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HBO releases Watchmen season trailer in wake of premiere cliffhanger

Take a deep breath and watch this

“The only way to stave off mankind’s extinction is with a weapon more powerful than any atomic device: fear.”

Watchmen episode 1 was a tightly wound ball of history, socioeconomics, musical numbers from Oklahoma!, action scenes set to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score, and perfectly timed nods to Alan Moore’s original 1986 comic. In the premiere, creator Damon Lindelof asserted his series as a true sequel. In the preview for what’s to come, he challenges viewers to even consider the story of Sister Night (Regina King) anything but her own warpath (even while threading in tons of references for devoted readers).

The shocking ending to the Watchmen premiere — both an allusion to the opening murder in Moore’s comic and an oh-no-they-didn’t act of violence that Lindelof wanted to do way back in Lost — will reverberate far beyond the city lines of Tulsa, Oklahoma, as evidenced by a new trailer released by HBO. Jeremy Irons’ Ozymandias looks particularly sinister in the spot, cooking up some plan to sow distrust and/or animosity among the American people in order to bring them together. So is the way of Adrian Veidt.

Also in the trailer: Jean Smart as Laurie, now working for the FBI, an enormous tower with a gyroscopic top, and a flash of Doctor Manhattan, we saw briefly on Mars in episode 1.

What does it all mean? Decipher the clues in the trailer above.