‘Watchmen’ S1E2 “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship” Breakdown!

Welcome back for another Watchmen breakdown! This show has really blow me away with the story telling and overall cinematography. In the last episode we left off with Angela Abar AKA Sister Night being called out to find her close friend and Chief of Police, Judd Crawford hung by the man in the wheelchair. If you have questions about the last episode then make sure you check out my breakdown of that episode. (http://bit.ly/2Cczxsp)

World War I

The opening of the episode is the creation of these letters we saw passed to little Will Reeves in the opening of the last episode. A German Officer is reading the lies off to a typist, Fraulein Muller. It was also in his hands as he sat under the tree after hanging Judd. These letters were typed out and air dropped to unit of black soldiers. They were lists of lies that the soldiers were being told by the country they were fighting for. Personally, I think it is really a way to show that no matter what side of the fighting you are on you are being told lies., especially by your own government.

In the scene it is dropped to O.B. Reeves and it is later found in the pocket of a jacket by Will Reeves showing that the same lies are passed from one generation to the next which hold significant meaning later.

It’s All a Conspiracy

After seeing Judd hanging from the tree, she wheels Will out and puts him in her car and take him back to the bakery where she then cuffs him to a table. She gives herself a moment to grieve Judd and then moves on to getting into her Sister Night Costume. In the image with her back with Will there is special emphasis put on the pills he is taking but I am not sure where that is leading, however I thought it was worth mentioning.

She tries to get him to tell her who helped him string up Judd since she obviously believes he didn’t do it himself. He claims to be Dr. Manhattan with his list of abilities including the ability to change appearance, specifically the color of his skin. He does admit that he is obviously NOT Dr. Manhattan but does tell her that there is a larger conspiracy at play here and that she needs to listen to him. That is all interrupted though when she gets the page that Judd is dead.

A Distraction

I don’t think it is a coincidence that we went from being told that there is a large conspiracy at play to then being taken to a scene with a conspiracy theorist talking about the squid rain. He claims that this is a distraction put on by President Redford in order for people to not be paying attention to what they have going on. They mention Senator Keene who is the right-wing candidate that is running against Redford and he has no use for him either. Really just a way of telling us that both sides are corrupt and shady.

Who’s in Charge?

On the scene of Judd’s hanging things are blocked off from the press as the police conduct their investigation. Looking Glass joins Angela in her car to tell her about Judd’s death. Turns out that it was particularly brutal in that Judd was alive for all of it, until he wasn’t. He then mentions that Angela was with Judd the night before. She admits that he may have been doing “Blow” but that her kids were also there. This has him saying “your kids” as a reminder that her kids aren’t really hers. She then calls him cold but he admits that he is crying under his mask.

This conversation is then cut short when flying photographers begins falling from the sky attempting to get pictures of the scene. Red Scare isn’t having this or any of it and wants to take the fight to the Kavalry which means a trip to Nixonville. Of course, not before lowering Judd and them collectively wondering who is in charge now.

The White Night

While holding Judd and taking him down Angela has a flash back to Christmas Eve with her and her husband Cal dancing as the clock counts down to Midnight. You should notice by now that the ticking of the clock is pretty much a sign of bad things to come. But usually always counts down to Midnight, like a doomsday clock. When the clock strikes midnight the 7th Kavalry break in. Angela takes on down but is then shot in the stomach. It doesn’t show where Cal headed off to but he also is uninjured after.

Angela passes out looking into the eyes of a man in a Rorschach mask to then wake with Judd framed the same way and her in the hospital. This is showing that Judd is not who he appears to be. He then tells her about the White Night and the carnage that took place. Basically the 7th Kavalry broke into 40 officers’ homes and killed them and their family. Her partner, Doyle, and his wife were both killed but the kids hid and were safe. This is Topher, Rose, and Emma that Angela must have adopted.

Angela is not willing to go down without a fight and it is obvious that even at this point when they barely know each other that Judd takes a liking to Angela. With her determination he is convinced that he can’t quit either.

Nixonville

Back in the present the Tulsa police force and Red Scare take on the Nixonville residents while Looking Glass and Sister Night look on. Angela makes it clear that she thinks that this is too far, but then beats the shit out of a guy when he comes at her. Obviously, she is holding in a lot of feelings. Once she is back in her car, she sees the mug she took after Will drank from it and decides that she needs to dig deeper into that.

Greenwood Center for Cultural Heritage

Angela takes the mug to the Greenwood Center for Cultural Heritage which is a center for those effected by the burning of Black Wall Street which was the opening scene last episode. She then heads to this kiosk where people can have their DNA tested to see if they or an ancestor were affected by this event. I think that this may qualify people for Redfordation which explains the protesting out front. From what I gather, Redfordations are tax breaks for people that have been victims of mass casualty events like the KKK storming Tulsa and the White Night. Did you notice the image of William’s Dreamland Theater? This was where little William was watching the silent film of Bass Reeves. Based on the reveal at the end of the episode, this is Angela’s direct ancestors. After submitting the DNA, she then gives a number to receive the results.

The Grandfather

When coming home Angela finds her adoptive kids’ grandfather at the house, Andy. He wants to see the kids as it is “his weekend” but Angela pays him off to leave instead. Based on his comment about Redfordations he is not a fan of her getting the kids but it makes me wonder why Angela ended up with the kids over their parents own family.

Inside is Cal with Rose and Emma playing. The play they are acting out is a story from the Black Freighter which we talked about last breakdown, it is a comic in a comic in Watchmen. We see this in the show as well, just like the silent film last episode and then the episode of American Hero Story which I will talk about in a moment. Notice one of the kids is dressed like an owl… those Nite Owl references are strong.

Angela takes the time to then talk with Topher about Judd and his death. Notice that Topher is playing with these blocks called Manhattan blocks that float. He is also building a castle that is like the one that we saw Dr. Manhattan building in the last episode on Mars. Not only that but it also looks like the castle that Viedt is in as well. Topher is upset about Judd’s death, in that he breaks the castle, but then wants to watch TV.

American Hero Story

Topher isn’t the only one sitting down to watch TV. Everyone from Angela’s family, to Looking Glass, to the Rorschach’s are watching the show about the first hooded vigilante. It opens with the fake death of the main character; he says his name is Rolf Muller. I think this is the telling where Rolf Muller was later revealed not to be Hooded Justice, but instead, the real killer of those boys and was a Nazi criminal who raped and tortured young children including Silhouette’s sister. The Comedian found Rolf and killed him while finding a photo of him and a boy named Jacob (perhaps the real Hooded Justice), and orchestrated events to flush Hooded Justice out, only to have Nite Owl kill him.

Later we have Hood Justice stopping a robbery with pretty excessive violence but what we are supposed to be taking away from these scenes are the narration with Hooded Justice admitting that he doesn’t know himself and that his anger has given him a thirst for Justice. I think that this is a sentiment that works for both William Reeves and Angela. In looking at Hood Justice alone you can see that he wears red just like William did in this episode and he wears the noose around his throat which was William’s method for killing Judd as well. For Angela she is wearing a black hood to get Justice to vent her anger as well.

Skeletons in the Closet

That night Angela heads to Judd’s to see his wife Jane. However, it seems that there is a rather large gathering of people there. This includes Senator Keene, the same senator running against President Redford. Considering that the Keene Act was passed in 1977, I am assuming based on age that that must have been the work of his father. The Keene act stopped masked vigilante’s unless they worked with the government. This is also another clue as to where Judd’s alliance lies. Keene is the right-wing Senator, here the right wing is hand and hand with the Kalvary in a way.

Angela then passes out and is carries to Judd’s room where Jane tells her to take her time. Of course, Angela was faking and uses this as an opportunity to test Williams’ claims that Judd had skeletons in his closet.  The glasses here are again very Nite Owl, but what she finds is her first real clue that Judd was not who she thought. Hidden behind a wall is his KKK uniform.

Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship

When Angela leaves the house we are zoomed in on the painting on the wall to which this episode is named after and it depicts a certain fighting style which the fighter is able to drop his body to the side of his horse at the instant he is passing, effectually screened from his enemies’ weapons as he lays in a horizontal position behind the body of his horse, with his heel hanging over the horses’ back; by which he has the power of throwing himself up again, and changing to the other side of the horse if necessary. Basically, this is telling use that people are switching side to have a better advantage against the enemy, basically what Judd, and I suspect several others, is doing.

 The Play

Over with Adrian Veidt we are again weirded out by male nudity. But seriously, he lives the same day again as indicated by the anniversary cake he eats. What he says to Ms. Crookshanks I think it really a clue to his overall plot, ‘When is a lie okay? When it is acting.” Crookshanks and Mr. Phillips then perform a play that exactly retells the death of Dr. Jon Osterman and the birth of Dr. Manhattan. There is also the reveal that Crookshanks and Phillips are really clones created by Veidt. The clue to a plot in motion is once again a clock that stops in the explosion but then again starts it countdown to midnight.

Friends in High Places

Back at Angela’s bakery she returns to find that Will has escaped his hand cuffs, got eggs and then returned. He chocks this up to having friends in high places. When his clock goes off Angela gets the call about William’s DNA and then confirms that she is his granddaughter. He tells her that he came here because he wanted her to know about her history and he wanted to meet her. Reaching her breaking point, she decides that she is arresting him and takes him to her car. A car that is then picked up by some time of aircraft and hauled away with only William’s note falling into her hands, much in the same way it landed in her Great-Grandfather’s O.B.’s hands in the opening scene.

Check Out All of My ‘Watchmen’ Breakdowns!

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