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"Men who end up hanging from trees with secret compartments in their closets tend to think of themselves as good guys. And those who protect them think they're the good guys too. But here's the thing about me 'Sister Night'... I eat good guys for breakfast."

—Laurie to Angela after the 7K bomber showed up at Judd's funeral


"She Was Killed by Space Junk" is the third episode of the first season of HBO's Watchmen, and third episode of the series overall. It aired on November 3, 2019.

Premise

Following a late-night visit from the senator who authored Masked Policing Legislation in Oklahoma, FBI agent Laurie Blake heads to Tulsa to take over the recent murder investigation. The Lord of The Manor receives a harshly worded letter and responds accordingly.

Plot

Laurie Blake enters a Manhattan Booth and calls Mars and tells Doctor Manhattan a joke about a bricklayer teaching his daughter how to lay bricks, and coming up one brick extra. His daughter throws it into the air, and Laurie says that she messed up the punchline.

In Washington, D.C., Laurie enters to a branch of the National Bank and robs it. As other shooters among the customers fire shots, a costumed adventurer named Mister Shadow drops into the lobby and takes out the shooters. Laurie takes a hostage, and tells him that they're FBI and they tipped him off to trap him because vigilantism is illegal under the Keene Act. All of the agents reveal their badges, and Mister Shadow runs. Laurie shoots him and he falls through the glass door. The FBI secure the crime scene and take Mister Shadow away. Laurie cuffs him, and protesters ask why she's arresting a hero. She says that the vigilante is a joke, not a hero, and walks away.

At home, Laurie puts a white mouse in a covered cage, then opens a case with something glowing blue inside. There's a knock at the door. After a moment she opens it and finds Senator Joe Keene there. He congratulates her on capturing Mister Shadow and invites himself in. He looks at the owl inside of the covered cage and asks Laurie to go to Tulsa to take lead on an investigation. Keene wants Laurie to investigate Judd Crawford''s murder and figures the Seventh Kavalry isn't responsible because they didn't take credit. He suggests that it's a vigilante, and notes that other cities are masking their policemen because of the success of theDefense of Police Act that he authored. Keene suggests that if he becomes President, he could pardon Dan Dreiberg.

Laurie tells Manhattan a joke about three heroes trying to get into Heaven. The first hero, Nite Owl II, never killed anyone and God sends him to Hell for not being violent enough.

The next day, Laurie goes to FBI HQ and attends a briefing on the 7K. Agent Dale Petey inserts an excerpt of The Rorschach Journal to provide "psychological context", but Deputy Director Max Farragut says that it isn't the 1980s and no one cares about Rorschach. Farragut continues with the briefing, talking about how Judd was one of the few survivors of White Night along with fellow officer Angela Abar. The cops donned masks and peace returned to Tulsa until Judd was hanged. Farragut tells the other agents that Laurie is running point, and Laurie says that she's the only one going there because the Tulsa Police Department won't cooperate with FBI agents. She finally agrees to take Petey.

On the jet to Tulsa, Petey says that he brought a mask to wear. Laurie tells him that he's a Federal agent and Petey hastily puts away the mask. The pilot directs their attention to the Millennium Clock on the ground below. Petey notes that Lady Trieu had the clock built after she bought out Veidt Enterprises, and the media declared Adrian Veidt dead. The FBI agent notes that Laurie knew Adrian when he was Ozymandias, and Laurie asks Petey if he wants her autograph. Petey says that he knows Laurie was Silk Spectre II and points out that he has a PhD in history. He tells Laurie not to treat him like he's a fan, and Laurie says that she knew Adrian.

Laurie continues the joke with the second hero, Ozymandias. Ozymandias says that he saved humanity by dropping a giant alien squid on New York City, killing three million people. God declares that he's a monster and sends him to Hell.

Laurie and Petey examine the scene where Judd was hanged, Laurie then meets with Judd's wife, Jane. Later, Laurie and Petey drive to a warehouse and when a prison transport van pulls up, Laurie goes in on her own. Red Scare and Pirate Jenny toss a prisoner out on the tarmac, and Laurie flashes her badge and asks who they are. They identify themselves, and Laurie asks if Looking Glass is inside. The detectives go in, taking Laurie and the prisoner with them. Police are in the warehouse, processing 7K prisoners.

Looking Glass emerges from the pod with a prisoner, and Looking Glass reports that the prisoner is cleared of Judd's murder. Laurie goes into the pod with him and he explains how it works. She knows Looking Glass's secret identity of Wade Tillman, and he removes his mask and asks how he can help her. Laurie asks about Judd's autopsy, and Wade confirms that there was no toxicology screening because the cause of death was there. He wasn't at the raid on the cattle ranch, and Wade says that Sister Night got the location out of the prisoner during secondary interrogation. Laurie confirms that Sister Night is Angela, and Wade says that she took a personal day to work on the eulogy for Judd's funeral in a couple of hours.

Laurie continues the joke, saying that the third hero was Doctor Manhattan. God asks him how many people he killed, and Manhattan says that it doesn't matter and he knows God is sending him to Hell no matter what he says. He knows what God will do because he's seen it, and God sends Manhattan to Hell.

After going to their motel rooms to change, Laurie and Petey attend Judd's funeral. They hand over their guns to the policemen at the gate, and Laurie approaches Angela as the Abars arrive at the gravesite. She says that she's there to hope and talks with Angela over coffee later. Angela says that she's retired, and Frankie gives Angela her card.

At the service, Jane thanks everyone for being there and invites Angela up to give the eulogy. Angela talks about how she and Judd made a pact after White Night about what each of them would say at the other's funeral. A 7K bomber crawls through a tunnel. Angela sings the song Judd wanted sung. The bomber comes up in a nearby crypt.

Laurie claps to the music, and after a moment the other attendees clap with her to the song. The bomber puts on an explosive vest, steps out of the crypt, and approaches the gravesite. He explains that the bomb is connected to his heart and will go off if he dies. The bomber tells Keene that he's a race traitor and tells him to surrender himself or everyone dies. Keene goes to the bomber, and Laurie shoots the 7K man in the head. The bomb starts counting down, and Angela yells at everyone to run. She then drags the corpse into the grave and drops Judd's coffin on top of it. She runs away and the bomb explodes, knocking everyone to the ground. Angela glares at Laurie.

At the castle, Adrian works on a protective suit and then puts it on one of the Phillips clones. After moving to a safe distance, Adrian conducts his experiment and checks on Phillips. Phillips is frozen solid despite the suit, and Adrian kicks the body and curses in frustration. Another Phillips comes over and asks what went wrong, and Adrian says that he'll need a thicker skin.

Adrian rides off across the countryside to a herd of buffalo, takes out a bow and arrow, and kills one buffalo with a single shot into the eye. As he goes over to skin it, a man on horseback fires a warning shot at him. Adrian puts up his hands and returns to his castle, shoves past Phillips and Crookshanks when they try to present him with a cake, and goes to his study to meditate. Crookshanks comes in and says that he has a letter from the Game Warden. Adrian has her read it, and it says that they agree on the terms of Adrian's captivity. It appears that he's trying to free himself, and if so he will face grave consequences. Adrian dictates a response to Crookshanks, saying that his activities are purely recreational. He would never transgress the terms of their agreement, and is available if the Game Warden wishes to repeat his accusations in person. Satisfied, Adrian says that he hunts again at midnight.

That night, Adrian puts on his old Ozymandias costume and checks himself in the mirror.

At the cemetery, Keene tells the reporters that law enforcement are the heroes who kept him safe. Laurie watches as Keene says that the 7K is his problem and he won't leave until the war is won. Petey asks for Laurie's autograph, and she takes his coffee and goes to the crypt. Angela emerges from the tunnel wearing her night-vision goggles, and tells Laurie that it goes just outside the fence. Laurie offers her Petey's coffee, and admits that she thought the bomber was bluffing.

Laurie thanks Angela for saving them, and points out that there's nothing left for them to exhume. When Angela asks why, Laurie says that the 7K murdered Judd but they still have to consider the possibilities. Laurie points out that there were wheelchair tire tracks at the tree where Judd was hung, and that she found a secret compartment in Judd's closet; casually referencing her father, The Comedian, having a similar secret panel behind in his closet door where he kept his costume. Angela asks what was in it, and Laurie asks her what was in it since Jane told her Angela was the last person there. When Angela doesn't say, Laurie figures that there was a naked bust and something on it. She calls Angela "Sister Night" and says that she eats good guys for breakfast. Angela feigns shock, pours the coffee into the tunnel, and leaves.

Finishing her joke, Laurie says that God notices someone waiting: a woman. God says that he doesn't know who she is, and the woman says that she's the bricklayer's daughter from the first joke. The brick hits God in the head, killing him and sending him to Hell.

Petey and Laurie return to the motel, and Laurie takes a glowing blue vibrator out of her case. She then goes to Petey's room, and they end up in bed together with Petey wearing his mask.

With 55 seconds left until her time ends, Laurie tells Manhattan that she doesn't know why she keeps telling him jokes because he never had a sense of humor. She says that sometimes it's nice to pretend he is listening to her, and humanity isn't worth Manhattan--or anyone--caring about.

The call ends and Laurie starts to leave. Suddenly Angela's car comes crashing down from above, seemingly out of nowhere. Laurie looks up to see a flare in the night sky where Mars is. She bursts into laughter, looking up at the sky.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

  • Brook Todd as Kavalry Bomber
  • Erin C. Davis as Hostage
  • Michael Hodson as as Prisoner
  • Sara Antonio as Another Reporter
  • James Dean Smith as Heavyset White Dude
  • Ethan Levy as Fat Guy
  • Mahdi Cocci as Uniformed Cop
  • Darrell Snedeger as Jon
  • Hunter McGregor as Reporter
  • Denny Zartman as Teller
  • Benjamin David as Bellcap Agent
  • Maxton Jones as Clipboard Yellow
  • Patrick Brown as Sergeant At Arms

Apperances

Locations

  • Washington, D.C.
    • Washington Monument
    • National Bank Financial Center
    • Laurie Blake's Apartment
    • J. Edgar Hoover Building
  • Soviet Union (mentioned)
  • Vietnam (mentioned)
  • Atlanta, Georgia (mentioned)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana (mentioned)
  • Denver, Colorado (mentioned)
  • Argentina (mentioned)

Events

Items

Vehicles

  • Owlship (mentioned)
  • Gulfstream Private Jet

Creatures

Organizations

Mentioned

Gallery

Promotional stills

Screenshots

Peteypedia

Behind the scenes

Videos

Trivia

  • The title of this episode references lyrics from the Devo song "Space Junk" from their debut album "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are Devo!".
    • Laurie uses the voice command "Play Devo," to cue up a song from that album, but the song playing is "Mongoloid".
  • The joke Laurie Blake tells to Doctor Manhattan references five of the original characters from Watchmen. The little girl in the story is Laurie, herself, and her father would be Edward Blake, who was indeed a real master of his craft. The three heroes standing before the pearly gates (Owl Guy, Smartypants, and Blue God), are a direct reference to Nite Owl II, Ozymandias, and Doctor Manhattan respectively.
  • Laurie Blake directly quotes Doctor Manhattan during her second joke when she says "a live body and a dead body have the same number of cells," which is something Jon Osterman explained once when he was at his most distant from humanity.
  • The bank where Laurie Blake and her fellow FBI agents set up the rogue vigilante Mister Shadow is called National Bank, the same bank that famously employed the Minutemen-era hero Dollar Bill.
  • Laurie keeps a pet owl named "Who", which is not only a clear reference to Nite Owl, but an on-the-nose allegory for his current situation. According to Peteypedia it's revealed that Dan Dreiberg is in federal custody after being arrested for violating the Keene Act, which is why Joe Keene's line about "getting her owl out of that cage" is so poignant and implies directly to Dreiberg's situation.
  • Laurie Blake has an Andy Warhol pop art print depicting herself as Silk Spectre II alongside Nite Owl II, Ozymandias, and Doctor Manhattan. Neither Warhol nor his work makes a direct appearance in the original series, but the famed pop artist briefly appeared briefly in the opening sequence of 2009’s Watchmen movie.
  • Jean Smart debuts in this episode as Laurie Blake and is credited at the end of the episode part of the main cast.
  • The significance as well as the front cover of Rorschach's journal in the Watchmen universe is loosely based on The Turner Diaries, a 1978 novel by William Luther PierceThe Turner Diaries depicts a violent revolution in the United States which leads to the overthrow of the federal government, a nuclear war, and, ultimately, a race war which leads to the systematic extermination of non-whites. Much like The Rorschach Journal's influence on the Seventh Kavalry, The Turner Diaries inspired real world hate crimes and acts of terrorism enacted by far-right extremists, most notably the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
  • A quick shot in the episode reveals that lawyer/novelist John Grisham is about to retire from the Supreme Court. Peteypedia all but explicitly states his replacement will be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with the New Frontiersman's insults against the new nominee and description of her being identical to the same ones given in the real world by real world publications with their same far-right politics.
  • When Laurie and Petey stop at a hotel to change before Chief Judd Crawford’s funeral, they stay at the Black Freighter Inn & Suites — a nod to the pirate comic book within the original Watchmen comic, which was titled Tales of the Black Freighter. The Inn & Suites don’t seem to have anything to do with piracy, however.
  • As Adrian Veidt rides across the green hills on his white steed to the tune of Sergei Prokofiev "Romeo and Juliet," he passes a skull and crossbones flag mounted on a scythe — yellow on tattered black fabric — a reference to Tales of the Black Freighter.
  • While planning his next movie, Adrian Veidt meditates sitting on a table, but the way his robe hangs down and the way he’s positioned relative to the chair behind him makes it look as though he’s floating in mid-air, not unlike how Doctor Manhattan was as he built his first glass castle on Mars in the graphic novel.
  • The Game Warden's wax letter seal is another reference to Tales of the Black Freighter. The Game Warden, who seems to be Adrian Veidt's personal keeper and adversary, seals his letters with a skull and crossbones.
  • Adrian Veidt claims that he’s not “some sort of republic serial villain,” while dictating a letter to the Game Warden. This is a line first told by him to Rorschach and Nite Owl in issue 11 of the graphic novel before revealing he had already unleashed his giant squid on New York City “35 minutes ago.”
  • The horse that Adrian Veidt rides in during his introduction in the first episode is revealed to be named Bucephalus. This was the same name of the horse of Alexander the Great, whom Veidt openly admires.
  • After the funeral incident, a crowd of reporters asks Senator Joe Keene a series of questions, One reporter asks him to comment on the Russians building an intrinsic field generator. A botched encounter with an intrinsic field generator was what turned Jon Osterman into Dr. Manhattan; the fact that the Russians are working on one seems to be a clue that they're trying to create their own superman. On a larger scale, it's a nod to potential mounting tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, something that Adrian Veidt's squid was supposed to have resolved.
  • While speaking with Angela Abar, Laurie Blake reveals that she knows all about the secret compartment in Judd Crawford’s closet, and she makes it clear that she suspects Angela went in there. Laurie mentions that her father had a secret compartment in his closet, a reference to a scene at the very beginning of the graphic novel when Rorschach finds a secret compartment in the murdered Edward Blake’s apartment where he kept his Comedian costume, weapons, and memorabilia.
  • After teasing the contents of her briefcase for the entire episode, Laurie Blake finally opens it to reveal a large Doctor Manhattan-themed dildo featuring a vintage Esquire cover of Laurie's young self embracing Doctor Manhattan titled "Silk Spectre Takes Manhattan". This isn’t the first time a Silk Spectre image was used for sex accessories. The original Silk Spectre and Laurie’s mother, Sally Jupiter, was the subject of many “Tijuana bibles", which were small erotic comic books that were popular in the ‘30s and ‘40s.
  • At the end of her joke, Laurie says “Roll on snare drum, curtains, good joke.” A reference to Rorschach telling a joke about the clown Pagliacci.

External links

Navigation

ve Watchmen (TV series)
Season 1
01. It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice • 02. Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship • 03. She Was Killed by Space Junk • 04. If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own • 05. Little Fear of Lightning • 06. This Extraordinary Being • 07. An Almost Religious Awe • 08. A God Walks into Abar • 09. See How They Fly
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