Watchmen S1E6 This Extraordinary Being
Wow! This was one amazing episode and probably my favorite of the series thus far. Now that we are past the halfway mark you can expect that we are going to start getting answers and pay offs to things that we have seen building this season.
American Hero Story
The opening of the episode is from that American Hero Story which is a tv show in universe based on the original Minute Men, specifically Hooded Justice. This conversation is Hooded Justice being questioned by the NYPD in connection with a cover up that involves Hoover. While some of this we find out is wildly in accurate, I think there are clues about where Hooded Justice ends up.
In the last episode we left off with Angela downing an entire bottle of Nostalgia. I shared a link in my last breakdown to a pamphlet that explains more about Nostalgia that was posted on HBO’S website under Peteypedia. Basically, this could cause a lot of issues especially when taking someone else pills.
Laurie attempts to get Angela to sign a consent to have her stomach pumped by Angela heads down the rabbit hole before that happens and we learn everything there is to know about William Reeves.
We know that he is the little boy from the opening Tulsa scenes of the series and those are shown sporadically throughout the episode, mostly his mother playing the piano. The first memory that Nostalgia spits out is Will being sworn in as an officer in the NYPD. He was pinned by another black officer and immediately warned about something called Cyclops.
On the first night of patrol Will is pulled into this Cyclops plot when a store owner named Fred burns down a Jewish owned store. William arrests him and takes him in. One officer steps in and takes care of Fred in front of everyone but then gives the symbol on his forehead which we learn means that they are part of Cyclops.
Angela is then spit into another memory where he again runs into Fred. William at this point is warned to just let things be. There is an Easter Egg here for Superman since the man sitting at the stand is reading the first issue of Action comics and talking about Superman’s origin.
The Birth of Hooded Justice
After Will’s run in with Fred, Williams finds himself stalked by some of the white officers. They invite him for a ride but William refuses. Instead then grab him in an ally where they take him out to a tree. They then hang him from a tree wearing a hood. They do eventually cut him down with the warning that next time he won’t have the same ending.
We can clearly see where this is going because as Angela lays there in William’s position, she has the noose around her neck and wrist just like Hooded Justice wears. As Will walks him he comes across a couple in trouble. He jumps in and saves them after putting the hood back on with eye holes cut in.
The next day he finds that he has made the paper as a hero and with the push from his wife June he becomes a regular hero. In this conversation we even have a call back to that original silent film we saw Will watch in the opening of the season. Even though Bass Reeves was a man of the law and by the law, she reminds him that that theater ended up burned to the ground and that now there is no justice with the badge. However, they already foreshadowed where this was going in an earlier scene with June where she though giving Will a badge was a mistake, she cited that he was an angry man after what he witnessed in Tulsa as a child. We also learn this episode that she was the baby in the American Flag from that scene as well.
While out as Hooded Justice, Will goes to where he suspects is a Cyclops hide out in the back of Fred’s store. When breaking in we see that Cyclops, like the 7th Kalvary, is another extension of the Klan. Hooded Justice fights them until he ends up in the front of the store and must jump from the window into the street to avoid being shot. This Hooded Justice encounter was inaccurately shown on the American Hero Story a few episodes ago. Notice the center of the shot is lettuce which becomes relevant later when the new Kalvary War is started with the Lettuce truck man shooting an officer.
At this point the memories stop and Angela is contacted by Laurie and then Cal as they are attempting to pull her out of this Nostalgia trip. He talks with her about her past as a way for her to separate herself from the memories of William. Basically, what we know here is that she was raised by her Grandmother, which is June, and that she grew up in Vietnam.
After some time as Hooded Justice, William is approached by Nelson Gardner. He has put together that William is connected to Hooded Justice but doesn’t think that he is Hooded Justice as most people are assuming that he is white because of the make up he wears. I like the parallel shot of Angela in the mirror wearing the white flesh makeup which is the opposite of the mask she wears as Sister Night. Anyway, Gardner is wanting to recruit Hooded Justice to a group is he creating which was inspired by the Hooded Justice and his work as a vigilante. June immediately pegs him as Captain Metropolis but is leery of William joining him. Ultimately William joins to get help with taking down Cyclops but also develops a sexual relationship with Gardner.
It makes scenes in a conversation with Gardner why no one else ever knew Hood Justice’s identity. Gardner pushed for him to even keep his identity secret from the other Minutemen because he feared other members were also racist. In the same time period June announces that she is pregnant who goes on to be Angela’s father.
We have seen these group shots that are taken of the team in both the comics and in the Watchmen movie. Here one is taken introducing Hood Justice as a member but he is quieted from talking about Cyclops from Captain Metropolis. It is obvious that Metropolis is concerned about going against an organization because he wanted the bank to financially back him. The poster shown here is the same one that Angela saw back in episode one when raiding the 7th K house.
Years have passed by the next memory and William still is looking into Cyclops when he is called into a mass fight at a movie theater in an African American part of town. William goes in and notices that the projector is being removed and remembers back to the first Cyclops bust he made with the Mesmerism book and realizes that they are using projectors to mind control black people to make them seem more violent as a means to oppress them further. He follows the projector to Fred, who at this point doesn’t remember him. William shoots and kills him after learning about a warehouse location. At the warehouse he finds the projectors and the original officer that tied him up creating this imbedded messaging. He chokes him with the cord, shoots everyone else, takes a projector and burns down the warehouse. The framing here is magnificent as we see the resemblance between this fire and the one in Tulsa.
When returning home, he finds his son in the Hood Justice makeup and gets upset with him. Obviously, this isn’t the first fight him and June has and she mentions that anymore it is like he never takes the hood off. She and her son leave to return to Tulsa and tells Will to never contact them again. This explains why Angela never knew her grandfather.
The Hanging of Judd Crawford
We then fast forward to more current events that took place in episode one and finally reveal how William strung up Judd. Turns out he didn’t really, he used the light from the projector he took in order to mind control him into hanging himself. Now Judd tried to explain that there is more going on and he isn’t really a racist but William knows about the Klan outfit and his family history, so William is not buying it. We know from the information with Wade last episode that there is something going on that is deeper than just being racist, but don’t forget we saw the cyclops painting in the warehouse with Wade last episode too. I do expect to get some of these answers next episode.
It is at this point that Angela is pulled out of her Nostalgia ride by Lady Trieu. This makes sense because she would not be the maker and distributor of the pills. One thing I want to talk about is the Memo on Peteypedia that was from Laurie Blake to her superiors. She says in the memo that Angela talked through the whole experience so they now know that William Reeves was the Hooded Justice. This is interesting for Laurie since it was Hooded Justice who stepped in and saved her mother, Silk Spectre, from her father, The Comedian, raping her.
They also know that William killed Judd but make the connection with Cyclops and 7th K. She calls them kissing cousins. She plans to talk with both Judd’s wife about Judd being a member of the KKK and wants to talk with Wade since he turned on Angela so quickly. I think this will lead us to answers about what happened with Wade since the last we saw of him was the actual 7th K showing up at his house with bats.
Also, in the Peteypedia is Petey’s addition of the Will of Nelson Gardner. This tells us that after his wife left him and the Minutemen dissolved William went on to work in the theater from this episode in New York. Apparently, Gardner died in a car accident in 1974 which ended in his beheading. They mention that he was protesting the appeal of the 22nd amendment which is the one that only allows for a president to run for two turns. The repeal of this amendment is why Redford has been president for so long. After Gardner’s death William was made the beneficiary of his estate.
Check Out All of My “Watchmen” Breakdowns!
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E1 “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” Breakdown and Review!
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E2 “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship” Breakdown!
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E3 “She Was Killed by Space Junk” Breakdown!
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E4 “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own” Breakdown
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E5 “Little Fear of Lightning” Breakdown!
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E6 “This Extraordinary Being” Breakdown!
- Catching Up: Watchmen Episodes 7-8!
- Watchmen S1E9 ‘See How They Fly’ Season Finale Breakdown!