HBO took a little while to set the stage but it seems they are finally ready. The pilot of "Wathcmen" was intriguing, the second episode set up a slightly larger world, but it seems, at last, the show is pulling all its disparate pieces together. In the third episode of the network's much anticipated, "Watchmen" series, based on the DC graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, plots and strings start to connect and, to the great relief of graphic novel fans, callbacks to the original finally start to enter the spotlight.
For the uninitiated Jean Smart's new FBI lead, Agent Blake, is a fabulous addition to an already fabulous cast. Despite the magnificence of Regina King in episodes one and two, Smart takes over episode three from the beginning and never lets go. That could be enough to make any television fan sit back and get ready for a wild ride. However, for those who are working from a well-versed background in the graphic novel here is the first absolute and confirmed appearance of one of the original Watchmen, Laurie Juspeczyk (now Blake), the second Silk Spectre. What has happened to her since the end of the beloved book? We're still learning, but this taste is more than enough to start with.
We've seen one of those creepy Mr. Phillips clones dress the part, and we've heard the real guy is on Mars, but no one interacted, or directly addressed the only real superhero (meaning he has superpowers) in the room until here in episode three. Our new favorite, Laurie Blake, actually makes a phone call to the blue man himself (her former boyfriend, as book readers are aware) and lets him know just how depressing trying to protect mankind continues to be since their last meeting. Is he listening? We don't know. But there may be someone there listening, and that makes all the difference.
The importance of Jeremy Irons' character (nameless though he remained until now) has been apparent since the pilot, but finally "Watchmen" readers had their patience, and their knowledge, pay off. Irons was finally confirmed as original baddy, Adrian Veidt, better known to book readers as Ozymandias. Now that everyone has seen his costume on screen that name is certainly soon to follow. Yet, even with this character confirmation, enough mystery remains on how our original heroes got to this point that newbies and old fans are still in this together, reveling in the mystery, while finally acknowledging the call backs many have been waiting for.