We continue our roundup of episodes about Watchmen analyzing in detail the sixth episode of this impressive work written by Damon Lindeloff. The sixth episode marks the beginning of the Watchmen epilogue and features some small easter eggs, in less quantity than the previous installments.
As always, although more than a month has now passed since its end, I warn readers that the entire article will contain numerous spoilers and explanations. If you missed the Watchmen previous or following you can try them here:
This Extraordinary Being
From the first scene it is clear to us that we are watching a part of the series in the series, that is American Hero Story. Here two detectives, blackmailing Hooded Justice with his homosexual relationship with Captain Metropolis, to make him act against the law (or with the law?). Faithful to the words of Petey in 1 × 04 the series quickly falls into the most vulgar trash, showing us a Hooded Justice Unchained, with sad effects and mundane action songs.
A couple of nice clues about what we're going to look at already gives us the title of the series that goes from a yellow Watchmen to a purple Minuteman. The purple color is not chosen randomly: throughout the episode we will analyze the life of Hooded Justice, a hero who, among the palettes of his colors, had precisely the purple. A sentence, said by one of the two detectives in this scene, seems almost to want to reveal what we have seen in 1 × 02, or a "safe behind a painting of a white horse". Many shots and scenes will be almost parallel from Will and Angela, underlining their kinship and connection.
In the present, in fact, we are facing a terrible situation: our protagonist, as we have seen in the 1 × 05, she swallowed all the Nostalgia pills to cover her grandfather, and is now in a daze. She is often catapulted into Will's life and relives the events that made him Hooded Justice. And this is where the entire plot of the episode begins
Blast from the Past
We are in the shoes of a very young Will Reeves at the ceremony for the swearing in of the cadets. Listening to the discord at the ceremony it is possible to grasp a reference regarding the "costume that, once worn, changes men". Probably to be brought back to Will's uniform and his vigilante costume, clear expressions of his dual personality.
"Beware the Ciclops / Beware of Cyclops"Warns young Will as his life is gradually taking shape, starting with a romantic encounter with June (Angela's grandmother and journalist, just like Lois Lane). The girl is very worried about Will; not because he is in a city, Tulsa, full of hardcore racists, but because Will is a very, very pissed off man. A truncheon and a pistol in the hands of such a man can lead to radical changes.
Will Reeves thus begins to operate as a simple policeman in Tulsa. Arrests initially Fred, a Nazi sympathizer caught in the act while setting fire to a Jewish shop, later taken into custody by colleagues and promptly exonerated. This event only provokes Will's anger, subsequently triggered by the attempt to hang by the same colleagues affiliated to this Cyclops.
Interestingly, the newsagent who talks to Will before Fred's arrest is browsing through the first issue of Superman, currently a very rare piece for any collector. Considering the fact that it was Superman who inspired other superheroes, the parallelism with the story we are going to see is practically self-evident. Great job, Lindelof!
Returning from this assassination attempt, Will, still wearing the hood and noose, saves a couple from the robbery by brutally beating the two attackers, becoming Hooded Justice in all respects. The vigilante, taking a cue from his childhood hero, becomes the punisher vigilante and, like Brass Reeves, begins to administer the law to lawmakers. The fight is full of sound effects attributable to Snyder, along with a use of slow-mo complete with a broken window (which we will see later).
With I don't Want to set the World on Fire Hoodid Justice begins patrolling the streets; his first target is Fred, the arrested and exonerated racist. In the back of his shop our hero finds several members of the Klan who are generously beaten by Will's fury, shooting the scenes already seen in 1 × 03 of the fight in the grocery store.
It's not that a matter of time before Captain Metropolis makes an appearance. The hero knocks and enters Will's house revealing that he knows who is who and how much the other vigilantes would like to have the first executioner on the team. Between the two, a very strong alchemy and affinity seems to flow right away, leading to a relationship.
The relationship between the two, besides being homosexual, is full of references to comics; the two in fact seem to take pleasure in hiding their identity and several hints of this marriage between sexuality and hidden identity can be found both in the Watchmen books and in the Film, where Nite Owl 2 is shown "back in shape" only after having put back the superhero costume.
Unfortunately Will is really a man full of anger and his determination, so steadfast in wanting to destroy the cyclops, gradually leads him to lose June. As his family grows larger, Will discovers that the Minutemans are not, in reality, the team devoted to fighting the crime that Captain Metropolis sold him, and therefore decides to do himself justice.
Years pass and Will receives an urgent distress call to a theater in Harlem. A theater, subjected to techniques of hypnosis and mesmerization, was turned upside down with numerous injuries and deaths, all of them black and, obviously, it was the Cyclops who organized everything. With the Minutemans now insignificant and uninterested in his goal, Will takes the initiative, following the Klan members and killing Fred, several colleagues and burning everything.
Interesting detail is represented by the telephone booth: exactly as in Superman (with which Will shares many superhero creation processes) Will becomes superhero exiting the cabin and changing (symbolically) transforming himself from a policeman into Hooded Justice.
As if to execute a sad Dante's law of retaliation, Will's achievement ultimately leads him to completely lose his family, leaving him full of resentment until the events we see in the first episode. Will, in 2019, uses the mesmerizer to convince Judd to hang himself. The episode ends with Angela who wakes up, after an unspecified time of hours, next to Lady Trieu.
This is all for the sixth episode of Watchmen: next week with An Almost religious Awe!