Watchmen is more than halfway done with its genre-bending first season, which has profoundly updated the iconic DC Comics graphic novel for a whole new era. To an extent, the series has raised even more questions than it's answered, both with the graphic novel's legacy characters and with the newer generation of masked vigilantes. That was especially the case with this week's episode, which provided some long-awaited context behind one of Watchmen's most mysterious heroes. In the process, it appeared to solve - at least, for now - the mystery of who killed Judd Crawford (Don Johnson) in the series premiere. Spoilers for this week's episode of Watchmen, "This Extraordinary Being", below! Only look if you want to know!
The episode saw Angela Abar (Regina King) dealing with the side effects of her swallowing Will Reeves' (Louis Gossett Jr.) "Nostalgia" drugs before being apprehended by authorities. While she sat in a jail cell, Angela began to live through black-and-white recreations of Will's memories, which had been extracted by his brain and synthesized into Nostalgia. The experience quickly grew to be incredibly revealing and traumatic, as Angela and the audience learned that Will had initially served as vigilante and Minutemen member Hooded Justice.
After going through key moments of young Will's life as a vigilante -- culminating in his wife and young son leaving him to return to Tulsa -- Angela began to relive a much more recent memory. In it, an older Will laid down the spike strip that stalled out Judd's car, and then shined a blinking flashlight at him until Judd agreed to push his wheelchair to a nearby tree. When at the tree, Will confronted Judd about his true intentions as a police captain, and about the Klan robes that were hiding in Judd's closet. Judd confirmed that the robes belonged to his grandfather, but that he had "every right" to keep and display them. Will then shined the flashlight at Judd in a strobe pattern - similarly to the mind-control techniques that Hooded Justice found "Cyclops" using, and told him to hang himself on the branches of the tree.
So yes, Will Reeves definitely did have a hand in killing Judd Crawford -- even though Judd himself was the one who physically carried out the act. This seemingly confirms the suspicions that several characters on the show - including Laurie Blake (Jean Smart) - had surrounding Judd's murder, which were largely held up by the nature of Will's immobility.
Of course, there is the question of exactly how reliable these Nostalgia-induced memories are, especially since this one occurred so much later than the rest of Will's flashbacks. Seeing as, following Judd hanging himself from the tree, Angela-as-Will began to hallucinate various figures from Will's early days, there's always a chance that these memories could be somewhat exaggerated or untrue. But at least, for the time being, the mystery of Judd's final moments appears to be answered.
Watchmen airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.
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