Watchmen Season Finale Recap: It's All a Thermodynamic Miracle In "See How They Fly"

watchmen season finale preview
(Photo: HBO TV)

It's finally here, the final episode of Watchmen. Last we left off, the Seventh Kavalry had captured Doctor Manhattan right in front of Angela's horrified eyes all as part of their terrible plan to kill the god-like being and take his power. Now, we find out how it all comes together in the season finale, "See How They Fly". There are full spoilers beyond this point so read on at your own risk.

Spoilers for the season finale of Watchmen, "See How They Fly," below.

The episode opens on November 1, 1985 with Adrian Veidt recording the video message to President Robert Redford that Looking Glass saw a few episodes previously. As Veidt records his message, a Vietnamese cleaning woman enters his office there at Karnak. She accesses a secret refrigerated storage behind a painting of Alexander the Great, steals a vial of his semen and promptly inseminates herself.

In 2008, a young Lady Trieu makes her way to Karnak to speak with Veidt. She admires his work with the squid attack on New York and he invites her in for tea. She refers to his mini squid falls as a "rerun". She also reveals her own plan to save the world, revealing that she knows Doctor Manhattan is on Europa. She has a satellite that will confirm his location so that she can destroy him and take his power. She's designed a quantum centrifuge to let her do this and she wants Veidt to give her $42 billion, revealing that she's his daughter, the product of that sample the Vietnamese cleaning woman stole. He turns her down, telling her that she will have to build herself from nothing as he did and that he will never call her daughter.

On Europa, Veidt is celebrating another anniversary when the ground begins to rumble and a spacecraft lands nearby. He exists his cell through the hole he has dug with the horseshoe and heads out onto the property to meet the ship. The Game Warden tries to stop him, but Veidt mortally wounds him in the altercation. Veidt holds the Game Warden in his arms until he dies, then goes about getting on the ship as the rest of the clones wish him farewell. Once in the ship, he settles in for the trip back to Earth. His full message on the surface of Europa is revealed to be "save me daughter" and on board the ship he is encased in a gold-like substance, turning Veidt into the statue Trieu keeps in her quarters.

In the present, the statue is brought into a room at the Millennium Clock facility. Trieu is concerned that Veidt might say something and goes to reveal the truth to Bian, but Bian already knows that she is the clone of Trieu's mother. Veidt is un-encased from the gold-like substance. His use of "daughter" pleases Trieu. Veidt tries to tell Trieu about Doctor Manhattan but she reveals she knows and that she will be destroying him and taking his power in an hour. Trieu brought Veidt back so he can watch. The clock is activated. It's the centrifuge. Trieu and her people head to the Greenwood district of Tulsa, just outside the Dreamland theater to set up.

Elsewhere, the Seventh Kavalry -- really the current incarnation of Cyclops -- sets up their own plans to kill Doctor Manhattan. They're notified about the fight going down at Angela's house and it's revealed that Looking Glass is alive and pretending to be one of the Kavalry members. He's hiding under a mask and tells Agent Blake that he came back to get something. Moments later, Doctor Manhattan ends up in the cage the Kavalry set up. Elsewhere, Angela tortures a Kavalry member to reveal where they've sent Manhattan.

Senator Keene reveals his racist, right wing plan. It was originally just to start a culture war, but it's revealed that on White Night is when they developed the plan to go after Doctor Manhattan. One of the attackers who went to Angela's house ended up teleported to Gila Flats. By Doctor Manhattan. Now that they have him, they plan to kill him, take his power and give it to Keene. Angela shows up and tries to warn Keene about Lady Trieu and her plan. He ignores her and the plan goes forward.

Except.... it doesn't go as planned. They flip the switch and a massive energy wave hits and suddenly everyone has been teleported to Trieu's setup. She takes over the situation and her centrifuge lights up. Trieu starts to address the Cyclops people and then opens the containment unit Keene went into revealing he's been liquified. She then calls out the assembled racists for their crimes and then kills them with her lasers. Doctor Manhattan touches the remains of Keene and teleports Veidt, Blake, and Looking Glass to Karnak, much to Trieu's rage.

Trieu starts the process of taking Doctor Manhattan's powers. He tells Angela he kept her there so he wouldn’t' be alone when he dies. He tells her not to touch the light. At Karnak, Veidt and company start orchestrating a baby squid fall in Tulsa, only now they will be frozen and have the effect of massive gunfire from the skies and, hopefully, will prevent Trieu from becoming super powered. In Tulsa, Angela refuses to leave Doctor Manhattan. He then begins to experience every moment of their relationship at once and tells her that that's where he is, experiencing every moment they were together all at once. He tells her he loves her and then is destroyed.

Trieu prepares to begin the transfer of Manhattan's powers, but the frozen squid fall begins. A phone call also comes into the Manhattan phone booth and it's for Angela. Blake has called to warn her to get to safety. Angela takes off for the Dreamland theater. Trieu is struck by the frozen squid and, soon after, her centrifuge is destroyed and falls upon her, killing her. The plan has been foiled. At the theater Angela reconnects with her grandfather, who has her peacefully sleeping children. He talks to her about the truth about masks and, once the squid fall is over, they all head back to her house with Topher now aware his mom is a cop and Angela slowly starting to grieve her loss.


At Karnak, Veidt gives Archie, the Owl ship to Blake and Looking Glass to get back to Tulsa. Veidt refuses to come with them and answer for the murder of three million people in the DIE, but Looking Glass knocks him out with a wrench so they can haul him back for justice.

At home, Angela starts to clean up the egg mess on the floor and discovers one lone, unshattered egg and is reminded of the conversation she had with Manhattan years before about how he could potentially transfer his powers to an egg, giving them to whoever ate it. She takes the egg outside and eats it raw before preparing herself to attempt to walk on water, her foot hovering over it before the screen cuts to black.