Angela’s husband — Jon Osterman/Cal Abar/Dr. Manhattan (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) — is dead. Lady Trieu (Hong Chau) is dead. The entire leadership of the white supremacist group Cyclops — which oversaw the working class white supremacist group Seventh Kavalry — is dead. Adrian Viedt (Jeremy Irons) is on his way to jail for the 1985 “intergalactic cephalopod” hoax/real massacre he wrought on New York CIty.
Oh, and Angela may be a newborn god thanks to an egg.
A lot went down in “Fly.” Let’s go through the jaw-dropping 67-minute episode and figure out all the big mysteries the season-ender solved while dazzling us with sci-fi intrigue and high family drama.
Was Judd Crawford ever truly friends with Angela?
Hell no. Starting with second episode “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship,” Watchmen tells us Judd Crawford (Don Johnson) — who was hiding a KKK hood in his closet — was likely connected to the white supremacist violence in Tulsa before his hanging. Senator Joe Keene (James Wolk) eventually claims Judd was the original local manager of Seventh Kavalry. Both Keene and Judd are members of Cyclops, a secret society-style white supremacist group that dates back to the Nazi era, if not earlier.
In “Fly,” Keene explains the full story. The events of the White Night assault three years prior — where Seventh Kavalry members murdered all known officers of the Tulsa police force — tipped Cyclops off to the fact that Cal must be Dr. Manhattan in disguise. Cyclops then dispatched Judd and his wife Jane Crawford (Frances Fisher), ordering the couple to get close to the Abar family. This friendship was the foundation of Cyclops’ ultimate plan to destroy Dr. Manhattan and steal his powers for white supremacy.
What happened on the White Night?
You may be questioning how Cyclops realized Dr. Manhattan was hiding out in Oklahoma. Well, in “Comanche Horsemanship,” we see a flashback of members of the Seventh Kavalry breaking into the Abar home to murder Angela and Cal on Christmas Eve. Angela fights off most of the assailants, but one nearly kills her in the kitchen. Then, all of a sudden, Angela is recuperating in a hospital room. We’re left wondering how she survived.
Keene reveals in “Fly” that Angela’s remaining would-be murderer was teleported to Gila Flats, NM before he could finish the job. The only person capable of such supernatural activity is Dr. Manhattan. Dr. Manhattan was also created in Gila Flats. Cyclops put these details together to realize Cal is Dr. Manhattan.
Is Lady Trieu Adrian Viedt’s daughter?
Yes! The “Fly” cold open shows us Adrian’s secret lair in flashback. It is here he created the New York-destroying “killer intergalactic squid.” Trieu’s mother (Elyse Dinh), a member of Adrian’s cleaning crew in ‘85, snuck into his office, hacked her way into his vault of biological material, and stole one of his sperm samples. She then injected herself with the sample and left a fake in its place. Trieu was born nine months later.
The backstory of why Trieu’s mother decided to impregnate herself with Adrian’s sample is still a mystery. I choose to believe spy craft was involved.
What is Lady Trieu’s endgame?
Trieu wants Dr. Manhattan’s powers, supposedly so she can fix the world. The Millennium Clock she built in Tulsa wasn’t created to tell time. Instead, its purpose was to strip Dr. Manhattan of his abilities, filter the radiation, and then pour it into Trieu.
Trieu allowed the Seventh Kavalry to steal some of her Trieu Industries machinery. That way, they were the ones who had to go through the trouble of abducting Dr. Manhattan and building a cage to hold him. Such major actions would also force Cyclops leadership to gather, putting them in one easily accessible location.
With all those puzzle pieces together, Trieu could eliminate the white supremacists and gain Dr. Manhattan’s powers in one fell swoop.
How did Will Reeves betray Angela?
In “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own,” Angela’s grandpa Will Reeves (Louis Gossett Jr.) worries that Angela will never forgive him for some upcoming betrayal against her family. We’re meant to wonder what Will is planning with Trieu and how it will hurt Angela.
“Fly” reveals the true breadth of Will's deal with Trieu. He gave Angela's husband Dr. Manhattan to Trieu in exchange for the destruction of Cyclops, a group that hanged Will and seemingly had heavy ties to the Tulsa Race Massacre in the neighborhood of Greenwood. The massacre killed hundreds of innocent Black people in Tulsa, Will’s parents included.
Will also tells Angela in “Fly” that Jon told him a decade earlier to betray him — that it was the only way for things to work out properly.
How would Lady Trieu get her father to Tulsa?
In 2005, when Trieu meets her father, Adrian promises her that he will never call her “daughter.” He changes his mind after being trapped on Europa for eight years, desperate to return to the chaos of earth. We learn in “Fly” that those bodies he arranged outside of Europa’s paradise in “Little Fear of Lightning” didn’t merely read “Save me.” It read, “Save me, daughter.”
Upon seeing the message, Trieu sent an escape pod to Europa to retrieve her father. While aboard the vessel, Adrian was essentially frozen in a gold substance to protect him from the ills of lengthy space travel. This event likely took place around 2017, since Adrian says he was on Europa for eight years. He got there in 2009 (that is the year Dr. Manhattan decided to be with Anegla).
That means the gold statue “of” Adrian that Laurie Blake sees in “Write Your Own” is likely just Adrian, still left in the gold substance. Trieu finally sets her father free in “Fly” specifically so he can witness her transformation into a god.
How did the “Game Master” gain independence?
He didn't. Adrian ordered the Game Master's behavior — and for him to wear a mask — just like Adrian ordered everyone else around on Europa. The Game Master’s stubbornness was just a ruse to keep Adrian, a former masked crime fighter, occupied.
Is Wade Tillman/Looking Glass still alive?
Yes, he is. After escaping Seventh Kavalry’s “Lighting” attempt to murder him, Wade returns to their headquarters to retrieve something. It is likely Wade is looking for the recording of Adrian admitting to setting the monster loose in 1985 New York and killing millions. As we see towards the end of the finale, Wade was successful.
Why did Joe Keene want Laurie Blake in Tulsa?
Senator Joe Keene (James Wolk), Cyclops’ wildly evil favorite guy, wanted to make Laurie watch her ex-boyfriend die. It is a particularly cruel idea.
What’s with the squids on Watchmen?
As Adrian has previously admitted, he has been using the squid storms to maintain the illusion of an ever-present interdimensional threat. The squid storms were able to continue while Adrian was trapped on Europa because he automated them on a randomizing algorithm.
What’s with all the watch batteries on Watchmen?
In the premiere of Watchmen, “It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice,” we see Seventh Kavalry members stockpiling buckets of watch batteries. Keene explains that bizarre activity in “Fly,” detailing how Cyclops was able to cage Dr. Manhattan, the most powerful being in the universe.
“[The] bars are made of synthetic lithium,” Keene says, revealing one of the few substances that can hold Dr. Manhattan. “Only way to get it is through old watch batteries. We had to melt down a zillion of them to make a cage.”
What’s with the egg in the Watchmen finale?
In “A God Walks into Abar” Jon creates an egg and begins musing on whether he could give someone his powers. “I suppose I could transfer my atomic components into some sort of organic material. If someone were to consume it, they would inherit my powers,” he says.
Angela picks up the egg Jon has just made and asks, “You can put [your powers] in this egg and if I ate it, I could walk on water?” Jon says the theoretical answer is yes. A skeptical Angela clearly doesn’t believe him.
Yet, that is exactly what comes to pass in “Fly.” After Jon’s death, Angela finds an egg waiting for her in a carton she broke earlier than night. It’s a sight that should be impossible, but anything can happen when your husband was a god. Realizing the connection to her decade-old conversation with Jon, Angela eats the egg.
The last shot we see of Angela, and Watchmen season 1, shows her testing out her walk-on-water capabilities. We’ll find out in season 2 if she succeeds.
Is Dr. Manhattan really dead?
We see Jon’s body explode after it is drained of his powers. So, it seems that yes, Dr. Manhattan really is dead. At least for now.