‘Watchmen’ Guide, Week 5: Every Question We Have After “Little Fear of Lightning”

     November 18, 2019

Bless this episode for gifting us with the image of a scared, naked young man screaming “what happened?” into the New Jersey sky so you can all finally picture what I look like after each episode of Watchmen. But no, what’s truly crazy is that this was Watchmen‘s “answers” episode. Director Steph Green and the script from Damon Lindelof and Carly Wray paints the clearest picture yet of just what the hell type of nefarious goings-on are afoot in Tulsa, and they do so, appropriately, by turning the show’s focus to someone who knows a little somethin’ about the truth: Tim Blake Nelson‘s Looking Glass, a.k.a. Wade Tillman, a.a.k.a “Mirror Guy” if you’re a charmingly dickish FBI agent.

“Little Fear of Lightning”—part of a quote from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the godfather of literature’s Giant Squid Monster genre—revealed that Wade was across the Hudson River on November 2, 1985, the night Adrian Veidt dropped his inter-dimensional monstrosity on New York, killing roughly 3 million people and saving the world from nuclear war. Wade was just a young Bible-thumper from Tulsa at the time, visiting Hoboken to tell the youths that if you stop smoking dope you get to play with panda bears in the afterlife (genuinely tempting!) when the squid hit. That goo-ey blood-soaked catastrophe effed the future vigilante right the hell up, dooming him to a life of constant paranoia, lonely baked bean dinners, and literally wrapping his head in tinfoil to ward off the hypothetical arrival of another inter-dimensional creature. Speaking as someone who also went to Catholic school, this all tracks more than you’d think.

You certainly have questions. I for sure have questions. Let’s dive in…