‘Watchmen’ connects its threads in a strange but satisfying finale
The “Watchmen” finale ended on an inconclusive note, and yet felt like the perfect place to close this extension for good. That’s a tribute, actually, to what producer Damon Lindelof and his team accomplished, brilliantly layering a dense new mythology on top of the existing foundation, and pulling its assorted threads together over the last three episodes.
Of course, getting to that payoff required enduring a fair amount of confusion through the first half-dozen installments — certainly for those marginally familiar with the source material — with Lindelof having mastered the art of the slow build on “Lost” and “The Leftovers,” series where the end of the road fell short of the journey.
By contrast, “Watchmen” delivered a mostly satisfying finish, weaving strands together and sawing off most (not all) of the loose ends, while leaving a few tantalizing possibilities to ponder once the credits rolled.
Foremost, the last three episodes witnessed the return, backstory and finally death of Dr. Manhattan (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), the naked blue superhero with virtually unlimited power in manipulating time and space. Although the series operated in a world of costumed vigilantes, Dr. Manhattan offered the primary link to a true alternate superhero reality that provided the spine of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ landmark graphic novel.
The episode also revealed the lineage of Lady Trieu (Hong Chau), the biological daughter, it turned out, of Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons), who finally escaped his purgatory on a Jupiter moon where Dr. Manhattan had exiled him, using his status as the Smartest Man in the World to save the day. In essence, Veidt, a.k.a. Ozymandias, did penance for his original sin, saving the world by killing millions. This time, the solution included a frozen hail of inter-dimensional squids.