Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Watchmen‘s first season.
Showrunner Damon Lindelof won’t commit to another year of Watchmen, but he hasn’t completely ruled it out either. If Watchmen caps at one season, it will go down as one of the best one-and-dones in television history. That said, the series did leave some intriguing doors open to continue the story. The finale raised new questions, and other ideas that came up during the season were never revisited. Here are six ways Watchmen set up a second season.
1. Angela’s Egg
Season one’s cliffhanger—did Angela obtain Dr. Manhattan’s powers?—is the most obvious jumping-off point for a second year. All signs point to the fact that Angela did gain the powers. It defies the laws of physics an egg remained perfectly intact after being smashed to the ground. Only Dr. Manhattan could have kept it safe. And with Will telling Angela, “You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs,” it certainly seems like “Cal” left some clear instructions behind for his wife.
It’s hard to imagine Watchmen without an all-powerful, complicated human-god figure around to raise the stakes, and season two already seems to have a new Manhattan replacement ready. In fact, it might have two.
2. “Dr. Moscow?”
The writing on Watchmen was truly phenomenal, with even the tiniest moments paying huge dividends later. With such a high level of craftsmanship it’s hard to think any one scene or line of dialogue was filler. Yet one quote seemingly had no connection to anything that happened in season one.
The scene in question saw Senator Joe Keene talking to reporters after the Seventh Kavalry attempted to take him “hostage” in episode three. A reporter yelled out, “Can you comment on the Russians building an intrinsic field generator?”
It seemed like a monumental question at the time, because Jon Osterman became a blue god thanks to an intrinsic field subtractor. That was the only time the issue was raised though. Why mention the Russians and amazing technology at all if they weren’t going to matter in season one? It only makes sense if Russia will play a huge role later.
America’s pending nuclear war with Russia framed the original Watchmen comic. The U.S.S.R. invaded Afghanistan after Dr. Manhattan, America’s ultimate nuclear deterrent, left Earth. Russia’s aggression brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation, and only Adrian Veidt’s squid stopped that. But as we learned, the squid didn’t really bring peace and love. And if the real world has taught us anything, it’s that Russia might not be quite as committed to being America’s ally as it once seemed. The former Soviet Union would instantly regain its footing as a superpower if it creates its own superbeing.
Angela might be the new Dr. Manhattan, but she could meet her equal in Dr. Moscow.
A new memo on the show’s companion website Peteypedia has all but confirmed our theory that LubeMan is (now former) FBI Agent Dale Petey. The thin figure in the skin-tight gray suit was only seen once in season one. Sister Night chased him until he slid into a sewer. It was a weird scene that ended up going nowhere, seemingly.
But a disgraced former agent with an unhealthy superhero obsession would make for a dynamic character in season two. Especially since his costume is a direct reference to a character from Fogdancing, an important (fictional) book in the Watchmen world.
4. The Kids Might Not Be Alright
Young Topher finally seemed to find some peace after discovering Angela was a superhero. But is that a good thing? “Masks make men cruel,” and they cover up a lot of painful emotions and make them impossible to recover from. For a kid who lost his parents under truly awful circumstances, it might not be the best thing for him to find comfort in masked vigilantism.
But at least he’s not in Bian’s shoes. She realized she’s a clone filled with the memories of a dead woman. Then she saw her mother/daughter die while attempting to become a literal god. You don’t have to be a child psychologist to know that this is a lot for a kid to take in. Now Bian’s a genius child trillionaire orphan with access to Lady Trieu’s fortune and technology. What will she do with those incredible resources, a broken heart, and impossible-to-answer questions about her own identity? Will she want revenge? Will she want to rescue her “grandfather” Ozymandias from jail, or kill him? She seems capable of anything and everything, and could easily fulfill the kind of role Adrian Veidt and Lady Trieu played previously.
The next chapter of Watchmen could end up being its answer to The Wire‘s fourth season.
5. The Truth About the Squid
The worst people in the world, white nationalists, were right about Adrian Veidt’s squid. It was a huge hoax. Now Laurie Blake and Wade Tillman are going to reveal the truth to everyone, using Ozymandias’ own stupid message. And when they do, they will take down President Robert Redford and much of the U.S. government too.
It’s going to reshape the entire planet overnight. It will destroy three decades of tenuous world peace. Redford’s liberal policies could become null and void, and anger could replace mass fear about alien invasions. And even if Russia doesn’t have its own Dr. Manhattan, the world could return to the brink of nuclear war once again.
It’s enough to set up multiple seasons of stories.
6. Nite Owl
The only still-living major figure from the original comic not seen in the first season was Nite Owl. Dan Dreiberg was referenced on the show, and Laurie still keeps a pet owl as a tribute to her ex, but that was it. He wasn’t released from jail and he never personally contributed to the story, even though his iconic airship Archie did.
A Nite Owl return in season two would help connect the show and comic in a new way. It would also open up new possibilities for Laurie Blake’s own story. And Nite Owl was arguably the most pure-hearted of the old superheroes. How has he changed—or not—after years on the run and decades spent in jail?
Watchmen might not return for a second season, but it won’t be because there’s not more story to tell.
Featured Image: HBO