If you’re not checking out the companion site to HBO’s Watchmen, you’re missing out on a ton of fun fill-in-the-blanks to go along with Damon Lindelof’s trippy superhero drama. The info on the Peteypedia—named after Anti-Vigilante Task Force agent Dale Petey, who made his debut in episode 3 played by Dustin Ingram—isn’t essential to watching the show, but it does color some of the bigger questions with intriguing evidence. Like, for instance, why exactly Angela Abar (Regina King) discovered a KKK hood in the closet of her friend and late Tulsa sheriff Judd Crawford (Don Johnson).
That’s the subject of a piece of Peteypedia material classified “EVIDENCE: Four Letters”. The evidence in question is a letter written by J. David Keene—the Congressman behind the bill that eventually outlawed costumed vigilantism—to “Sheriff Crawford”. (The letter is dated June 2, 1955, meaning its recipient is almost certainly Judd Crawford’s father.) If the letter makes one thing clear, it’s that the elder Keene and Crawford were members of the Ku Klux Klan, and high-ranking members at that; Keene notes that the painting we saw in episode 2, “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship”, is symbolic of a position of power in the white supremacist organization. Here’s what Keene writes:
“I use words like ‘custody’ with sober deliberateness. This gift is not yours to keep. It is a totem of the responsibility that you inherited last night. Just as this painting was entrusted to me when the responsibility was mine, now, it is entrusted to you. And when the time comes for you to give up the mantle of our order to your replacement, we expect you to give him this painting, and with it, this story.”
That’s incredibly damning for Judd Crawford, considering the painting still hung prominently in his living room at the time of his death. The question is: Did the younger Crawford inherit the mantle from his father or break the family tradition altogether?
If anyone is likely to know for sure, it’s Joe Keene Jr. (James Wolk), the senator’s son introduced in episode 2 and nearly kidnapped by the Seventh Kavalry in episode 3, who is the most prominent name floating around to nab the presidential position soon to be vacated by Robert Redford. If anything is not a mystery in Watchmen, it’s the fact that the roots of the racial divide in everything we’re seeing run deep in Tulsa and beyond.
For more in-depth theorizing, head over to this week’s Watchmen Guide to dive into “She Was Killed By Space Junk”. Make sure to head over to the Peteypedia, which also has intriguing info on the story-within-a-story American Hero Story: Minutemen and a bonkers white supremacist call to move to Mars with Doctor Manhattan.