By Lark Anderson
December 20, 2019
Dystopian, Action, Drama
CAUTION: SPOILERS EVERYWHERE
THEORY: Dr. Manhattan was never about love when he took on the job of domestic god—it just so happened to go in that direction. Let me explain.
It’s about a week after the Watchmen television series created by Damon Lindelof and based on work by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons concluded on HBO, and I’ve had time to digest it a bit. I think I know exactly why Dr. Manhattan returned to Earth, and no, it wasn’t for love.
First, let’s do a brief rundown of the season. I will not be describing all the relations and interactions between the characters, just a very basic review, as this is meant for people who have watched the entire season.
Watchmen opens with a scene of the Tulsa massacre, which happened nearly 100 years ago. A boy survives.
Present day, we see the state of the country far different from not only that of our real world but the world Watchmen left us with in its conclusion. We aren’t concerned with the cold war as much as we are tension within the structure of our society. Anger is everywhere, with no clear resolution.
Enter the Seventh Kavalry, a white supremacist group that had been laying low for a couple of years after basically taking out almost the ENTIRE police department in an event called the White Night. They have a plan brewing, and this is where I’m just going to jump to the end because this is all the setup you need.
The Seventh Kavalry plans on stealing Dr. Manhattan’s powers and bestowing them to a complete asshat.
In steps the AMAZING Lady Trieu(Hong Chau) who has her own plans for stealing Dr. Manhattan’s powers and taking them for herself.
Lady Trieu is the BEST part of Watchmen for me. Holy shit, I love this woman. I want more Lady Trieu, and it’s entirely possible we can get more of her in future seasons.
So, we have two opposing factions wanting to steal Dr. Manhattan’s powers. How are they going to accomplish this? It doesn’t matter. All that matters in this article is what actually happens with Dr. Manhattan and the intent of it all.
So, we find out that Dr. Manhattan has been disguised as Calvin Abar(Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), househusband to Angela(Regina King), the entirety of the series. We are made to believe he approaches her for love and to spend ten years with her before tragedy strikes. The whole tone of it is very romantic, and we see them spending years happily together.
But when Dr. Manhattan approached Angela, he was really just looking for a successor, and he can see every outcome, or rather the puppet strings attached to each of their lives. He knew Angela would be his best option.
So, he was looking for a worthy ‘heir’ to his powers. He knew he would demise, perhaps he wanted to, and he knew he could pass his powers on. It’s clear he wasn’t done with humanity yet, and so he wanted to leave his powers to someone he believed could truly better humanity.
I can’t say what his exact qualifiers were, but one can assume it was because she didn’t crave power, she clearly was a good person, and she hated Dr. Manhattan because she blamed him for the demise of her parents. I believe her hatred probably served as her best qualifier because she knew more than most what misuse or abuse of power can cost someone.
He also knew her future, the life she would lead, and how she would take in a coworker’s three children after his death. He knew that even when she almost died for being a police officer, she would not give up her badge.
Angela is better suited for Dr. Manhattan’s powers than Dr. Manhattan is himself because frankly, she gives a shit.
Dr. Manhattan, or rather Jonathan Osterman, was a scientist before being imbibed with superpowers. Angela was a police officer. Jonathan was thrust into being a hero. Angela was a hero before powers passed to her.
And, unknown to her, her grandfather was one of the world’s original masked heroes, being the boy that survived the massacre.
I’m not trying to argue that Dr. Manhattan didn’t love Angela. All I’m saying is the reason he sought her out was to gain an heir. He didn’t love her until their last hour together, and what happens thereafter is HEARTBREAKING, but he got his wish, and his powers are now with someone who could truly make a difference and help humanity.
Shout out to: Jeremy Irons(Ozymandias), Don Johnson(Chief Judd), Time Blake Nelson(Looking Glass), and Jean Smart(Agent Blake) for being amazing in their roles.
And WTF ever happened with Lubeman?