Clock’s tickin’. It’s gonna tick for a little longer though.
Ever since the incredible climax of Watchmen’s equally incredible debut season, people have been wondering if there would be—or if there even should be—a follow-up season. Could a second instalment even come close to achieving what the first did? Could it do better? Many were already making peace with the idea that, if this was all the Watchmen we got, it was good that we got it.
That appeared to be the future we were heading for earlier this week, when USA Today published a story officially declaring that Watchmen season two was a no-go at HBO. “It’s really in Damon [Lindelof]’s thinking about what he wants to do,” Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming chief, told the paper. “If there’s an idea that excited him about another season, another instalment, maybe like a Fargo, True Detective [anthology] take on it, or if he wants to do something different altogether. We’re very proud of Watchmen, but what I’m most interested in what Damon wants to do.”
The answer of just what Lindelof would want came immediately after in USA Today’s piece, with the site reporting that Lindelof had allegedly told them he did not want to make a second season, and would not return—but there was no direct quote from Lindelof saying as much, beyond that he had told USA Today that he’d “given [his] blessing” for a second season to go forward with a new writer-producer.
What followed was a lot of mourning of the end of what, seemingly against all odds, became one of the most talked about and lauded pieces of television in 2019. Even members of the show’s writing staff, including Lila Byock and Cord Jefferson—who co-wrote perhaps Watchmen’s finest hour, “This Extraordinary Being” with Lindelof—took to Twitter to acknowledge the end of the show.
Actually, some things *do* end, and that’s okay. https://t.co/JuzzPIYxL5
— Lila Byock (@LByock) January 16, 2020
Watchmen is one of the highlights of my professional life and I will miss it and I think this is a good decision by Damon. https://t.co/XuCnGhkAa7?
— Cord Jefferson (@cordjefferson) January 16, 2020
But it would seem the story of what’s happening with Watchmen isn’t entirely over yet. Last night, Decider published a follow-up piece to USA Today’s reporting that pushed back on the definitive framing of its account. Although Decider’s piece didn’t contain new commentary from either Bloys or Lindelof, it suggested that discussions are still ongoing for a potential second season—and that HBO is eager to see not just a continuation of the show, but of Lindelof’s guidance of it. Interestingly, even without direct commentary, the piece was backed up when Bloys himself shared it on Twitter, re-iterating its headline:
— Casey Bloys (@Caseybloys) January 17, 2020
So where are we really at? Right now, exactly where we were the moment Angela Abar reached her foot out toward a swimming pool and Watchmen’s world cut to black—for what ultimately could be the last time. Nothing ever ends, as a glowing, naked blue man once told us. That is, until it does.
We’ll just have to wait and see.