Sunday, November 17, 2019

REVIEW: 'Watchmen' - Wade Learns Shocking Details About the Seventh Kavalry and the Squid Attacks in 'Little Fear of Lightning'

HBO's Watchmen - Episode 1.05 "Little Fear of Lightning"

The origin story of Looking Glass is at last revealed, as is the truth behind the greatest hoax in American history. Far away, The Smartest Man in the World plots a daring escape.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of HBO's Watchmen.

"Little Fear of Lightning" was written by Damon Lindelof & Carly Wray and directed by Steph Green

It's absolutely dangerous and crippling when people in positions of power co-opt horrendous and offensive views in order to strengthen their influence and empower their agenda. They may not have those same views. However, they don't disavow them because of the power that comes from maintaining those supporters. People's lives simply hang in the balance though. Joe Keene Jr. is the Republican Senator from Oklahoma. He aspires to replace Robert Redford as President of the United States. That has been presented as his grand ambition. His influence has already been felt on the ground in Tulsa because he came up with the legislation for masked police. That was his decision. He has the ability to get things done. But now, it's revealed that he also sits atop the power structure of the Seventh Kavalry. Judd Crawford did as well. They projected a grand sense of importance onto their ability to keep the peace. Because they were the ones in charge, they could ensure that no acts of mass violence would ever occur again. However, Keene is making plans for a mysterious grand agenda as well. He may even view him as the next generation of Adrian Veidt. When he first joined the Senate, he was given the evidence that the squid attack on New York City in 1985 was an elaborate hoax. It wasn't a creature brought to this world through another dimension. Instead, it was simply the man believing himself to be the smartest person in the world trying to unite humanity against the common threat to their survival on this planet. Veidt is so arrogant in that video explaining the ways in which he has manipulated events into happening. He was the one actually controlling the fate of the world. He brought the Americans and Soviets together out of fear. He helped get Robert Redford elected President. However, it's just as significant that he is now trapped in this alternate world where he is no longer able to influence events. In 2019, humanity believes that he has died. He is no longer a wonderful figure whose actions loom over the world. Instead, he is a relic of the past. One that could be revered. And yet, he was also a figure who was more than willing to sacrifice three million people in order to advance his agenda. That's probably the same viewpoint that Keene shares. He may not agree on everything with the Seventh Kavalry members. But now, they are armed with an inter-dimensional transporter. They can move objects and terrorize the town. It's just a distraction informed initially through racial animosity. People are quick to attack and act with violence because that is still a sore and difficult subject. But it's also a tale of misogyny and the way in which men wish to control the world and condemn those who stand in their way. Angela is the only person who is actively investigating the truth. She is operating with most of the facts. She doesn't know what happened to Judd. She is closer than anyone else to solving the case. But that has created enemies in Laurie Blake and the Senator. Keene views her as nothing more than a distraction. Something he has to pay attention to even though she may not disrupt his plans in the end. Meanwhile, Blake views her as withholding crucial information because she would rather operate as a rogue agent. And yes, that is Angela's fatal flaw. She is more than willing to consume all of the Nostalgia pills than allow someone else to dictate the terms of this investigation. It's one of personal importance to her. And yet, this is a life-changing hour for Wade. It's fundamentally a story about him living most of his life in fear because of the ever-present threat of psychic damage. He always wears the material that may protect him from the rays that killed so many three decades ago. People may be moving on from this threat. It's commonplace that squids fall from the sky now. It's more so a hassle when they have to clean it up afterwards. To Wade though, he fears that any moment could turn deadly for him because no one can truly project a sense of control over this world. There is so much that has now been proven true about the great mysteries of the universe. It's arrogant to think that anyone can have a sense of optimism and certainty. That premise is destroyed for him. He is naturally curious too though. He is an effective detective. However, he is pulled into the Seventh Kavalry based on the assumption that they can provide him with strength and security. That too may be a false premise. Keene may have only wanted him to eliminate Angela from the board. Wade is remorseful for that action. He too is a great mystery that can't be solved as easily as some would like. He is a man of habit. Everything may change. And yet, it's hard to accept that completely right away. He may go back-and-forth as more people are caught in the crossfire. It's powerful and provocative when he asks "Is anything true?" All of this makes things dangerous because Keene may not have the same ability as Veidt to meticulously plan out ways to influence the world. Veidt can challenge the nature of his reality and build a system that may lead to salvation. However, that may only fling him into an even more strange and alienating world. That's not even mentioning what it would be like if he could return to 2019 America to see how the world has developed in his absence.