‘Watchmen’ Episode 8 Review & Recap: ‘A God Walks Into a Bar’

HBO Watchmen

Tonight is Episode 8 of HBO’s new hit series Watchmen. So far the series has been phenomenal, and after last week’s reveal, tonight’s episode will likely be one that we will be talking about for quite some time. The following is a live review and recap of the episode, which will be updated shortly after the episode airs. This story will have major spoilers for Episode 8. 

Tonight’s episode is titled “A God Walks Into a Bar.”  The description for tonight’s episode reads: “Angela’s mysterious past in Vietnam is at last revealed.” It promises to be very interesting. When we left off last week, we learned that Angela’s husband Cal is actually Dr. Manhattan. And Agent Blake had just been caught in Jane Crawford’s trap door, learning about the plan the Seventh Calvary had for Dr. Manhattan.

We also learned that Trieu’s “daughter” is actually her cloned mother, which was a fascinating twist. And Veidt is on trial, far away from Earth.

And now on to the live review.

The episode starts with Dr. Manhattan (I’ll call him Jon from now on), walking through the streets of Vietnam, picking up a Dr. Manhattan mask. This must be when he and Angela first met.

He walks into a bar (just like the episode title says), and he asks Angela to dinner. She immediately tells the masked man “no.” She agrees to let him sit with her after she tells him it’s the anniversary of her parents’ death. Of course, she doesn’t believe at first that he’s Dr. Manhattan.

I am loving their back-and-forth banter. The dialogue her is top-notch.

Ohhhh, he tells her he’s been on Europa, a moon of Jupiter, for the last 20 years. That must be where Veidt is in prison today. Interesting.

OK, this Europa scene is beautiful. I love the cinematography on this series. They’re going all out for this show.

He says he created two people from microbes in the water and gave them self-awareness, then giving them a manor house that’s connected to his childhood. (This is the manor where Veidt lives now.)

They’re answering SO many questions in this conversation.

I’m just wondering why the people he created have no self-will and seem so robotic… Guess we’ll learn that answer later.

Hmmm… During his childhood flashback, I’m noticing that Jon’s dad (wait, NOT his dad) looks a lot like Phillip the Clone. And it turns out that I am NOT imagining it. He based his “Adam and Eve” of Europa off this couple, after promising them that he would create something beautiful. That’s wild.

At the bar, in the background, the song “Anyone who knows what love is” by Irma Thomas is playing in the background. It’s also a major song in the Black Mirror series, pretty important to some of the storylines.

I can’t get over how great the Angela-Manhattan dialogue has been. The quick back-and-forth banter feels very authentic.

And now we’re going to learn how Dr. Manhattan created Cal. She found a series of men who had died and told him that he needed to model himself after one of those men. So that’s how Cal came to be.

We later learn that Angela got a lot of security from Cal’s knowing the future, but after about six months it started problems. She tells Cal to leave, so he goes to visit Veidt. (It’s 2009.)

Angela and Jon really do have a beautiful relationship, based on mutual respect and love.

Veidt, meanwhile, is stressing over how humanity keeps trying to make bombs, while still maintaining alien incursions to keep world peace. (This is where the squid rain comes from.) Ohhhh, he needed Veidt’s help becoming more human and losing his omniscience. THAT’s how he pulled it off.

And don’t forget this gem:

Veidt says they could insert a device in his prefrontal cortex that short-circuits his memory, so he can only access his powers in life-threatening situations. He just would have no idea who he really is.

I love that he needed Veidt for this! And the twist that Veidt made this device 30 years ago is so great.

And we learn that tachyon particles are a blindspot for Jon. THAT is interesting. I wonder if the 7th Calvary knows this too?

It turns out that Europa wasn’t a prison for Veidt. Jon’s clones’ only purpose was to love him, and he felt that was unsatisfying. So he’ll bring Veidt there instead so they find something to worship after all.

“Sounds like paradise,” Veidt comments, asking to go to Europa.

So where did all this prison talk and the trial come from that Veidt’s going through now?

I love the twists in this show.

And now we’re back in present day. Jon’s Dr. Manhattan and he seems a bit confused at first. He was the reason that Angela survived the attack all those years ago.

I can’t help but wonder why he doesn’t just go to Europa to survive the 7th Calvary’s plans.

Now the scene switches to 10 years in the past, when Cal met up with Will Reeves, Angela’s grandfather (who also is Hooded Justice, which was an amazing revelation.)

AND it looks like Angela created a paradox, telling her grandfather 10 years ago that Judd was associated with Cyclops and had a clan hood in his closet. Well THAT is a twist.

The humor where Jon realized he was hungry was a great touch. But now things get dark again fast, when Jon says they can’t do anything and the 7th Calvary is already here.

I really don’t understand why Jon just can’t teleport to Europa before they attack.

UGH this scene is heartbreaking.

I still don’t get why he couldn’t escape, or take Angela with him. Did he WANT to be killed?

And the episode ends with her accepting a dinner date with Jon.

This episode was beautiful. And the use of multiple timelines happening simultaneously was perfect to demonstrate what happens in Jon’s mind.

But do NOT miss the after-credits scene. The clones ask Veidt over and over to stay, and Veidt says no as they smash tomatoes on his face. And this is bizarre. In the next scene he’s in prison getting a cake delivered to him. He’s reading a book about loneliness, which he says his “guard” can’t understand. The man says he was the first to emerge from the water and he saw Jon create everything in the world.

“Why is heaven not enough?” his masked guard asks him. Veidt says it’s because this isn’t his home and his 8 million children are likely crying out in desperation for him to return. “Heaven is not enough because heaven doesn’t need me.”

Buried in the cake is a horseshoe and, for some reason, Veidt is thrilled. It looks like he’s going to use it to escape and tunnel his way out.

Tonight’s show answered so many questions, but it raised so many more.

Episode 9, the finale, will be called “See How They Fly.” It’s airing December 15 at 9 p.m. Eastern.


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