Watchmen‘s Dan Dreiberg and Laurie Juspeczyk (now Blake) were the only two people on the planet in 1985 who knew a transdimensional squid had not landed in New York. They knew Adrian Veidt had sent it. The newly romantic pair decided to keep the secret and go into hiding. There they continued their illegal costumed adventuring as the vigilantes Nite Owl and Silk Spectre. In 2019 though one of them is a highly respected FBI agent while the other sits in jail for the same crimes. And now we might know why. Laurie was willing to use that terrible secret to blackmail the U.S. government for her freedom.
And it might have worked because they already knew.
Thanks to HBO’s companion Watchmen site, “ Peteypedia,” we now have access to a redacted transcript of Laurie Blake’s interrogation after she and Dan Dreiberg were arrested in 1995, when they stopped Timothy McVeigh’s terrorist attack in their alternate timeline. Blake’s interview offers insight into her failed relationship with Dreiberg, which she said had been over “for awhile” as of 1995. They had financially supported themselves over the last decade thanks to Dreiberg selling his Nite Owl technology to law enforcement through a shell corporation known as MerlinCorp. That’s how the Tulsa police have their own fleet of “Archies” at their disposal.
The pair had only reunited for “one last job,” which was when they were arrested together. As for why they split up, Blake said, “He wanted kids and I wanted guns,” though her inability to totally get over her ex, Dr. Manhattan, also seems to have played a role in their separation. It was a sore enough subject that Dreiberg was the one who built her the large blue Manhattan-inspired sex toy no one will ever be able to un-see (though if you want to see a blueprint of “Excalibur” you can, you weirdo). Blake says the device was a literal “f### you” from Dreiberg. Obviously their separation was not completely friendly, though she does want to see him freed from jail now.
While Dreiberg refused to say anything to the FBI (a silence he has maintained to this day), Blake was willing to discuss almost everything with them. And we do mean everything, even beyond her Dr. Manhattan… machine. The redacted interrogation transcript ends with Blake, aka The Comedienne during her time on the lam, asking about being released.
Agent: “That’s not going to happen.”
Juspeczyk: “Well….If you don’t let me walk…..I might have to talk.”
Agent: “Talk……about what?”
Juspeczyk: “Tell your boss to tell his boss to tell his boss to tell Gatsby that Laurie Juspeczyk knows what really happened on 11/2. I’ll wait.”
“Gatsby” is President Robert Redford; 11/2 was the date Ozymandias sent his giant squid to New York City. Laurie Blake pointblank told the FBI to let her go or she would reveal the biggest secret ever. It’s a secret holding together a tenuous world peace, one that could destroy the planet if it were revealed. Look at what the Seventh Kavalry, a white nationalist group who already believes the squid was a hoax, has done. What would happen if everyone knew they were right?
Her threat clearly worked. Not only was she free, she got an important, high-ranking position at the FBI where she is a respected agent to this day, the kind who presidential candidates ask for favors while offering to free Dan Dreiberg. Its certainly debatable if blackmailing the U.S. government to gain her freedom was ethically moral or not. She served her country both officially and unofficially for decades; she was also a criminal who leveraged the safety of the entire world to escape consequences. But there’s a much bigger question her actions raise: did Redford already know the truth about the squid?
After 1985 the world shunned wireless technology, fearing it was responsible for opening a transdimensional rift that sends squids through it. But in 1993, two years before the arrest of Nite Owl and Silk Spectre, a new law gave the president the ability to force government workers to adopt new tech. Did they pass that bill because the government learned the truth about the “alien” squid and the danger was fake? Did the FBI confirm Rorschach’s otherwise debunked journal outlining Adrian Veidt’s plans was in fact authentic?
Has the government – in an effort to protect its liberal policies and the dream of a worldwide utopia – been perpetuating the greatest lie ever told for decades? Is that why they immediately caved to Laurie Blake’s blackmail? Because they knew she was telling the truth?
It’s certainly possible, but no one’s talking. Yet.
Featured Image: HBO