There doesn’t seem to be much that strikes me as particularly Catholic about the Sister Night character. It just seems like an arbitrary costume to me, like Looking Glass or Pirate Jenny.

Damon Lindelof has certainly never indicated any affinity to Catholicism. He has described himself as vaguely agnostic (in the sense of vacillating between atheism and a vague theism in general). Although, this doesn’t mean he can’t take away things from Catholic teachings and incorporate them into his character creation.


I would agree, and probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to all this, if the rosary wasn’t so particularly a Catholic rosary, and especially because it has Our Lady of Guadalupe on it — and the character wielded it as a literal weapon to beat someone. It’s certainly not necessary to have a rosary as part of a barely nun-like costume, where any rope of beads would have sufficed. It feels unnecessarily provocative, especially because, as you say, the character doesn’t appear to be Catholic. As sacramentals, rosaries are important to Catholics — and Our Lady of Guadalupe is VERY important and revered — and we don’t enjoy seeing either of them misused. But, since the show hasn’t explained the character yet, we’ll see.

There are nine episodes altogether, so I suppose it’s possible that more explanation is coming, but I don’t think so. As it stands, the explanation given in An Almost Religious Awe is inadequate as best. As I predicted:

But, Watchmen is created by Damon Lindelof of ABC’s Lost, which had inadequate or no explanations for smoke monsters, four-toed humanoid statues or polar bears on a tropical island. Suffice to say, my expectations aren’t high.

And here’s the explanation, such as it is:

Screenshot of ‘Watchmen’/HBO

The main character, as a child, was enamored of this “blaxploitation” movie, and it was connected to the day her parents were killed, so she adopted the persona as an adult. OK, well, that explains why she assumed this identity, but it doesn’t explain why Lindelof decided to use a nun in the first place, and especially why she wears an actual rosary. I suspect, at least in terms of Sister Night, it’s because it sounded cool and “edgy.” That’s probably about as deep as it went.

I’m also a fiction writer and optioned screenwriter, so I’m here to tell you that sometimes not a lot of deep thought goes into choices, no matter what your English teachers like to tell you. “Just because it sounds cool” is, in and of itself, a sufficient reason for writers to do all kinds of things. That’s not my quarrel. And, as explanations go, it’s better than the one we got for the smoke monster or the polar bear or the four-toed statues in Lost.

My issue is with using a nun and a rosary in this context. It’s just such l0w-hanging fruit and lazy. Maybe nuns and rosaries don’t mean anything to anyone who works on this show, but they do mean a lot to many people — especially the rosary, and most especially one that looks like a real one, and on top of it all, has an image on it of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Of course, you can’t see any of those details on screen — and if I hadn’t seen the costume up close, I would have lived in happy ignorance of them — so why are they even there?

Not being a mindreader nor privy to the inner workings of the Watchmen writers room or costuming decisions, I don’t actually know. But I could hazard a guess that maybe it’s just fun and cool to kick Catholics, even if you only do it for your own amusement.

Incidentally, episode eight, A God Walks Into Abar, added nothing to explaining the nun or rosary choices any further. But, it did feature a couple of nice Christian people (later cloned as worshipful slaves), a Bible and a laughably dopey ripoff of the Book of Genesis, featuring a naked blue “god” who creates humans from a pond on Europa, as part of a version of the Garden of Eden that looks like an English country manor.

One episode left. Thank the Lord.

UPDATE: Saw the last episode. Added no additional information on the issue at hand. Pretty much all I want to say about that.

Images: HBO; Kate O’Hare

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