Watchmen ended with a cliffhanger…unless you listen to series creator Damon Lindelof.
The HBO drama based on the comic book of the same name by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons ended its nine-episode first (and only?) season on Sunday, Dec. 15 with Regina King's Angela Abar taking a pivotal step.
That step was onto—or into—her pool. She ate the egg that her now-deceased husband Dr. Manhattan (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) placed his powers into. Or did he? The ending is sort of ambiguous, and almost demands a second season to answer what's next, but Lindelof isn't budging on his declaration that he doesn't have an idea for a second season. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lindelof broke down the decision behind that ending.
"What it came down to is that Angela was the character who actually knew the most. She's married to a god. She knew even more than he did. The only person who knows their secret is wandering around on a moon of Jupiter. She's wandering around, possessing what's akin to a nuclear weapon, in terms of when she's going to release and deploy it. This nuclear weapon has told her that it's not interested in detonating, and that it is in all likelihood going to die," he said.
So, when Dr. Manhattan knew what was going to happen to him, Lindelof said, "He decides that anyone in pursuit of his power probably shouldn't have it. But this is a show about legacy. He wants to give his power to the woman he loves. Once we settled on that idea, then it was just a matter of executing it."
"This is not me saying what happens when her foot hits the water," Lindelof continued. "There are certainly two possible outcomes. But if you watch the entire season again, or if you look at the poster for Watchmen that existed fifteen weeks ago, our intention is clear. That's what I'll say."
That poster, seen above, features Angela in a blue glow. Many assumed that was the glow from her looking at her husband, but now? You get it.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lindelof said they ended the show there for a reason.
"I don't want to the person who says like, ‘Here's exactly what happened if we had let the camera run for another five seconds,‘" Lindelof said. "We chose to cut to black where and when we did for a very specific reason that I don't really want to interrogate in any real way. Can someone really make a legitimate argument that Dr. Manhattan said all that stuff about the egg and that Angela grabbed that carton of eggs and threw it down as hard as she could yet one miraculously survived? Or that Dr. Manhattan said in episode eight, ‘I need you to see me on the pool, it's important for later.' And that then she would just basically splash into the pool and be like, ‘Well I guess I misunderstood what he was going for there?'"
As for whether we'll see more, well, that might be up to somebody else. "These nine episodes were planned to stand alone and that doesn't exclude the possibility that there will be more Watchmen," he said.
"Whether or not I'll be involved will be driven almost entirely by whether or not I come up with an idea that I feel is worthy of telling another story," Lindelof told Vanity Fair. "I'm super protective of this material. I understand that that sounds like hypocrisy because its original creator was super protective of it and then I came along without his permission and did this anyway. I would not invoke that feeling onto anybody else who wanted to come and do Watchmen. It's not mine. It never was. I got to spend some time with it and raise it. But, it's its own thing—it's so much bigger than me."
While speaking to THR, Lindelof said he was interested in a second season, "in the same way that I'm interested in anything that calls itself Watchmen."
"I do find it interesting, where the story could go next. More importantly, I think we always think about how season two of a show is the continuing adventures of the first season of the show. That's what happened on Lost. That's what happened on Breaking Bad. But there's another thing that's happened on television…I think Watchmen, not unlike Fargo or True Detective, can accommodate a much larger space of storytelling. That's interesting to me."
"As for me? I haven't had the idea. I had to convince myself if this was going to be a satisfying nine-episode series, we wouldn't bury things for later, having done the opposite of that thing on both Lost and to some degree The Leftovers," he said.
So, Watchmen is done. Until it's not.