Something impossible happened last night. A continuation of one of the most seminal comic book series of our time—which already defied a lot of lofty expectations by swiftly becoming one of the best pieces of television this year—stuck the landing. The finale of Watchmen was so good, in fact, it has us thinking: do we really need a second season?
If you’ve not watched yet, now is your chance to run away. And hopefully go watch Watchmen, because take it from us: that shit’s good.
Watchmen ends on a moment of beautiful audacity: Doctor Manhattan is dead. Adrian Veidt has been brought in to face justice for the crimes he committed 30 years ago. Lady Trieu and the Seventh Kavalry’s separate plans to burn down a god and claim his power for their own have been foiled. And there, in a moment of grief for the loss of her husband, Angela Abar thinks about eggs—cracking the last one in a box of otherwise smashed eggs right into her mouth before seemingly walking on water.
Or does she?
Watchman’s tantalizing final shot asks us, the audience, to interpret whether or not Cal’s ponderance about transferring abilities into an edible vessel actually worked or not, and if Angela is now the wielder of his cosmic power. It cuts perfectly to credits just as we’d find out whether she can now walk on water or gracefully sink to the bottom of the pool, a question left to linger on our minds and on our lips.
So should we ever find out? The people behind Watchmen have been playing coy practically since the show was first revealed when it came to whether or not this would be a one-and-done thing or an extended continuation of the work and world established by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins. That’s a conversation that has only been amplified to a fever pitch by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the series. But as good as Watchmen has been, and for all the questions still left lingering by its finale that a second season (and beyond) could actually answer...do we actually, really need more?
There’s something beautiful in the idea that it would be up to us to take what we will from Watchmen’s potentially final hour—that, for a show that has been about asking its viewers to solve puzzle after puzzle, to leave them with one final interpretation left unanswered. And by leaving it here, Watchmen could safely conclude as an all-time great, and avoid the potential outcome where further seasons that slip up where this one didn’t sour our overall view of the series at large. Just ask other creatives at HBO this year: ending something that satisfies a plurality of its audience is really, really hard.
But then there’s something sad about the thought that this experience would be over, and there is no more Watchmen to look forward to. And what if lightning can strike twice? Would the pressure now put upon a second season of Watchmen live up to the potential we can now spend months, perhaps even years, imagining ourselves? Can we just get a spinoff miniseries about Laurie and Lube Man fighting crime to while away the time instead?
Let us know what you want in the comments.
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