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Clues About the Big Watchmen Reveal Were There This Whole Time



Did you expect Watchmen, a show from the co-creator of Lost and The Leftovers and based on the wildly popular and influential comic series of the same name, to not have a big twist? If so, you thought wrong. Warning spoilers follow!

In the Sunday, Dec. 1 episode of Watchmen, “An Almost Religious Awe,” viewers learned that the mythical Dr. Manhattan has been on screen all this time, masquerading as Cal Abar (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), the husband of Regina King‘s Angela Abar. Yep. Minds. Blown.

How and why Dr. Manhattan became Cal will be revealed, but for now, everyone is just soaking up the shocking reveal. And of course there were clues the whole time. For example, the, uh, sex tool that Laurie Blake (Jean Smart) was seen with earlier in the season is called Excalibur and modeled after her ex, Dr. Manhattan. Ex. Cal. Abar.

Yep, Damon Lindelof did that.

Jeffrey Zhang, host of Who Watches the Watchmen? podcast, pointed it out on Twitter.

Smart told E! News when she got to the reveal of Excalibur, her first thought was, “Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I’ve been liking this so far up to now.”

“Yeah, that was somewhat amusing. But I did immediately ask Damon about that, asking if this was going to be something that was an integral part of the show,” she laughed.

Excalibur became quite a hit on social media. “All I could think of was pain when I looked at it. That’s all I could think,” Smart laughed.

OK, back to clues. There’s also “caliber” and “Cal Abar.” As pointed out by @superjanine, in horology, which is the study of time, a movement or caliber is described as the mechanism of a watch. Watchmen. Cal Abar. Caliber. The clues were there the whole time! 

Lindelof said the idea of Dr. Manhattan and Cal Abar was there pretty much from the start.

“I started this whole journey from the perspective of a fan — what would I have to see in a television show daring to call itself Watchmen? Dr. Manhattan was near the top of that list. But even higher was that we needed to tell a new story with a new character at the center of it. Once we landed on Angela Abar as that center, the new rule became that any legacy characters we were using (Veidt, Laurie and Hooded Justice) could only be used in service of Angela’s story…she was the sun, everyone else needed to be orbiting around her. So how could Dr. Manhattan, a man with the power of God, be in service of Angela’s story as opposed to the other way around? Based on his past (and all the tropes of Greco/Roman mythology), the answer was intuitive…love. We knew this relationship could only work if Manhattan took the form of a human, and so, the idea of Cal was born,” he told THR. “And yeah, it came early. Almost from the jump.”

The big reveal left fans—including those who work in television—shocked. “Well holy S–T,” Patton Oswalt tweeted.

Adbul-Mateen also had some fun on social media.

See what happens next when Watchmen airs Sundays, 9 p.m. on HBO.

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That Banana on the Wall? At Art Basel Miami It’ll Cost You $120,000.



Remember when Morley Safer famously — controversially — asked on “60 Minutes” whether Marcel Duchamp’s urinal and Jeff Koons’s vacuum cleaners were really art? Now, in the spirit of such questions, comes Maurizio Cattelan’s (somewhat overripe) banana pinned to the wall with gray duct tape.

For three buyers at Art Basel Miami, who paid between $120,000 and $150,000 each for such pieces this week, the answer was unquestionably, Yes.

And two additional artist proofs (also bananas) are going to museums.

Needless to say, the bananas have prompted the very buzz that Mr. Cattelan has long been a master at generating (his golden toilet — recently stolen — being only the most immediate example).

“Bananas! Art world gone mad,” blazed the cover of The New York Post on Friday.

Emmanuel Perrotin, the founder of the gallery that represents Mr. Cattelan (Galerie Perrotin), said the flurry over the artwork “was totally unexpected.”

Soon after his booth at the Miami art fair opened to V.I.P.’s on Wednesday, Mr. Perrotin said the gallery installed a GoPro camera in the booth to capture people’s reactions. “You have a work like the ‘Mona Lisa,’ where everybody is coming to look at it, to take photos with it, to discuss it,” he said.

But is this a groundbreaking work, an expensive inside joke or perhaps Exhibit A in a display of income inequality?

“Cattelan is the Anti-Warhol,” said the art critic Robert Storr. “Andy insisted that the Coke you and I buy was democratic in that it cost us the same as it did Nelson Rockefeller. But obviously Maurizio has grasped that the rich will pay much, much more for a bespoke banana — bruises and all. Let ‘them’ eat $120,000-a-slice banana bread.”

While acknowledging that #cattelan was now a popular hashtag on Twitter — with people posting images of all sorts of items taped to the wall (a croissant, a lemon, Nutella) — Mr. Perrotin stood by the seriousness of the artist, with whom he has worked for 27 years. “Maurizio is a pure genius,” he said. “I see the magic happening on different occasions.”

“Maurizio’s work is not just about objects, but about how objects move through the world,” he added. “Whether affixed to the wall of an art fair booth or displayed on the cover of The New York Post, Maurizio forces us to question how value is placed on material goods. The spectacle, which has been orchestrated so beautifully, is as much a part of the work as the banana.”

Mr. Perrotin likened the artwork to Yves Klein’s “The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State into Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility, The Void,” in which the French artist sold empty space.

Mr. Cattelan first conceived of the work as a sculpture shaped like a banana, the gallery said, and brought a banana with him when he traveled, hanging it in his hotel room “to find inspiration.” He tested several materials — resin, bronze and painted bronze — before deciding on using a real banana.

The work is aptly titled, “Comedian,” and Mr. Perrotin said that it was the first new art that Mr. Cattelan has presented at a fair in more than 15 years.

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Robert Krulwich Will Retire From ‘Radiolab’ in January



Robert Krulwich, the longtime journalist and one of the hosts of “Radiolab,” the immensely popular audio program known for its offbeat investigations of big ideas, will retire from the show in January, New York Public Radio announced on Thursday.

Krulwich, 72, has hosted the show, which is produced by WNYC, with Jad Abumrad since 2005.

“There comes a time — and I think it has come — when you get out of the way and let the future come flooding in,” Krulwich wrote in a letter posted online.

Abumrad created an earlier rendition of “Radiolab” in 2002, the same year Krulwich and Abumrad met. When Krulwich came aboard a revamped version, the show was a small, seasonal venture; now it airs weekly across 589 public radio stations.

Each episode poses a scientific or philosophical quandary at the top that Krulwich and Abumrad probe over the course of the show, often leading to surprising conclusions. One recent broadcast began by asking where eels come from; another explored the secret history of square dancing.

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