Fans of the ‘Watchmen‘ graphic novel know all about the giant squid attack which was reincarnated on this week’s episode and now showrunner Damon Lindelof is opening up a bit about it. This is especially helpful for anyone who may have only seen Zack Snyder’s 2009 film as the director had gone a different route which didn’t include a giant calamari of any kind.
In the latest episode, Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson) discovers that the entire attack was a hoax. Not only that, but it looks like Senator Keene (James Wolk), and much of the US Government, also know the truth, and Keene is using this knowledge for his own schemes.
When talking about the scene, Lindelof was very excited, and it appears that this was always one of his primary goals to include the squid for the series:
“Super duper exciting, incredibly daunting. From the jump, before we even did the pilot, I said to everybody on the crew ‘Just, so you guys know, we’re doing the squid. We’re going to do November 2, 1985, so just start wrapping your brains around that.’ Eric, our VFX supervisor, and Matt, when we were talking about them coming aboard the show, I said, ‘Just so you know we’re doing the squid’ and they said ‘Yes!’ They were so excited. We knew that we were going to do it, we knew that it would happen in the range of Episode 5 or 6 so that they’d have some time to plot it out. We knew that we wanted there to be some sort of fanfare to the reveal. And Steph Green, who directed the episode, she got the script, and I think she was very excited to be the one to turn over that particular card, and she directed it masterfully.”
The reason Lindelof used the squid was genius. Not only does it fall directly in line with Veidt’s plans to unify the world, but it also is being used for character motivation for Looking Glass and any other character by addressing a modern issue which many people suffer from:
“Obviously, there’s a silliness to saying a giant transdimensional cephalopod with one eye basically drops into the middle of Manhattan and the resulting psychic shock wave kills 3 million people. That sounds completely and totally absurd, but that’s the true genius of Veidt’s plan, that it had to sound absurd to be believable. But when you want to really ground the absurdity in to something that’s tangible and people will feel, I think the idea of PTSD — no pun intended, but some kind of post-traumatic squid disorder — the idea that the squid was literally genetically engineered to cause people emotional trauma so that many years after this event, they would still fear it. We needed to palpably relate that to the audience.”
Lindelof went on to explain why Tim Black Nelson’s character was used here:
“So the question was, which character on the show is still emotionally feeling the terror of what happened in 1985? And Tim Blake Nelson felt like he was the perfect conduit to demonstrate that. So that idea with someone who feels like they need to be carrying around a security blanket at all times for fear that another squid attack is going to happen and that security blanket is sort of a version of wrapping your head in tin foil, and why not make that idea literal? Why not wrap your head in this fabric called reflectatine, which would insulate you from any future transdimensional psychic attacks? And that became his mask.”
This really makes perfect sense with the series story arc that we’ve been given so far.
Now, whether or not we’ll see Wade again after the Seventh Kalvary appeared to attack his house at the end of the last episode is another issue entirely. I suspect with the next installment shining a focus on Angela Abar dealing with her grandfather’s memories, it will be used as misdirection for us to believe Wade is dead before he reappears in a later outing.
Are you loving that ‘Watchmen’ included the squid attack on New York? Do you think Looking Glass survived the attack that was happening at the end of the last episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below!