If you spent last year Watching The Watchmen then chances are that you have a lot of questions still about the shows ending.
Throughout this video, we’re gonna be going over the agonizing cliffhanger and discussing all of the evidence to support why Angela did walk on water.
I’ve rewatched the show from beginning to end and there’s actually a couple of tidbits that indicate exactly what happened after the show cut to black for the last time.
We’re just gonna be breaking down the big signifiers and why it all points to one certain thing.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this video, now let’s get into our breakdown of why Angela did walk on Water.
The Watchmen Recap
HBO’s Watchmen centered around Angela Abar, the granddaughter of Hooded Justice. We learn that she met Doctor Manhattan when she was younger and that she had been living with him in secret in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a decade.
This was unbeknownst to everyone except Angela and her Grandfather. Even Cal, the Doc’s new identity, was unaware of what was really going on and it lead to a really gripping show that had viewers on the edge of their seats throughout.
After an event known as The White Night in which a group of White Supremacists set out to murder policemen across the city, they discovered that Manhattan had been secretly walking amongst them. Lead by Senator Joe Keene Junior they set out to capture the character and steal his powers, thus enabling them to rule the world.
Combatting them was Lady Trieu who also wished to sap Manhattan’s powers and after she defeated the Kavalry, she seemed to be able to harness his abilities which seemingly killed him in the process.
Trieu looked like she was going to finally possess the abilities to rule the world, however at the last second she was killed by her father, Ozymandias.
Watchmen Ending Explained
Angela returned home with her kids and Grandfather Will now part of the family.
She cleaned up the mess that had been left after Cal’s transition and discovered a single, unbroken egg which reminded her of a time that the Doc had stated he could transfer his powers.
Angela consumed the egg and went out to their pool to see if she’d gained his abilities and then we cut to black.
Yup, they got us.
It was an agonizing way to end the show and even after a month since it’s release we are no closer to learning the truth.
Watchmen Season 2
If you’ve been keeping up to date with news on the show then you may have seen earlier this week that HBO officially said that they were not moving forward with season 2. Whilst some outlets have said that the show was canceled, Damon Lindeloff actually said before the finale even aired that he felt like he had told the full story that he wanted to and had no plans for a second season.
But why end it on such a big cliffhanger?
Well the original Watchmen graphic novel did end on a cliffhanger itself with Doctor Manhattan saying that nothing ever really ends and Rorschach’s journal being put out into the public through the press.
As for the show according to Lindeloff, the clues are all there.
When talking to the Hollywood Reporter, the creator said the following in regards to the finale:
“This is not me saying what happens when her foot hits the water. There are certainly two possible outcomes. But if you watch the entire season again, or if you look at the poster for Watchmen that existed fifteen weeks ago, our intention is clear. That’s what I’ll say.”
Whilst you could go either way, after revisiting the season, looking at the poster and weighing up the clues, there is one clear outcome.
That is that Angela did get his powers and had we not cut to black we would have seen her walk on water.
The Themes Of Watchmen
In order to understand why this is set up in Watchmen already you have to understand one of the big themes of Watchmen as a whole, that is inheritance.
The story has always been about passing things on and this is exemplified through the majority of the characters.
Nite Owl 2 picked up the mantle of the first incarnation of himself, Silk Spectre raised her daughter in her image, Hooded Justice went on to have a child who also became a superhero, The Comedian was Laurie’s father, Rorschach inadvertently went on to inspire the 7th Kavalry, Ozymandias made Lady Trieu, Lady Trieu literally forced her daughter to become her own grandmother and so on and so forth.
There’s tonnes of examples and pretty much every character left behind a legacy that was taken up by someone else, except for Doctor Manhattan who did not.
Now if we going off the themes then there exists a lot of weight there as to Angela inheriting the character’s powers and thus bringing everything full circle.
Doctor Manhattan Powers Explained
Before we get into the main evidence that highlights that he was able to pass on his powers, we have to explain how Doctor Manhattan’s powers actually work.
Manhattan has a simultaneous view of all the moments within his lifetime. He views every moment that he existed at once.
He can see both his past, present and future all at once and because of this we can understand that time is in fact cyclical, the future controls the past because in order for the future to happen the way it will the past has to and vice versa.
The fact that Doctor Manhattan gives Angela instructions such as him saying that he needs to see her on the pool and that the eggs are important means that in the future he aware of the effect that they had. Thus, we can draw from this that Doctor Manhattan did not die because if he had he would not be aware of the swimming pool having importance as he was not present when Angela attempted to step on it.
However, there also exists a lot of dialogue that too backs up the fact that the egg carried these abilities.
When we are first introduced to this notion in episode 8, Manhattan creates the egg and then states that through it he would be able to pass on his powers.
But how does he know that this would work and that he would be able to pass on his powers?
Well, the answer is because he already knows the outcome as in the future he has retroactively seen that passing on his powers to Angela worked. She likely freed him after the events of the show and thus he knows he can pass his powers on through an egg and therefore tells her in the past.
Now why this is hammered home, even more, is because when discussing the egg Angela says the following verbatim:
If I ate this egg, I could walk on water?
That’s it, that’s the entire question and it is how the show ends. She flat out asks if she ate the egg that she could walk on water.
Thus this idea is planted in Angela’s head which would become key to the final few shots of the show.
Eggs are massively important throughout the series and we are even introduced to Angela in episode one through eggs.
Will Reeves pulls one out of boiling hot water, we see the Clarks drop a huge amount of them and throughout the season there is clear attention drawn towards eggs.
Water too becomes symbolic and Doctor Manhattan states that it is important that she sees the character standing on water. He then goes off to make some crap, which seems out of character during the life ending situation that he is in, however he only does this to point out the eggs which Angela grabs and smashes.
She later discovers these with the eggs in and thus him pointing out the pool and the one egg has meaning to it. He drew attention to both the eggs and himself walking on water for a reason.
It’s also at this moment that another key things comes into play, that is that Doctor Manhattan realizes he loved Angela.
When they first met, he said there was not a specific moment for him in which he realized that they were in love as all moments exist for him at once.
However, when he returns a decade later, he does in fact say that this is the moment he realizes that he loves the character.
Could this be him deeming her worthy, realizing that she is finally deserving of his powers?
Well personally I believe that it does.
So in conclusion, Angela took the egg, realized that she was able to walk on water, used her newfound gifts to bring back Manhattan and thus he was able to tell her in the past the importance of it all.
It is the chicken and egg situation that the Doc describes in episode 8 and is exemplified by Angela informing her Grandfather in the past of Judd and so on.
This rule was set up to show the outcomes for the characters and thus once more the past is the future as the future is the past.
Manhattan engineered the entire thing in order to bring himself from the brink of destruction by placing his powers into the one person who would have the desire to do so.
Another key indicator that Angela gains his abilities is exemplified in the poster.
As mentioned earlier, Lindelof stated that their intentions were clear and once we revisit the poster it becomes explicit what the outcome is.
Angela is clearly shown with a blue tint to her skin, similar to the one that Doctor Manhattan has and the creative team behind the show are clearly laying their cards on the table here and stating that she did indeed gain his abilities.
So weigh it all up, the themes of inheritance, the constant eggs throughout, Manhattan pointing out specific things, the dialogue choices and the poster, I think you have a pretty compelling argument that Angela did inherit the abilities.
But what does Regina King, the actor behind Angela think?
Well in an interview with IGN she said the following:
“The way I perceived it, because I really fell in love with the love story between Angela and Doctor Manhattan, I felt like when she saw that egg, she wasn’t necessarily looking at it as this opportunity to take on his powers. So my interpretation of it was she saw this as one last chance that she could be close to Jon, that somehow this would bring them back together, or as crazy as it sounds, maybe they’d be as one. I believed that it was a continuance of the love story. I’m just one of those people that are in love with love, and I just felt like it’s amazing that in all of this storytelling of pain and trauma and anger, that they were able to sneak an ultimate love story. I feel like for the most part, even though you see this woman in her anger going up into Nixonville and putting the guy in her trunk and all of that, I still feel like she’s a very responsible person. Here’s a person that inherited three children because of her partner being killed during the White Night, so I would guess that she would be responsible with those powers.”
So it does look like King herself views the character as being able to possess the abilities too.
Whilst we may never know, I think there is enough there to draw our own conclusions and though it would be great to get a second season, that doesn’t mean we need one.
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ending and whether you agree or disagree with my conclusion. Comment below and let me know!