Spoilers for Watchmen Episode 5 follow below.
Watchmen fans not only got to witness a tremendous showcase for actor Tim Blake Nelson (aka Looking Glass) in the show’s fifth episode, “Little Fear of Lightning,” but we also got some answers to some very big questions. Aside from the whole squid thing, the episode also finally confirmed what in the wide world of sports is going on with Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias (Jeremy Irons). As many suspected, he’s being held captive in space, as we saw him catapult himself to the stars with just enough time to send an S.O.S. to a satellite from Earth.
But where is Adrian Veidt, exactly? That sure as heckfire wasn’t Mars, which is where Dr. Manhattan supposedly is. As it turns out, Watchmen showrunner Damon Lindelof confirmed to Collider exactly where Adrian Veidt is being held: Europa, a moon of Jupiter.
Indeed, Lindelof explained that when he and his writers hit upon the idea that Adrian Veidt would be a prisoner, a normal prison simply wouldn’t do for the great Ozymandias. So they put him out by Jupiter:
“I think that if Adrian Veidt is trying to escape from prison, that’s not a good challenge for him. He’s going to do that very easily — there’s no prison that’s going to hold Adrian Veidt, unless that prison is on Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Then it might be a little more challenging. I kind of felt like, if we’re going to lock this guy up somewhere—and by Episode 5 we still don’t know who locked him up and why—it’s gonna have to be quite an overwhelming challenge for him to escape, so that felt like this was a good place to put him and throw away the key.”
So yeah, Europa. If Ozymandias’ captor is indeed Dr. Manhattan as most suspect, that puts him quite a ways outside Dr. Manhattan’s Mars-home range—although as we know, that Big Blue Being can have eyes in many places at once.
But Lindelof also revealed another pertinent detail during our interview. Each episode has included a brief sojourn to what we now know is Europa, giving the audience a peek at what Veidt is up to that week. But did you know that almost every episode, a year has lapsed since the last time we saw Adrian?
“What we’re learning about Adrian Veidt is that every installment that we get of the nine episodes, there’s only one episode where you don’t get a Veidt installment — the storytelling, he didn’t fit in there — but every other one you get [one]. And a year lapses in between each episode. It’s a story told on a very, very large canvas, each installment taking place on another anniversary of another year that he has spent wherever the hell he’s spending [it].”
Indeed, so the first time we met Adrian Veidt, Mr. Phillips and Ms. Crookshanks were celebrating his one-year anniversary on Europa with that delicious-looking cake. That explains why he’s grown so despondent so quickly—as he came to hate what he initially viewed as a paradise, and now his plan to escape finally appears to be kicking into gear.
We’ll see where that leaves Adrian next week when we presumably pick up one year after he’s been captured by the Game Warden (unless next week’s episode is the one in which Veidt doesn’t appear), but I’m incredibly curious to see what the endgame is here. It’s gotta be a face-to-face confrontation with Dr. Manhattan, right? Right?
For more on Watchmen, see what Lindelof told us about that whole squid thing.