Where is Ozymandias? That has been one of the more intriguing questions of HBO's Watchmen. While Adrian Veidt's last public appearance was, per the series' supplemental Peteypedia, 2007 and he was declared missing in 2012 and then dead in 2019, viewers have seen Ozymandias alive and well on an estate somewhere picking tomatoes from trees, staging creepy-at-best theatrical takes of the creation of Doctor Manhattan, and weirdly harvesting clone babies from a lake. Despite seeing Veidt alive, his location has been a mystery with fans coming up with various theories as to where the billionaire industrialist is and why. Tonight, Watchmen gives a bit of an answer to that question by finally offering a bit of the reality Ozymandias lives in.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Watchmen, "Little Fear of Lightning," below.
Tonight's episode came packed with reveals, most of them centered around Looking Glass/Wade Tillman's (Tim Blake Nelson) origin having survived the Dimensional Incursion Event on November 2, 1985 as well as the reveal of the truth about that event to Wade. However, the episode didn't leave us hanging after having Veidt create new clones to help him clear away the bodies of the ones he killed by hurling them into the distance in his catapult. This week, we found Veidt himself getting suited up in a homemade space suit and flung far into the distance. The act sends Veidt through what appears to be some sort of artificial environmental perimeter and onto the surface of what appears to be a moon not unlike Jupiter's Europa.
Indeed, as Veidt lands on the frozen surface, a large planet looms in the background but that's not what is interesting. Littering the frozen, desolate surface Veidt stands upon are countless bodies, each of them of hapless clones who had been shot to their death or simply disposed there, all frozen solid. It's then that it starts to become clear what Veidt has been up to. It was no "bad night" that the man had when he murdered his clones. He was creating materials for himself to send a giant message to whoever may be watching. In what can only be called macabre delight, Veidt breaks apart those frozen corpses and positions them to make a massive "SAVE ME" sign that will get the attention of a passing satellite -- right before he is yanked back into the "real world" by the Game Warden who promptly declares that Veidt must face consequences.
It's a lot to unpack, but the big thing here is that it confirms what fans have suspected for some time. Ozymandias is being held prisoner somewhere not on planet Earth. It has been much speculated that he's been held by Doctor Manhattan on Mars, but given the landscape in tonight's episode, that may not actually be the case. Wherever it is, it's in a place that people wouldn't find him, and it also means that the luxe, luxurious world Veidt's been held in is very much his own personal hell. He has everything he could possibly want -- except his freedom.
The question that remains, then, is who is holding him prisoner? Fans have long suspected that Veidt is Doctor Manhattan's prisoner, but when the Game Warden arrests him tonight, Veidt defiantly declares that "your God's abandoned you," implying that Doctor Manhattan has long left whatever planet they're all on. If Doctor Manhattan is in fact the one keeping Veidt prisoner it might explain the detail with which Veidt's prison world has been created, though there are other possibilities as to Veidt's captor. Last episode, we met Lady Trieu who bought Veidt's business empire. She herself has been seen to be able to create elaborate worlds as she has done at her Millennium Tower with a sort of faux Vietnamese jungle. Curiously, Trieu also had an age-appropriate statue of Ozymandias, in costume, in her home. Perhaps she's the one imprisoning Veidt off world in a biosphere of her own creation.
Whoever has Veidt imprisoned, one thing is for certain: there's still a lot more to unpack about the fate of Ozymandias as well as in seeing what will happen now that his "SAVE ME" message has been seen.
Watchmen airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.