HBO's Watchmen: 11 References, Easter Eggs, And Clues You May Have Missed In Episode 5
HBO's Watchmen TV show continues to impress. What Easter Eggs and references to the comics were you able to catch?
This week's episode of HBO's Watchmen focuses on a character who's been here from the start--Wade Tilman, AKA Looking Glass, the Tulsa PD's very own interrogator. And, as it turns out, there's a lot more to "mirror guy" than meets the eye. In Little Fear Of Lightning, we learn that LG was directly affected by the squid attack back in 1985, not because he was a cop or a detective in New York, but because he was a Jehovah's Witness attempting to convert the "sinners" in New Jersey. As you can probably guess, his fear of the end of the world was in no way helped or cured when he found himself stumbling naked out of a funhouse, bleeding from the ears, into a sea of dead bodies.
But there's more to Wade's trauma than just the unrelenting fear of armageddon. Like everyone in Watchmen, his life is a carefully constructed series of masks, both literal and proverbial. And naturally, with that many layers of trauma and delusion in play, Little Fear Of Lightning wound up being just as dense and complicated as we've come to expect this show to be.
We've dug up 11 Easter Eggs and references hidden in Wade's tragic life for you to enjoy and speculate about as we round the corner passed the halfway point. Only four more episodes to go. Tick, tock.
The Veidt Method
One of the punks hanging around the pier in New Jersey happened to be reading a comic or magazine advertising "The Veidt Method" a vintage-looking get-fit-quick regime to get you as fit and as smart as Ozymandias himself. If we had to guess, we'd say it probably didn't actually work.
Starting all the way back in 1985, the song Careless Whisper seems to follow Wade around. Originally recorded in 1984 by George Michael, you'll find various covers of the song throughout this episode. Apparently Looking Glass' guilty feet have got no rhythm.
This isn't the first time Looking Glass has been visually and thematically linked to Rorschach, but it might be the most obvious. This week we follow him home to watch him eat baked beans directly from the can with his mask rolled up over his nose, just like the man himself.
Cynthia, Wade's ex-wife, works at a facility to clone people's pets--but it also happens to be staffed exclusively by identical twins. Are they just extremely selective in their hiring process, or can this place also clone human beings?
Tin Foil Hats
Wade's traumatic experience took place in the hall of mirrors in a New Jersey funhouse which clearly inspired his detective codename and love of "reflectatine" the material from which his mask is made. The mirrors themselves are of course significant--Wade makes a half hearted joke about his "seven years of bad luck" over the end of his relationship with Cynthia--but there's also a clear nod to the old adage of conspiracy theories wearing "tin foil hats" being made here.
A Stronger Loving World
During his confession tape, Veidt talks about his plan for "a stronger, loving world" which just so happens to be the title of issue 12 of the original Watchmen comic.
It seems like we've all been wrong about exactly where Veidt is in space--it's not the moon or Mars, but Europa, a moon of Jupiter. The satellite Veidt spells out his message for is actually based in fact, real-life probes like New Horizons and Galileo have passed by and taken photos of Europa as recently as 2007, with more plans for further study in the works for the future.
Little fear of lightning
This week's episode title comes from a line in Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. "Without thunder, men would have little fear of lightning." Pretty obvious what the significance is here, given Wade's paranoia and the novel's usage of a giant squid.
Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis
The surprising sex scene in American Hero Story is based on some conjecture from Hollis Mason's book, Under The Hood, where he wrote about the assumed romantic relationship between Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis. These assertions were never really proven, given Hooded Justice's complete disappearance and Metropolis's eventual death, but according to Mason, their homosexuality was a major cause for contention within the Minutemen.
Renee talks about Pale Horse, a movie made by Stephen Speilberg in the alternate history in lieu of Schindler's List. The band, Pale Horse, really is the band who was playing during the squid attack back in the graphic novel. Their posters are visible all over Manhattan amongst the carnage.
The wall of TVs
Veidt's confession plays out on a wall of TV screens almost identical to the wall of screens he kept in his office where he'd watch news of the world's events (and his attack) play out in real-time.