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It Doesn't Look Like 'Watchmen' Will Return For a Season Two. That's the Right Move.

Gabrielle Bruney

From Esquire

Watchmen ended on a pretty great cliffhanger. With Doctor Manhattan seemingly dead, his wife Angela Abar swallowed an egg that may or may not have imbued her with his god-like powers and went out to her swimming pool to give walking on water a try. The season closed with a shot of Angela's foot hovering over the surface of the water, poised to take that first step.

But it looks like we'll never see exactly what happened next, as HBO announced that it's unlikely to continue the series without showrunner Damon Lindelof at the helm—and Lindelof is ready to leave the Watchmen world behind.

He confirmed to USA Today Thursday that he's not returning to the series for a second season, and HBO's programming head Casey Bloys told the same paper that it "would be hard to imagine doing [Season Two] without Damon involved in some way." So that means that Watchmen fans hoping to see more are probably out of luck.

Before confirming that he wouldn't be onboard for a new season, Lindelof didn't keep his ambivalence about the idea of continuing the series a secret. And his reluctance to spin out a sprawling story is understandable: He worked as a co-creator on Lost, and after helping lead that show to its much-criticized finale, he approached Watchmen with the intention of telling a tight tale.

"I wanted to make sure that everybody who was going along for the ride knew what the design of the season was," he told Entertainment Weekly last month. "Especially after what happened with Lost, and the way that a lot of serialized dramas unfolded, where the audience doesn’t know how thick the book is when they pick it up… I wanted everyone to know this is not the middle of the trilogy, this is not the beginning of a seven-season run."

That same month, he also told Deadline that he didn't "have any ides for subsequent seasons."

But in the EW interview, Lindelof revealed that when he began talks with HBO about Watchmen, he cited anthology series True Detective as an example. Lindelof seemed open to the idea of handing off the show to someone else much when Vulture asked him who he’d want to helm the series were he to step aside. "I would love to see someone who is not a white dude taking a shot at Watchmen," he said, "a woman or a person of color or both. Most of the good ideas that ended up in this season did not come from a white dude." But it looks like HBO isn't planning on taking him up on that offer.

Photo credit: HBO

But wait—don’t we need to know whether or not Angela absorbed Doctor Manhattan’s powers? Isn’t that the one major cliffhanger that wasn’t wrapped up, the one thing we’d need a second season to resolve?

Not according to Lindelof. "Can someone really make a legitimate argument that Dr. Manhattan said all that stuff about the egg and that Angela grabbed that carton of eggs and threw it down as hard as she could yet one miraculously survived?" he told Vanity Fair. "Or that Dr. Manhattan said in Episode 8, ‘I need you to see me on the pool, it's important for later.’ And that then she would just basically splash into the pool and be like, ‘Well I guess I misunderstood what he was going for there?’"

So Angela almost certainly has Doctor Manhattan’s powers, which means that the story is pretty much resolved. It's a bummer that one of HBO's best new shows in years likely won't be returning for a second season, but hey—it's better to go out on a high note rather than to return for a listless follow-up Big Little Lies-style.

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