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Every last Watchmen Easter egg and comic nod in Episode 4 of the HBO show
Episode 4 was light on Easter eggs compared to the first three episodes. This relative paucity is in part because the world of the show has already been pretty well established. Things that were unique Easter eggs when they first appeared in the premiere are now just the standard. The fourth episode also moved the plot forward quite a bit, so there wasn't as much time for gratuitous references.
All that said, there were still some pretty deep-cut Easter eggs in this episode, and here they are. As always, we'll update this post with any we might've missed.
At the start of the episode, Mrs. Clark is briefly seen reading a book titled Fogdancing — a very obscure reference. In the original graphic novel, Fogdancing was the name of a book written by author Max Shea, the man who also wrote the Tales From the Black Freighter comic book. Shea went missing when he was recruited to help design and build Ozymandias' inter-dimensional squid, although he and the other creatives didn't know the creature's true purpose. Shea was killed when Ozymandias blew up the boat that all his accomplices were on in order to keep the truth hidden for good, but Shea's writing lives on, apparently.
The beginning of the episode is basically Watchmen's take on Superman's origin story. A kindly farming couple — whose surname is a clear nod to Superman's secret identity, Clark Kent — get the baby they've always wanted, wrapped up in a blanket, the same night that something from the sky mysteriously crash lands in their backyard.
Lady Trieu shares a name with a Vietnamese historical figure from the 3rd Century. That Lady Triệu was a warrior who held back occupying Chinese forces for quite some time.
"I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE YOU A BABY, I ALREADY DID"
Lady Trieu, who as we'll later learn is now the owner of Adrian Veidt's company, echoes one of Ozymandias' most chilling lines. Only, instead of destroying New York City "35 minutes ago," she made the Clarks' a baby.
BABASTIS/CREATED SON BACKSTORY
Technology is different in Watchmen's world. They don't have the internet or cell phones, but genetic engineering is so advanced that Ozymandias was able to create a genetically modified Lynx named Bubastis back in the '80s. By 2019, Trieu's technicians could easily make a human baby.
IF YOU DON'T LIKE MY STORY, WRITE YOUR OWN
The title of this episode is a line from Chinua Achebe's landmark book Things Fall Apart, which Cal Abar is seen reading later in the episode.
I DON'T KID ABOUT THINGS FALLING OUT OF THE SKY
It's worth remembering that literally last episode Laurie was telling a joke about a brick falling out of the sky and killing God.
STUFFED ANIMAL BUBASTIS
When Angela crashes in Topher's room, he passes his mom a stuffed animal for comfort. The toy resembles Bubastis, Ozymandias' genetically engineered Lynx (especially the ears). The stuffed animal is purple, but in the graphic novel, Bubastis was more of an orange color. She was more of a purple-blue in the 2009 movie.
Laurie quotes Doctor Manhattan, who in the graphic novel used the term "Thermodynamic miracle" to describe "events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible." Laurie's existence — and by extension, every human's existence, due to the complex web of circumstances and connections that led to their being — was a thermodynamic miracle.
MINUTEMEN SHOW WAS GARBAGE
You can read more about Agent Dale Petey's thoughts on American Hero Story right here. Also, this is possibly a bit of a meta-Easter egg, because complaining that adaptations of Watchmen's story are "garbage" is an extremely common pastime for a contingent of angry fans.
SILK SPECTRE'S BACKSTORY
This is one of those things that's too important and too explicit to really be considered an "Easter egg," but Petey does a pretty succinct job of summarizing what went down between the Comedian and the first Silk Spectre back in the '40s.
TRIEU LOGO LOOKS LIKE THE TESLA LOGO
This may be a coincidence, but Trieu Industries' "T" logo looks an awful lot like Tesla's logo. Given how cutting-edge and influential Trieu Industries is, the comparison would make sense. (Although, luckily for Lady Trieu, since the internet doesn't exist she'll never get herself in trouble by tweeting stupid, stupid things *cough* Elon Musk *cough*).
EGGS ON THE DRESS
There are a lot of literal eggs in this episode, starting with the opening, of course, but also when Angela is cleaning up the remains of Will's egg meal, and there is an egg design on Lady Trieu's daughter's dress. Lotta eggs.
Adrian Veidt had a Vivarium (kind of a fancy greenhouse) in his Antarctic lair much, like Lady Trieu's. Veidt destroyed his when he opened its walls to the elements in the comic's penultimate issue.
THE CLONES' CREATION
It's unclear what's going on with Veidt or his servants, who begin life as little infants caught in lobster traps, but the process through which they're rapidly aged brings the creation of Doctor Manhattan to mind. Both take place inside a large chamber of sorts, and at the end of the process, there's a naked man with a very visible penis.
YOU ARE FLAWS IN HIS FLAWLESS DESIGN
It hasn't been confirmed, but it seems… highly likely that Doctor Manhattan has something to do with Veidt's imprisonment and his clones. Before he left Earth, Manhattan confirmed that he'd regained his interest in human life, telling Veidt "perhaps I'll create some." Are the clones part of Doctor Manhattan's "flawless design."
LAMP LOOKS LIKE THE SQUID
This is maybe a stretch, but the lamp in the Abar's living room kind of resembles the infamous squid's big, vertical eye.
And with that, see you next week!