Watchmen’s last episode concluded with an incredible bombshell. It was revealed that Cal Abar (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), Angeal Abar’s husband is actually Dr. Manhattan. The episode ended with Angela (Regina King) beating Cal with a hammer and asking Jon to “come out of the tunnel.” Now in “A God Walks Into A Bar,” Angela tells a glowing blue figure they are in trouble until the camera cuts to black, transitioning to a flashback showing Angela in Vietnam. Last time we saw Angela in Vietnam she was a child, now she is a grown woman and a cop.
The flashback shows Angela and Dr. Manhattan’s first meeting. During the meeting, Dr. Manhattan details about this time away from Mars, on Europa, a moon of Jupiter, where he created life and even gave the man and woman he created a place to live, zapping a manor from across the galaxy to the moon. Dr. Manhattan explains how time works for him through this story and even details his background as a Jewish refugee during WWII where he spent time at a manor in England. Time for Dr. Manhattan is complicated, nothing is linear and instead happens almost all at once, and at the same time. Additionally, Dr. Manhattan’s relationship with time is deeply rooted in his own history.
As Doctor Manhattan finishes his story, the scene returns to the bar with Angela. This scene is the first time the show acknowledges that Dr. Manhattan won Vietnam for Nixon, making it a state for the United States. Previously, it was hinted at but never confirmed. Considering a fair amount of viewers have more than likely not read the original graphic novel, I’m glad the show is officially addressing this. Angela admits she hates Dr. Manhattan because of his relation to her parents’ death.
As “A God Walks Into A Bar” goes on, it details major moments with Dr. Manhattan and Angela’s relationship. From Jon disguising himself for her to the significant fights the two have. Similar to his relationship with Silk Spectre in the comics, Jon’s ability to know the future proves to tumultuous for his relationships, including with Angela. Even as the episode details moments of the future, it is framed through Angela and John’s first date. Jon is detailing all of these moments to Angela, convincing her he is Dr. Manhattan and she will end up being with him. The chemistry between King and Abdul-Mateen isn’t perfect but considering he is Dr. Manhattan, it is almost expected.
In addition to focuses on Jon’s relationship with Angela, “A God Walks Into A Bar” also further connects Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons) back into the narrative. After a fight, he visits his old friend, later turned enemy, in hopes of being able to become mortal to salvage his relationship with Angela. But Veidt won’t help him without a price.
“A God Walks Into A Bar” finally connects Adrian Veidt to the story, and like the original graphic novel, Dr. Manhattan was the key to so many of the answers all along. And while the focus of the episode is Angela and Jon’s relationship, the addition of Adrian Veidt and pulling in more of the Watchmen lore was a treat. Veidt’s character in this episode was remarkably different from the man we know now. He is less unhinged and while he still believes he did the right thing, despite killing millions of people and tricking even more with his fake extraterrestrial squid rain.
The ending to “A God Walks Into A Bar” is nearly as climatic as the previous episode’s ending with as many twists and turns. The somber song choice for the final standoff fits the scenes and adds levity. Dr. Manhattan’s inclusion in the series, and having such a main role, has shaken up the entirety of the season in the best way. With only one episode left in the season, Watchmen is destined to end with a bang.
Watchmen is streaming on HBO with new episodes dropping every Sunday at 8pm CT/9pm EST.
'Watchmen,' Episode 8 - A God Walks Into A Bar
- Rating - 9/109/10
The ending to “A God Walks Into A Bar” is nearly as climatic as the previous episode’s ending with as many twists and turns. The somber song choice for the final standoff fits the scenes and adds levity. Dr. Manhattan’s inclusion in the series, and having such a main role, has shaken up the entirety of the season in the best way.