HBO's Watchmen: 12 Important Easter Eggs And Clues From Episode 4
If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own just continued to build Watchmen's layers upon layers of mystery.
HBO's Watchmen continues this week with maybe the strangest episode yet: "If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own." Zooming in on the enigmatic Lady Trieu and her place in Watchmen's ever-widening web of mysteries, Episode 4 posed more questions than it answered about things like Adrian Veidt's captivity, the Millenium Clock, and Will and Angela's connection to one another.
While the Veidt situation seems to grow more and more absurd by the week (seriously, that catapult?), things with Sister Night and Laurie Blake only grow more dire. Angela's ability to cover her own tracks is slipping--sometimes literally, in the case of a rogue vigilante who inexplicably lubed themself up and slid through a storm drain to escape her this week--and Laurie's suspicions are only growing. Which is bad news, considering Laurie is now actively running the Tulsa precinct in Judd's wake and taking a lot more interest in his murder than Angela is comfortable with.
This week had fewer comic book Easter eggs and references and more nods to the show itself. We've broken all 12 of them down for you right here.
1. Silk Spectre's origin/trauma
Laurie has Petey give Angela a rundown of her own personal backstory, which Angela apparently was completely unaware of up until this point--so much for the mass pop culture saturation of real-life superheroes, huh? The version of events Petey gives comes directly from the original graphic novel, including Laurie's late discovery of her father's (Eddie Blake AKA The Comedian)' sexual assault of her mother, Sally Jupiter (AKA the first Silk Spectre).
2. Lady Trieu
We finally meet Lady Trieu in person as she gives a couple on a Tulsa farm an offer they, quite literally, cannot refuse. Trieu has been a looming shadow across the show up until this point, referenced only by name in conjunction with her huge and mysterious development project: The Millenium Clock--and, rather oddly, as the brand behind those strange phone booths to Doctor Manhattan from Episode 3.
Here we learn that Trieu is a trillionaire, not a billionaire, that she is never really seen out and about in Tulsa, and that she reveres Adrian Veidt's ideals. That last one probably isn't too surprising, considering she bought his company. But it does leave the lingering question: Which "ideals" is she really talking about here? The ones that lead Veidt to develop new tech and consumer products like cosmetics, or the ones that lead him to massacre millions of people?
Topher offers Angela his stuffed animal when she comes to crash in his room, which just so happens to look a whole lot like a cuddly plush version of Bubastis, Adrian Veidt's genetically modified lynx from the graphic novel.
4. If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own
This week's title comes to us from the book "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. Published in 1958, the novel dealt with themes of colonialism and the arrival of European explorers in Nigeria during the end of the 19th century.
5. The Squids
Our good friend Looking Glass is here to remind us of the ongoing squid problem. There hasn't been an on-screen squid rain since Episode 1 but they're definitely still happening, and Looking Glass is particularly interested in them for one reason or another. He also confirms something that was subtly hinted at in the pilot--the tiny squids are only around for a few seconds before they dissolve into slime.
6. Tulsa's Vigilantes
The Keene Act may have made vigilantism illegal but as we've already seen with Laurie's line of work, it didn't necessarily stop masked heroes altogether--apparently even here in Tulsa, where the cops themselves have done their level best to fill the void. While Angela is trying to secretly dispose of Will's wheelchair (though, seriously, why would she do this in costume?) she's spotted by a costumed, uh, adventurer in a spandex suit who sprints away from her and then douses their body in oil to slide through a storm drain. Hm.
7. Will's history
As part of Laurie's ongoing investigation of both Judd's death and Angela's alibi, she managed to uncover both Will's identity and some of his personal history. Apparently he was a cop in New York City in the 1940s and '50s, and then he dropped entirely off the grid. This is interesting because the timeline in play there does match up with the activity of the Minutemen and Hooded Justice, who was a vigilante in NYC during those years before mysteriously disappearing.
8. The pills
Remember the pills Will left on the counter in Angela's bakery back in Episode 2? Apparently, that wasn't an accident. He left them in the glove compartment of her car, which was conveniently returned to the exact spot of its abduction last week. Now Angela wants Looking Glass's "ex" (whoever that is) to figure out what the pills actually are, and Lady Trieu, who is apparently in on the whole thing, wants to make sure that Angela got them.
9. The catapult
The miniature catapult we spotted in Veidt's workshop last week got some practical use this week. It was designed to fling the dead bodies of his cloned servants out of whatever strange bio-dome-like situation he's in.
10. Angela's car mystery
One of the stranger answers given this week was a definitive confirmation for what, exactly, happened to Angela's car back in Episode 2. It looked like it was abducted by aliens with Will inside, but really, it was lifted off the ground by one of the massive construction drones run by Lady Trieu's company. Now Will is staying with Lady Trieu and the two are apparently working together--though we still have no idea why or to what end.
This doesn't, of course, confirm just how or why the car was returned, however. It's possible that whichever drone operator (or Trieu herself) simply flew it back, but the possibility that some divine intervention (or Doctor Manhattan) influenced events is still definitely on the table.
11. Bian's "nightmare"
Bian, the little girl we first met buying newspapers back in Episode 2, was revealed this week to be Lady Trieu's daughter--but it certainly seems like there might be more to the equation here. We get a brief scene of her sleeping, hooked up to an IV attached to a Trieu-branded bottle of clear liquid before she wakes up from a nightmare. When she goes to her mother for comfort, the nightmare she describes sounds an awful lot like a memory of the Vietnam War. Bian says her "feet still hurt" after being forced in the dream to walk after her village was destroyed.
Now, it's possible that a smart girl like Bian is just consuming history textbooks and this is a run-of-the-mill subconscious thing, but in a show like Watchmen, the simplest answers are rarely the correct ones. Given the IV, Lady Trieu's obsession with legacy, and her admitted interest in pharma and biomedical tech, it seems like there's more to Bian than meets the eye.
12. World Wonders
We still don't really know what the Millenium Clock is or what it does--aside from "tell time," as Bian explains--but we do learn this week that it's inspired by the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Bian specifically namechecks the Lighthouse of Alexandria and The Colossus of Rhodes, two real-world wonders that were destroyed by natural disasters. Apparently, that's part of the reason Trieu picked Tulsa for the construction--it's landlocked and not prone to earthquakes, and the Clock was built to stand against "anything short of a direct nuclear blast."