HBO's Watchmen sometimes feels like it's going in a super indirect path. The show's hero, Angela Abar (Regina King) and her alter-ego, Sister Night, are introduced right away. But it's never been entirely clear who the bad guys are, other than a bunch of Rorschach-mask wearing white folk. The group calls itself the "7th Kalvary" and is a clear KKK analogy. But their specific plans and where they came from have never been adequately explained, until now. Finally, the show digs into what the 7th Kalvary is on Watchmen, and it turns out they are a far older group than anyone suspected. Warning: Spoilers for Watchmen follow.
Before Angela's episode-long trip into her grandfather's memory via Nostalgia, Wade had started to put two and two together on the Kalvary. His status as a white man in Oklahoma and his experience during the events of 11/2 made him a prime target for recruitment, especially since the 7th Kalvary have incontrovertible evidence of Adrian Veidt's hoax.
Wade saw the portal, learned Senator Joe Keene Jr. ran the group and learned Chief Judd Crawford was also involved. But the group failed to turn him. They also failed to kill him, which Agents Blake and Petey discover when Petey stops by Wade's house and finds his attackers dead in the bunker, and Wade nowhere to be found.
But Wade didn't learn the full truth. That was left up to Blake, who heads over to the Crawford ranch to confront Judd's widow with what she knows about Hooded Justice.
Blake assumed Crawford's widow would be shocked to learn the world's first superhero killed her husband, or that Hooded Justice believed Crawford was somehow mixed up in this white supremacist group. Instead, his widow laughs, sends Blake down a trap door chute, and hands her over to Senator Keene.
It turns out Hooded Justice did know what was up. Keene and company aren't just any white supremacist group to rise in the wake of reparations and racial equality. They're the new incarnation of his old nemesis, Cyclops, the same outfit who were experimenting with mind control back in the 1940s in New York City, trying to start a race war.
Their new plan is just as insane, and science-fiction inspired. They plan to use the portal to transport Doctor Manhattan to Tulsa, take his powers for themselves, and reorder society back to what they insist it's supposed to be, with white men on the top of the food chain.
Keene is proud of his plan, and his heritage passed down to himself and Crawford via their grandfathers. Just like Angela's love of the police force and masked vigilantism comes from her own grandfather.
William Faulkner once said of the south and the Civil War: "The past is never dead. It isn't even past." As Watchmen shows, he wasn't wrong. The sins of the forefathers become the lives of their descendants, doomed to repeat a history they don't even know.
But at least one man is still alive who remembers: William Reeves. And he and Lady Trieu are doing everything they can to stop the 7th Kalvary's insane plan. Let's hope they're in time — tick-tock.