Watchmen: A God Walks Into Abar   Books Included 
December 8, 2019 8:21 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Angela's mysterious past in Vietnam is at last revealed.
posted by DirtyOldTown (178 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:21 PM on December 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


Blink and you missed it image captures.

I also noticed three distinct pieces of classical music used during the episode.

By the Beautiful Blue Danube, Waltz by Johann Strauss II
Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour from the opera The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach
Caro Nome from the opera Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi

The book Veidt is reading is Fogdancing, featured previously; the back cover reads: "The only downside to rebirth is having first to die"
posted by Omon Ra at 8:27 PM on December 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


A god walks into a bar. Ten years later, the same god walks into a trap.
posted by kandinski at 8:28 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


This was my moment for the series y'all, where I fell in love with it.

Such a good job of making Dr M human, giving us more Angela and advancing the overall arc in several small, but significant ways. Sure, readers of the comic will notice similarities between this and Jon's relationship with Laurie, but that only enhances the arc imo. Jon may be remote, due to how he experiences time, but he's still human, still needs and wants somethings, no doubt because of that early scene he accidentally witnessed.

The best part is that Angela herself set some of this in motion, by revealing future knowledge to her grandfather. But in doing so, she probably saved herself in the kids, because grandpa talked to Trieu and she has a fucking plan.

No, correct that, the best part was seeing Dr M as a black man. That was deeply profound to me on several personal levels, so hat tip to Lindeloff for pulling that off.


Angela is gonna become Dr M, isn't she?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:32 PM on December 8, 2019 [32 favorites]


Also, I love a good closed timelike loop.

The timey-wimeyness in this series is exactly the same that Moore used to explain how Manhattan can see through time, but only though his own timeline of lived experience, and not through all of it.

I still hope that Angela can become the next Manhattan. I mean, it's a curse, but this is a comic-book story, and what if it's Angela Abar's Manhattan origin story? Sister Manhattan, or maybe Sister Tulsa. That would work.

After all, we learnt in this episode that Dr Manhattan can create life, and also imbue matter with his "Manhattan-ness", and transmit it to others, so...

The writers' room must have had a great time crafting all those Christian analogies. So obvious, so on the nose, and yet so faithful and true to the original material. Well done, Lindelof and crew.
posted by kandinski at 8:34 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher: Yes!
posted by kandinski at 8:35 PM on December 8, 2019


This is such a blast to watch.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:53 PM on December 8, 2019


Did any of the other episodes have post-credits scenes? If not, how was I cued to stick around for this one (only)? Was it just that the app didn't immediately tell me what it was playing next?
posted by unknowncommand at 9:00 PM on December 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


Or was it luck?
posted by unknowncommand at 9:03 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


Re: classical music, the “Lacrimosa” from Mozart’s Requiem has shown up in several episodes, including tonight’s. Requiem was completed posthumously by students from his sketches, and the first eight bars of “Lacrimosa” are probably the last thing Mozart completed before his death.

nothing ever ends
posted by donatella at 9:03 PM on December 8, 2019 [4 favorites]


Horseshoe reveal.
posted by thelonius at 9:12 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


I still hope that Angela can become the next Manhattan.

Veidt knew that the horseshoe would be important before it was("I don't need that...not yet. Not yet"). This apparent precognition is a Dr. Manhattan-like perception of time, and I think it is a big hint that Veidt will get the gig.
posted by thelonius at 9:15 PM on December 8, 2019 [5 favorites]


Speaking of music--it may not be classical, but what about that disco version of "Rhapsody in Blue" that began the episode?

Also thinking that we'll get Sister Manhattan. And a subtle bit that hinges on, of all things, kerning: the title of the episode in the HBO app is "A God Walks Into A Bar", but in the in-episode title is "A GOD WALKS INTO ABAR."
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:18 PM on December 8, 2019 [26 favorites]


(And thinking further about Lacrimosa, “eight bars = Abar” is kind of a stretch, but that bit of trivia is undoubtedly a fact that the writers would know about or have discovered, so I’m not entirely discounting it as another subtle reference.)
posted by donatella at 9:24 PM on December 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


The tears of the worst people in Watchmen fandom when Dr M gives his powers to Angela will sustain me for years.

(I'm not at all sure that will actually happen but if it did it would be glorious)
posted by Justinian at 9:41 PM on December 8, 2019 [14 favorites]


For me Watchmen #4 stands as one of the best examples of sci-fi writing ever. The way it conveys the perception of time for an omniscient God like Dr. Manhattan through the clever device of altering the narrative structure of the comic itself. The litany of "it is August 7 1945, and..." "It is 1959, in Gila Flats, and.." It's one of the most powerful bits of writing I've ever encountered. It's sacrosanct.

So when Lindelhof posted his letter aping this structure in May 2019 I immediately cringed. Oh God, don't try to emulate perfect writing and fuck it up. But he didn't. The letter is great, and he copied the writing in a reasonable way in service to his message, and I was mollified.

And now he's done it again, in his TV show. And it worked. Snyder pulled this off too; the success of this sequence is a big part of why I like the 2009 movie. But the writers did more here in 2019. Not only do they tell a narrative with multifaceted time. They added the twist of The Ring, a time barrier inside which Dr. Manhattan can't see. He knows what happens before, and after, but those ten years are blind to him. And the TV show embraces that and makes it whole and holy shit, it works.
posted by Nelson at 10:18 PM on December 8, 2019 [10 favorites]


I immediately went back and watched episode 2 and since I came in at ep 6 and then went forward and then backwards I feel like IM Dr. Manhattan (and Angela) in that I was trying to remember when I found out certain things & I couldn't, it's all one big simultaneous memory to me. I recommend it haha.

So much of Jon & Angela's romance feels like a traditional folk tale. The part where she references Zeus. The part where the princess sets up a 3 part test for the prince and he wins by identifying the hidden fourth option. Which he is able to do because he's really good at figuring out people's unstated needs and finding solutions for them*. This also made me think about the scene where a "witch" makes a bargain with kindly barren farmers for a magic baby in exchange for their farm.
I also really loved how Angela wasn't going to accept being in a relationship that she couldn't admit to. She's fine with a secret identity but she also wants a non-secret identity. She has great boundaries.


*Which is why I think he actually went and involved Will and got the whole thing started, because he wanted to put them together to help Angela.
posted by bleep at 10:49 PM on December 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


So why will Angela need to have seen Dr. walking on water?

Love this show.
posted by xammerboy at 10:50 PM on December 8, 2019 [7 favorites]


Also the thing about "We're going to fight." "We're fighting right now." "Stop saying what I'm going to say!" My hubby and I laughed cause that's how our fights start sometimes. Once you know a fight is coming because it always starts the same way, it does feel like it's impossible to stop even though you both want to. Maybe that's what happened at the end.
posted by bleep at 11:18 PM on December 8, 2019 [6 favorites]


Was that a Dave Gibbons drawing of Adam and Eve?
posted by Catblack at 11:20 PM on December 8, 2019 [9 favorites]


In the bar, I think the egg was the misdirection part of the magic trick. I think Angela got the powers when she drank the beer he brought over.
posted by FallibleHuman at 11:32 PM on December 8, 2019 [5 favorites]


Was that a Dave Gibbons drawing of Adam and Eve?

Almost certainly.
posted by mwhybark at 11:44 PM on December 8, 2019


The Jon who approaches Angela in the bar and flirts hard with her is nothing like the Jon from the book but I don’t give a shit because this episode was so amazing. However he acts just like Jon from the book right after that evening.

LOVED the reference to Veidt’s infamous line from the book when Veidt says “I did it 30 years ago.”

The attention and devotion to the source material is so incredible. I re-read the graphic novel (finished it yesterday) and discovered many non-obvious connections. For instance, in an interview with Nova Express (the back-of-book material from issue 11) Ozymandias says it seems like the world is in a race between destruction and salvation. In one lane are the four horsemen of the apocalypse. In the other... the seventh cavalry.

Also, the description of Hooded Justice’s first appearance (described in Hollis Mason’s Under the Hood) exactly tracks with what we see on screen. Amazing!

Am I mistaken or did Veidt’s cake have seven candles in it, meaning that scene took place in 2016? When did Lady Trieu by that farm just in time for that meteorite to land in it?

One complaint: didn’t like the idea of Doc being able to pass his powers in to someone else, or how obviously that was telegraphed. If this is what the climax pivots upon I shall feel unsatisfied.

Quick question: if Veidt was orchestrating the squid falls, why did they continue after he was sent to Europa? I suppose that you could make the argument that when he created a squid fall it was actually falling ten years into the future but that seems unlikely.
posted by ejs at 11:44 PM on December 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


Lube Man better put in an appearance in the final episode. You can't just lube a man up like that and then not bring him back!
posted by Justinian at 3:21 AM on December 9, 2019 [22 favorites]


Eh, happened to me a lot in college. You get used to it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:37 AM on December 9, 2019 [23 favorites]


One complaint: didn’t like the idea of Doc being able to pass his powers in to someone else, or how obviously that was telegraphed. If this is what the climax pivots upon I shall feel unsatisfied.

I think it is a red herring. Lady Trieu's intervention is what will decide, not Manhattan's choice.
posted by thelonius at 4:08 AM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


So is he going to be reborn out of the swimming pool?
posted by octothorpe at 4:25 AM on December 9, 2019


Ok, here's my guess/prediction for the finale:

What we've seen so far of Veidt is in the main series timeline's past. And his is a Count of Montecristo story, so he's going to escape and come out looking for revenge. Veidt is the reason that the 7th Kavalry has the intrinsic field technology and tele-transporters.

I don't know who is going to try and become Dr Manhattan, but I know that Angela still has Checkhov's ring in her possession, so that's the weapon that will be used to neutralise the Kavalry's Manhattan.

It's 50/50 for me on whether Looking Glass will live or die. He's the Rorschach analogue of this series, so he could die at the end, because he doesn't know how not to be right. Or he could live. Narratively, he's the a trump card in this deck, just as the original Rorschach was a blot that people would read themselves into.

What I do think is that he's infiltrated the 7th Kavalry, and he'll probably team up with Laurie Blake after freeing her.

I have no idea what Lady Trieu's clock does, nor what her plans together with Hooded Justice are. We all know what position Laurie Blake is in, but not what she will ultimately do. Anyone?
posted by kandinski at 4:25 AM on December 9, 2019 [3 favorites]


An interesting point via Reddit - The Game Warden became a masked vigilante due to the trauma of losing his God
posted by thelonius at 4:31 AM on December 9, 2019 [11 favorites]


Veidt knows when he will need the horseshoe for the same reason he had the ring. He plans things out. I believe he already knew about Europa. He put the satellite there and he made sure that Trieu could get him back when he signaled. He took a gamble on being able to signal. He knew the horseshoe would be there because he had a good idea what was in the manor house when it vanished. Either that or he had the horseshoe in his pocket when Dr. Manhattan sent him off to Paradise.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 5:23 AM on December 9, 2019


Veidt is the reason that the 7th Kavalry has the intrinsic field technology and tele-transporters.

You know, this is a strong idea....is it even explained yet how the 7th K knows that Cal is Dr. Manhattan? Veidt knows that.
posted by thelonius at 5:24 AM on December 9, 2019


For me, the key lines in this episode are Veidt complaining that he saved the world and no one even knew about it and then saying that his world will beg him to come back.

I believe he orchestrated the 7th Kavalry plot and intends to make a big show of saving the world, making damn sure this time that everyone knows exactly who saved them.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:32 AM on December 9, 2019 [5 favorites]


> kandinski: What we've seen so far of Veidt is in the main series timeline's past. And his is a Count of Montecristo story, so he's going to escape and come out looking for revenge. Veidt is the reason that the 7th Kavalry has the intrinsic field technology and tele-transporters.

I think (and this is just theory, not confirmed as far as I know) that the thing that crashed into the Clark's farm was the "statue" of Veidt that Lady Trieu now has in her vivarium, which is actually Veidt in some sort of carbonite preservative that enabled him to survive the trip through space and crash landing on Earth. This suggests that he could not have been in touch with the 7K, as he hasn't been "thawed" out yet.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:39 AM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


Although now that I say that, perhaps he passed the tech and the info to the 7K before he went to Europa.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:40 AM on December 9, 2019


Lube Man better put in an appearance in the final episode. You can't just lube a man up like that and then not bring him back!

I really doubt we're going to see Lube Man again in the finale, but I think the Peteypedia scan of the "Nothing Ever Ends" zine might include a big hint as to LM's secret identity.

Also, maybe sort of a spoiler alert, but the other Peteypedia doc this week ("MEMO: Fogdancing") appears to have been issued after the events of the next episode. I wonder if these are the last of the Peteypedia entries?
posted by tomorrowromance at 5:47 AM on December 9, 2019 [3 favorites]


Loved it, loved seeing Dr. M show up and kick some ass at the end. We all sort of wondered why he couldn't just flip that truck over. My son opines that he's pulling a Dr. Strange - somehow this is how it has to go for the greater good?

It wouldn't bug me too much if Lube Man remained an enigma, though it's been so long now since we've seen Petey it almost feels certain that we'll see him somehow sliding into the picture.

In any case, they covered a ton of narrative ground last night (and really really well), that I'm feeling better about some sort of solid wrap-up in the final episode. Though I'm also bummed that it's going to be done. Somebody else said it in one of the earlier posts, but I'll echo it here: I hope Alan Moore sneaks a peak at it. I'd be interested in hearing his response.

luckily season 4 of The Expanse is about to drop
posted by jquinby at 5:47 AM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


Nice observation from The AV Club:
Europa was one of Zeus’ mortal lovers. She bore him three sons. They ruled the major Greek islands. She was worshiped as a queen. Look who else has three children who were magically whisked away to their grandfather.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:50 AM on December 9, 2019 [12 favorites]


Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey.
Jeremy Bearimy.
posted by ellieBOA at 6:00 AM on December 9, 2019 [7 favorites]




My gut instinct is that season two is going to make heavy use of Nite Owl. They made a point of saying he's alive but haven't used him at all. Jumping back and forth between Nite Owl II in the past and present, and Nite Owl I and his various media representations (American Hero Story, Under the Hood, a possible film/tv adaptation of the latter) feels right on brand for this property.

The only wrinkle is, he'd be like 75 years old. Maybe they could get a Christopher Eccleston type to play him and have them handle both the 90s stuff with Laurie and (while aged up) the contemporary scenes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:21 AM on December 9, 2019



...
I really doubt we're going to see Lube Man again in the finale, but I think the Peteypedia scan of the "Nothing Ever Ends" zine might include a big hint as to LM's secret identity.
...
posted by tomorrowromance at 5:47 AM on December 9 [+] [!]



aaaargh, what's the hint???
posted by Bwithh at 6:26 AM on December 9, 2019


It bothers me - even though it already happened from his perspective within the story - that knowing there was a device meant to kill him, he doesn't destroy it while zapping all the 7th Kavalry members. Seems like a forced plot device and I really hope they provide a good reason for that in the finale.
posted by kokaku at 6:35 AM on December 9, 2019 [5 favorites]


Agreed. I'm going to need some plot magic to explain how 7K snuck up on an omniscient, omnipotent person who knew it was coming.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:39 AM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


Isn't the point that because he already knew what was going to happen there wasn't anything that he could do to change it? It seems he can do anything, but only if he knows he's already done it. It's the ultimate trap to be Dr. Manhattan, omnipotent yet unable to change the events of his life.
posted by past unusual at 6:59 AM on December 9, 2019 [11 favorites]


> Bwithh: aaaargh, what's the hint???

From the first paragraph:

"See him now in your mind’s eye, moving through boiling clouds of Sunset Haze, wearing his gas mask and skin-tight silver suit shimmering with SPF-666, looking slick and doing what must be done, in secret, to keep you and me and all of us free."
posted by Rock Steady at 7:00 AM on December 9, 2019 [4 favorites]


My guess is he wanted her to remember the pool later because there's an egg there waiting.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 7:21 AM on December 9, 2019 [7 favorites]


It bothers me - even though it already happened from his perspective within the story - that knowing there was a device meant to kill him, he doesn't destroy it while zapping all the 7th Kavalry members.

I'm waiting until the last episode, since Dr M was destroyed once before and put himself back together in minutes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:43 AM on December 9, 2019 [3 favorites]


Oh boy did this episode do a good job of capturing the annoying wonder that is (and being) Doctor Manhattan.

I caught up on the last three episodes all yesterday (which was a rollercoaster, I'll tell you). I'd said as early as last week that Calvin, the perfect hot husband, was an angel and if the show harmed him, they are going to have to answer for it. And it turns out they had my number all along. It's almost infuriating how much I enjoy this show.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:57 AM on December 9, 2019 [7 favorites]


This episode made me realize something about Dr. Manhattan that I'd never understood before (akin to understanding that Wolverine's claws hurt him every time they come out). When Angela and DM were talking about the last time he was scared, what his answer implies is that he's in mortal terror all the time. That since he experiences all time simultaneously, there's never a moment when he isn't being ripped apart by the intrinsic field generator.
posted by Ragged Richard at 8:03 AM on December 9, 2019 [37 favorites]


Veidt’s remark, “a little elephant told me,” must be a reference to Lady Trieu, I think.
posted by mwhybark at 8:11 AM on December 9, 2019 [10 favorites]


I can tell it really pulls at the very essence of their being for some people that knowing something will happen doesn't mean you can change it. Quite the opposite. It has happened for various definitions of IT, HAS and HAPPENED.

Perfect episode.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:13 AM on December 9, 2019 [5 favorites]


Also wanted to note, in response to Angela's question of why she should begin a relationship with him when he's already said that the relationship ends in tragedy, and Jon replies that all relationships end in tragedy. Which is true, not only for everybody (no one lives "happily ever after", one of the partners will eventually die first if they don't break up before), but just as Jon relives the pain of the intrinsic field being removed constantly, he also knew about his breakup with Janey Slater the instant he reassembled himself, and he knew about his breakup with Laurie before they'd ever met.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:26 AM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


I can tell it really pulls at the very essence of their being for some people that knowing something will happen doesn't mean you can change it.

*Raises hand*. I think "but thou must" elevated to a metaphysical force makes for a terribly boring conception of fate, and is more often used to justify (physically or psychologically) implausible outcomes than to really explore interesting questions. I also think in general this kind of super-determinism is less interesting than the modern understanding of physics as fundamentally governed by chance. Like, how do you reconcile fate with a model of physics that is at its core nondeterministic? There's a lot that could be done with that question, and I think "Dr Manhattan stands in front of the death ray because he knows he stands in front of the death ray" is basically the lowest-effort answer you could give.
posted by Pyry at 9:42 AM on December 9, 2019 [5 favorites]


I still hope that Angela can become the next Manhattan. I mean, it's a curse, but this is a comic-book story, and what if it's Angela Abar's Manhattan origin story? Sister Manhattan, or maybe Sister Tulsa. That would work.

Scroll up to the top of this page (or the bottom if you're on mobile) and look at the official poster for the show. They've been telling us from the beginning and we didn't even notice.
posted by Uncle Ira at 10:21 AM on December 9, 2019 [19 favorites]


I can tell it really pulls at the very essence of their being for some people that knowing something will happen doesn't mean you can change it.

Couple of thoughts:

1) Real talk: Dr. Manhattan isn't actually all that powerful as a god. He's far from being omniscient and ominpotent but he's often talked of in that way. But it's great to see as in this episode that he's learning to be proactive in managing people's expectations.

2) If Dr. Manhattan WAS really omniscient and ominpotent, he could fake his own death as depicted in this episode. Actually he could fake and engineer the whole story for everyone. The benefit of this is that Dr. Manhattan covers up his omniscient omnipotency - everyone believes point 1 above - and absolves himself of the blame that he would get for all the pain and suffering he has caused (or indeed has just been a bystander to) as a god who had the power to stop or reverse that pain and suffering (or at least not massacre people in the first place).
posted by Bwithh at 10:21 AM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


I was not as in love with this episode because I just did not find it convincing that Angela would fall for Dr. Manhattan so quickly and so profoundly. As a result I was distracted the entire time. I could have imagined she would have fallen for the Cal that we saw for the first seven episodes. But within a few weeks (?) of Dr. M approaching her in his weird, stilted way, she was smitten. I might have been more amenable to this if it was suggested she was predisposed was to liking him, but the opposite was true. I just could not wrap my head around how this could reverse so quickly—it’s not as if he was witty or charming or good looking. He’s none of those things and he’s kind of intensely creepy. It was sweet, though, to see that when he was able to assume Cal’s body and forget who he was that he developed into a lovable, apparently perfect husband.

But the show is still working for me and there were a lot of things I liked a lot about this episode and how they handled the Angela/Dr M story in particular.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:22 AM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'm waiting until the last episode, since Dr M was destroyed once before and put himself back together in minutes.

Damned right.

"I'm disappointed, Veidt. Very disappointed."
posted by jquinby at 10:36 AM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


Was this intended to be one season or is it supposed to continue? I had somehow thought it was just this one 9 episode season but the preview for the next episode describes it as a season finale and not a series finale or just a conclusion. At which point all of the loose ends don't need to be sufficiently tied up as they can be taken care of in following seasons. I've enjoyed the episodes we've had so far but I fear that the longer this goes the greater the chance they'll mess it up.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:36 AM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


It was written to be one season and that's all, which not to say that HBO couldn't find a way to continue it if they wanted.

I think it's great the way that pretty much every episode completely recontextualizes everything that has come before. After Episode 5 I actually said "It's funny how after the first couple of episodes we thought this show was all about Angela but it turns out she's not any more of a major character than anyone else in the show." Whoops.

Uncle Ira, that's brilliant. I'm completely convinced. It's amazing how many clues in this show (e.g., the title of this last episode) have been hiding in plain sight.
posted by dfan at 10:43 AM on December 9, 2019


This article suggests that it's up in the air: Damon Lindelof Might Not Return for ‘Watchmen’ Season 2 (If There is a Season 2).
posted by jquinby at 10:44 AM on December 9, 2019


HBO has got to be in search of the next GOT..... so I guess we'll see? What shakes out?
posted by valkane at 10:58 AM on December 9, 2019


Oh, BTW, nailed it.
posted by valkane at 11:06 AM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


But within a few weeks (?) of Dr. M approaching her in his weird, stilted way, she was smitten. I might have been more amenable to this if it was suggested she was predisposed was to liking him

Dr. M himself observes that Angela was predisposed to like him. At their 6-months fight he says that up until now she has found his knowledge of the future to be comforting because of her lonely upbringing. I think Angela said "Fuck it" and decided to give it a try with him because she saw it as a bargain she was willing to make - 10 great years of love, children, and stability in exchange for a tragedy, which is a great bargain as he reminds her because this tragedy is guaranteed not to occur for 10 years, unlike any other relationship she could go try. I think it's an offer she couldn't refuse.
posted by bleep at 11:09 AM on December 9, 2019 [9 favorites]


Uncle Ira: whaat!
posted by kandinski at 11:29 AM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


I find the idea of “I knew you would want this even if you didn’t” to be more creepy than comforting and it conjures images of stalkery rom com protagonists. But I also find Jon Osterman’s Dr Manhattan pretty creepy in some ways. But it wasn’t so much the idea that Angela could fall In love with Dr M that I found distracting, it was the choice to make it happen so quickly.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:51 AM on December 9, 2019


Interesting, I thought Dr M came off as somewhat charming and human compared to previous depictions.

But I'd agree we're never really shown why Angela would be into him. Sure, we're told she would take comfort in him knowing everything, and Regina King was playing the amused and steadily interested drunk very well, yet no clear sense of Angela coming to her own conclusions.

Not a big deal, imo, because otherwise it's clear that she loves him, but yeah more show, less tell there would have been nice.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:07 PM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


Also, "get the fuck up off the pool" was a such a great line
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:08 PM on December 9, 2019 [23 favorites]


I think whether or not Angela was into it must be in the eye of the beholder because I noticed it for sure. I was sitting there being fully impressed by the informed consent going on.
posted by bleep at 12:39 PM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


That was super enjoyable and fascinating but I hope HBO goes back and digitally removes the first cloned Marionette’s tan line from her naked backside much like they removed Khaleesi’s Starbucks cup.

Yes, my suspension of disbelief engine is cantankerous.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:15 PM on December 9, 2019 [6 favorites]


But within a few weeks (?) of Dr. M approaching her in his weird, stilted way, she was smitten.

I got intrigued more than smitten, initially. Angela is alone, Angela is lonely, Angela also likes to figure things out. At the same time, she doesn't have to explain herself to this person. I can see her thinking, okay, why the fuck not go to dinner and then growing more attracted to the stability and certainty that the relationship brings.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:35 PM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


If Veidt is involved with the 7th Kavalry, it would also explain why Manhattan can't disappear the truck. We were told how this works earlier in the episode, when Veidt produces the amnesia ring and Manhattan can't see it. Veidt could have irradiated the intrinsic cannon and the truck it with tachyons as well.

We have some indirect evidence: we see Manhattan headsplode most of the Kavalries with one notable exception being the one that was operating the cannon (Angela gets him).

Also, how clever is it that the boxed ring looks like a wedding ring, and it's the thing that binds Angela and Jon/Cal into a stable couple.
posted by kandinski at 3:15 PM on December 9, 2019 [3 favorites]


Haven't fully read this thread yet, but in regards to why Angela loved Jon, I think she understands him.

This whole episode jumped around in time to get you in Dr. Manhattan's head, right? The way the chapter with Manhattan on Mars did in the original comic.

Except it didn't feel that different from a regular episode of this show, did it? On Watchmen, trauma is a time machine. Trauma, be it psychic squid attack, suicide bombing, the Tulsa Massacre, layers into everything else.

Why is Dr Manhattan's experience of time so "uniquely" annoying to Angela? Because she fucking gets it.
posted by Rinku at 3:18 PM on December 9, 2019 [17 favorites]


Also, it's been established that you can have the power of Dr Manhattan and not know you have the power of Dr Manhattan, and Angela has certainly had life-threatening moments since then, but... if she's going to assume those powers, and I do think the poster is a very cute little bit of evidence, it seems within the realm of possibility she may already have them and not know. Perhaps there's a way to hide those powers a little deeper. What if the thing neither the seventh kalvary nor Trieu nor Veidt know is that there's been two Manhattan-level beings on earth since Dr Manhattan took those beers over to Angela's table?
posted by Rinku at 3:58 PM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


Veidt could have irradiated the intrinsic cannon and the truck it with tachyons as well.

Yeah, this is a plot point from the book, where Veidt uses tachyons to confuse Dr Manhattan's precognitive powers, and since the Seventh Kavalry seem to know all about what happened in 1985, I find it plausible that they would find some way to mask the cannon from him and / or prevent him from destroying it with a wave of a hand, whether or not Veidt is involved. (Speaking of which, Jon's statement that in order to create life "I wave my hands" is kind of hilariously on the nose.)
posted by whir at 4:58 PM on December 9, 2019


since the Seventh Kavalry seem to know all about what happened in 1985

except they probably don’t! Rorschach posted his journal before he and Nite Owl split for the pole, and then Rorschach was shredded by Jon, at Rorschach’s insistence, on the ice just outside of Karnak. So there’s no canonical route to get the data on Veidt’s tachyon uncertainty field back to the 7K.

There’s at least two hypothetical routes, though.

One, as noted above, maybe Veidt has been feeding the 7K intel. This strikes me as dubious at best.

Two, a more likely route is Dan and Laurie giving as-accurate-as-they-can recountings of the confrontation at Karnak to the Feebees and any ancillary Feds, which would likely include recollections of Adrian noting that simply observing Dr Manhattan teleporting implied that it was achievable under physics. Twenty years and enough capital seems like a reasonable development timeline to me.
posted by mwhybark at 5:09 PM on December 9, 2019


he's in mortal terror all the time
I wondered if I was the only one who caught that.

(Also, right there with you about Wolvie's claws. It wasn't until that scene in the film that I understood that, either -- and it's obvious, right?)
posted by uberchet at 6:36 PM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


It’s possible that the video Veidt left for Redford, which Keene showed to Looking Glass, made mention of tachyons as a means of confounding the Doc. Like, he probably brought it up to explain how he prevented Doc from stopping his plan (perhaps boasting like a villain in an old Republic serial).
posted by ejs at 6:41 PM on December 9, 2019 [3 favorites]


guys i know this isn't exactly lindelof's forte, but what if he actually sticks the landing next episode? i may plotz
posted by entropicamericana at 7:13 PM on December 9, 2019 [9 favorites]


Don’t jinx it entropic.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:43 PM on December 9, 2019 [3 favorites]


Weirdly, and maybe as a result of of too much online-theory-digging, this is the first episode I haven't felt compelled to immediately rewatch. E.g. the no-imagination gag/bounce was a really cool callback/payoff, but then heavily-handededly explained for the people at the back?! I dunno, it was a very good episode and maybe my perception was skewed by reading so much theorising, but until the end sequence it didn't feel mindblowing or massively rewatchable (solid performances aside).
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:40 PM on December 9, 2019


Solid++
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:41 PM on December 9, 2019


(perhaps boasting like a villain in an old Republic serial).

Inciidentally, Wikipedia's page on serial films begins (emphasis mine):
A serial film, film serial (or just serial), movie serial or chapter play, is a motion picture form popular during the first half of the 20th century, consisting of a series of short subjects exhibited in consecutive order at one theater, generally advancing weekly, until the series is completed. Generally, each serial involves a single set of characters, protagonistic and antagonistic, involved in a single story, which has been edited into chapters after the fashion of serial fiction and the episodes cannot be shown out of order or as a single or a random collection of short subjects.

Each chapter was screened at a movie theater for one week, and ended with a cliffhanger, in which characters found themselves in perilous situations with little apparent chance of escape. Viewers had to return each week to see the cliffhangers resolved and to follow the continuing story.
There is possibly a great article or paper to be written on how HBO is the Republic serials of the 21st century.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:25 PM on December 9, 2019 [4 favorites]


guys i know this isn't exactly lindelof's forte, but what if he actually sticks the landing next episode? i may plotz
As all the Leftovers fans keep saying, he's 1 for 2 in sticking the landing in his career so far. That's better than a lot of people.
posted by dfan at 4:30 AM on December 10, 2019 [5 favorites]


It occurs to me that Calvin is a good alias for Dr. Manhattan not just because "Cal" recalls "Kal-El", Superman's real name, but also because of the association with John Calvin and his writings on divine predestination: if god is all-knowing then there can be no free will -- salvation and damnation are preordained.
posted by Kilter at 4:32 AM on December 10, 2019 [16 favorites]


since the Seventh Kavalry seem to know all about what happened in 1985

except they probably don’t!


1. Jon/Call was clearly muddied and confused upon reawakening

2. The 7th cal knows Viedt pulled the squid hoax, so it's hard to believe they don't know about Tachyons.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:57 AM on December 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


It occurs to me that Calvin is a good alias for Dr. Manhattan not just because "Cal" recalls "Kal-El", Superman's real name, but also because of the association with John Calvin and his writings on divine predestination: if god is all-knowing then there can be no free will -- salvation and damnation are preordained.

This episode also surfaced a joke that was embedded in the comic from the beginning: "Jon without an H." Because of course Jon doesn't need one in his name when he has one on his forehead.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:26 AM on December 10, 2019 [14 favorites]


I'm unsure if the second 7th Kav attacker from the White Night was killed - if he got reflexively teleported away, then they'd know Dr. Manhattan was living in disguise in Tulsa.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:38 AM on December 10, 2019 [8 favorites]


Strange Interlude: I momentarily read that as some kind of weird Red Dwarf crossover idea with Dr Manhattan as a hologram, with an H on his forehead like Rimmer.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:47 AM on December 10, 2019 [5 favorites]


I'm unsure if the second 7th Kav attacker from the White Night was killed - if he got reflexively teleported away, then they'd know Dr. Manhattan was living in disguise in Tulsa.

Alternately, if the Tulsa chief of police was a member of Cyclops/7K, and saw the remains of said attacker at the scene of the action, he would quickly intuit what happened and what that meant.
posted by rocketman at 7:29 AM on December 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


there's been two Manhattan-level beings on earth since Dr Manhattan took those beers over to Angela's table

I LOVE this idea.
posted by blurker at 11:58 AM on December 10, 2019


a really cool callback/payoff, but then heavily-handededly explained for the people at the back?!


There's been a lot of that throughout the whole series. I wish they had enough faith in us to register these echoed moments without a quick-cut flashback to hammer the point home.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:10 PM on December 10, 2019 [8 favorites]


I'm unsure if the second 7th Kav attacker from the White Night was killed - if he got reflexively teleported away, then they'd know Dr. Manhattan was living in disguise in Tulsa.

I like this idea. My thought was that they purposefully left her alive so that it didn't look suspicious that no cops survived except the Chief. (Since he definitely wasn't going to kill himself). It could be both - they didn't plan on killing Angela, but Cal did his thing anyway, or maybe those dum-dums did plan on killing Angela and the fact that she lived was a happy accident for them (made their story look better).
posted by bleep at 12:26 PM on December 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


This also ties into the original plan being making Keene president but they changed it to something bigger (likely when they found out that Cal was Dr. M)
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:27 PM on December 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


One of the more horrible things in this episode: Angela has spent the last ten years knowing there's a tragic end on its way, and - especially after the White Night - she surely thought that end would be her death. Not Jon's.
posted by mersen at 6:04 PM on December 10, 2019 [5 favorites]


if the Tulsa chief of police was a member of Cyclops/7K

I thought the interesting thing about this episode was that he may not be. The only evidence that he was a part of Cyclops is passed back by Angela looking for confirmation.
posted by corb at 6:42 PM on December 10, 2019


The only evidence that he was a part of Cyclops is passed back by Angela looking for confirmation.

Didn't Keene suggest that he was in cahoots with the chief when he was debriefing Looking Glass? I guess he might not have been full-on Cyclops and/or 7K but he was at the very least working with them to maintain the peace.
posted by mhum at 6:53 PM on December 10, 2019


The only evidence that he was a part of Cyclops

robe, trap door and racist conspiracy 7k wife aside
posted by mwhybark at 6:53 PM on December 10, 2019 [10 favorites]


robe, trap door and racist conspiracy 7k wife aside
She has a right to that trap door. It's part of her heritage!
posted by Cogito at 11:48 PM on December 10, 2019 [20 favorites]


It's only just crossed my mind, but why shouldn't it be her robe, her trap door and her conspiracy and Judd was blissfully ignorant? It would be entirely of a piece with the series that our internalised bigotry makes us assume it was the old white guy when in fact it was his wife.
posted by Grangousier at 12:27 AM on December 11, 2019


Alright, bigotry might have been a bit strong, sorry, I hadn't had coffee yet. Our prejudice, then.
posted by Grangousier at 1:23 AM on December 11, 2019


It's only just crossed my mind, but why shouldn't it be her robe, her trap door and her conspiracy and Judd was blissfully ignorant?

Judd copped to the robe being his when confronted by Will.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:56 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah. Scratch that, then. Otherwise it would have been entirely circular - Angela tells Manhattan, who goes back to tell Will, who then tells Angela.
posted by Grangousier at 4:13 AM on December 11, 2019


Oh yeah, I forgot that he admitted it. Far less Angela’s time paradox fault then. I’m still going to be hoping that it was Judd’s wife who is the evil trap door installing mastermind though.
posted by corb at 6:41 AM on December 11, 2019


what was up with the long long long shots of dr. m's tie knot during the bar scene?
posted by lazaruslong at 6:47 AM on December 11, 2019


> what was up with the long long long shots of dr. m's tie knot during the bar scene?

I was thinking it was not so much the tie (lots of shots of his hands also) but more just his old face before becoming Black Dr. Manhattan didn't particularly matter. We already saw it for a moment in the 100' Vietcong killing version and that was enough?

Also, not sure it's been discussed but on re-watch Angela sighs when Dr. Manhattan chooses Cal's body, and it seemed like there was history between them before he died.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:33 AM on December 11, 2019 [8 favorites]


a really cool callback/payoff, but then heavily-handededly explained for the people at the back?!

There's been a lot of that throughout the whole series. I wish they had enough faith in us to register these echoed moments without a quick-cut flashback to hammer the point home.


Those quick-cut flashbacks are so weirdly clunky (especially considering the show seems to assume the audience is fine with non-linear story telling otherwise) that it seems like a stylistic choice almost? I'm not familiar with the comic book but did it insert flashbacks like this for a single panel, say?
posted by Beware of the leopard at 7:42 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


Those quick-cut flashbacks are so weirdly clunky (especially considering the show seems to assume the audience is fine with non-linear story telling otherwise) that it seems like a stylistic choice almost? I'm not familiar with the comic book but did it insert flashbacks like this for a single panel, say?

Yes, all the time. Especially in the issue in which Dr. Manhattan recalls his life story, and in the issue in which he helps Laurie piece together the mystery at the heart of her life story (that Blake, the Comedian, her mother's rapist, is actually her dad). It gets to the point in which, on a single page of 9 panels, there are 5 panels of the current action alternating with 4 single-panel flashbacks to earlier points in the issue.

Also, maybe sort of a spoiler alert, but the other Peteypedia doc this week ("MEMO: Fogdancing") appears to have been issued after the events of the next episode. I wonder if these are the last of the Peteypedia entries?

So did anyone else read the Fogdancing memo, and can they confirm whether spoiler-averse me should avoid it? I read the first couple of lines and it definitely seems like a spoilery epilogue to the series. But if it's actually a genius set-up for the final episode, I would like to know!
posted by ejs at 9:45 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


So did anyone else read the Fogdancing memo, and can they confirm whether spoiler-averse me should avoid it? I read the first couple of lines and it definitely seems like a spoilery epilogue to the series. But if it's actually a genius set-up for the final episode, I would like to know!

I'm really not sure how to approach this, it's an odd choice to release it this week in any case. It's part of the official show canon, and all of the Peteypedia docs have had important information that helped fill in information or elaborate on things in the show's universe. This is the only one that seems to be referencing events that we haven't seen yet, though--but it does it in a vague way that doesn't specifically spell out what happened.

It does seem like a definitive epilogue to Petey's part of the story, though, which is why I suspect we might not see much of him in the finale. But other than the fact that the memo's existence implies whatever happens in the finale isn't the end of the world, I don't think there are any specific spoilers.
posted by tomorrowromance at 10:52 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]




Also, not sure it's been discussed but on re-watch Angela sighs when Dr. Manhattan chooses Cal's body, and it seemed like there was history between them before he died.

I thought the sigh/relief on Angela's part was because the other corpses were from white people and Cal was black. But some additional history between them would be good too.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:52 AM on December 11, 2019


kandinski: The writers' room must have had a great time crafting all those Christian analogies.

+ God (re)made in the image of man -- Angela chose Cal's body (and god making man in his image, when Dr. M created his Adam and Eve, based on his first view of love, plus their charity -- which can be unpacked in a separate discussion)


thelonius: Horseshoe reveal.

thelonius: Veidt knew that the horseshoe would be important before it was("I don't need that...not yet. Not yet").

I read this a different way -- he told his servants to give him a horseshoe with/ for/ in the cake, but when he'd really need it. So when he is given the horseshoe to cut the cake, it's at the wrong time. "Not yet." Nothing omnipotent, just a long-term planner.


MoonOrb: I was not as in love with this episode because I just did not find it convincing that Angela would fall for Dr. Manhattan so quickly and so profoundly. As a result I was distracted the entire time. I could have imagined she would have fallen for the Cal that we saw for the first seven episodes. But within a few weeks (?) of Dr. M approaching her in his weird, stilted way, she was smitten.

Burhanistan: Also, not sure it's been discussed but on re-watch Angela sighs when Dr. Manhattan chooses Cal's body, and it seemed like there was history between them before he died.

This was part of my read, too. Intrigue with Dr. Manhattan + history with Calvin Jelani. Angela: "I'd be comfortable with him."

any portmanteau in a storm: I thought the sigh/relief on Angela's part was because the other corpses were from white people and Cal was black. But some additional history between them would be good too.

Not all white me. First there was Dao Van Noi, accidental gas leak.

But I also picked up some of that comfort with Calvin's appearance, probably in part because Dr. Manhattan was a blue-colored Anglo dude, so it felt like she was hesitant to see who he picked. Then it also felt like something more, when she showed Dr. M. Calvin's body. At least, that's how I read Regina King's acting.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:04 PM on December 11, 2019


Yeah I read that sigh as "oh good, he picked the black body and hot damn it is FIINNNEEEE"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:09 PM on December 11, 2019 [9 favorites]


My read on the body picking scene (as a white man) was that Angela hesitated to reveal Calvin's body because the stakes for that body were the highest. If Dr Manhattan saw that option and turned it down, it would have been hurtful. So Angela, both self defensively and with a bit of cop professionalism, just doesn't immediately put it on the table. I saw uncertainty and vulnerability in the moment she shows him Calvin, not a history with that person. But also what Brandon Blatcher says.
posted by Rinku at 12:22 PM on December 11, 2019 [9 favorites]


You know, the intrinsic field tachyon cannon strikes me as a fairly amusing pun, given how common it is in internet discourse to misspell canon as cannon.

How do you disintegrate Dr. Manhattan? You use the canon.
posted by mwhybark at 12:28 PM on December 11, 2019


A question: How did Dr. Manhattan even know about Angela? He walked into a bar, in Vietnam, on the one day where he could be himself (with a mask, for good measure), and as he tells Will Reeves, "I know the moment I first see her, I sense profound emptiness and loss."

But that meant he had to see her. So why does he see her? A random chance encounter?

Angela, on the other hand, feels some pull to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Again, from Dr. M to Mr. Reeves: "I'm not sure she knows yet, but I suspect it's because she senses it is where she comes from."

So did Jon feel a pull to Angela, as part of his destiny?
posted by filthy light thief at 12:32 PM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


(curious about this, I doublechecked to be sure the show actually used the word cannon. It does. Dr. M refers to the device as a “tachyonic cannon”. I should note that he actually specifies it will involuntarily teleport him rather than simply, uhm, deintrisify him)
posted by mwhybark at 12:33 PM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


He's always known about her.

Much like Angela alerted Will about Judd having a Klan robe. The knowing creates the future.

I'm gonna go lie down now, 'cause my head hurts
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:35 PM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


But that meant he had to see her. So why does he see her? A random chance encounter?

This is the biggest question I have right now, but as I discussed with some other friends when you have a character like Dr. Manhattan you kind of have to work backward from the end of the story in order for him to make any sense. Since he knows the future, nothing he does can really be random. I expect we'll get the answer to this in the finale.

Angela, on the other hand, feels some pull to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Again, from Dr. M to Mr. Reeves: "I'm not sure she knows yet, but I suspect it's because she senses it is where she comes from."

I may be remembering incorrectly, but didn't June mention to Angela they were going to Tulsa when she traveled to Saigon to get her?
posted by tomorrowromance at 1:10 PM on December 11, 2019 [4 favorites]


there's been two Manhattan-level beings on earth since Dr Manhattan took those beers over to Angela's table

They've also been having unprotected sex for years.
posted by ishmael at 3:33 PM on December 11, 2019


June definitely told Angela that her family came from Tulsa. As for unprotected sex with Dr Manhattan, if that gives you godlike powers, should Janey (presumably off the playing board by this time?) and Laurie both be imbued with powers, then?
posted by rmd1023 at 3:38 PM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


Ok I'm a dumbass so can someone tell me what I'm looking for in this poster of Sister Night in front of the clock? That indicates she's got Manhattan Powers?
posted by Justinian at 3:54 PM on December 11, 2019


It's that there is blue light cast upon her. Whether that's her own power of the reflected light of Dr. Manhattan can be debated.
posted by ejs at 4:01 PM on December 11, 2019


The scene where Will Reeves chugs hot coffee to Angela's surprise features a coffee machine with a blue light. Maybe they're a Blue-sensitive bloodline, our galaxy's jedis.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:06 PM on December 11, 2019


I mean, they only have two choices for lighting: blue or orange. It was either make Angela look like Dr. Manhattan or else Captain Citrus.
posted by Nelson at 5:37 PM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


Crap, now I'm dying for Disney to purchase the Florida citrus industry so they have the rights to bring Captain Citrus into the MCU.
posted by ejs at 5:44 PM on December 11, 2019


As for unprotected sex with Dr Manhattan, if that gives you godlike powers, should Janey (presumably off the playing board by this time?) and Laurie both be imbued with powers, then?

Hm, didn't think of that. I was just referring to the new Manhattan parameters that the show introduced. Hm, yeah, I guess if Dr. Manhattan's former lovers don't have powers, why would Angela Abar?
posted by ishmael at 9:01 PM on December 11, 2019


I'm not sure I buy Angela having Dr Manhattan's powers - in particular, she doesn't seem to have any precognitive abilities, nor the decidedly non-human perspective that seems to come with them. The show definitely, uh, beat that egg imagery a great deal, though. I suppose Jon could have given her the powers in the beer egg but not activated them somehow, but he also makes a point of saying he wouldn't pass on his powers without getting consent first, and I didn't see anywhere in this episode where Angela consented to receive them.
posted by whir at 10:07 PM on December 11, 2019


Dr Manhattan didn't say that you automatically got his powers if you consumed whatever, he said that he could probably deliberately imbue organic material with his power. So, contra General Jack D. Ripper, his precious bodily fluids would not automatically lead to essence transference.
posted by Justinian at 10:07 PM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


I really want to see Robert De Niro painted blue in this famous egg scene from Angel Heart now.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:35 PM on December 11, 2019


Regarding powers possibly attributable to Dr. M, Laurie and Angela are both preternaturally good at what they've chosen as their life's work--investigation and asskicking--and rely on intuition, a form of precognition, and prefer to work alone.
posted by carmicha at 1:05 AM on December 12, 2019


Also, it was Dr. M that drank the beer-egg, not Angela.
posted by BlueDuke at 3:55 AM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


I really want to see how that dinner date between them went.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:09 AM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Fedora noted to me the other day: did he imbue the swimming pool water with Superman Juice while he was standing on it? Is that why she needs to remember about it?
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:56 AM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


did he imbue the swimming pool water with Superman Juice

THERE IS AN EGG IN THE SWIMMING POOL and that’s why he said “remember the eggs” or “be careful of the eggs” while he was making waffles. It wasn’t about the ones she dropped. It’s about the one(s) he disappeared to the water.
posted by corb at 5:11 AM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Wait, are y'all saying Dr. Manhattan violated the "Welcome to our Ool" sign?!
posted by Burhanistan at 5:16 AM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


and that’s why he said “remember the eggs” or “be careful of the eggs” while he was making waffles

I'm fairly certain the line is "Watch the eggs."
posted by BlueDuke at 6:00 AM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Wait, are y'all saying Dr. Manhattan violated the "Welcome to our Ool" sign?!

If he "imbued it with his Superman juice", it's not a drop of unwanted pee the other swimmers need to worry about.
posted by Paul Slade at 6:02 AM on December 12, 2019


No man can eat 50 million eggs
posted by thelonius at 6:39 AM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


you haven’t seen Cool Hand Luke
posted by MoonOrb at 7:05 AM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Dr Manhattan: I would never pass my abilities on to someone without their consent.
Angela: So, that's a thing you can do? Give someone your powers?
Dr Manhattan: I suppose I could transfer my atomic components into some sort of organic material. If someone were to consume it, they would inherit my powers.
Angela: So, you can put them in this egg, and if I ate it, I could walk on water?
Dr Manhattan: Theoretically, yes.
...
Kids: Daddy! Daddy! Mom? Daddy!
Angela: It's okay! It's okay! What's happening?
Kids: There's a blue man on our swimming pool! Look! He looks like Cal.
(ZAPS)
Angela: *outside, by the pool* Motherfucker. Where are they? Where did you send them?
Dr Manhattan: It's all right. They're safe.
Angela: No. Uh-uh. Get the fuck up off the pool and tell me where they are right now.
Dr Manhattan: You need to see me on the pool.
Angela: Why?
Dr Manhattan: It's important for later.
Angela: Okay. I've seen it. Now, tell me where you sent our children.
...
Angela: What the hell are you doing?
Dr Manhattan: Making waffles. Watch the eggs.
Angela: *smashes floating eggs onto the floor* God damn it, Jon! We don't have time for this! I woke you up because the Kavalry knows who you are, and they are coming for you.

[Copied and edited from this rough transcript]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:45 AM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


So Dr M can't prevent himself from being destroyed. But he could pass his power on to someone else who could remake him.

Treiu probably isn't gonna be happy about that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:02 AM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


In re-reading the transcript, I'm caught on this line, as Jon is standing on the pool, talking to Angela: Dr Manhattan: It's important for later.

Later means for Angela, right? Because Jon doesn't live within time like everyone else, so the idea of later (or of moments) is almost a foreign concept for him.

Unless he knows that someone else is watching, someone who will come to look at the pool later. Or maybe he imbued his god-like abilities into the water itself?
posted by filthy light thief at 11:47 AM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


My first thought was that standing on water is a simple and non-violent act that someone with his power can do to show they have the power.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:57 AM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


I know I promised not to conjecture, but I suspect she'll realise he's slipped her powers when she finds herself standing on water.
posted by Grangousier at 12:15 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


YOU PROMISED
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:17 PM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


Well, I promised myself more than anyone else, but the urge to try to guess what might happen in an episode of a television programme that will be broadcast in three days was too great to resist.
posted by Grangousier at 1:17 PM on December 12, 2019


Wouldn’t she realize it when she can see through time? Or is the idea that she only gets certain powers?
posted by chris24 at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2019


Though seeing her on walk on water is certainly a good indication to the audience she has them.
posted by chris24 at 1:24 PM on December 12, 2019


Wouldn’t she realize it when she can see through time? Or is the idea that she only gets certain powers?

I think this depends on how powers would manifest themselves: is it, like a muscle, something to flex, or like Dr. Manhattan's creation/destruction powers, something that seem to require a physical wave of his hand (almost like a magical motion), or like the senses, something that you just experience and have?

And from Dr. M's description of his experience of time, it's not so much that he can see through time, but that he experiences time differently.

Angela: Where are you?
Cal/Jon: I'm in the bar (panting) the night we met. Just before I created the egg. I'm telling you about the fight we're gonna have.
Angela: Shut up.
Cal/Jon: That you're telling me to leave.
Angela (whispering): Shut up, shut up, shut up.
Cal/Jon: All right.
Angela: God damn it. (sighing) We are not gonna fight because I'm not gonna tell you to leave.
Cal/Jon: We are and you will.
...

On re-reading this, I'm amused that Angela curses with "God damn it," while talking with something of a god.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:26 PM on December 12, 2019


Angela could realize she has the power if she's cornered by the 7K, and almost surely about to die, much like Cal did so during the White Night. In fact, that would make Manhattan's sacrifice a lot more sensible - he knows that even if he is destroyed he has passed along that power to someone who is able to counter the horror of a bunch of white supremacists (quite likely Keene himself) possessing it. However, he can't simply tell Angela this, because he knows that if she reveals the power too early, then she'll just be disintegrated like he was. Also, presumably, if he is dead, then Manhattan knew from the moment he stepped out of the intrinsic field that his story ended some time in 2019 (though likely not exactly when due to the tachyon interference). Perhaps he chose Angela for her commitment to justice, and to fighting the abuses of power Cyclops, Nixonian America, and their antecedent of the 7K represent.
posted by codacorolla at 2:41 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Its kind of funny how you guys are all talking about how Angela will become Dr. M and experience time in a fragmented manner when we've already had 2 episodes of Angela experiencing time in a fragmented manner thanks to her Nostalgia trip.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:02 PM on December 12, 2019 [7 favorites]


Wait, is the whole show just everyone experiencing time in a fragmented manner following a sort of globally-distributed fractional Dr Manhattan power-apportionment?
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:59 PM on December 12, 2019


Who wants pancakes? Angela? Bet you want one of these here pancakes. Mmmm, fresh made with eggs that definitely did not come from the refrigerator.

I am beginning to think there’s something to this whole plate of beans hotcakes.
posted by mwhybark at 9:24 PM on December 12, 2019


When Dr. Manhattan says “I would never pass my abilities on to someone without their consent” , that isn't a promise or a prediction, it is a statement of fact; he already knows—has always known— whether or not he ever passes on his abilities. So, there are three possibilities: he never passes on his abilities, he passes them on with the consent of the victim beneficiary, or he's a big blue liar. So the idea that he has already passed on his abilities to Angela without her knowledge implies option three (he's lying), which is totally possible, but not at all how I am reading things.

That being said, if someone with his abilities also automatically shares his experience of time (or lack thereof), then would their consent be any less meaningful even it appeared to be post facto from the perspective of those of us who experience time linearly? My gut feeling is that that would be a cheat.
posted by thedward at 9:59 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


my thinking on her finding an egg or egg-based food item is that it will present as a puzzle which she solves, and in doing so consents.
posted by mwhybark at 10:48 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Right, synthesising mine and others' theories here or elsewhere, I reckon maybe Dr M. has stashed most of his powers in the eggs/waffles, ergo allowing himself to be taken by the 7K isn't quite the World Destroying issue it would otherwise be since he's only passing on to Keene Jr the head-sploding, water-walking and teleporting(?) all of which is plenty to make mischief with, but not American God/Superman tier.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 10:59 PM on December 12, 2019


Remember the very first time we saw Angela, we saw her separating the egg yolks to make moon cakes? And the special attention that was called to her grandfather eating eggs.
posted by Cogito at 12:18 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


Which came first, the Super-Man or the egg?
posted by Nelson at 6:43 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


There's also the possibility that Dr. M is in some way able to reconstruct himself or is reconstructed (by Lady Trieu?), and thus this is not the end of his continuity of experience. It would make the comment about needing to see him walking on the pool make more sense because he would still have a future memory that is yet to come, versus it otherwise being unclear why he knows that knowledge will be useful. That would give him the opportunity to pass along powers with consent. The tragedy at the end of their relationship could still be yet to come.
posted by past unusual at 10:16 AM on December 13, 2019


"Without the awareness of your abilities, you wouldn't know to use them. Except, perhaps, in life-threatening situations."
posted by Grangousier at 12:44 PM on December 13, 2019


"So the idea that he has already passed on his abilities to Angela without her knowledge implies option three (he's lying), which is totally possible, but not at all how I am reading things."

Wellllllllll, couldn't he like, pass on the abilities to her "now" knowing she will consent later? If time is all the same to him, her consenting in, say 2020 and him giving her the abilities in 2019 seem to be acceptable?

Maybe not acceptable but logical? Something?
posted by nushustu at 5:41 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


That's what I was going to say, nushustu.
posted by bunderful at 8:33 PM on December 13, 2019


I wonder where the kids went. That was hand waved away and maybe it's not a big deal, but it seems like it could be.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:11 AM on December 14, 2019


I'm rewatching now and while it sounds like Veidt says "My children... all eight billion of them are waiting for me to return" the captions say "all eight million." That's the difference between a casual reference to humanity and the reveal of a very specific plan. For now, I'm assuming an error in the captions and that it's "billion."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:23 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


I read his “8 million” children as the humans on Earth directly affected by the squid-drop’s psychic component. Maybe that’s a stretch.
posted by modus_pwns at 9:02 AM on December 14, 2019


Not sure if relevant, but Earth's population started rounding to 8 billion in 2018.
posted by avalonian at 10:21 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


"So the idea that he has already passed on his abilities to Angela without her knowledge implies option three (he's lying), which is totally possible, but not at all how I am reading things."

Can she give consent in the future for her past self? I think precedent for that dynamic exists.

I wonder where the kids went. That was hand waved away and maybe it's not a big deal, but it seems like it could be.


They're at the theater with Grandpa if we're talking about Angela and Cal's kids.
posted by avalonian at 10:30 AM on December 14, 2019


As to not abuse the edit window: Dr M says that they're with Grandpa at the theater in the same conversation. He names the theater but I forget. She doesn't drop it until she gets her answer.
posted by avalonian at 10:35 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


To wit:
M: They're with your grandfather.
A: What?!
M: They're at the Dreamland Theatre in downtown Tulsa right now. It's all right, your grandfather was expecting them.

posted by mwhybark at 10:45 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


No matter how Watchmen ends, it’s already done more than enough. A piece written in anticipation of the final episode. I particularly liked this observation:
One way to measure the success of HBO’s Watchmen has been how satisfying it is to watch the show completely rewrite its source material, trading its anxieties for current ones, taking its criticisms of superhero fiction and extending it further to make it a criticism of power and the whiteness of that power.
posted by Nelson at 10:49 AM on December 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


Love the article, Nelson. I find this show to be excellent and important. Most shows only ever strive for the former, if that.
posted by avalonian at 11:16 AM on December 14, 2019


Regina King's delivery "Did I start all this?..." or whatever she says after she spills the Judd beans to past-Will was so hammy, love it
posted by Cezar Golescu at 1:32 PM on December 14, 2019


taking its criticisms of superhero fiction and extending it further to make it a criticism of power and the whiteness of that power.

Beautifully put. This is why I hope Alan grits his teeth eventually and takes a look. I mean, it’s still within the IP system that he feels strongly against, and therefore fails in gaining the independence he sought both as creator and for his work - I mean, fuxake, Lindelof Watchmen S02 speculative headlines are a regular feature of my dumbass popculture FB feed clickbait placards - but the show has actually broadened the comics’ applicability and electrifyingly translated both the formal qualities and cultural critique of the original. It’s hard to imagine even an epic last-episode fail erasing the accomplishments of the show-to-date.
posted by mwhybark at 4:18 PM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]



I'm rewatching now and while it sounds like Veidt says "My children... all eight billion of them are waiting for me to return" the captions say "all eight million." That's the difference between a casual reference to humanity and the reveal of a very specific plan. For now, I'm assuming an error in the captions and that it's "billion."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:23 AM on December 14 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


Good point. I rewatched a few times and I’m sure now it’s billion not million.
Close captioning accuracy is often sloppy even on prestige shows unfortunately
posted by Bwithh at 4:22 PM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


I have long since abandoned my earlier prediction, but I have a new one: RIP Mirror Guy
posted by thelonius at 10:12 AM on December 15, 2019


Veidt is sure that he saved humanity from nuclear annihilation, therefore all 8 billion of us are his children.
posted by kandinski at 9:16 PM on December 15, 2019


I would like to note that the official title for the episode is A God walks into Abar.

It would be a shame to see a good pun wasted.

(And yet people still mistitle Buffy's "Lovers walk")
posted by Tobu at 4:22 PM on December 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


It's the ultimate trap to be Dr. Manhattan, omnipotent yet unable to change the events of his life.

He might be omniscient, but he's in a universe of watch men.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:42 AM on February 25


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