REVIEW: ‘Watchmen’ Episode 9 – See How They Fly

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Episode 9 - See How They Fly

Watchmen returns with its season finale, “See How They Fly,” but last episode left viewers devastated as just as Angela (Regina King) and Dr. Manhatan (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) were reunited, following Angela removing the ring from his head and him regaining his memories, he was killed by the Seventh Kavalry. Additionally, it was revealed that due to Dr. Manhatna’s ability to travel through time and space, Angela spoke with her Grandfather, Will Reeves (Louis Gossett Jr.), decades prior to their first meeting when he killed Captain Judd Crawford (Don Johnson). Because of this, it is clear that Angela set everything into motion. Meanwhile, Lady Trieu’s (Hong Chau) mysterious Millennium Clock is almost completed, and Laurie Blake (Jean Smart), after speaking to Jane Crawford (Frances Fisher), has been captured by Cyclops, now the Seventh Kavalry who is led by Senator Keane (James Wolk).

“See How They Fly” opens with a flashback of the video Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons) for President Redford. The film is the same film Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson) was shown previously as proof that the alien attack never happened. Now, we see another side of its production. In the background, the creature that attacked New York sits in a chamber behind Veidt, reminding us just what is to come.

This scene also gives us a hint at the connection between Lady Trieu and Ozymandias. Previously, their relationship had only been hinted with Trieu having a statue of the eclectic genius in her home, but in the season finale, we finally see the two together. Irons is perfect casting for Veidt, and seeing the two strange but brilliant characters together feels rewarding, especially since a lot of Veidt’s storyline as seemed disconnected from the overall plot up until the last episode.

As the show focuses on Trieu and Veidt’s relationship it also reveals her intentions regarding Dr. Manhattan. With the Millennium Clock, Lady Trieu intends to take Dr. Manhattan’s power as her own. And as the time draws closer, Laurie Blake is still tied up while Cyclopes, the racist group first discovered by the Hooded Justice, meets, including Senator Keane and Senator Keene Sr. (Ted Johnson). But as gunshots erupt outside the facility Laurie is being held in, Looking Glass comes to her rescue, but not before the strange cage in front of them shows the now captured Dr. Manhattan, a man Laurie has a long history with. Meanwhile, Angela continues to fight, having just lost Jon.

The capture of Jon shows just where in the timeline the episode takes place in relation to the previous one. Focusing on events that took place prior to the final showdown of the previous episode isn’t just a smart way to showcase more characters but also doubles down on the theme of time within the whole of the Watchmen universe. Everything is connected and even going on at once.

As Senator Keene gives a speech to Cyclops and the Seventh Kalvary he explains just how deep their agenda goes and how far white supremacy has crept and stayed in power. The episode also uses the moment to reveal more of the famous “White Night” where Angela mysterious survived the shooting from the Kalvary, it was explained in the last episode she survived because out of instinct, Dr. Manhattan saved her. However, a lot of what Senator Keene says sounds familiar. In his speech, he mentions how this president has taken away their guns and forced them to apologize for the sins their ancestors committed. While Dr. Manhattan might be fictional, this rhetoric isn’t.

Just as Senator Keene completes his speech, hoping to also steal Dr. Manhattan’s power, Angela breaks up the gathering to inform him this is exactly what Trieu wants him to do. The final act of “See How They Fly” is a roller-coaster. The show has proved time and time again to with its various twists and turns that viewers should expect the unexpected. Here, the ongoing protagonist of the series is not what it seems.

As the season and episode come to a close, King and Abdul-Mateen’s performances stand out. As Jon, trapped and unable to use any of his god-like powers, Abdul-Mateen captures a beautiful vulnerability that is rare to see in the character. His performance is captivating and “See How They Fly” is the first time Angela and Jon’s awkward chemistry clicks perfectly.

Watchmen is a show I could watch a hundred more times and know I could find something new each time. The first season is a worthy sequel to the graphic novel. “See How They Fly” wraps up the season well while also introducing new threads to unravel for the next season.

Watchmen is streaming now on HBO.

'Watchmen,' Episode 9 - See How They Fly
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

Watchmen is a show I could watch a hundred more times and know I could find something new each time. The first season is a worthy sequel to the graphic novel. “See How They Fly” wraps up the season well while also introducing new threads to unravel for the next season.