HBO's Watchmen: 19 Easter Eggs And References From Episode 7
Well, is there actually life on Mars?
If you were somehow under the impression that HBO's Watchmen couldn't get more insane, Episode 7, "An Almost Religious Awe" definitely proved you wrong. This week was full of bizarre twists, from revelations about Lady Trieu and her family to the insane truth about Doctor Manhattan--and naturally, plenty of Easter Eggs and references, both to the original comics and to the first six episodes of the show.
1. Sister Night
Laurie cracked a joke at Angela's codename back in Episode 3, asking if her parents had been killed by a nun and that's why she'd picked Sister Night. Angela had, predictably, deflected, but this week we learned the truth--and it turns out Laurie was actually almost right. Sister Night came from the title of a '70s Blacksploitation movie baby Angela rented back in Saigon. The movie's tagline was "Nun with a motherf@!#ing gun," which also happens to be the title of Angela's theme song on the official show soundtrack.
Sadly, Angela herself never actually got to watch the movie because her entire life was derailed by a suicide bomber that killed her parents and landed her in an orphanage, followed by her grandma dropping dead.
2. Genetic Trauma
Young Angela experiences a very literal version of genetic trauma--an idea first posited in the show back in Episode 5 during Wade's support group--when she flashes back to Will's memories of the Tulsa massacre during the suicide bomber attack. Genetic trauma is the theory that a person's traumatic memories and experiences can actually be passed down throughout generations.
3. Silk Swingers
One of the videos available in Saigon that Angela browses by is Silk Swingers, a movie mentioned in the Watchmen comic as a sort of clumsily put-together "documentary" about Sally Jupiter, the first Silk Spectre.
4. Living In America
In case you forgot, in the Watchmen universe Vietnam became an American state following Dr. Manhattan's intervention in the war. This point is driven home by James Brown's Living In America playing over the scenes in Saigon.
5. Is There Life On Mars?
Watchmen actually has an answer to David Bowie's question here, posed in song form as the episode ends. Is there life on Mars? Nope. Doctor Manhattan has been here all along.
6. Manhattan Phones
Remember Laurie's "joke" from Episode 4? It turns out those phone booths for Doctor Manhattan are all over the world, not just in the USA, and they haven't been going to Mars at all--they've been going right to Trieu Industries.
7. Burgers 'n' Borscht
A chain restaurant that exists within the Watchmen comics, Burgers 'n' Borscht could be seen in New York City following the Squid attack in Manhattan. Apparently, they were going strong even across the Pacific, because there's one in Saigon as well.
8. For Whom The Bell Tolls
Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for Cal, apparently. Angela finds him after he fell asleep on the couch reading the Earnest Hemmingway classic, right before she murders him to reveal his true identity.
Lady Trieu's mother wrote a book on parenting called "Pachyderm Mom," which became a best seller in Vietnam and other Asian countries. According to the Peteypedia, the title was some kind of joke and it's possible this episode gave us the punchline--the "donor" of Angela's memory dialysis was an elephant. Maybe there's more to Lady Trieu's mother than we originally thought.
In the Peteypedia, we learned that Trieu actually named herself after a figure from Vietnamese history who rode an elephant into battle--and it turns out, her company logo actually looks like an elephant's silhouette. Add this to the elephant dialysis donor, and things just get stranger.
11. The missing mask
Back in Episode 5, we were left with a cliffhanger for dear old Looking Glass who was last seen entering his house followed by a heavily armed squad of 7th Kavalry members. This week we learned the aftermath of that encounter: LG apparently murdered all of them and stole one of their masks. It seems pretty likely that he's going to put that mask to good use in the future, maybe to help Laurie get out of her current bind.
The movie version of Fogdancing, a novel written by Max Shea, the fictional writer of the in-universe comic series, Tales Of The Black Freighter.
13. The New Flag
The 10-hour long Doctor Manhattan propaganda film features the new American flag, which includes a new design and space for Vietnam's state star.
14. Jon in Vietnam
The scene of Doctor Manhattan bulldozing his way through Vietnam from the comics (and the film) is recreated in this episode.
15. More elephants
Even more elephant iconography managed to sneak its way into this episode. Two of the movies young Angela scrolls by in Saigon feature cartoon elephants.
16. The Vatican in ruins
Blink and you might miss it, but the newspaper on display in the Doctor Manhattan documentary features a column about the Vatican being in ruins and Italians trying to rally got save it. Presumably, Catholicism took a major blow after Manhattan showed up.
17. VVN Day
VVN Day is the celebration of Doctor Manhattan's victory in Vietnam in the Watchmen universe.
Mixed-in with the action and cartoons is what we can only assume is a porno. The title of this particular film is "Meat Packaging: Porked! Down on the Farm." Yikes.