Watchmen never ceases to amaze me! These two episodes are some of my favorite of the series with Angela still recovering from the Nostalgia trip and then the introduction of Dr. Manhattan into the story in the most unexpected way! There are a ton of call backs to both earlier episodes and to the comics so let’s jump in!!!
The Story of Jon Osterman
This scene is the opening of episode 7, An Almost Religious Awe, explains the history of Dr. Manhattan. It is both in his upbringing and to his time in Vietnam, which is where this is being shown as it the stage being set for the death of Angela’s parents.
First Off, Jon Osterman was a son of a watchmaker which plays heavily into the overall clock, watch, and countdown theme that has been playing through the comics and on this series. Jon and his father, Jewish Immigrants, left Germany for obvious reasons during World War II and relocated to the Americas. He later become Dr. Manhattan when going into an Intrinsic Field Generator to recover a watch that belonged to his then girlfriend Janey Slater. Once inside the door shut and he was violently transformed in the glowing blue man with God-like powers. He become part of the group, Watchmen, and was later sent to Vietnam where he helped to change the tide of the war and USA came away with a victory and a new state. However, in this overview of his life, we find that some in Vietnam have a more cynical view of Dr. Manhattan.
We then have the scene that explains the death of Angela’s parents with interwoven scenes from William’s time in Tulsa as a young man (The opening scene of episode 1) We see the inspiration for her Sister Night with her purchase of this VHS although her parents continuously tell her that she is not old enough to watch it. When she goes to return it, she watches this puppet show, this is a call back to the comics, Chapter 9, when Dr. Manhattan says, ‘We’re all puppets, Laurie. I’m just a puppet that can see the strings.”
Young Angela then watches the puppeteer give them man on the bicycle a backpack which later we learn is the bomb that kills her parents as a protest to US occupation of Vietnam.
After watching her parents die again, Angela wakes by falling out of bed, which according to Lady Trieu has happened several times now. She explains to Angela that she ended up here in the hops that Trieu could save her life after she swallowed all of William’s Nostalgia pills. Now Angela is going through Numodialysis in the hope to remove William’s memories from hers.
The hose that Angela is connected to has another living thing on the other end, and Angela assumes that this is William. She wants to see William to understand why he wanted her to know all of that but Lady Trieu warns her against that because it could damage her recovery.
Meanwhile, Red Scare and Pirate Jenny are outside monitoring the situation since Angela is under arrest for the cover up of Jude’s death. We also have Cal who has been attempting to get in and see her but without any luck. He is told that because of the upcoming launch of the Millennium Clock they are not allowing visitors.
Wade has been missing in the last episodes. The last we saw from him was the 7th Kalvary storming his house, well now we know what happened. He killed them all and then it appears that he fled. If you remember, he was pulled into the 7th K hideout and learned the truth about both the original squid attack from the comics, and the small squid rains since then (All an Adrian Viedt plot and not a Transdimensional attack). He also learned that Keene and Judd were in on the 7th K, but not as a racist organization but for some bigger purpose.
Looking Glasses’ disappearance is all relayed to Laurie who has been spending time listen to the recordings of Angela from her time under the influence of Nostalgia.
From listening to these recordings of Angela, Laurie has figured out that William Reeves is the Hooded Justice and has developed a theory about what is going on. She goes and meets with Jude Crawford’s wife, Jane. She shares with her the idea that Jude was a member of Cyclops, the organization that William fought against that mind controls black people to keep them suppressed. She the goes on the explain that Cyclops stages the White Night to push for masked officers. Then with everyone masked you can no longer tell who is good and who is bad. From there they push the agenda for Keene to become president. Jane admits that this is the plan, but with a twist. Keene doesn’t want to be president; he wants to be something else.
Jane then drops Laurie into a trap door.
Why a Cop?
After Angela wakes again, she is visited by Bian, Lady Trieu’s daughter. She is show pictures which really end up being unrelated to Angela’s recovery but a project that Bian is working on. She then asks Angela why she became a cop if it meant that she had to lie to her kids.
This pushes a memory lapse that in young Angela in Vietnam after her parent’s death. She is living in an orphanage and is called out to identify the puppeteer who is then taken in the ally and shot. The other officer gives Angela a badge and tells her to her a hold of her when she is older and wants to be a cop.
After the memory flash, Bian tells Angela about a memory she often has about being an old woman with her feel hurting which strikes Angela has a weird memory or dream for Bian to have. (This will come up later)
Then we end up over on Europa with Adrian Viedt where he stands trial for trying to escape the prison is seems he has been placed in. He is found guilty obviously, since his own defense was a fart. Basically, this scene is mostly ridiculous but I think the more important thing to come out of this is the explanation of time. I will talk about how Adrian got here later but with each episode we see him it has been a year of time passing for him.
The Plan to Save Humanity
Back with Angela, she has decided that she wants to see William and follows her hose to where William would be. However, she is stopped by Trieu. They have this conversation over tea about Angela’s husband Cal which is big foreshadowing. Trieu talks about how rare it would be for him to have lost all his memories in this accident that he had in Vietnam which is what led them to move to Tulsa. Angela wonders how Trieu knows about this because she hasn’t told her but Trieu says that it was William that told her. This is equally as weird because William and Angela haven’t talk about it either. (This will be explained later)
Then the conversation leads to Bian, with Angela curious about who’s memories she is being fed. This has Trieu confessing that Bian is not her daughter but a clone of her mother and she is slowly being fed memories. Of course, Angela points this out as being crazy but Trieu says that she is about to have her biggest accomplishment and wants her parents there to see it. Her father being brought up was weird, she says that her father will be there as well but it doesn’t seem like he was also cloned. I believe that her father is either Adrian Veidt or another member of the Watchmen.
When Angela asks Trieu what this Millennium clock is going to do Trieu shuts down the conversation with no explanation.
With Laurie, after falling in the trap door, she wakes to find herself in the warehouse for the 7th K. She is met by Keene who goes into crazy detail about their plans which he thinks that Laurie will find interesting. He plans on kidnapping Dr. Manhattan and then stealing his powers in an effort to restore balance to white men (but they aren’t racist *Eyerolling*)
The Elephant in the Room
After her conversation with Trieu, Angela then finds herself watching a speech given by Trieu which explains her biggest failure as the Nostalgia pills. The pills were designed to help people see their past to make a better future but instead people became fixated on the past and forgot to worry about the future. I think this directly related to the Millennium Clock since Trieu said before that it was going to be the first wonder of the new world. Maybe a mind wipe of some sort.
After watching this, Angela again follows the hose but instead of finding Williams she finds that she is connected to the elephant in the room. A huge foreshadow to the last scene of the episode that I will talk about later. Basically, Angela knows something and Trieu knows something, but Angela is not talking about it.
After finding out that she is connected to an Elephant, Angela disconnects herself which leads to her having more mixed memories. This time she remembers when she met her grandmother June. We saw her a bit in William’s memories since this was his wife. Here Angela meets her grandmother and it seems like things are looking up, that she is going to move to Tulsa. However, right as they are leaving June falls and dies right there. Basically, we see all this crazy shit that poor Angela has dealt with.
Hiding in Plain Sight
When Angela wakes back up, she heads out wanting to leave. Instead she ends up in this room which shows us that Trieu has been the one monitoring these Manhattan boxes set up all over the world. When Trieu comes in, she tells Angela that it is a shame since Manhattan isn’t even listening to the people, that he isn’t even on Mars. He is here in Tulsa disguised as someone else and the 7th K are planning on finding him and killing him to take his powers.
Angela doesn’t quite have the reaction that Trieu is expecting and doesn’t even ask who Dr. Manhattan is, she just leaves. She goes home immediately where she talks with Cal. She tells him that it is time to come out of the tunnel revealing that Cal is Jon Osterman Aka Dr. Manhattan!!!!
A God Walks into Abar
Not only is this the title of episode 8 but it is really this conversation where we learn about how Angela became the wife of Dr. Manhattan. The bar scene pops up throughout the episode to move the story forward and tie it all together nicely. It takes place about 10 years before current events with Dr. Manhattan coming into Eddy’s bar, I am sure that this bar name is in reference to the Comedian, Edward Blake. Not only did Dr. Manhattan help in Vietnam but Blake was there was well, he is also Laurie’s dad.
The conversation begins with him bringing up the death of her parents, this being the 20th anniversary of their death. She Is curious how he knows that since she hasn’t told him yet which is the opening to understanding how he works. Jon is basically living his whole life all at once, his past and his present are happening simultaneously as he is having this conversation.
She comments on his mask and references him to Zeus, the god who would come down from the heavens disguised to have sex with unsuspecting woman. He tells her that the mask is to not draw attention which is funny.
Still in the conversation with Angela at the bar he tells her that the images and story about him on Mars is basically all made up to give him privacy here on Earth, but he is also spending significant time on Europa, a moon of Jupiter. This should prick up your ears a little at first because we know that is where Adrian Viedt is trapped.
As he goes on in the conversation about creating life we see where he creates the life on Europa. The places we have seen Adrian ride horse, the lake he fished out the clones, and finally the Manor where he is living. When Angela wonders why this manor when he could have created on of his own, he explains that this manor is significant to him.
This was a home in England where Jon and his father stopped before going to the Americas. There he took two apples and hid in a closet where he accidentally witnessed a man and a woman about to make love. When he drops the apple, it alerts them to him and he runs off. Later they come to find him and say that they are not angry with him, but that they were creating life. They had a son before that died young. Then they give him a bible and talk with him about Adam and Eve, in exchange he makes the promise that he will create something beautiful.
When he creates the paradise on Europa, he makes the clone in the image of this man and woman in order to keep his promise.
I Hate Dr. Manhattan
After commenting on his imagination, something that 6 months from now someone is going to say differently. Angela reminds Jon that she is not going to have Dinner with him because he forgets to consider that she hates Dr. Manhattan. This is because Dr. M came to Vietnam and burned down several villages. One of the villages had a young boy in it that grew up hating the Americans and creates a bomb that ends up killing her parents.
He admits that he regrets what he did in Vietnam making her wonder why he did it if he knew he was going to regret it, he then reminds her that we all do that.
Another issue that is going to plague this couple, should she decide to date him, is that he is recognizable. He tells her that in two weeks’ time she is going to find a solution to that. That end up in the morgue where she picks from the dead bodies one that she would be comfortable with. She explains that it needs to be a dead body so there is paperwork, like a license and what not.
Of course, not everything is perfect like the argument that they are going to get into together in the next 6 months which pushes Jon to seek out the help of Adrian. Adrian offers a solution that he already had in the works; a ring placed on the forehead so he forgets her is Dr. Manhattan. Essentially this will stop him from using his powers because he won’t know they exist. Therefore, he doesn’t have memories from their time in Vietnam, also why they moved to Tulsa for a fresh start.
In exchange for his help, Dr. Manhattan sends Adrian to his Europe paradise. At the time this sounded like a fantastic idea to Adrian, but as we know, it was just too good to be true and now he is trying to escape. I image that if he makes it off Europa that he isn’t going to be very happy with Jon.
Tunnel of Love
At the bar they also have this moment where the Tunnel of Love song comes on and he claims this to be her favorite song even though she has never heard of it. When she is placing the ring in his forehead this is explained as being what their 10 years together is like until they come to this tragic ending that he talks about. He also goes into detail about the three kids they adopt.
They egg she cracks in his egg is really building on this overall egg theme that we have seen with Angela over the last several episodes. Her first appearance she was separating eggs, there were eggs in her bakery when her and William were talking, later this episode she is going to throw eggs to the ground. Here she dumps it into his beer when he mentions having kids because she has no desire to have kids. They also talk about him using an egg to transfer powers which is going to be important in my next breakdown.
End of the Tunnel
Now we are in the present where Angela has just smashed Cal in the head with a hammer to remove the ring. We see the blue glow but it takes Jon a minute to adjust. They explain quickly that he still is retaining the memories he made as Cal, specifically when he saved her on White Night with his powers.
He then ends up on the pool outside, which the kids point out. Angela runs out to him and Jon sends the kids away to be with William. He tells her that it is important for her to see him walking on water, something also explained in the next episode.
Then there is the conversation with and about William. He explains to her that he talked with William before the ring was inserted in his head. This was an attempt to include William in her life. When Angela learns about the conversation, she has him ask him about Judd and his connection to Cyclops. Well, William doesn’t know about Judd’s connection, which may have been what started all of this to begin with.
After that the conversation goes to more pressing concerns, like waffles and cannons. When Angela tells him about the 7th K, he tells her that he already knew and that they are already outside. Angela goes into action mode and takes on the 7th K as a one-woman squad, that is until she is cornered in a truck. This is when Jon steps in to save her and kills most of the Kalvary here. Just when we think they are in the clear one pops up and kills hits him transporting him to where we have seen Laurie. Presumably to the cage they were building in front of her.
Check Out All of My ‘Watchmen’ Breakdowns!!
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E1 “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” Breakdown and Review!
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E2 “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship” Breakdown!
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E3 “She Was Killed by Space Junk” Breakdown!
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E4 “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own” Breakdown
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E5 “Little Fear of Lightning” Breakdown!
- ‘Watchmen’ S1E6 “This Extraordinary Being” Breakdown!
- Catching Up: Watchmen Episodes 7-8!
- Watchmen S1E9 ‘See How They Fly’ Season Finale Breakdown!