This episode gives the spotlight to Wade Tillman (Tim Blake Nelson), also known as Looking Glass, although I love the name Laurie Blake gives him, Mirror Guy.
Tillman’s tendency to only lift the bottom of his mask when he eats, his love for canned beans, and his general foul attitude have all been reminiscent of Rorshach. Still, much of what we learn about him in this episode highlights the differences. We see a much younger version of the character survive the Squidfall, the name that has been given to Ozymandias’ fake alien attack, which has left the man permanently scarred, emotionally. A lot of sympathy is engendered for the character, particularly when we see him leading a group of similarly traumatized people, giving them hope and faith, despite lacking it himself. But as the episode plays out, Tillman finds himself being placed into a moral quandary with no good choices.
There are some wonderful world building touches in the episode. I particularly loved the discussion about Spielberg’s Oscar winning movie about the Squidfall, Pale Horse. When a person describes a scene in which a little girl in a red coat wanders through the otherwise black and white scene, there is no way to miss what movie this is in our reality.
I was already completely blown away by the episode before it changed tracks in the last few minutes, bringing us back to Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons), as he succeeds in his venture to catapult himself out of his estate-like prison. I will not reveal what happens to him, but the visuals are astounding, a sequence both chilling and utterly bizarre.