HBO's Watchmen has lifted the lid on the origin of its 7th Kavalry villains, but can the explanation be trusted? The Watchmen sequel series is only 3 episodes deep, and yet the ever-twisting, esoteric narrative is already steeped in mystery. One of the biggest new additions to the Watchmen canon is the evil 7th Kavalry, who currently serve as prime antagonists to Regina King's Sister Night and Tulsa's masked police department.
The 7th Kavalry are white supremacists who don masks in honor of Rorschach and are under the half-correct belief that the trans-dimensional squid attacks are a U.S. government conspiracy. The Kavalry are currently waging a war against the police of Tulsa, causing the cops to wear masks of their own, but Watchmen has cast an element of doubt over whether these simple racists are being manipulated by another shadowy force behind the scenes. While the 7th Kavalry currently stand accused of murdering Judd Crawford, Tulsa's police chief, Sister Night knows that the enigmatic Will Reeves is somehow connected to the killing.
Watchmen's 7th Kavalry Backstory
Viewers would have been able to piece together certain elements of the 7th Kavalry's history thanks to Watchmen's racial themes but "She Was Killed By Space Junk" provides a clearer picture of how this deplorable organization began. The FBI and former Silk Spectre, Laurie Blake, are preparing to investigate Judd's murder and have put together a presentation to get their agents (and the audience) up to speed on Tulsa's troubled past and the Kavalry's murky origins.
According to the FBI's well-polished slideshow, the 7th Kavalry present themselves as embodying the spirit of General Custer, the 19th century military leader from which the group derive their title, but are actually an extension of the Ku Klux Klan, albeit with new attire. These closet racists were galvanized and united after the Redfordations passed into law, and victims of historic acts of racial violence were given tax breaks as reparations for the crimes committed against them and their ancestors. As Tulsa's black community saw the benefits of these Redfordations, the 7th Kavalry was formed out of the resulting resentment and jealousy.
Why Watchmen's 7th Kavalry Origin Is A Lie
Hardly anything in Watchmen can be taken at face value and the origin of the 7th Kavalry is no exception. It's abundantly clear that there is a significant racially-motivated surge of violence in Tulsa, but many of the on-the-ground terrorists are the very antithesis of a forward-thinking criminal mastermind. However, there is substantial evidence to suggest that the Kavalry's true leadership is being deliberately obscured.
Firstly, there's the presence of Will Reeves, who has revealed to his granddaughter a grand conspiracy in progress, although he failed to divulge any details. Perhaps more significantly, Will directed Angela to a KKK costume secreted in Judd's closet, providing the biggest clue yet that Tulsa's racial prejudices run to a far more influential level that it might have first appeared.
While the 7th Kavalry might be a grass-roots, rural white supremacist movement, the group operate in a way that hints towards better organization and resources that one might expect from such local origins. This is demonstrated by the funeral bomber in Watchmen's most recent episode. Laurie shoots the attacker, despite the threat of a dead man's switch, and is almost caught up in the ensuing explosion, later revealing that such claims are almost always a bluff. It's highly unusual for such an experienced and skilled crime-fighter as Laurie to make a rookie mistake of this kind, but her error would be excused if the 7th Kavalry was merely a mask for a more deeply-rooted evil.
Watchmen continues with "If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own" November 10th on HBO.