While the first two episodes of HBO's Watchmen were firmly centered on the new characters living in that alternative history's present-day Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sunday night's "She Was Killed By Space Junk" finally introduced viewers to one of the characters from comic series from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons -- an older version the second Silk Spectre. These days she's FBI Agent Laurie Blake (Jean Smart), tasked with the apprehension of masked vigilantes and it becomes quickly apparent that a lot has changed for the former heroine. One thing that hasn't, however, is her apparent feelings for Doctor Manhattan. It's revealed in one stunning scene that Laurie just so happens to have large, blue Doctor Manhattan-inspired sex toy and as surprising as the reveal may have been on screen, its off-screen origins are a little surprising as well.
In an interview with Decider, Lindelof explained that the idea for the shocking blue dildo came not from him, but the episode's co-writer Lila Byock.
"I wish I could take credit for it," Lindelof said. "I wish I could say I knew it was a brilliant idea the moment that I heard it, I got it. But if I had that idea, I never would have spoken it aloud."
As Lindelof went on to explain, the idea came up in one of the writers' meetings and while it was initially met with laughter, Byock stuck by the suggestion. Ultimately, all of the women in the writers' room were in support of the suggestion and Lindelof put it into the script, getting "out of the way" so to speak.
"Many, many great things have happened to me in my career when I've gotten out of the way of someone else's passion, and so there you go," he said."
When it comes to a different kind of passion -- that of Laurie's in Watchmen -- it turns out that while she does have that now infamous sex toy, things aren't quite as, well, direct when it comes to her feelings. As fans of the comics may recall, Laurie was in a relationship with Doctor Manhattan for twenty years before they had a falling out and she began a relationship with Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl. Sunday night's episode makes it clear that Laurie is missing the now-imprisoned Dan, but she also has complicated feelings about Doctor Manhattan as well.
"The last thing that anyone wanted to do was present a version of Laurie that was like hung up on Doctor Manhattan to the level that she couldn't move on," Lindelof said. "But there is also something fascinating about if you were dating the most powerful being in the universe, how could you ever date someone else?"
There's also the matter of what else is in Laurie's briefcase. In addition to the sex toy, Laurie also has a vintage magazine cover featuring herself in her youth posed embracing Doctor Manhattan with the headline "Silke Spectre Takes Manhattan." The sexual connotation of the pose and the headline are echoes of the very things that once troubled Laurie about her own mother, the original Silk Spectre.1comments
"For a text that is so much about generational trauma and nostalgia and complicated relationships with one's parents, it just felt completely and totally apropos that if the original Silk Spectre kept a photo of the Comedian on her bed stand with the big lipstick kiss on it-- which is very problematic given their history -- that Laurie would also sort of be, I don't want to say pining for Doctor Manhattan..."
Watchmen airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.