REVIEW: ‘Watchmen,’ Episode 3 – “She Was Killed by Space Junk”

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Watchmen, an HBO Original series, returns with its third episode of the season, “She Was Killed by Space Junk.” Previously, in episode two, the show left viewers with some shocking revolutions as Angela Abar (Regina King) discovered that her now-dead police chief and friend, Judd Crawford (Don Johnson), had KKK robes hidden in his closet. This information was suspect as it came from Will Reeves (Louis Gossett Jr.) who despite being an older gentleman claims to have hanged Judd. This exchange also revealed that Will is Angela’s grandfather.

Now, in “She Was Killed by Space Junk,” the investigation into Judd’s death continues as FBI agent Laurie Blake (Jean Smart) heads to Tulsa to take over at the request of Senator Keane (James Wolk). Laurie starts the episode by calling Doctor Manhattan on Mars, relaying him a joke about a bricklayer before the scene transitions into her walking into a bank. While it appears she is robbing the bank she actually uses the event as a set-up to catch a vigilante. The entire scene is jarring but does extremely well to show just how tough Blake is. She’s fearless, brash, and tough on vigilantes, even when the public hates her for it. From the start, “She Was Killed by Space Junk,” establishes Laurie’s connection to the original Watchmen, particularly Doctor Manhattan.

One scene with Blake and Senator Keane even features a pop art style painting of the original team featuring Owlman, Doctor Manhattan and Silk Spectre behind Laurie before it zooms in specifically on Silk Spectre. It is later revealed by Agent Petey (Dustin Ingram), the agent traveling with Laurie to Tulsa, that she was at one point in love with Doctor Manhattan and knew Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias, (Jeremy Irons) well. It becomes clear that Laurie Blake is actually Laurie Juspeczyk, the daughter of Sally Jupiter, and the second Silk Spectre.

Despite her history with the Watchmen, Laurie’s ideals toward vigilantes is far a cry from what it used to be. Laurie’s interaction with Angela at Judd’s funeral is tense, stating she doesn’t know the difference between a vigilante and a masked cop. But as the funeral heads to its more emotional moments and Angela gives her eulogy, the Seventh Kalvary declares war.

She Was Killed by Space Junk

Meanwhile, Adrian continues his strange experiments with his staff in an attempt to placate his obsession with the past. In the last episode, he forced some of his staff to put on a play about Doctor Manhattan. This episode marks the first time we have seen  Adrian in his Ozymandias costume. The man has always been eccentric but as the episodes go on he becomes more and more unhinged. So far, the moments with Adrian Veidt feel disconnected from the rest of the show’s narrative even though the other characters and world-building elements included from the original graphic novel work so well, particularly the addition of Laurie.

The exploration of Laurie’s failed relationship with Doctor Manhattan is not something I knew I needed and the way the show weaves the phone call at the beginning through the entire episode is beautifully done. The cynical nature of her character feels so different from the Silk Spectre originally in the graphic novel but Smart’s performance is a standout. Additionally, her scenes with Angela, while few, are tense and intriguing. Every moment between them had me on edge.

“She Was Killed by Space Junk” focuses a lot more on building out the world of the graphic novel and less on Angela’s story but by doing so through Laurie it keeps the show interesting. That being said, the moments with Adrian feel disconnected and while I have no doubt the loose ends will be tied up in a neat bow, for the moment, the scenes just feel boring.

Watchmen is streaming on HBO with new episodes dropping every Sunday at 8pm CT/9pm EST.

'Watchmen' Episode 3 - She Was Killed by Space Junk
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

“She Was Killed by Space Junk” focuses a lot more on building out the world of the graphic novel and less on Angela’s story but by doing so through Laurie it keeps the show interesting. That being said, the moments with Adrian feel disconnected and while I have no doubt the loose ends will be tied up in a neat bow, for the moment, the scenes just feel boring.