Watchmen – S1 Ep4 – If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own

Director – Andrij Parekh
Writer – Damon Lindelof & Cristal Henry
Cast – Jeremy Irons, James Wolf, Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson, Yayha Abdul-Mateen II, Jean Smart, Louis Gossett Jr, Hong Chau.

Multiple new layers on intrigue were added onto the narrative of Watchmen this week, courtesy of new characters being introduced, new alliances being revealed and more clues being dropped regarding Veidt’s situation. Continuing the high level set by the preceding 3 episodes, this 4th instalment was every bit as good as before. I really do enjoy the show’s potent mix of darkness and bizarre, twisted humour. With one or two call-backs to the original source material thrown in for good measure, this was altogether a highly enjoyable episode.

The introduction of intriguing new character Lady Trieu got the episode off to an intriguing start, interrupting a couple’s cosy existence (nice use of Islands In The Stream, a classic track and no mistake!) and using an extremely novel method of persuasion to get them to sell her their home and land on the spot. Her motivation seemingly is the object that crashes onto their farm from outer space, seconds after the deal was sealed. Who or what this object is remains to be seen. The smart money is on it tying into the enormous Millennium Clock she has erected. Hong Chau’s performance as Lady Trieu was interesting. Seemingly all sweetness and light on the outside, there does appear to be a darker edge to this trillionaire lurking just below the surface. Is she the one behind Veidt’s incarceration? Her acquisition of his company following his “disappearance” would suggest there is something in that…

Her alliance with old Will Reeves promises to reveal much as the season progresses. What are those mysterious pills he left in his wheelchair for Angela to find? As with so much of this show, nothing is spelt out. With so much shrouded in mystery, viewers can draw their own conclusions. As I have said on previous reviews, I love this approach. It broadens the imagination and also helps to deepen the understanding of this fictional world, as viewers are forced to pay a bit more attention, such is the avoidance of spoon feeding.

The true nature of Adrian Veidt’s residence is gradually being expanded upon, bit by bit. His opening scene was quite jarring, as he recovered babies from the lake at his country estate, baked them in an incubator and hey presto, new servants! Having seemingly killed all his existing servants in a fit of rage, the ever resourceful Veidt puts the corpses to good use. His method of testing the limits of his prison is certainly an original one. What is on the other side of the divide? I hope we get to see it sooner rather than later. Jeremy Irons is once again thoroughly entertaining as the one time Ozymandias, chewing the scenery with glee. He stays mostly on the correct side of overacting, but is very watchable nonetheless.

Episode 4 was an engaging, gripping episode. As we approach the halfway point in the season, the plot is starting to form, albeit at a glacial pace. A challenging but rewarding experience, I am for one am thoroughly immersed in the world, a fitting extension of the original world created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. With so much more promised to come, the next 5 weeks are going to be must see television!

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