Watchmen Episode Two, Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship, Review: “Friends in High Places” Indeed.

4 stars
The mystery deepens in the second episode of Watchmen “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship”, with Angela beginning her investigation into the death of Chief Crawford.
Her prime suspect is the 105-year-old Will who claims to have “strung up your police chief”, despite looking physically incapable of doing so.
Directed again by Nicole Kassel, episode two dives head first into the interactions between Angela and Will as the costumed detective tries to learn the truth from him.
An interesting point to note is that, as far as I can remember, Will never outright says he murdered Crawford.
Again, he merely states that he “strung up your police chief.”
So, while he may have had a hand in hand in hanging Crawford, he may not be behind his murder.
Although, Looking Glass later says Crawford did die of asphyxiation, likely from being hung, so I may be wrong about that.
Or maybe he was killed elsewhere before being hung.
Either way, Crawford’s murder is not the only mystery surrounding Will because it is revealed that he is Angela’s grandfather at the end of the episode.
One thing I did find interesting was that it was mentioned that Will has two descendants.
This means, along with Angela, there is one other character who is descended from him.
Following the realization that Will is her grandfather and realizing he will not cooperate, she decides to take him in, ignoring his claim of having “friends in high places.”
This comes back to bite her when, after putting Will in her car, a magnet descends from the sky and picks up the car with Will in it, flying off.
“Friends in high places” indeed.

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Will disappears with a smile as he is rescued from Angela’s custody. 

The scenes between Angela and Will are great as they continue to build in suspense and anticipation for the reveal of the conspiracy Will claims is currently happening in Tulsa.
The only weak moment came in the aftermath of Crawford’s murder, where Angela lets out a cry of anguish that seemed kind of artificial to me.
Aside from this small moment, though, their interactions are very good.
There are already multiple theories surrounding Will, including one that he was Hooded Justice who appears on a TV show called “American Hero Story”in a brief yet interesting scene that speaks to Angela’s character.
Supporting this theory, is the opening scene where Will’s father is fighting in World War One and sees a German pamphlet that urges black soldiers to come over to their side where they will be treated fairly, and Hooded Justice was thought to be German.
Speaking of theories, I also like the one that Crawford was the Seventh Calvary member who shot Angela.
In a flashback of the White Night, Angela is shot and about to be killed by one of their members but then it cuts to her waking up in the hospital with Crawford beside her.
However, none of these scenes are my favourite of the episode.
That award goes to the scene where we get to see Ozymandias’ play.
This moment proves to be the most confusing yet interesting scene in the show so far, with his production of Dr Manhattan’s transformation being particularly disturbing and also somewhat comical.
We watch as he literally burns his assistant Mr Phillips to death to simulate Dr Manhattan’s transformation, upon which it is revealed that all of his assistants are clones.

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Watching Ozymandias burn one of his clone servants to death, only for the next clone to eagerly take their place, is both disturbing and oddly comedic.

Why Ozymandias has all these clones and what exactly he intends to achieve by making this play for himself is uncertain.
One thing is clear, though, and that is that he has been deeply affected by his last meeting with Dr Manhattan, remembering his last words to him before he departed, “nothing ever ends.”
I am probably looking forwards to Ozymandias’ scenes the most in future episodes as Jeremy Irons is doing a great job.
Other notable scenes in this episode include the discovery that Crawford may have been in the Ku Klux Klan, and the touching moment where Looking Glass reveals that, despite seeming completely cold, he is actually crying under his mask.
Overall, I would say that “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship” is another great episode of Watchmen that, while not as enjoyable as the first episode, deepens the mystery and creates more interesting questions for the show to answer.
Let’s just hope those answers will be satisfying.

Watchmen, Episode One, It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice Review: A Solid Start.

4 stars
Alan Moore’s Watchmen is one of the greatest graphic novels of all time, and while a lot of people did not like its 2009 adaptation, directed by Zack Snyder, I enjoyed it for what it was.
So, when it was announced that HBO would be creating a follow up series to graphic novel, under Damon Lindelof, I was pretty excited.
And, after watching the first episode, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”, directed by Nicole Kassel, I can say that this new show looks to be just as layered and complex as Moore’s original graphic novel, even if Moore has disowned the series just like the 2009 film.
The series takes place 34 years after the story of Watchmen in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where police now wear masks to protect themselves from a white supremacist terrorist organization, inspired by Rorschach, known as the Seventh Calvary.
Before this is revealed, though, the first episode picks up in 1921 with the Tulsa massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history where potentially hundreds of black people were brutally murdered.
I found the inclusion of this disturbing scene to be very interesting because not only does it highlight the issues the series will be dealing with but also because it is made clear that this tragedy is somehow influencing the plot of the story.
In fact, one of the child survivors of the massacres appears in the present story as an old man (Louis Gosset Jr.) who goes on to hang the chief of police, Judd Crawford (Don Johnson), at the end of the episode, or at least he claims he did.
What exactly a massacre that happened nearly 100 years ago has to do with the current conspiracy in Watchmen is an interesting question and one I am anticipating to be explored in the future.

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I wonder what the Tulsa massacre could have to do with a conspiracy happening close to a hundred years later?

As for the present events of the episode, it all does a solid job of building up the story and characters.
Our lead character is Angela Abar, or Sister Night, (Regina King), a police detective who joins in on the manhunt of the Seventh Calvary after they gun down one of her fellow officers.
She already seems to be a very good protagonist, with her looking to eventually be caught up in whatever conspiracy is going on.
Another interesting character is Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson), a costumed detective who has learned how to tell when someone is lying.
Along with these interesting characters and the so far compelling story, the episode also raises a lot of questions.
There are the tiny alien squids that fall from the sky, which are smaller versions of the one Ozymandias sent to destroy New York in the graphic novel.
Then there is Ozymandias’ play about “the watchmaker’s son”, and his incredibly creepy servants.
Finally, there is the question of who really killed Chief Crawford.
This last one looks to be the big question of the season, with Crawford’s death being built up as a mystery just like the Comedian’s was in Watchmen. 
The final shot of the episode sees a drop of blood drip onto Crawford’s badge in a clear homage to the blood that dripped onto the Comedian’s badge in the graphic novel.
“It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” certainly does raise a lot of interesting questions and, with its good story and characters, this provides a solid start.

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It’s raining squids! Hallelujah!

My one big issue with the episode is how the Seventh Calvary are inspired by Rorschach.
As far as I can recall, Rorschach was not a white supremacist in the graphic novel.
Sure, he was far from a moral character and was bigoted in other ways but he interacted with black characters, like his prison psychologist, who he did not seem to hold prejudices against.
If anything, I think the Seventh Calvary is a group that Rorschach would be fighting if he was still alive.
So, the series acting like he was a white supremacist is actually problematic because anyone watching this show, without reading the graphic novel, would just assume he was one.
Because of this, I do hope the show makes it clear that the Seventh Calvary has warped Rorschach’s ideals to suit their own ends.

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The Seventh Calvary warp Rorschach’s quote from “all the whores and politicians will look up and shout save us, and I will look down and whisper, no”, to “all the whores and race traitors will shoout out, save us, and we will whisper, no.” I hope this appropriation and warping is addressed.

Other than this problem, though, I found “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” to be a solid first entry in the Watchmen TV series and I am interested to see where it goes from here.