Watchmen Season 1 Episode 8 ‘A God Walks into a Bar’ Recap and Review
Only a couple of episodes left to recap and review the most talked about show on television right now. A blue guy grabs a Dr. Manhattan mask. It is the leftovers of some sort of block party. He heads into Eddy’s bar and that’s how he meets Angela. He has two beers and asks her if he will have dinner with her tomorrow. She says no and through knowing everything he worms his way into her heart. They enjoy some banter then highlights his ability to know things past and present. She asks him why he is wearing a mask and if its a zeus thing. She ask why he isn’t on mars. He says he has been on Europa and that the guy on Mars is a copy and not him. He is creating life on Europa. (interesting fact Europa does have liquid water underneath its ice). We get some cool cut scenes of Manhattan actually creating life. He creates a man and a woman. Huh, it looks like he created the prison and the helpers that Ozymandias is residing in.
We learn in 1936 that his father is Jewish and that they leave for America from Heidelberg. They feared for their lives. There is a MASSIVE information dump here. We learn a lot of Manhattan and his childhood. He accidently witnesses a couple having sex and later they talk to him about it. They give him a bible and talk to him about Genesis. In that discussion they make him promise to build something beautiful. The aristocrats who helped him escape the nazis are the models of the clones in Ozy’s prison.
Angela says he has a great imagination and asks why he left Eden if he created it. Manhattan argues that he loves Angela and always has been in love with her. Angela says that’s bullshit. Manhattan takes off his mask. She asks him to glow. He says no. She tells him that she doesn’t think he is Dr. Manhattan but that is probably a good thing because she hates Dr. Manhattan anyway. It stems from President Nixon and the bomb that killed her parents. Tonight is the anniversary of her parents death. He explains that he regrets his intervention in Vietnam. Manhattan says tomorrow she is going to have dinner with him. She thinks that he looks Blue and they can’t go out if he looks blue. He says she will come up with a solution
We jump to a morgue where the two are looking through dead bodies. She asks him to pick from the dead bodies and to become one. They have a discussion about how he should look and he says he has no preference. She picks the body of Calvin and that is how Dr. Manhattan became Calvin. Lots of work the name Calvin is doing in this episode. Obviously Calvin the religious reformer is the first that comes to mind. He becomes Calvin and she mentions that he still has the bullseye on his forehead. He erases the bullseye but not before he says that he will forgot so many things very soon.
Back at the first meeting Manhattan says ten years later things will end tragically. She is not convinced he is who he says he is. He says the next song is her favorite and she says she doesn’t know the song. She then says what are we doing in the future. They are fighting and making love.
In the future they are doing it. She asks where he is at. He says back at the bar. They are fighting for real now. She asks him the last time he felt fear. He says 1959. When he became Manhattan. He says he feels it everyday. She says he is taking a risk EVERY day that they are together. She wants to know what kind of risk is he taking. She tells him to leave, although he made her ask him to.
He disappears to a really snowy area (my guess its Ozy’s layer). Sure looks like it. I was right Ozy is watching TV from all over the world. There has been a nuclear meltdown. Ozy wants to know why they keep making bombs. Despite looking different Ozy knows its Manhattan. Ozy welcomes him back to Antartica. They rehash what Ozy did to earth (you know the murder of 3 million people). He is still facilitating alien incursions. Ozy mentions Manhattan masquerading as a black man is a little “problematic”. He says he is doing it for Angela. Ozy is amazed that Angela knows exactly who he is. Ozy accuses him of having no imagination. Ozy asks if he has a brain. Manhattan says yes. Ozy says he will make him a device that will make him forgot who he is.
Actually he already made the device and it was the plan a for the original battle. Ozy says Angela needs to implant the device in his head and he will forget everything. Ozy wants something in exchange. He wants to know if it was all worth it, because nothing ever ends. He asks him if he will live to see his utopia. Manhattan says yes but on Europa not on Earth. Hence the place he created and where the Ozy scenes comes from. He offers to send Ozy there. Ozy agrees. Off he goes.
We continue to a scene where Manhattan explains to Angela how to put the implant into his head. She says lets go to Tulsa and start over. She is worried that if he loses his memory will he lose himself. He says naw, he will always be him even without the memories.
Back at the bar Angela asks for proof that he is Manhattan. She wants proof that he has the ability to create life. He creates an egg. He then explains that he can impart his powers onto someone else but also that they will get married and have three kids. They are adopted of course. He then mentions that there is a period that he cannot see but that she is there at the beginning and at the end.
Right before his implantation they comment about how the implant is a tunnel of love (circles are big in this episode). He gets down on a knee and she pushes Ozy’s device into his head. This is a fucking massive exposition dump and if I am being fair it’s not my favorite. It’s a little slow.
Now she removes the ring and Manhattan is walking around and getting the lay of the land. He has retained the look of Calvin. He looks creepy as fuck. They go back through how he he saved her when they were attacked by the calvary. He zaps himself outside so he can walk on the pool. The kids call out because they see him. He zaps the kids to “somewhere safe”. He tells her that they are at the Dreamland Theatre with her grandfather. He set all of this up before the device was implanted.
Ten years ago Manhattan has a conversation with grandpa in New York. There is a ton of representation in this show and that is part of why the show rocks so hard. Manhattan offers an alliance with Hooded Justice. Manhattan then discusses Angela, his granddaughter. They briefly mention how they will move back to Tulsa. There is an important discussion about Tulsa and the need to return back to her home. The power of a geographic home is incredibly powerful.
All of the time periods seem to be converging. Angela wants Manhattan to ask grandpa how he knew Crawford was a Klan member. Manhattan asks through the temporal conduit the question to her grandpa ten years ago. Grandpa doesn’t know Judd. Oh shit. Now Angela thinks she might have caused all of this to begin with.
Manhattan gets hungry and heads into the kitchen. Manhattan tells her the 7th cavalry is already here and that they will capture and kill him. Angela says that she will save them. He mentions this is when he falls in love with her. The temporal shift thing is hard to get your mind around but makes total sense. She won’t have it and decides to fight the cavalry. She shoots a bunch but they outnumber her and just before she gets shot John comes out to save her by blowing a bunch of heads up. Angela says we won, you were wrong. John says no I wasn’t and gets zapped by some sort of beam that transports him away.
Back at the bar. Angela asks what his first name is. He says John, without an H. She mentions at the bar that she can’t have a relationship that ends in tragedy. He argues that all relationships end in tragedy. She agrees, and then agrees to dinner.
In the post credits stinger, Ozy is tied up and the servants/clones ask him if he will stay and as he says no so they smush tomatoes in his face. The scene cuts away to him reading in a dark cell. The gameskeeper brings him a cake. They discuss the book and then loneliness. The gameskeeper misses Manhattan. The keeper asks him why Heaven isn’t enough. Ozy says his children back on earth need him and that Heaven isn’t enough because Heaven doesn’t need him. As the keeper leaves Ozy blows out his candles and discovers a metal horseshoe in the cake. He begins to dig his way out of the cell.
Tyler has been the editor in chief of Signal Horizon since its conception. He is also the Director of Monsters 101 at Truman State University a class that pairs horror movie criticism with survival skills to help middle and high school students learn critical thinking. When he is not watching, teaching or thinking about horror he is the Director of Debate and Forensics at a high school in Kansas City, Missouri.