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Every last Watchmen Easter egg and reference in the HBO show's season finale
All season we've been diligently looking out for Easter eggs, but it was only in the finale that Watchmen revealed just how important eggs really are. Sure, the following references to the comic or otherwise notable little Easter eggs won't give you godlike superpowers (or will they?), but they're still an impressive array of homages in HBO's just-concluded series.
Here are all of the Easter eggs we found in the season finale, "See How They Fly." We will update this post with any we might have missed. Let's get cracking! (Get it? Like eggs?)
The episode opens with Veidt recording his message to Robert Redford with the help of his assistants. We saw Veidt kill three of his closest assistants by poisoning them in his vivarium in the original graphic novel.
"RAMSES II" PASSWORD
The password to Veidt's computer in his Karnak office is the same as the password to the computer in his New York City office: "RAMSES II," a great Egyptian pharaoh who was also known as Ozymandias by the Greeks. No wonder Veidt's a fan. The computer also has another little Easter egg, as the prompt to input the password is "UNTIE KNOT," a shout-out to Veidt's affinity for the legendary, impossible-to-tie Gordian Knot that his idol Alexander the Great simply cut through.
LADY TRIEU MYTHOS
Lady Trieu's mother invokes the actual myth of Lady Trieu, a legendary figure from Vietnamese history who supposedly fended off Chinese invasion.
"SEE HOW THEY FLY"
The title of the episode comes from a lyric from the Beatles song "I Am the Walrus," which also famously features the line "I am the egg man." Between the reference to eggs and promises of flight, the trippy tune is quite applicable to this superhero finale.
"AS IF SOME COWBOY ACTOR COULD OBTAIN THE PRESIDENCY"
The smartest man alive couldn't predict Ronald Regan winning the presidency in the real world, apparently.
CATCHING THE BULLET
Throughout the comic, Veidt boasts that he could catch a bullet, though other heroes aren't sure if he's exaggerating or not. In the final issue, he proves that he really can pull off the superhuman feat when he catches a bullet after Laurie fires at him. The HBO series reveals that, even in his old age, Ozymandias has still got it.
TESSA HURSTON'S OKLAHOMA!
The marquee outside of the Dreamland Theater reveals that a "Tessa Hurston" is behind this performance of the classic musical. It's possible that Hurston is a reference to Zora Neale Hurston, a pioneering black author in the '30s and '40s who frequently wrote about the black experience.
"GOP ASKS FOR DELAY"
The newspaper Veidt reads reveals that Republicans are trying to delay President Redford's Supreme Court appointment until after the election even though it's his constitutional responsibility to appoint the judge now. A crazy, diabolical scheme that's straight out of a comic book — wait, sorry, it's straight out of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell's playbook, as he infamously delayed President Obama's appointment of a new justice until after the election, when Trump was able to choose the new appointee.
THE END IS NIGH
Rorschach walked around holding a sign reading "The End Is Nigh" when he wasn't wearing his vigilante mask, but in the HBO finale, it's Veidt saying those chilling words.
SENATOR KEENE SR.
Senator Keene's father — the man behind the Keene Act that outlawed superheroes before the events of the original comic — finally appears. Turns out he's also a member of Cyclops and there for a horrible white supremacist. Good riddance!
Once more, Laurie quotes Doctor Manhattan's "thermodynamic miracle," which he describes as "events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold."
When the younger Keene strips down in preparation for what he thinks will be his transformation into Doctor Manhattan, he's wearing a familiar set of trunks. The original Doctor Manhattan wore these during the Vietnam era, before eventually eschewing clothes entirely. "You look stupid in those panties," Laurie correctly notes.
Lady Trieu alludes to her father's famous "Do it? ...I did it 35 minutes ago" reveal, only here she's playing dumb. "Do… what?" she feigns when Jane Crawford asks her to just do it already. "You're gonna kill us, right?" Jane says. "Oh yeah, of course I am," Trieu responds.
DOCTOR MANHATTAN'S QUOTES
As he's imprisoned in the cage made from synthetic Lithium, Doctor Manhattan has trouble keeping track of when he currently is, and he quotes some familiar lines from the past. "All we ever see of stars are their old photographs" is from Issue #4, Page 1, from his inner monologue as he remembers his origin story on the surface of Mars.
"Janey? What's up? Are you cold? I can raise the temperature...," comes from page 11 of that same issue, when he's celebrating Christmas in 1959 with Janey Slater, his first love.
"As far as I know there is currently a situation in Afghanistan requiring my attentions" comes from Issue #3, page 13, when Doctor Manhattan is getting interviewed on ABC.
"Pay attention. You will all return to your homes," comes from Issue #4 again, page 22, in 1977 outside of the White House when Doctor Manhattan teleports away a bunch of people protesting costumed heroes during the police strike.
CROSS FALLS OF THE WALL
Just before Lady Trieu is crushed and killed, the cross falls off of the wall of Cyclops' church set. A pretty on-the-nose way to signify that Lady Trieu will not be obtaining godhood after all.
ARCHIE THE OWLSHIP
As Veidt explains, Nite Owl's original owlship crash-landed in Antarctica when he and Rorschach traveled to Karnak in an attempt to stop Veidt's diabolical plan.
"OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNIN'"
As dawn breaks over Tulsa, "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," the song which opens Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, plays. The play has been referenced several times throughout the series — especially in the premiere, and it has a surprising amount of thematic resonance with the series, so it's appropriate that it would play in the final episode.
All but two of the lights on the Dreamland Theatre marquee went out during the squid hailstorm, leaving only "DR M" still illuminated — Dr. Manhattan, we presume?
"I AM THE WALRUS"
Finally, we end the episode on a Sopranos-esque cut to black that will have fans pestering showrunner Damon Lindelof to confirm whether or not Angela actually inherited Doctor Manhattan's powers, thereby missing the point of the intentionally ambiguous ending. (Maybe at least this will stop Lindelof from getting asked whether or not Nora was telling the truth in The Leftovers finale).
Anyway, we digress. The episode ends with a rendition of the Beatles' "I Am the Walrus," which features the very relevant line "I am the egg man." The song — which is bizarre and unexpected in a lot of ways the HBO series was — is a fitting capstone to a magnificent nine episodes, and it cements the egg's status as a new Watchmen icon, like the smiley face before it.