A Few Relatively Straightforward Questions About ‘Watchmen’

HBO’s Watchmen is a fascinating and thought-provoking show in its early stages. Damon Lindelof, creator of the show and veteran of Lost and The Leftovers, is good at doing that. His take on the legendary source material is different, strange, and a little nutty, all of which checks out given his track record. I would say more about this adaptation business if not for one small issue: I know very little about any of it.

I didn’t read the Watchmen comics. I haven’t even seen the 2009 movie. My extent of pre-show Watchmen knowledge came from reading one single “What you should know before watching Watchmen” article, which I now regret reading. It would have been more fun to go in totally blind. I’m not reading any explainers or looking up any references, either. It’s kind of a little experiment, to see what and how much I can figure out about all of it on my own. It’s going… okay? I’m enjoying it very much so far, but sweet backflipping Jesus am I confused about some things.

And so, at the risk of getting yelled at a lot on the internet, I present to you a few questions that I — a Watchmen rookie — have about the show so far.


Who is this guy?

What’s his deal?

How did he get out of those handcuffs?

How did he lift the other guy?

Some sort of pulley system?

How did he set up the pulleys?

Why didn’t Regina King know he was her grandpa?

Why’s he dressed so snazzy?

Is he going somewhere nice?


Who is this guy?

What’s his deal?

Why’s his mask so shiny?

What’s up with his crazy interrogation room with the images?

How’s he see through that mask with no eye holes?

How does he breathe?

Is it hot in there?

Did you ever buy a cool mask for Halloween and take it off after an hour because your face was all sweaty and the inside of your mask smelled like sweat and your hot breath?

Do you think he has multiple masks like this to swap out when they need to be washed?


Who is this kid?

What’s his deal?

Where did he get these powers?

How did he make that thing float?

Why not just let it sit on the ground?

What’s that he’s making?

Why’s he making it?

How long do you think it took to make it?

Did he use the powers to make it or just keep it hovering there?

Seems like a weird and inefficient use of powers, right?

What would you do if you had powers?

Probably not build a weird silver building and/or city out of silver little LEGO thingies, right?

Did you ever think that’s maybe why you don’t have powers, though?

Because you’d use them wrong?

Bet you feel silly now, huh?


Who is this guy?

What’s his deal?

Why’s he wearing a panda mask?

Why’s his panda mask so dirty?

Why doesn’t he get his panda mask cleaned?

Why doesn’t he buy a new panda mask?

Can he not afford a new panda mask?

Do you think public servants should be paid a livable wage that allows them to replace their old and tattered panda masks?

How much does a panda mask cost, anyway?

How much would you pay for a panda mask?

Like $50?

What about a used panda mask, if it’s in decent shape?

Would you feel comfortable buying a used panda mask?

What if it has lice in it?

Could he switch to a new animal mask if he finds one on sale or is he stuck now that everyone calls him “Panda”?

Do you think his nickname is Panda because he bought that mask or do you think he bought that mask because his nickname was Panda?


Who is this guy?

What’s his deal?

I mean, I know it’s Jeremy Irons, and he is allegedly playing a character named Adrian Veidt who is also known as Ozymandias and played a big role in the comics and is thought to be dead now, but, like, what’s his deal?

Why’s he doing all that?

Is he cloning people just to kill them off one at a time in a play he wrote and directs for an audience of only himself?

Is that what’s happening here?


If you were rich and powerful and hiding out in a castle on a glorious estate, would you do any of that?

How long do you think it takes the one guy to paint himself all blue like that?

How long do you think it takes to get the paint back off?

You know, from … the places?

Does the movie The Prestige exist in this alternate Watchmen universe?

Is that what’s happening here?

Did Jeremy Irons see The Prestige and watch Hugh Jackman make and kill a clone every night in service of a performance and think “Oooo, dope”?

Do you think Jeremy Irons has ever said the word “dope”?

Would you work for a weird old millionaire who made you perform a play every night and sometimes do a nude scene covered in blue body paint?

What if he promised not to kill you inside a flame booth?

You’d probably want to get that last part in writing, huh?


What are these goggles?

What’s their deal?

They some sort of futuristic x-ray goggles?

Where’d she get them?

How much do they cost?

How does Regina King afford her fancy gadgets?

How come she can have cool x-ray goggles but the panda guy still has to wear that gross mask?

Do you think Panda gets pissed off about this?

If you had x-ray goggles, would you use them for legitimate investigation-based reasons or would you do a bunch of weirdo creep stuff with them?


What are these raining squid?

What’s their deal?

Why is it raining squid?

How is it raining squid?

Does this happen a lot?

How often would it have to rain squid before you considered it “a lot”?

Like, twice?

Who has to clean the squid off of everything?

Do people spend hours of their Saturday getting squid out of their gutters, or is there a service they can call?

Do you think there’s a Squid Removal billionaire who controls the whole market?

Or is it like sanitation and all mobbed-up?

Would you watch an entire show about the lucrative but corrupt business of cleaning up tiny squid that rained down from heaven?

If a squid removal business gets a sweetheart government contract in exchange for providing another off-book service, is it called squid pro quo?