After a long wait, much hype, and a lot of critical pieces debating its merit, Watchmen has finally premiered on HBO. There have been questions about what the story will be, especially as the creators have billed the series as a "remix" of the original comic, while the previews have made it seem more like a sequel. Now that the first episode is out, fans can see that the episode is more of a spiritual successor to Watchmen, mostly because it takes place in nearly three decades after the events of the comics, though it doesn't feature many of the same characters.
But then there's one moment in the series that firmly reminds you of the epic climax of Dave Gibbons and John Higgins' comic book, assuring that this is indeed taking place in the same continuity of that seminal storyline.
In the comic, with both the United States and the Russia on the precipice of erupting into a nuclear war, Ozymandias convinces the other heroes that the only way to unite humanity is to give them a common enemy. And the genius Adrian Veidt enacts a massive hoax that teleports a trans-dimensional alien entity into Manhattan — a giant squid — that unleashes a psychic attack before dying, killing more than 3 million people in its wake.
The HBO series establishes that people still believe this is taking place in the current day, as Ozymandias has been declared dead and no one else has been able to prove it's a hoax. But there's also a huge question because the "alien invasions" continue to persist.
At one moment in the show, while main character Angela Abar (played by Regina King) is driving home with her son, a loud siren rings out and everyone on the road immediately pulls over. Angela appears annoyed, and suddenly the atmosphere gets cloudy as thousands of baby squid rain down from the sky, crashing onto the road and their windshield for minutes until the storm clears. The squid begin to dissolve, and Angela hops out of the car to clear up her windshield before driving.
The show makes it clear that these extra-dimensional invasions are still taking place in the present day, though they're much less deadly and more of an annoyance — yet still a reminder of the deadly attack that killed a massive amount of people in New York City all those years ago.
While this is just one instance of life in the post-Watchmen world, the series also makes it clear that the rest of the world isn't blindly accepting this way of life.