Watchmen: Season 1: Episode 5 Breakdown & ...

Watchmen: Season 1: Episode 5 Breakdown & Ending Explained + Full Spoiler Review Of The Looking Glass Origin Story

watchmen episode 5 breakdown full recap and ending explained

Welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show, I’m your host Deffinition and you’re now locked into the channel where we’ve been Watching The Watchmen to breakdown everything that you need to know about the new season on HBO.

Throughout this, we’ll be recapping the fifth entry in the series thus far and discussing where the show could be heading in the future.

There will be Heavy Spoilers here, so if you haven’t had a chance to watch episode five yet and don’t want to know what happens then I highly suggest that you turn off now.

With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this, now let’s get into our breakdown of Watchmen: Episode 5!

Watchmen Recap

Ok so just a quick recap to bring you up to speed on everything.

So far on Watchmen, Sister Night, has uncovered what looks like it could be a huge conspiracy inside the police that seemingly shows one of it’s high ranking officers was linked with a group known as the Seventh Kavalry that carried out attacks on the police and public.

After this officer, Captain Judd, was murdered, it drew the attention of the FBI who sent in their agent, Laurie Blake who used to be Silk Spectre in order to investigate the crime.

We’ve become aware of a trillionaire named Lady Trieu who is operating in the area and may have connections to the mystery as well as several side characters such as Looking Glass who gets a lot of attention throughout this episode. This kinda mirrors the original Watchmen aesthetic with the source material tending to focus on single characters such as the Rorschach issue, the Doctor Manhattan one and so on.

Watchmen Episode 5 Recap

Episode 5 itself opens Hoboken in 1985 where we join a group of Christian Missionaries who are dropping leaflets in a funfair. We later learn that this is a young looking glass.

Throughout the protagonist’s stroll, we see a magazine for The Veidt Method which was a workout program formulated by Ozymandias in the source material and a group of Top Knots. These are a group of street thugs that ended up killing the first Nite Owl in his home but they also terrorized a lot of people in the story.

Looking Glass, or Wade as he’s called, plucks up the courage to go and talk to them, spouting off about the Doomsday Clock and he’s mocked by them before being taken away by a girl to a house of mirrors. There is lip service paid to the Doomsday Clock being one minute to midnight and for those who don’t know, in the original work, this was pretty much seen as the count down to nuclear war.

Doomsday Clock

Ozymandius launched his hoax alien invasion at this point and it united the world into fighting one common enemy and we actually see this play out in the episode. This entry is predominantly about doubles, reflections and duplicates and we see this aesthetic early on with LG walking through the hall of mirrors.

There are several twins throughout the episode and we also get the duality of human character and this is exemplified here with the top knot girl being clad in black, trying to seduce the whiter than white Christian Missionary.

After she leaves him stripped naked in the hall of mirrors the attack commences and it all comes crashing down.

The ringing in his ears that LG gets is because when the alien landed it launched a psychic blast that massively messed with people mentally, killing many and psychologically damaging a lot of those that survived. This kinda carries on through Looking Glasses’ psyche in the episode and we can see that he has a lot of problems. It’s clear that the character really never left the hall of mirrors, like Batman with Crime Alley or any other superhero that was birthed out of trauma at an early age, they are just a young kid, scared out of their wits, trying to deal with the world around them.

Looking Glass exits to see that there are bodies strewn everywhere, similar to the graphic novel and we finally get a look at the full Alien Squid that every fan will remember. It’s the best introduction of the season so far and whilst Watchmen has it’s haters right now, I can’t see anyone denying that this entire segment recaptures the feeling of the original work.

watchmen episode 5 breakdown full recap and ending explained

Through The Looking Glass

We learn that Looking Glass, also known as Wade often spends his time on the other side of a mirror, whether he’s looking at people viewing a New York Commercial being focus group tested or staring at people in an interrogation room, the character is often peering into people’s souls, past the vision that the want to show to the world and looking behind the mask, the mirror of the world that they present.

It turns out the mask is also a form of protection from psychic blasts, the sort of tinfoil hat of the series that also hints at the true intentions of the character.

Wade took to becoming a policeman because, like many, he is still completely terrified of the alien attack from 30 years ago and he wishes to create a false, outward persona, that he is still in control. It’s an awesome psychological study and I have to say that early on this episode really got its hooks into me.

Watching him still pine for a woman that he ruined a relationship with due to his paranoia is heartbreaking and seeing him attending a help group really makes the character relatable.

Looking Glass is this show’s Rorschach and it’s fascinating to watch him deal with the duality of living in fear whilst also presenting this devil may care, gritty exterior. The character even eats raw beans which were a big food source for Rorschach in the original graphic novel, in fact, it’s pretty much all he ate.

We also get implications that Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis were in a gay relationship with one another on the tv show within a tv show that is slowly becoming the season’s black freighter.


Either way, Wade is paranoid to the core, ready to run to his bunker at the first sign of a little squid fall and he lives in constant fear. We get a mention of this when Wade is analyzing the group early on in the episode and similar to them, he is scared but just doesn’t want to admit it. He even puts up a wall when asked if he is scared, saying at the therapy meeting that he isn’t afraid and this again mirrors, excuse the pun, the duality within him.

At forever pets, we witness a cloning procedure that duplicates animals and Wade comes face to face with his long lost love. As someone who’s dog was put down two weeks ago this scene really got to me and seeing Cynthia incinerate a dog for looking a little small was kinda, yeah, these aren’t good people.

Through Cynthia, we discover that Angela has been using Nostalgia pills and this is a slight deviation from the graphic novel with that initially being a perfume fragrance that was supposed to bring back memories. This was created by Veidt as one of his top-selling ranges, however, here they are pills that cause hallucinations and cause the brain to recall the past. They have been outlawed due to their side effects which include causing psychosis.


Later in the episode, we see Angela swallow a handful of these before she is arrested and it’s clear she relies on these to deal with her problems.

Looking Glass is clearly helping many but this mask is quickly pulled away by a new member who questions if he’s truly as unafraid as he says he is. Throughout his life, Wade has been tormented by women and I can see this being a big contention for the character going forward.

Whether it’s the girl in the house of mirrors, Cynthia helping him even if there’s an undertone there that she thinks he’s a loser, Laurie mocking his mask or the woman at the meeting, it seems like most of the females that he encounters are there to belittle him and lead him along.

This woman turns out to be a member of The Seventh Kavalry and after discovering that her ride home was the truck involved in the police shooting in the opening episode, he follows her to an empty warehouse where we discover the Cavalry’s real plan.

watchmen hbo series teaser trailer explained full breakdown and all easter eggs

The Seventh Kavalry’s Plan

They wish to open a portal to orchestrate another attack. Now there’s some big bombshells that come in the episode including the fact that Wade has been selected to become a member and was purposely lured there which again cements the female manipulation on the character.

Also, those who thought that there was a shady side to Senator Joe Keene are proven right here when he’s shown to have taken over the leadership duties from Judd Crawford. Keene orchestrated the bomb at Judd’s funeral as a false flag attack to paint himself out as a victim in order to drive his electoral push and to also stop Judd’s autopsy from going ahead.

Keene says that his goal is to keep the peace but in order carry this out he needs LG to arrest Angela due to her involvement in the investigation surrounding Judd. He doesn’t know if she killed Judd or is just getting in the way of finding out who did it, all he knows is that she is getting in the way.

As a thank you, or a ‘squid pro quo’ Keene reveals that he will play him a tape that reveals the truth, a video message from Ozymandias, addressed to the future President, Robert Redford, that confirms that the squid attack was a hoax. Veidt has manipulated the press and media to get Redford into office and he selected the actor to continue his goal to build a utopia for mankind.

Ozymandias’ Plan

Veidt wished to weaponise fear to unite the world and this is completely mind-blowing for Wade who has lived his entire life scared of the next attack. Veidt has been maintaining the Squid Fall to provide an almost drip-feed of fear to the public and he wishes to form a partnership with the new President to make the world better.

It’s a big exposition dump and I love how there are TV’s on the wall, similar to Ozy’s setup in Carnac that all relay this mind-blowing message to Wade.

Ozymandias Escapes

We then cut to Ozymandias who is being loaded into the catapult and launched into the outskirts of his prison. We finally see the character land on what looks to be a moon circulating a larger planet, most likely Jupiter. Veidt discovers the bodies of all that he has launched into the cold reaches of space and using their corpses he writes a message on the planet’s surface saying ‘save me.’

This triumph is cut short though by the Game Warden who yanks the character back in who is another clone of Mr. Phillips. Now personally I believe that after Redford was elected, he realised that the world was not going to become a Utopia as he planned and after becoming deflated by this, he sold his company to Trieu industries in exchange for solitude from the planet.

We know that Trieu can change environments due to her pod in Episode 4 and I believe that she escorted Ozy to this moon where he was going to live out the rest of his life in peace. Trieu doesn’t want him to return so as part of their negotiations they created the Game Warden to keep him in the grounds. Whilst initially Ozy thought it to be a paradise, he was quickly realised it is a prison and thus wants to escape.

Now this may be Doctor Manhattan behind it as he is capable of space travel and there is also mention of their god abandoning them so this could be the case but I guess we will find out. If you’ve been keeping up with my series then you know I jump back and forth between the two each week so I thought I’d just lay out both possibilities here.

ozymandias plan in hbo watchmen season 1

Angela Is Arrested

Veidt’s bit ends with him being arrested by Game Warden and we cut back to earth for another focus test. We get a reimagining of Careless Whisper, which has been present throughout the episode and watch as Looking Glass goes in and arrests Angela after she confesses that her grandfather killed Judd and she covered up the murder.

The Cactus on Wade’s desk picks this up and Laurie hears it all, leaving her office, gun pointed at her.

Wade sits on his desk, pulling his mask down to hide behind it and what he’s done.

Though it looks like the character is in the clear, the episode ends with Wade’s house being broken into by Kavalry members which once more cements that he has been mislead and manipulated. Similar to the Christian Leader at the start, the girl in the funhouse and many more throughout his life, Wade has been told to deliver a message that has ultimately lead him down a darker path.

Episode 6 Predictions

Now in episode 6 it is revealed that Angela has been taking her grandfather Will’s nostalgia and that she has been using this to discover the truth about the character. Will did predict in episode four that she would discover the truth about him and this looks to be the case in the upcoming episode.

Angela is clearly becoming lost in the fantasy, unable to distinguish between her life and Will’s and it looks like he, similar to her took up the role of a police officer. This may cross paths with Judd’s joining of the force which could show how Will knew that he was a Kavalry member.

As for Looking Glass, personally I believe that he will defeat the Kavalry group and will be the one to unearth the secret about Senator Keene which will mean that the town will descend into war with the masked policemen going up against the masked members of the group. No one will be able to trust anyone and thus everyone will be left fearful and paranoia except for LG who we have seen has overcome it all.

It will be interesting to see where it goes but I’m hooked on the show at the moment and can’t wait to see what way it develops over the coming weeks.

Your Thoughts

Obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and if you agree with the theories in this video. Comment below and let me know and if you enjoyed this video then please give it a thumbs up and don’t forget to check out our breakdown of the series so far which goes over all the things you missed in the series and where we think the show could be heading.

We also do a podcast called Watching The Watchmen in which we breakdown every issue of Watchmen page by page and also give our thoughts on Doomsday Clock.

I’ll leave that linked at the end and

If you wanna come chat to me after the video then make sure you follow me on twitter @deffinitionYT or head over to my discord server which will be linked in the description below. Those are the best ways to keep up to date with all the latest videos on the channel so hopefully I see you over on one of them soon.

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