Even if you’ve been analyzing Adrian Veidt’s plot in Watchmen as carefully as Rorschach pursues a case, you were probably shocked by some of the revelations in Episode 5. The HBO series revealed a ton about Jeremy Irons’ character, who we can now pretty much confirm is Veidt (in case you had any doubt). So what did Watchmen Episode 5 reveal about Adrian Veidt’s master plan and what does it mean for the rest of the show? Let’s dive in.
Spoilers for Watchmen Episode 5 ahead.
The Adrian Veidt video tape
The biggest bombshell comes in the form of an old video of Veidt that was recorded in 1985 and first played for President Robert Redford eight years later in 1993 when he became president. In the video, Veidt reveals the plan that began in the original Watchmen when he dropped a giant squid on New York and culminated in Redford’s election.
“I didn’t predict it,” Veidt says. “I planned it.”
The video is played for Looking Glass by Senator Keene, who it turns out is also a leader of the white supremacist group the Seventh Cavalry (he claims it’s just to keep them under control). Keene stole the video from the U.S. government, where only a select few are allowed to see it. However, it seems the video is also being used to indoctrinate members of the Seventh Cavalry who likely view President Redford as an illegitimate president as a result.
The mystery of the raining squid in Watchmen, explained
The biggest reveal in Veidt’s video, however, comes in what feels like a throwaway line. As he explains his “squid pro quo,” Veidt notes that after the initial attack on Manhattan, “additional small scale extraterrestrial events” will be necessary to maintain the illusion.
Did you catch that? Veidt just revealed that the random squid rain that’s still happening in Watchmen’s version of 2019 is part of his plan. Even after the giant squid, humanity apparently needs the occasional trans-dimensional weather to remind everyone that there’s a bigger threat out there.
Meanwhile on … Jupiter?
Watchmen Episode 5 also features the usual Adrian Veidt vignette, this time revealing even more about his master plan. We see Veidt shoot himself through the air using the same trebuchet from Episode 4 only to land softly on what seems like a moon orbiting the planet Jupiter. There, he uses the main dead clone corpses already vaulted into the area to arrange a giant sign reading “SAVE ME D—“ with the rest of the message cut off by the screen. We’re guessing that’s supposed to continue into “Save me Doctor Manhattan” but who knows…
It’s unclear if this message is meant for Doctor Manhattan, who’s presumably on Mars, or for someone on Earth watching through the satellite that sees him (maybe Lady Trieu?). Either way, we don’t find out because Veidt is abruptly pulled back into what we can now assume is a prison constructed by Doctor Manhattan.
There, the mysterious Game Warden puts Veidt under arrest before removing his mask to reveal he’s yet another Mr. Phillips clone. Here, we get some interesting dialogue:
VEIDT: “Your god’s abandoned you. Why wouldn’t he? You’re pathetic. Every one of you.”
WARDEN: Alas, Master Veidt is correct, our God has abandoned us, and it is unlikely he’ll return. No mercy it is. [Kicks Veidt in the face.]
They’re talking about Doctor Manhattan, right? So is Manhattan really gone or will he return before Watchmen’s end? Based on initial trailers, we’re still hopeful he’ll turn up eventually, but when he does, it could be bad news for Adrien Veidt.
A new Adrian Veidt fan theory emerges
The boys at at the Tulsa Police Department may be onto something here:
“Hooded justice is Doctor Manhattan.”
It’s unlikely, but then again, anything seems possible on Watchmen.
Watchmen airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.