I must confess that I currently have a love-hate relationship with HBO’s Watchmen series. I went from largely dislike to grudgingly admire in the first and second episodes but with Watchmen Episode Three, my feelings have gone up to full-blown hate!
First, an explanation. As some of you may be aware, I am a massive fan of the Watchmen comic book maxi-series and I truly believe that it changed the comic book industry (for better or for worse – that is arguable) in the 80s.
So, to a certain extent, I believe the characters and stories are all sacrosanct and nobody but creator Alan Moore should have the right to produce any prequels, sequels or other adaptations.
With this HBO series, I much prefer it when the stories stay away from the the original characters and the storylines and pursue their own path. I was quite pleased with Episode Two, as it appeared to be headed that way.
But with Watchmen Episode Three, Damon Lindelof decides to mess around with an original character – Laurie Juspeczyk a.k.a. Silk Spectre mark II – played by Jean Smart. And fails miserably.
First, Lindelof makes Juspeczyk take on the name of her father, Edward Blake a.k.a. The Comedian. Now, considering how much she hated the man, it is inconceivable that she would have done so. Strike one.
Second, Juspeczyk spends much of the episode trying to tell a joke to Doctor Manhattan via phone (?). Well, there was no hint of this trait in the original comic book. Her father, The Comedian, did not tell jokes either! Strike two.
Finally, Juspeczyk is now a F.B.I. agent on an anti-vigilante task force? Again, I do not see the character as presented in the original comic book doing that. The way I see it, Juspeczyk preferred the quiet life and this high profile occupation just does not gel. Strike three.
And of course, there’s the silly reveal that Jeremy Irons’ character is in fact, Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias except that there was no surprise whatsoever. Lame.
One more thing. Apparently, Rorsharch’s journal has been public knowledge for some time now – it’s the Seventh Kalvary bible – but Veidt’s deception from the comic book has not been exposed? Makes no sense!
Not only that but this silly plot point strips the ending of the original maxi-series of all its power and intent. Lindelof has truly screwed the very thing that he claims to love, admire and respect. What a disappointment!
Also, the other problem I had with Watchmen Episode Three, is that it took attention away from the Tulsa police force and everything going down with Sister Night, Looking Glass, Red Scare and the mystery of Chief Judd Crawford’s death. All of which is infinitely more interesting!
All to give us this utterly unnecessary irrelevant ‘update’ of Laurie Juspeczyk. Not only that she’s a bit of an arsehole as well. Don’t get me wrong, the character works in the context of the story Lindelof is trying to tell BUT she is not Laurie Juspeczyk.
… still there’s more …