Regina King’s Detective Angela Abar may have felt like the protagonist of Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen series on HBO in the first two episodes, but Episode 3 — “She Was Killed by Space Junk” — focuses almost entirely on a new character, FBI Agent Laurie Blake (played by Jean Smart; Legion, Frasier). She was first glimpsed in a video released by HBO after Episode 1 (since removed by the network). Episode 3 drops hints all over the place that Agent Blake is a hugely important character from the original comic, and we’re here to inform you that your suspicions are correct — and explain what that means for the rest of HBO’s Watchmen.
Big spoilers follow for Watchmen Episode 3.
After the murder of Captain Judd Crawford, the FBI sends Agent Blake to Tulsa to take over the investigation, and we learn very quickly that she’s a hotshot detective who sets sting operations to capture illegal vigilantes. She’s a total badass who comes off a bit jaded, as if she’s lost faith in humanity and looks down upon costumed heroes of any kind.
Early in the episode, Blake is on a flight into Tulsa with a rookie agent who asks if she knows Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias. “You want my autograph?” she says, bored and irritated. The agent then refers to Doctor Manhattan as her “ex.” By now, it should be obvious that Laurie Blake is actually Laurel Jane Juspeczyk, who Watchmen comic readers will remember as the second Silk Spectre, one of the central characters in the original story.
Laurie is the daughter of Sally Jupiter, the first Silk Spectre. Edward Blake, better known as the Comedian, is her father. (Hence “Laurie Blake,” which should make her identity pretty obvious.) In the years since Doctor Manhattan abandoned Earth after Veidt hatched his scheme to create a fake alien monstrosity that would scare humanity into world peace, Laurie has seemingly become jaded about her former heroism. When the comic ends, she and Dan Drieberg (the Nite Owl) assume new identities and agree to keep the conspiracy a secret. Laurie also came to terms with the fact that the Comedian raped her mother, and that’s how she was conceived.
Throughout Episode 3 of the show, Agent Blake is recording a message for Doctor Manhattan via some kind of blue phone booth in the town square. The Blue Booth Network is own by a company called Trieu Industries (the same company that bought Veidt Enterprises several years before the start of the show.). Blake tells morbid jokes all aimed at negging Manhattan and his neglect of humanity. One “joke” involves a god’s death, and that god — obviously meant to be Manhattan himself — goes to hell.
Considering Agent Blake’s family history and her biological father being the Comedian, who’s dark sense of humor defined the original comic, this feels like a curious development for her character.
How will she react when Manhattan makes his inevitable return? Who’s side is she really on? One thing’s for sure: Agent Blade will be one of the most important characters on the show moving forward.
Watchmen airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern.