, from the macro to the micro, while waiting to hear if Season 2 will even happen.
Thankfully, Watchmen's finale was solid enough that the lack of a Season 2 renewal to date isn't the most crippling news for all fans. Damon Lindelof & Co. crafted these nine episodes to exist as a complete capsule in the case that a follow-up season wouldn't happen, but the Lost and Leftovers vet is a seasoned vet when it comes to conversation-starting mysteries. So let's start things off with the final shot of the whole episode.
Did Angela Really Inherit Doctor Manhattan's Powers?
By all means, the final minutes of Watchmen's finale seemed insistent on convincing viewers that the raw egg Angela scarfed down next to her pool was indeed embedded with whatever genetic(?) material is needed to pass Doctor Manhattan's powers on to others. But were those egg-centric flashbacks more clues from the show's writers, or were they merely Angela's memories spurring her to eat the egg? The most convincing answer to this question, at least in my book, would be Doctor Manhattan purposefully walking on the pool in front of Angela, a moment that wouldn't appear to have any meaning otherwise. Not to mention all the other egg-cellent clues, such as the one in the next entry.
Who Else Did Doctor Manhattan Possibly Give His Powers To?
After watching the finale, it's clear that both Will Reeves and Doctor Manhattan informed Angela's narrative path in ways that allowed her make her own decisions, with Episode 8's egg metaphors starting with the first time viewers see Angela as she made mooncakes in that classroom. Is Angela the only human that Doctor Manhattan would have transferred his powers to, though? Or did he possibly give someone else a power-up egg during his decade back on Earth? The most likely candidate would be Will, who has pulled off quite a few questionable moves for a vigilante centenarian. He was also actually seen eating a boiling egg in Episode 2. But could there have been others?
Is Doctor Manhattan Truly Dead And Gone?
Watchmen's TV show called back to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' comic book series in myriad ways during Season 1, and there's one particular final-issue moment that could possibly speak to Doctor Manhattan's survival following the events of the finale. As Adrian Veidt was confronted by his fellow vigilantes over the squid attack, he attempted to destroy Doctor Manhattan via the same process that tore Jon Osterman apart in the first place. The super-being quickly returned with a temporary vengeance, proving Veidt's plan a failure. Could Lady Trieu's Millennium Clock device have been a TV update on the above, allowing for live-action Doctor Manhattan's survival?
Will Adrian Veidt's 11/2 Conspiracy Or Lady Trieu's Plot Go Public Now?
To the first point, Laurie and Looking Glass were last seen inside Karnac with an unconscious Veidt and a retreat filled with proof that the 11/2 squid monster attack was a hoax. Neither one of the authority members appeared eager to sweep anything under the rug, so Season 2 could possibly introduce THE TRUTH to the outside world. To the second point, Lady Trieu's big teleportation display and subsequent god-killing were handled in the middle of the street in Tulsa, in full view of news vendor Seymour. Is it possible that the Millennium Clock's true purpose will be a manner of public record, or will the government seek to cover everything up here, too?
Update: After this was initially posted, HBO's Peteypedia website posted a very intriguing memo from FBI Deputy Director Max Farragut that not only revealed Agent Petey was fired, but it also offered this update about Laurie Blake.
I can confirm that Agent Blake has resurfaced following her disappearance in Tulsa. She is currently being debriefed at a secure and classified location due to the sensitive nature of the discoveries she made over the course of her investigations, none of which I am privy to. For those of you whispering that said discoveries involve hoaxes and conspiracies linked to our Commander in Chief, I will remind you all of your oaths. What matters most is that Agent Blake is alive and well and she wishes to thank those who cared for her pet owl while she was away.
A very smart way to not only address the fact that Laurie is able and seemingly ready to blab about Veidt and Trieu, but to also excuse the memo's author from offering any concrete resolutions. We're still left to guess about this one.
Was Lady Trieu's Mother The Only Person To Use Veidt's Sperm?
Considering the ease with which Bian My secured a vial of Adrian Veidt's safe-hidden sperm, I can't help but wonder who else may have hit up his collection in order to utilize his much-desired DNA. If not other angered employees, could Lady Trieu have found a way to use Veidt's seed to impregnate other women in some capacity? (Such as the impulsively desperate farm couple of Jon and Katy Clark.) She seemed more intent on keeping herself Queen of the Mountain in the intelligence department, so probably not. But in a universe full of clones and surprise lineages, it might be more shocking if only one person took advantage of Veidt's goods.
What Was Will Reeves Up To Between 2009 And 2019?
Beyond all the questions I have about Will Reeves' life in the decades after June left him, I have to wonder what Will did immediately after he was visited by Doctor Manhattan in 2009. Did he uproot himself in order to go investigating Judd Crawford and the Seventh Kavalry in Tulsa? Did he take the time to look into the undiscovered branches of his family tree to learn more about Angela, or did Doctor Manhattan give him all the foreknowledge he needed? The latter seems more spot-on, considering Will started screening Sister Night around the same time she took on the vigilante persona, but what Manhattan couldn't do was force Will to care about Angela.
Is The Seventh Kavalry / Cyclops Completely Vanquished?
Senator Joe Keene, like so many other elements within Watchmen, carried on a legacy that so heavily impacted this universe. Not only as the son of the man who outlawed vigilantism in the '70s, but also as the powerful young face of the modern-day Cyclops faction known as the Seventh Kavalry. This organization, so invested in systemic prejudice, had thrived for upwards of a century in spite of Hooded Justice's best efforts, so if anything could wipe it out for good, it would probably be Lady Trieu's death-laster tech. Still, the mantra "Nothing ever ends," inspires nothing but paranoia that Cyclops' eye has not been permanently shut.
What'll Happen With All The Clones On Europa?
This is perhaps the most superfluous of all the questions here, since it doesn't involve any actual human characters. Still, I'm vastly intrigued by the risk of a global space agency (that isn't funded by Trieu Industries) unwittingly discovering Veidt's glass-half-empty utopia first created by Doctor Manhattan. The domed-up manor would be enough to shake up the astronomy world, but the kicker would be the "Save Me Daughter" message formed by hundreds of Mr. Phillips and Ms. Crookshanks' cloned corpses, not to mention the multitude of servants still residing there. Without Doctor Manhattan or Veidt around for a confession, such a discovery would likely be as jarring (if not as deadly) as the squid monster.
I really, really, really, really, really hope this isn't the end of Watchmen. "Nothing ever ends, Adrian," is all I'm holding onto at this point. But until we hear something official about Season 2, I'm going to have a lot of fun thinking about everything the final episodes showed up while going back and rewatching with renewed context. Watchmen is currently available in its entirety on HBO Go and HBO NOW.