Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

At long last, Watchmen’s Lube Man is revealed

Illustration for article titled At long last, Watchmen’s Lube Man is revealed
Screenshot: HBO

Last night’s Watchmen finale didn’t answer every lingering question we had—how could it? It had a very long to-do list, and it had to check items off that list and be pretty great at the same time. Yet mercifully, the invaluable supplement Peteypedia managed to answer one of the biggest, most meaningful questions after “See How They Fly” ended: The identity and whereabouts of Lube Man, pictured above.


It did so in a single “file”: a memo announcing the firing of the man behind Peteypedia himself, Agent Dale Petey.

The two relevant paragraphs are below—though trust me, it’s worth reading in full.

(Former) Agent Petey’s computer folder will be deleted from the share server in 48 hours, after which time his meandering, self-indulgent memos (he certainly puts the “I” in FBI) and ridiculous documents will only exist as hard copy. Let the legacy of “Peteypedia” be an example of how NOT to conduct professional electronic discourse. Moving forward, I expect to see only the most succinct analysis and most pertinent information in your folders, not exhaustive summations of television programs as if they were in any way relevant to anything, nor schematics of pornographic space-age sex toys. Understood?

Similarly, a maintenance crew will be boxing up the contents of Petey’s office later this afternoon. Anyone interested in taking anything from the stacks of media, ephemera, and straight-up junk cluttering his workspace — multiple copies of Rorschach’s Journal, hundreds of “comic” books (why our society is still so obsessed with pirates is beyond me) and a jug of what appears to be some kind of canola oil, help yourselves. Let the record reflect that I have personally removed a new album by The Nine Inch Nails entitled The Manhattan Project, as my son listens to that garbage, it is rotting his brain, and it brought me great personal delight to smash this “music” into pieces.

If you were just looking at the PDF, you might say, “Canola oil? That’s weird, but it’s hard to say that reveals the identity of Lube Man. But hover over the words on the PDF in Peteypedia and you’ll notice that it’s a hidden hyperlink; click the link and it takes you a link containing this photo, titled “american-zero-story.jpg.” (Sick burn, FBI.)

Illustration for article titled At long last, Watchmen’s Lube Man is revealed
Photo: HBO

So Lube Man is Dale Petey. But that’s not all.

The rest of this post contains plot details from the season finale of Watchmen.

On a more somber note, the memo ends with the news that Petey himself is missing.

My understanding from Tulsa PD is that he has now gone missing. Given the simultaneous deaths of a U.S. senator and a prominent trillionaire, it would appear Petey has taken it upon himself to continue the investigation despite our closing it. It’s clear now from his memos that Petey (Hero Enthusiast-Obsessive/ Solipsist on the Werthem Spectrum) is at risk for vigilante behavior, and most likely, always was. Perhaps sooner or later, this task force will be investigating him.

God help us all,

Max Farragut

Deputy Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation

We’re hoping he just canola’d down the drain to safety, wherever he is. We salute you, Lube Man.


Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!