watchmen on hbo
Source: HBO`

The 'Watchmen' After-Credits Scene Sets up Shocking Stakes for Season 1 Finale


Dec. 9 2019, Updated 2:30 p.m. ET

HBO's Watchmen series is the belle of the ball right now, satisfying fans, critics, and ratings alike. It's the most popular new premium cable series of the year, which means that a second season is most definitely on the horizon. 

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Set in the universe of Alan Moore's excellent comic of the same name, the show manages to take all of the elements and construct a new narrative that furthers the events of the original graphic novel in surprising ways, like the after-credits scene of Episode 8.

In the first seven episodes of season 1, the show has not once had an after-credits scene, which is probably why fans were so shocked to see what transpired after the most recent entry into the series.

Warning: the following contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 8 of Watchmen, "A God walks into Abar." 

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Source: HBO

The show finally tackles one of the biggest questions of Season 1, and that's just how is Cal Abar also Dr. Manhattan, manipulator of all matter? On top of that, how did Cal manage to meet Angela Abar and develop a relationship with her? Isn't Doc Man supposed to be devoid of all emotions and cut off from the rest of humanity as a result of his freak accident?

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Another huge question that's answered is just how Hooded Justice discovered the Seventh Kavalry's relationship with Judd Crawford, along with who is responsible for constructing the gigantic moon jail where Adrian Veidt is kept under lock and key? On top of that, what's going to happen to Ozymandias in the season finale? Seems like a lot of set up for just one hour of television, right?

The Watchmen after credits scene explained:

When it comes to Adrian, the post-creds scene has pretty much everything to do with him. The scene starts with just audio of the Phillips and Crookshankses heard asking, "Will you stay?" Veidt's response is a deadpan, "No." Then we hear a splat. When we're finally shown visual, we see Ozymandias tied to a post and getting pegged with a tomato every time he answers in the negative.

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adrian veidt
Source: HBO

Then we're shown Adrian being presented with a cake from the Game Warden who tells the "hero" that Mr. Phillips wanted to make sure that the tradition of celebrating the anniversary of his arrival to Europa was maintained. Inside the cake is a cast iron horseshoe, which is a symbol that's been following Adrian throughout the series. 

Ozymandias is then shown screaming like a lunatic as he bashes the horseshoe into the floor of his cell.

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It's evident that they're setting up his break out from the prison, but is it occurring in a linear time format, or did the escape occur much earlier in the series? Getting out of Europa with just a horseshoe would take years, so maybe the series is taking on Dr. Manhattan's perception of time and showing fans events that have occurred out of order?

adrian veidt
Source: HBO
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If it all seems a bit confusing, you shouldn't feel too bad, because the actors involved in the project are just as lost as some viewers are. Tom Mison, who plays the Game Warden, was shocked by the post-credits scene. He told The Hollywood Reporter, "Except for a few of the technical bits we shot in Atlanta, all of my stuff was shot before Damon had even finished writing episode one for the rest of the cast."

He continued, "I was only getting the full scripts after I finished shooting 80-90% of my stuff. I decided I would watch the series as a fan, rather than read the scripts. I figured, oh, no, they cut the scene. I've been really bummed out for the last six months thinking the great scene with the Game Warden and Veidt was gone. But it's in the post-credits, and I'm so happy!"

Mison also discussed the difficulties in transitioning the Phillipses and Crookshankses into actual people.

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watchmen dr manhattan
Source: HBO

Because they're manifestations of Dr. Manhattan, who is having difficulty getting "life" down pat, it makes for an interesting character arc for these beings. It doesn't seem like there's much room for their appearances in the season finale, however, as there are still some major story arcs that need to be addressed. 

What are your predictions for how things are going to end? Will Adrian return to earth to "save the day"?

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