HBO's Watchmen: 17 Easter Eggs And References From Episode 3, "She Was Killed By Space Junk"
Look on my works, ye mighty.
HBO's Watchmen is back this week with "She Was Killed By Space Junk," an episode focused on a newly reintroduced character: Laurie Blake, aka the second Silk Spectre. This week was full of "jokes" (emphasis on those quotation marks), solved riddles, and even more mysteries. Laurie, now working as an agent for the FBI's anti-vigilante task force, is sent to Tulsa by Senator Joe Keene to investigate Jud's death. Keene, meanwhile, only seems shadier by the day. But the police in Tulsa aren't exactly thrilled to have an outsider meddling in their affairs--much less one that is so clearly distrusting of their masked methods.
Because, as Laurie explains to Angela, the differences between a masked cop and a vigilante aren't obvious--they may not even exist at all.
Spoilers for this week's episode abound, so please proceed with caution!
1. Manhattan Phones
This is far from the first reference to Doctor Manhattan in HBO's Watchmen, but it is maybe the strangest so far. Apparently, at some point in the last 30 years, someone (seemingly Lady Trieu, as you can briefly see on the screen as Laurie's call connects) installed payphones for paying customers to "call" Dr. Manhattan on Mars and leave him a message. Who knows whether he's actually receiving them?
2. Laurie Blake
Laurie Blake (AKA Laurie Juspeczyk) is an original Watchmen character who was the second person to use the Silk Spectre mantle. She had relationships with both Dr. Manhattan and the second Nite Owl, Dan Drieberg, and ultimately survived Veidt's giant squid conspiracy to go into hiding. Or at least, that's what we thought. She apparently didn't stay in hiding and now works for the anti-vigilante task force of the FBI. A lot has changed in the last 30 years.
3. Joke Telling
In case you need a Watchmen refresher, Laurie is actually the daughter of The Comedian and Silk Spectre. According to documents in the Peteypedia, after the events of the comics, she even began going by The Comedienne for a while, so her telling jokes is pretty in line with her story.
4. Mr. Shadow
One of the active (illegal) vigilantes in DC is a pretty clear Batman knock off.
Laurie listens to Devo's "Mongoloid"--on a CD--in her apartment. It's no accident that Devo's "Space Junk" happens to give us the episode title: She Was Killed by Space Junk.
Keene, like his father before him, is really making waves in the vigilante and vigilante-adjacent community with major laws. Joe's father passed the Keene Act which made vigilantism illegal, and Joe himself has passed "DOPA," or the "Defense of Police Act," which we learned this week is the act that has given the cops of Tulsa permission to hide their identities. The act is currently exclusive to Tulsa, but other cities are looking to adopt it--something that Joe is putting a ton of weight behind in his presidential campaign.
7. Pet Owl
Laurie keeps a pet owl named "Who" (get it?) which is not only a clear reference to Nite Owl, but a pretty on-the-nose allegory for his current situation. We learned from the Peteypedia that Dan is still in federal custody after being arrested for violating the Keene Act, which is why Joe Keene's line about "getting her owl out of that cage" is so poignant.
This week we finally get to meet the man himself: Petey, of Peteypedia fame, is the agent Laurie picks to go to Tulsa with her.
9. Lady Trieu
We don't really know or understand what the "Millenium Clock" is yet, but it's clear from the way the pilot talks about it that it's something pretty big. But what's more important is who's making it: Petey calls her "Lady Trieu" and says that she bought out Adrian Veidt's company, presumably after he disappeared. She apparently said "look on my works, ye mighty, and despair" at the groundbreaking ceremony, a line from the poem "Ozymandias" by Percy Shelley, so that's a little ominous.
10. Smarty Pants
Laurie's second joke is totally unsubtle in the way it nods to the original Watchmen characters. "Smarty Pants" is Ozymandias.
11. Blue God
Blue God is, of course, Doctor Manhattan.
12. Owl Guy
And Owl Guy is obviously Nite Owl.
13. Black Freighter Inn & Suites
Laurie and Petey stay at Tulsa's Black Freighter Inn & Suites, a reference to the story-within-a-story of the original Watchmen comic, the pirate epic called The Black Freighter. We also get another very pointedly placed pirate flag somewhere on Ozymandias's, uh, island? Castle grounds?
14. A live body and a dead body
Laurie directly quotes Doctor Manhattan during her second joke when she says "a live body and a dead body have the same number of cells," which is something Jon explained once when he was at his most distant from humanity.
15. Tartarus Acres
Jud's burial takes place in a cemetery named Tartarus Acres, a reference to a version of Hell in Greek Mythology. Tartarus was a place where the evil would be sent for eternal punishment, located physically beneath Hades and reserved for the wicked and those condemned to divine punishment. Safe to say, it's certainly not a normal--or pleasant--name for a run-of-the-mill cemetery. And it may say something about how Jud will be judged by the series' end.
16. Ozymandias lives
Not only do we finally (finally) receive absolute confirmation here that the mysterious old man is, in fact, Adrian Veidt, we also get to see him in full Ozymandias regalia, right from the pages of the original comic.
17. "My dad"
Laurie's references to her father are nods to Eddie Blake, AKA The Comedian, who Laurie used to openly despise and revile. Whatever changed her mind about him must have been pretty dramatic, considering she now uses his last name rather than her mother's, and, almost fondly, refers to him as "dad." Neither of these things would have happened 30 years ago.