NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Watchmen” are present in this review
Yet another new player in Watchmen’s sprawling mystery is introduced in the series’ fourth episode, that being the mysterious Lady Trieu. “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own” makes Trieu’s introduction one of the driving forces behind the plot, though the series also continues spotlighting the increasingly questionable backstory of Angela here, particularly when Angela keeps digging into the clues being left for her by Will. All the while, Veidt’s mysterious agenda continues to take shape, as we get even more insight into how he makes his increasingly disposable servants, and exactly how he aims to escape his, “Prison.”
The episode begins with Trieu trading a baby, which she appeared to grow from unviable eggs, to a rural couple, who own land that Triel requires for some mysterious objective. Being a trillionaire recluse, and the one who inherits Adrian Veidt’s company after his disappearance, Triel is clearly a woman of great intrigue and means, successfully trading the baby for the property, before a meteor drops nearby, apparently carrying something that belongs to Trieu. It seems that Trieu’s mysterious flying vehicles were also behind Angela’s car theft at Will’s hands to boot, seemingly implying that Trieu could be a trans-dimensional character, but obviously, the show isn’t going to give us these kinds of answers about Trieu’s identity so early in the game. The fact that she was born in Vietnam, and is around Angela’s age, is certainly telling though, especially since The Comedian and Dr. Manhattan both fought in Vietnam during flashback events within the Watchmen graphic novel. Something tells me that the Vietnam connection on HBO’s Watchmen series is no coincidence…
Regardless, Angela’s separate investigation also continues to slowly move forward, as Angela submits her own DNA at the local museum, wherein she learns that she is indeed related to Will, beyond a shadow of a doubt. This seemed to be pretty definitively proven already, but regardless, it did create an excuse for Angela to be nearby when her car drops in front of a laughing Laurie. This also nicely leads into another turn the following day, namely when Laurie takes control of the Tulsa PD office, filling in for the late Judd Crawford, something that Angela in particular is obviously not pleased about. Laurie and Petey are nonetheless placed in proximity to Angela however, when the two end up following a lead that takes them to Lady Trieu’s new, “Wonder of the World”, a giant clock, not unlike the one from the Mars sequences of the Watchmen graphic novel.
How Trieu’s mysterious construction project fits into everything is another mystery, but getting this latest peek into her operation certainly sets up some interesting questions for later. Better still is the reveal that Will is also in league with Trieu towards the end of the episode, further lending credence to the theory that Angela and Trieu are closely related in a way that they don’t yet realize. It is however a bit annoying that the show seems to be dragging out the mystery with the pills though, with Will even admitting that he’s trying to draw out Angela’s investigation on purpose, for some reason related to future events. This forces Angela to deposit the pills with Looking Glass, whose girlfriend is apparently some kind of expert on otherworldly things, an expert that we don’t see in this episode. All of this stalls Angela’s story momentum a bit, though certainly not enough to derail another episode of Watchmen that’s overall pretty strong.
I’m also happy to see that Veidt is continuing to inject lots of lovably dark humour into the show, even though his obligatory subplot always seems to be stuffed at the end of each episode so far. Regardless, we see how Veidt seemingly creates his cloned servants, fetching living infants from the nearby lake, throwing some of them back, and using a mysterious machine to grow two of the infants into a fully adult Mr. Phillips and Ms. Crookshanks. Apparently, Veidt murdered all of his other cloned servants in the dining room, and is going to use these two new servant variants to catapult the dead servants’ bodies into the stratosphere, in an effort to test the ‘prison’ that holds him. This is certainly twisted, but also weirdly hilarious, walking a clever line between madness and brilliance that provides surprisingly potent satire behind Veidt’s character, who clearly no longer has a viable purpose in this extra P.C., scrutiny-filled world. This idea behind the redundancy of Veidt is wonderfully exaggerated to new extremes in this present-era Watchmen adaptation, where Veidt is becoming a surprisingly effective source of comic relief to end each episode, even as he very much remains a clear sociopath.
“If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own” sometimes feels like it’s dragging out Angela’s investigation effort a bit too much, especially when she spends a lot of this episode chasing her tail, but there’s nonetheless a lot of standout storytelling to enjoy here once again. Lady Trieu’s introduction is very nicely intriguing, presenting another enigmatic player in the engrossing mystery that serves as the backbone of Watchmen’s debut season. Likewise, Laurie taking over command at the Tulsa precinct is a logical move that makes her a good, persistent foil for Angela, especially when this allows the trauma from the original Watchmen graphic novel’s events to have a greater connection to Angela’s present-day mystery. Veidt also once again rounds things off effectively with another nicely twisted, yet weirdly amusing experiment with his cloned servants, continuing to beg the question of whether he’s truly getting somewhere, or has allowed his imprisonment to send him spiraling into full-blown madness. We’re just under the halfway point of Watchmen’s debut season, so there’s clearly a lot of mystery left to explore, but even if the show feels like it’s intentionally slowing down a bit here, the lingering questions and smart plotting will nonetheless easily keep viewers anticipating how Lady Trieu fits into these increasingly weird events.
- Lady Trieu is another intriguing, memorable new character
- Laurie taking over the Tulsa precinct
- Veidt's growing obsession and possible madness
- Angela's investigation feels artificially stalled