'Watchmen' Episode 3: Laurie Blake's history with vigilantes has made her the show's deadliest wild card
It's almost ironic that of all the Watchmen, Laurie is the only one who has managed to remain active. Everyone else is either dead or missing and Laurie Blake, the one person with no powers or skills to ensure her survival, is the one who made it to the end.
HBO's 'Watchmen' series hasn't been too concerned with the original comics for the most part but in Episode 3 'She Was Killed by Space Junk' we get a full blast from the past. Not only does the very first scene have a reference to the Minutemen, the precursors to the Watchmen, but through the character of FBI agent Laurie Blake (Jean Smart), who was once a member of the Watchmen herself, the episode also explores how the Watchmen continue to impact the world and their last active member.
To the people of the show's world, Dr. Manhattan is a god to be revered and prayed to. There are even special phone boxes that allow people to send messages to Mars in the hope that Dr. Manhattan might be listening. To Laurie, however, the big blue god is a man like any other. Specifically, a man she once loved and continues to miss even now, as evidenced by the fact that she owns a giant blue dildo (weird, but okay).
Despite hunting down vigilantes as an FBI agent, Laurie clearly still has some nostalgia for her time in spandex. In her apartment, we find a 'Watchmen' poster on the wall and a pet owl (named "Who") in a cage, possibly a gift from (or a tribute to) her ex-boyfriend Dan Drieberg, the second Nite-Owl.
According to Peteypedia, the definitive handbook to HBO's take on the 'Watchmen' universe, Laurie spent some time using the identity 'The Comedienne' as a tribute to her late father, The Comedian, after she abandoned her former title 'The Silk Spectre.' Peteypedia also reveals that Laurie and Dan were arrested for their super-heroics and it is strongly implied that Laurie cut a deal to work for the government while Dan might still be in prison.
After all the history she has with masked heroes, it's understandable why Laurie is the perfect choice to guide Angela Abar/Sister Night (Regina King) on her journey as a vigilante (or descent into madness, whatever you want to call it). She understands vigilantes like no one else, having been one herself and been in a relationship with not one but two of them.
It's almost ironic that of all the Watchmen, she is the only one who has still managed to remain active. Rorschach is dead, Manhattan is missing, Ozymandias and Nite-Owl are both out of action and believed to be dead, and Laurie Blake, the one person with no powers or skills to ensure her survival, is the one that made it to the end.
Laurie references this irony in the joke she transmits to Dr. Manhattan in the episode, saying that even God never noticed her until it was already too late. But in many ways, the Laurie Blake we all knew and loved from the comics isn't alive anymore.
This is a Laurie who has been shaped by thirty years worth of experience and that has turned her into something far better than any of her former teammates. While her past with the Watchmen does still have an influence on her, Laurie is done being the hero and she's become something far more deadly: she's a wild card.
'Watchmen' Season 1 Episode 4 'If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own' will air on HBO on November 10.