WARNING: The following article contains spoilers through the fourth episode of HBO’s Watchmen, “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own,” which aired Sunday.
The characters of the Watchmen universe have had to deal with a lot of oddities over the years. But despite all the oddball superheroes that have appeared, almost none of them are as singularly bizarre as the one that just appeared in the fourth episode of the Watchmen television series.
In the latest episode of the HBO series, Sister Night encountered a deeply odd masked figure who’s modus opperandi revovled around covering himself in lube to get out of any kind of slippery situation.
The Lube Man
The man is fast enough to keep out of her reach until he seemingly reaches a dead end. At this point, the man grabs two bottles of lube and covers himself with a shocking amount of the substance. He takes off his belt, drops to the ground and proceeds to slide across the asphalt, towards a sewage drain. He is able to slip through the space separating the sidewalk from the street and disappears underground. Just like that, he’s gone in a moment that leaves Sister Night – and the audience – genuinely shocked and confused.
In A World Of Absurdity
Citizens of the world where Watchmen takes place has long had a sense of self-awareness with the superheroes that occupy this reality. While some of them (like Doctor Manhattan or Ozymandias) had a major, genuine impact on the world, others are just weirdos who end up doing strange things for unexpected reasons. Some of the superheroe even ended up in mental institutions to try and contend with the delusions that led them to put on a mask. Some of them are just strange people, and the original series always acknowledged just how bizarre it was. It’s a man covering himself in lube in broad daylight so he can basically deploy a slip-n-slide on any surface. It’s ridiculous, partly because it also works.
But even in a world where characters like Red Scare are the norm instead of the exception, the nameless Lube Man might be the strangest yet. There’s no indication of who he is or what he’s working towards. He was specifically following Sister Night, implying that he’s at least in the process of trying to catch her in the act of something. But how could he know about her possibly trying to hide away evidence?
His gangly stature does feel reminiscent of Petey, the somewhat meek assistant of Laurie Blake. Sent by the FBI to help with her investigation into the death of Judd, Petey has been revealed to be a fairly avid superhero historian. He even knows the backstories to people like Laurie, which he awkwardly shares with Sister Night. His love for costumed heroics could extend beyond an appreciation for them and have been translated to the real world as well. At any rate, Lube Man has already proven himself to be the slipperiest character in the Watchmen universe, in more ways than one.
Developed by Damon Lindelof, HBO’s Watchmen stars Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tom Mison, James Wolk, Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Lily Rose Smith and Adelynn Spoon. The series airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.