A Look at Watchmen- Season 1, Episode 8: “A God Walks Into a Bar”

More like Walks Into Abar.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Doctor Manhattan asks Angela Abar to have dinner with him- HBO, Watchmen

The episode begins in the aftermath of a celebration as a blue skinned man dons a mask and heads to Eddy’s Bar. After grabbing two drinks, he joins a soldier- Angela Abar—and asks her to have dinner with him tomorrow night. He even brought her a beer. She turns him down. He guesses that she’s drinking alone to remember the anniversary of her parent’s death- without him telling her that. So yes, he wins.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela wonders why Doctor Manhattan is wearing a Manhattan mask- HBO, Watchmen

Angela apparently will tell him about her parents in 20 minutes, but not yet. As for how he knew, he’s Doctor Manhattan, of course. Angela isn’t dubious, but wonders why the Doctor Manhattan wears a Manhattan mask. He doesn’t want to be recognized. Angela asks if this is a Zeus thing, like how Zeus turned into a swan to blend in and came to Saigon 20 years after he abandoned humanity.

But that’s not him on Mars- it’s a recording of predetermined patterns, like a computer program. As for where he’s actually been for the past 20 years, he’s been on Europa- a moon of Jupiter. Why? He experiences time in a unique way. He’s simultaneously in this bar having a conversation and creating life on Europa. How does one create life?

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manhattan creates life- HBO, Watchmen

Well, he demonstrates as such. It’s 1985 as a frozen tundra becomes a savannah. Yes, on occasion, he walks on water. He doesn’t take Sunday off since the process is done in 90 seconds. Typical that a man creates life in under two minutes. Ha-ha, Angela. Manhattan tells Angela that Adam and Eve are fictional, but he made their bodies for real from the microbes in the water. Soon, the bodies would become a man and woman.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manhattan makes a mansion for his creations- HBO, Watchmen

He gave them speech, brain function, and self-awareness, then brought them a place in which to live- a manor house, to be specific. It’s a special place to him. Manhattan is doing all of this while still talking to Angela. He then tells Angela his upbringing and how he and his family fled from England.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon watches his father work on a watch- HBO, Watchmen

We cut to 1936 as young Jon Osterman watches his father working on a watch. Jon wandered the halls of the mansion, but something catches his eye- a jar that inspired him to create his own on Europa. In 1936, parents don’t talk to their kids about sex. As Jon got in a closet, he didn’t know what he was seeing, but what the man and woman were doing was overwhelmingly joyful. This was the first time Jon knew about love.

Except Jon dropped the apple he stole, thus alerting the two to his presence.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Crookshanks and Phillips give Jon a Bible- HBO, Watchmen

Later, Jon’s father, Hans, thanks the owners- who may as well be another Phillips and Crookshanks- for their hospitality, but the owner wants to talk to Jon privately. The two know that Jon saw them in the bedroom. What they were doing, he says, is a good, beautiful thing that meant creating life. They one had a son, but he fell ill and died. It was God’s will, and this is God’s will for them to try again.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Crookshanks tells Jon about how God created the world- HBO, Watchmen

Ms. Crookshanks I- I’m calling her that- presents Jon with a gift: the Bible. She explains that the first book is Genesis and is about how God create the Heaven and Earth. He even made people, and they were called Adam and Eve. The two offer a trade in exchange for the Bible: when Jon grows up and becomes a man in America, he must create something beautiful.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manhattan makes Adam and Eve in the image of Phillips and Crookshanks- HBO, Watchmen

Seven decades later, Jon fulfilled his promise and created something beautiful. Within this pocket world, Jon made Adam and Even not in his image, but theirs.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela asks when Manhattan fell in love with her- HBO, Watchmen

Back to reality, Angela congratulates Manhattan’s imagination. He tells her that six months from now, a friend talked about his lack of imagination. This friend even tried to kill him. Angela asks why Manhattan went through this trouble of making the Garden of Eden and then leaving. Truth is, he wanted to meet Angela and tells her that he loves him. He was already in love with her before he even saw her.

He doesn’t experience the concept of “before.” Angela asks if there was a moment when he realized he was in love, as Angela is having the opposite of that moment.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manhattan removes his mask- HBO, Watchmen

So Manhattan removes his mask and tells Angela that it’s not makeup- he’s naturally blue. He could glow if he wanted, but it would attract attention. He wants her to remain unsure before she agrees to dinner. But there’s one error: Angela hates Doctor Manhattan. 40 years ago, Nixon asked Manhattan to go to Vietnam. He did, torched the Vietcong, and one boy watched his village burn. He later became a puppeteer.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela tells Manhattan why she hates him- HBO, Watchmen

That puppeteer created the bomb that killed her parents 22 years ago. Angela tells him this, just as Manhattan already knew, but she just told him now. As for Vietnam, Manhattan tried to be what people wanted him to be: a savior and he does regret his actions. Angela figures that Manhattan would end up regretting it before he did it. So why do it? Manhattan asks if Angela ever did something she’d soon regret. Maybe.

He again asks her out to dinner, and he knows that she’s having dinner with him tomorrow night. Angela still shoots him down, saying that he’ll stick out like a sore blue thumb. Manhattan could teleport Angela anywhere, but she knows they’ll eventually have to come out to public. However, Angela has already come up with a solution to the appearance problem. She’s explaining it to him.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela presents bodies to Manhattan at the morgue- HBO, Watchmen

Two weeks from now, we see Angela at the morgue as she and Manhattan examine various bodies. Manhattan asks why Angela limits it to these men when he can look like anyone. He doesn’t care what he looks like. Whatever form he takes is the one Angela should be comfortable with. She doesn’t care, but then she should have no problem picking a body. Plus, Manhattan knows that Angela hasn’t presented every option.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela pulls out the body of Calvin Jelani- HBO, Watchmen

Indeed she hasn’t. She opens another drawer and presents the body of Calvin Jelani, who just dropped dead of probably a heart attack. No family to pay for an autopsy, so he just passes over Saigon. Angela would be comfortable with Manhattan taking on this form. Manhattan likes the name.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manhattan takes on the form of Calvin Jelani- HBO, Watchmen

In no time at all, Manhattan takes on the form of Cal, even with the slight change in voice. Angela points out that Manhattan forgot to remove the Hydrogen symbol on his forehead, but he points out that he’s going to forget so much more. That’s a conversation for another time, though. In an instant, he removes the symbol.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela learns that she'll be with Doctor Manhattan for 10 years- HBO, Watchmen

Back to the present, Angela wants to know the solution. Manhattan can’t tell her since it won’t be her idea. Manhattan isn’t seeing the future- just experiencing it. Angela agrees to play along: what happens after dinner? They’re together for 10 years. As for how it ends? In tragedy. Manhattan doesn’t get into specifics there, but Angela isn’t convinced that Manhattan knows what will happen.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela's favorite song plays on the jukebox- HBO, Watchmen

Manhattan then says that her favorite song is about to play on the jukebox. Indeed it does: “Tunnel of Live” begins to play, and it’s now Angela’s favorite. In six months, Manhattan’s humor will be why Angela tells him to leave. Manhattan’s seeing it.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela and Jon about to have a fight- HBO, Watchmen

We jump to Cal and Angela making love as he tells her that he’s at the bar on the night they met- just before he made the egg. Angela tells Cal that they won’t fight and she won’t tell him to leave, but Cal knows that it’s already occurred. Angela knows that they can’t let it happen, but based on how Manhattan perceives things, this is what will happen.

Angela grows tired of Cal telling her what she’s going to say. If they won’t be together, why are they together now? At first, Angela liked Manhattan’s ability to see the future as it gave her security instead of fear. It gave her stability while in the orphanage. The two are now in the fight. Angela asks when Manhattan ever felt any fear.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon tells Angela about the accident that turned him into Manhattan- HBO, Watchmen

He tells her about the time he ended locked in the intrinsic field chamber 50 years ago, when he was torn apart trying to retrieve his watch.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela asks Jon to leave- HBO, Watchmen

If he knows what will happen, Angela asks how he even takes risks or how he experiences fear. She then asks if Cal needs her to say it, and he does, so she tells him to leave. He does.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon visits Adrian Veidt- HBO, Watchmen

He returns to a snow covered chambers in Antarctica. Inside watching a myriad of monitors on news coverage on a reactor meltdown is Adrian Veidt, who wonders why humanity continues to try and create bombs, despite being given every opportunity to better themselves. Jon says that the bombs make the humans feel safe.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Adrian Veidt greets Jon- HBO, Watchmen

Adrian greets his old friend, knowing that only Doctor Manhattan has the balls to show up wearing nothing but his birthday suit. This is also true.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon sees that Veidt is still fabricating alien incursions- HBO, Watchmen

It’s been 24 years since they last met. Manhattan remembers the moment in which Veidt tried to destroy him and he’s disappointed. He goes through Veidt’s plan of killing three million people, but Veidt was merely gambling. After activating his machine, which fabricates alien incursions, Veidt tells Manhattan that he’s still maintaining world peace. He notes Manhattan’s interesting form. It’s not the 1980s anymore, after all.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Adrian will help Jon- HBO, Watchmen

This appropriation is considered problematic now, even though it’s 2009. Much has changed since Manhattan was on Europa. As for how Veidt knew where Manhattan was, a little elephant told him. He wants to know why Jon is masquerading as a human. Manhattan has a guess and asks for the woman’s name, so Jon names Angela.

Veidt then guesses that Jon wears this face because Angela has no idea that Manhattan is an omnipotent being. Manhattan told Angela who he really is, and Veidt figures that few would want to be romantically linked to a god. Veidt figures that Jon wants to look like and even be a mortal. Jon asks for Veidt’s help, but Veidt asks why Jon can’t just do it himself.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Adrian knows a way to short circuit Jon's memory- HBO, Watchmen

Instead, Jon wants Adrian to tell him, so he does: it’s because Jon has a profound lack of imagination, contrary to Angela complimenting Jon’s imagination. This memory gets a laugh out of Jon, who explains to Veidt that six months ago, this woman complimented his imagination. Veidt asks Manhattan if he has a brain, as he’s replicated basic human physiognomy, but what about physiology?

Jon has internal organs and such, yes, so theoretically, a device could be inserted into Jon’s cortex that would short circuit his memory. Without the awareness of his abilities, he wouldn’t know to use them except as a reflex to life-threatening circumstances. He could live among the normals undetected, but he just wouldn’t know that he’s Doctor Manhattan.possible to short circuit his memory.

But how long would it take to create such a device? Oh, but you see, Adrian made it 30 years ago.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Adrian remembers trying to kill Jon- HBO, Watchmen

As Adrian remembers trying to kill Jon, he points out that the intrinsic field subtractor was merely Plan B. B for blowing him up. Veidt presents a box and asks if Jon can guess what’s inside. He can’t because Veidt irradiated it with Tachyon particles- one small part of the universe that even Jon can’t see.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Veidt reveals the hydrogen symbol that will give Jon amnesia- HBO, Watchmen

Veidt opens the box and reveals the small hydrogen symbol device. This is Plan A- as in A for “amnesia.” Once Angela places this device on Jon’s forehead, the effect will be immediate. He’ll forget who he is, what he can do, and everything that’s ever happened to him. So if Jon has unfinished business, now would be the time to finish it.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon about to accept the device from Adrian- HBO, Watchmen

Turns out there’s one thing. Jon mentions that Angela has a grandfather that she’s not yet aware of, and Jon has something to discuss with him. Well, best discuss them now while Jon still knows who he is.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Adrian tells Jon that his plans for a great future have been ignored- HBO, Watchmen

Of course, Adrian isn’t going to just hand this over without getting something in return. See, Veidt saved the world from nuclear Armageddon. Aside from Jon and a select few, no one knows. Veidt’s plans for a great future have been ignored. Veidt once asked Jon whether it was all worth it in the end. Jon avoided answering by instead saying “Nothing ever ends.”

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon tells Adrian that he will live to see his utopia- HBO, Watchmen

So Veidt asks Jon if he’ll live to see his utopia. Jon confirms that he will, but not here. Jon thought to create a kind of life that was superior to life on Earth. There, beings were created to care for others instead of themselves.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon leaves his creations behind- HBO, Watchmen

This is what Jon managed on Europa, which is devoid of conflict. All the servants want is to please and adore. Their love is infinite, which is why it’s unsatisfying to Jon. This prompted him to leave his creations.

But they’re still there and waiting for someone to worship. To Adrian, this sounds like paradise. Jon asks Adrian if he’d like to be sent there, and Veidt would like that very much. Jon wishes his friend godspeed and sends him to Europa, while keeping the Tachyon device with him.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon explains to Angela how the Tachyon device will work on him- HBO, Watchmen

We cut to Angela holding the device, which she just has to push into Jon’s head. He’ll make himself intangible and warns Angela to withdraw her hand quickly. He doesn’t know if it’ll even work, but that’s what makes it a risk. This will only affect his memory. He and Angela concoct a story for what happened to his memory, and Angela figures that she can be a cop anywhere, so why not Tulsa, where her family is from?

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon tells Angela that she won't be losing him- HBO, Watchmen

But Angela asks if Jon will still be him if he loses his memory. His memories may be lost, but Angela won’t be losing him.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manhattan makes an egg- HBO, Watchmen

Back in the bar, Manhattan is losing Angela. With little to work with, she wants proof of who he is. She asks Manhattan to create life, which he does by creating an egg. It’s still technically life. She’s not impressed, saying a chicken would’ve been better, but Manhattan knows that Angela will still have dinner with him. No, but Angela wants to hear about their years together before tragedy strikes.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela tells Manhattan that she never wants to have kids- HBO, Watchmen

He explains their future and three children, but he doesn’t pass on his powers to someone without their consent. Someone could inherit his atomic components if they ended up in some organic material. Luckily, Angela’s never wanted kids and will never have them. She cracks the egg and puts it into Manhattan’s drink, which he downs anyway. Weird, but alright.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manattan doesn't know how long he and Angela are in Tulsa before adopting- HBO, Watchmen

The children, actually, are adopted in Tulsa, since that’s where Angela’s family is from. She’ll tell him six months from now when he gives her the “ring.” But this is after the fight when she tells him to leave. As for how long they’re in Tulsa before adopting, Manhattan doesn’t know. There’s a period of time that he cannot see. When he tries to look, there’s only darkness. He’s there before it begins and there when it ends.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela holds the Tachyon device- HBO, Watchmen

As Angela smiles, she notes that what Manhattan says sounds like a tunnel of love, which is what Angela and Cal say to each other as she’s about to insert the particle. Ten years, then tragedy, but Jon won’t tell her what happens. Angela considers leaving it in Jon’s brain so he doesn’t know how this all ends up.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon gets on one knee- HBO, Watchmen

Either way, Jon leaves this entirely on her hands. As Cal drops to one knee, the two declare their love for one another as Angela inserts the particle.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Doctor Manhattan returns- HBO, Watchmen

As we return to present-day, Angela retrieves the bloody Tachyon device and tells Cal that they’re in fucking trouble. A blue light overtakes the room as Jon begins to float. Doctor Manhattan is back. Angela tells him that they’re in Tulsa and she had to wake him up because he’s in danger. People are coming because they know who he is.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon notes that the clock is damaged- HBO, Watchmen

Angela asks Jon, who is just wandering around the house, if he knows who he is, but she notes that he still has Cal’s face. She tells Cal to change back since the kids are upstairs and he can’t look like this, but instead, Jon is going to move forward. He examines a damaged clock and remembers the events of the White Night. As Angela pushed Jon down, the masked gunman opened fire, and a bullet hit the clock.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon is not sure when he is right now- HBO, Watchmen

But there were two men. One was about to kill Angela in the kitchen before Jon zapped him away, thus confirming Adrian’s prior words about Jon’s powers coming as a reflex in life-threatening circumstances. Angela asks who Jon is talking to, and Jon explains that he’s experiencing confusion as a result of the device being removed. So he’s not entirely sure when he is.

A God Walks Into a Bar- The girls see a blue man walking on their swimming pool- HBO, Watchmen

Angela rushes upstairs as the girls are screaming at the sight of a blue man walking on their swimming pool. Well, you don’t see that every day. Angela tells Topher and the girls that yes, this is their father. Indeed, Jon is walking on water as he soon zaps the kids away.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon tells Angela that the kids are with their grandfather in Tulsa- HBO, Watchmen

Jon tells Angela that the kids are safe and she needs to see him on the pool specifically because it’s important for later. Angela still demands to know where the kids are.

When Jon steps off of the pool, he tells Angela that the kids are with her grandfather at the Dreamland Theater in downtown Tulsa. Seems Will expected them. As for when Jon talked to Will, he explains conversation with Veidt 10 years ago about unfinished business.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon goes to meet Will Reeves- HBO, Watchmen

Jon then teleports a mansion in New York City that once belonged to Nelson Gardner- also known as Minutemen Captain Metropolis. When Gardner died, he bequeathed this property to an old friend- Will Reeves. When Will answers the door, he obviously doesn’t believe that this random Black man is Doctor Manhattan, so he shuts the door.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Will Reeves asks why Doctor Manhattan isn't blue- HBO, Watchmen

So Manhattan phases his way inside and asks Will if the two can talk. As for why Jon isn’t blue now, he tells Will that he’s made some changes in his life and is about to make a few more, which is why he wants to talk. Their lives have become entangled through someone known to both of them, but the future is uncertain and Jon’s ability to influence the future is challenged.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon tells Will Reeves that he has a granddaughter named Angela- HBO, Watchmen

To ensure an optimal outcome, Jon wants to form an alliance, since Will is Hooded Justice. However, Jon doesn’t want Will to put on the mask. This is Will’s granddaughter, Angela. Will knows that he doesn’t have a granddaughter, but he did have a son who had a daughter, which makes her Will’s granddaughter. Jon met her in Vietnam and the two are in love.

Soon, they’ll marry and move to Tulsa, where she will be a police officer, though Will can’t imagine why Angela would go to Tulsa. Perhaps she senses it’s where she comes from. Despite not even knowing about Will, Angela needs his help, even though Will chooses to let Angela be ignorant of his existence. Will believes that Angela doesn’t want him in his life, but Jon says that she does.

From the first time he met her, Jon sensed profound emptiness and loss in Angela’s life. She doesn’t want a family, but based on her actions, it’s all that she wants. He knows because he’s talking to her right now.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela wants Jon to ask her grandfather how he knew about Judd Crawford- HBO, Watchmen

He tells this to Angela in present-day. She wants him to ask Will something: how did he know that Judd Crawford was part of Cyclops and why there’s a Klan robe in his closet? But Will doesn’t know who Judd Crawford is. At least, at that point he didn’t. He does now, though. Angela realizes that she may have sent her grandfather here and started all of this. But isn’t it good that Judd is dead? Does it matter where the idea came from?

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon discusses the chicken and egg paradox- HBO, Watchmen

Jon asks about the chicken or egg paradox- the answer appears to be both at exactly the same time. Jon suddenly gets hungry and decides to make waffles.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon tells Angela that the Seventh Kavalry intends to destroy him- HBO, Watchmen

He literally zaps inside Angela’s home and starts making waffles, but interrupts him by smashing the eggs. Dick move. Anyway, she tells him about the Seventh Kavalry’s plan, and Lady Trieu’s involvement, Jon knows that they’re already here and plan to involuntarily teleport and destroy him with their Tachyon cannon. Jon is resigned to his fate, as there were more pressing matters to discuss, but Angela plans to stop this.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon tells Angela that this is the moment- HBO, Watchmen

As Jon watches Angela suit up, he tells her that this is the “moment.” She’s going to try and save him despite saying that she can’t. He brings up their encounter in the bar and how she asked when he fell in love with her. This is that moment.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela takes on Seventh Kavalry all by herself- HBO, Watchmen

She goes into action and opens fire on the Seventh Kavalry all on her own, but she’s outnumbered and outgunned. Even still, she manages to hold her own and hijacks one of the Kavalry’s vehicles to rush towards them.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon eliminates Seventh Kavalry with ease- HBO, Watchmen

Before she’s eliminated, though, Jon appears and disperses of the Kavalry with ease.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Kavalry fires Tachyon cannon at Jon- HBO, Watchmen

Angela, relieved, tells Jon that she was wrong, but he wasn’t. Because the Tachyon cannon is still activated and Jon is taken away.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela tells Jon she can't be in a relationship if it will end in tragedy- HBO, Watchmen

In the past, Manhattan tells Angela that his name is Jon, with no “h.” After the 10 years in the tunnel of love, something terrible happens, but Jon won’t tell her. Angela ends the conversation, saying she can’t get serious with someone if it will end in tragedy. But Jon points out that most relationships in tragedy. That’s true, so Jon again asks if Angela will have dinner with him.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela finally agrees to have dinner with Jon- HBO, Watchmen

At last, Angela agrees because fuck it, why not?

A God Walks Into a Bar- Adrian Veidt won't stay- HBO, Watchmen

But we’re not done yet. After the credits roll, we see the aftermath of Veidt’s trial as each of his servants ask if he’ll stay. He won’t, so with each refusal, he gets a tomato in the face. I assume Adrian must like tomatoes.

A God Walks Into a Bar- The Game Warden brings Adrian a cake- HBO, Watchmen

Following this, the Game Warden visits Veidt in his cell and brings him a cake from Phillips and Crookshanks. He assumes Adrian wants to suffer and offers to get him another book, but he likes the one that he’s reading: it’s about loneliness. The Game Warden says that he understands loneliness. He was the first to emerge from the water when Manhattan put air into his lungs. He saw Heaven created by Manhattan.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Adrian tells the Game Warden that this is not his home- HBO, Watchmen

Why is Heaven not enough? Veidt knows that this isn’t his home. His home is 390 million years away and all eight billion of his children are standing in their cribs, crying out in desperation for Veidt to return. Heaven isn’t enough because it doesn’t need him. The Game Warden heads out and tells Veidt to enjoy his fucking cake. Adrian blows out the candles, but then digs into the cake as he notices something inside: a horseshoe.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Adrian finds a horseshoe in the cake- HBO, Watchmen

A now ecstatic Veidt starts carving into the ground. Good thing he’s got that horseshoe.

Once more, Watchmen continues to top itself from week to week as far as storytelling and plot advancement go, but with this episode in particular, it hit strong on the emotional beats as well. Considering the reveal that Cal has been Doctor Manhattan all this time, it raised a lot of questions that fans had on their minds as we approach the finale.

It’s redundant at this point to say that each episode of Watchmen is a masterclass in storytelling, directing, and writing. That’s not just me talking out of my ass or looking to throw out buzzwords. What this episode did was not just give us Manhattan’s origin, but it allowed us to see things from his point of view: how he perceives time, his relationship with Angela, his view on humanity, and the big wait for “the moment.”

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manhattan is confused- HBO, Watchmen

Most people think time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction, just to borrow from Prince of Persia. For Doctor Manhattan, though, time is not just constantly flowing in many directions, but he’s able to live out and witness these events simultaneously. That can be difficult to portray without relying on flashbacks and flash-forwards, but director Nicole Kassell and makes it work.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manhattan and Angela talk at the bar in Saigon- HBO, Watchmen

It’s interesting thinking about how, despite how much we travel through time, the bulk of this episode takes place in a single setting: the bar in Saigon. We get long sequences of Jon and Angela conversing, with major close-ups on Regina King’s face while the camera avoids showing Manhattan’s.

We’ve seen this happen a lot in The Leftovers. One of the best episodes of the series, Season 2’s “Lens,” includes a long conversation between Nora and Erika, coupled with close-ups between Regina King and Carrie Coon that convey every single emotion they face in this scene. It’s a tense moment, but spectacular showcase of both acting and direction.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Angela can't believe that Manhattan already loves her- HBO, Watchmen

The same applies here as Angela goes from nonchalant to intrigued to miffed to incredulous in a matter of seconds as she learns more and more about Doctor Manhattan. How could she not? She’s dealing with a literal god here who can see into not just her past, but their future together? That’s a hard pill to swallow on top of still living with the reality that your parents were killed right before your eyes.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manhattan wears a mask- HBO, Watchmen

Perhaps it was mere fate that Jon met Angela in the bar that night. Angela had many opportunities to just walk off, but she stayed and was intrigued by this blue man she compared to Zeus. Then again, you can find many parallels between Manhattan and other figures like Zeus or, more specifically, Superman.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Crookshanks gives Jon a Bible- HBO, Watchmen

This episode gives us another look at Jon’s origin compared to the film when we see him first cross paths with Crookshanks and Phillips. If I wanted to stretch, them giving him the Bible could be seen as the equivalent of Kal-El’s parents wrapping him in the blanket that would later become his costume. Jon’s not wearing the Bible, sure, but it was seen as the template for the utopia that he would create.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Manhattan makes Adam and Eve in the image of Phillips and Crookshanks- HBO, Watchmen

Jon himself created something beautiful and perfect in Europa, but soon left his children in their own Garden of Eden. They lived to serve and nothing else.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Veidt learns of Jon's utopia- HBO, Watchmen

Sounds perfect for Adrian Veidt. I’m jumping around a bit, but I really enjoyed the interactions between Veidt and Jon, brief as they were. With this series taking place after the graphic novel, Jon visiting Veidt after his victory felt like peeking behind the curtain to see what Veidt’s been up to following the squid hoax. He’s been in isolation for so long and seeks something more.

So why wouldn’t he jump at the idea of being worshiped by willing servants? It’s a perfect utopia for someone with an ego as big as his, but also just gives him something to do besides sit around on Antarctica and watch the news. In addition, he came through with his own plan for Jon as far as taking away his memory.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Adrian reveals Plan A to Jon- HBO, Watchmen

Of course Adrian Veidt would have something like that because he’s a genius. I don’t know if he’d just been saving it for a rainy day, but it works within the context of show as far as revealing why Jon couldn’t see certain points in time. It also works as a way to work in why, in this interpretation, Manhattan has the hydrogen symbol on his forehead.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Will Reeves doesn't know who Judd Crawford is- HBO, Watchmen

It’s admirable how much layering went into showing us so much about Manhattan’s history in just one hour, but also providing so many payoffs from earlier episodes, like Jon not being on Mars. Not just with what Jon predicts will happen, but in the reveal that, apparently, Will Reeves had no idea who Judd Crawford was. So indeed, due to Angela planting the seed, it could very well be her fault that Judd is dead.

Marital Feats of Comanche Horsemanship- Judd tells Angela that her partner was killed- HBO, Watchmen

So like most scenarios like this, do the ends justify the means? Judd’s death is what kicked off all of this. Consider the alternative: Wade uncovering the Seventh Kavalry’s plan, the discovery of the Klan robe, Laurie Blake’s arrival in Tulsa, Angela learning about her family history- none of it would have happened. But none of that matters to Angela because someone is dead because of her. Someone she saw as family.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon saves Angela- HBO, Watchmen

There’s as much for Angela to take in during the present-day scenes as she does in the past when she’s talking with Jon. When Angela decided to take on the Seventh Kavalry all by herself, I thought for a moment that she’d die. Manhattan could intervene at any moment and he did, but would he? Much as he loves Angela and feels at peace around her, we’ve seen in the past his attitude towards humanity and their suffering.

Similar to when Edward Blake pointed out that Jon could’ve stopped him from killing a pregnant woman, Jon could’ve stood by and let Angela get herself killed. True, she put up a hell of a fight, but she was still outnumbered and outgunned. The odds weren’t in her favor, but perhaps Jon chose to intervene because it was how things were meant to play out.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon tells Angela that he wasn't wrong- HBO, Watchmen

After all, he probably could’ve stopped the Seventh Kavalry from using their device on him. He wiped out their numbers with ease, so stopping one from firing that cannon should be no problem at all, but he let it happen. Like Manhattan leaving humanity, you can write his actions off as carelessness or callousness, but in this form and interpretation, you can chalk it up to Jon trying to remember what he can do.

Marital Feats of Comanche Horsemanship- Angela attacked by Kavalry- HBO, Watchmen

Like the White Night incident. We didn’t know how Angela got out of the Kavalry member pointing a gun at her until we found out today that it was because of Jon’s powers, which came up during life-threatening circumstances. The same applies when he saves Angela in this episode, but by now, Jon is back in his own form with nothing to hide and no reason to hold back. But one thing’s for sure: he still loves Angela.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Jon shows Angela the Tachyon device- HBO, Watchmen

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is stellar in this episode. There’s an extra level of depth that comes through when we hear how soft-spoken he is around Angela and his willingness to take on a human form and limit his powers just so he can live a normal life with Angela. While it does, as most relationships do, end in tragedy, I enjoyed seeing this side to Mateen’s performance.

A God Walks Into a Bar- Veidt gets a tomato in the face- HBO, Watchmen

Going back to Veidt for a moment, he still doesn’t want to stay in this utopia. Despite getting many tomatoes to the face, he wants to be free, as he’s grown tired of Heaven on Earth. What might seem exciting at first is now just endless…well, not misery because he’s not suffering. It’s just boredom. What is there after attaining some form of godhood?

Either way, Veidt may have found some form of salvation in the form of a horseshoe, not unlike the horseshoe that Phillips mistakenly gave him back in the first episode. I mean, horseshoes are considered good luck, but whether this actually leads to Veidt’s escape is anyone’s guess. Still, I don’t see him staying in that cell for long. He’ll be out in no time.

With the finale upon us, there are still so many questions left unanswered and more that arise from this episode: Is Jon’s fate sealed now that the Seventh Kavalry has him? When will Lady Trieu unveil her Millennium Clock? How will Laurie react to the news that Manhattan is walking among the public again? Why did Jon send the kids to Will? We still don’t know where Wade is, so what the hell is he up to?

And how will Angela solve this mess? It’s interesting to note that the final episode is being billed as the season finale and not a series finale. There’s no telling if this show gets a second season. Not that the odds are against it, as it’s been a critical and ratings success for HBO. However, you can’t catch lightning in a bottle twice and I imagine the decision will and should come down to Damon Lindelof.

Either way, this was another fantastic installment of Watchmen that gave us a look at what makes Doctor Manhattan human and the history of his encounter with Angela Abar. Now we just wait for the finale. Until then, tick-tock. Tick-tock.

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