In a reference to “The Matrix,” those Q believers speak of being “redpilled” — that is, having their eyes opened. Despite the painstaking work Hoback has put in seeking to identify a list of suspects and unmask QAnon’s architects, it’s difficult to see how some of these folks can be deprogrammed, with the director citing the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol as “an inevitable conclusion to an absurd and almost unbelievable story.”
Working with producer Adam McKay (whose credits include HBO’s “Succession”), Hoback’s investigative reporting crisscrosses the globe — from the Philippines to Japan, from Italy to Washington — to track down clues and meet face to face with a cast of characters that can charitably be called eccentric.
At the core of that is the father-son tandem of Jim and Ron Watkins, whose 8chan board provided the home for QAnon; and Fredrick Brennan, the platform’s original creator before a major falling out with the Watkins, triggering an increasingly bitter feud.
The conflict at times risks sucking Hoback into the narrative. The key players seem to embrace the attention, despite occasional protestations to the contrary, which might explain why they keep talking when at times it would appear to be in their best interests to stop.
“Q derives its power from anonymity. From myth,” Hoback notes near the end.
The disturbing takeaway from what precedes Hoback’s conclusions in the final episode, however, is that as the animated credits suggest, many Q believers appear to have slipped too far down the rabbit hole — and committed too much to this misguided crusade — to readily find or accept a face-saving way out.
“Q: Into the Storm” premieres with back-to-back episodes March 21 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, which, like CNN, is a unit of WarnerMedia.