Zeus walks among the ordinary people and finds love in ” A God Walks into Abar.”
Episode eight of Watchmen directed by Nicole Kassell and written by creator Damon Lindelof & Jeff Jensen is designed so that we experience time as Doctor Manhattan does. We see the world through his eyes in ” A God Walks into Abar.” He experiences time as if everything in his life is happening simultaneously. All the questions that have sprung up over these last seven episodes are answered in this one. We finally get to learn why Adrian Veidt has been locked up.
When Jon Osterman (Doctor Manhattan) was a young boy, he and his father fled Nazi Germany. They stayed in an English manor with other Jewish refugees before heading over to the United States. When Mr. Osterman sent Jon out to find some bread, the little boy snuck into the master bedroom of the mansion. When he heard the lady and the master of the house enter, Jon hid in their wardrobe. From his hiding place, he witnessed the couple having sex. Jon did not know what they were doing together but could tell the activity was joyful. He leaned into the eye hold, dropping an apple. The husband heard the commotion, opened the wardrobe door, and spotted Jon who ran out of the room. Later in the evening, the couple explained to the boy that they were trying to create a new life.
The English lady and the master gave Jon a bible explaining that the book contains beautiful stories about God creating life. They make the young Jon promise that when he grows up in America he too will make something beautiful. Fast forward a couple of decades or in Doctor Manhattan’s mind, simultaneously, the now god-like figure lands on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Doctor Manhattan decides to create life as God does in Genesis. In a few seconds, Jon creates a lake, trees, a breathable atmosphere, and his version of Adam and Eve. The lake is full of small fetuses who can turn into full-grown adults in minutes. Doctor Manhattan wants his former saviors, the English lady and the master, to witness what a beautiful world he made, so “God” created the clones to look like them. Doctor Manhattan then brings their mansion Europa for them to live in.
Doctor Manhattan soon grows bored of living with clones who worship him. He returns to Earth to find real companionship. After Doctor Manhattan starts to date Angela, he meets up with his former teammate Adrian Veidt. The genius gives the god-like figure a piece of technology that will allow him to forget everything. In exchange, Doctor, Manhattan, sends Adrian Veidt to Europa since his dream is to be worshipped, and the clones want somebody to serve. At the end of the episode, we learn that Doctor Manhattan has not trapped Veidt, but the first “Adam,” a.k.a. The Game Keeper has kept him imprisoned in Jupiter’s moon. The Game Keeper is angry that his creator, Doctor Manhattan, created a paradise, then abandoned it. We will need to wait for the finale to find out if Adrian Veidt can use the tool that his servants baked into a cake to escape.
My favorite part of the episode is the use of the song ” Tunnel of Love” which highlights Doctor Manhattan and Angela Abar’s various love stories throughout their relationship. Angela and Doctor Manhattan met in a bar in Vietnam where he uses the song to demonstrate to Angela that he is indeed the real McCoy and not one of the many men who are only dressed up like Doctor Manhattan. Jon tells Angela that her favorite song will play on the Jukebox in a second, and then a “Tunnel of Love” starts playing. Angeles tells Jon that it is not her favorite song, but he assures her that one day, it will be. Another time, Doctor Manhattan tells Angela that they will be together for ten years at which point their relationship will end tragically. He can’t remember all the details. Angela comments that Doctor Manhattan is describing a “tunnel of love.” The song becomes like an anthem of their relationship. Lastly, “Tunnel of Love” plays under all their bar scenes including the final scene in which Angela she agrees to go out with Doctor Manhattan. Right after that sequence, Doctor Manhattan is murdered by the Seventh Calvary.
The title ” A God Walks into Abar” references both Christianity and the Ancient Roman Gods. Doctor Manhattan hides his true identity in the bar by wearing a Doctor Manhattan mask like all the other men there. Angela points out that he is like Zeus, who came to Earth to find love but hid his identity by pretending to be a swan. Europa is like Mount Olympus, and Doctor Manhattan is the God hiding among the mortals. In both Europa and his pool, Jon walks on water as Jesus did in the bible. In addition, the story of Genesis inspired Jon to create heaven on Europa. Episode eight is littered with “God” references. Doctor Manhattan even walks around naked like Adam and Eve he does not feel embarrassed by his naked body.
The last element of this episode that I want to discuss is how Damon Lindelof manages to convey the way Doctor Manhattan experiences all events simultaneously. For example, Jon goes to see his father-in-law Will Reeves in his New York home ten years ago while speaking to Angela at home in Tulsa in the present. Angela asks Doctor Manhattan to ask her grandfather how he knew Judd Crawford had a KKK robe in his home. Through Jon, Will communicates that he did not know who Crawford was prior to his conversation with her. Oddly, Angela tells Reeves about the KKK robe ten years before she found it. Doctor Manhattan experiences all these events at once and knows everything that will happen in the future. The only holes Jon has in his memory are when he absorbed the device that makes him forget his true identity and believe he is Calvin.
We’re left with a few questions after watching the eighth episode of Watchmen. Earlier in the season, Will Reeves was worried that Angela would be angry when she knew his real plan. But since this episode reveals that Will is partnered with her husband, Doctor Manhattan, we’re left with the question, why would Angela be angry? Also, when Doctor Manhattan remembers who he actually is and turns back to his pure blue form, why does he keep Calvin’s face? Does this have something to do with the fact that we never seen his real face in the episode?
Finally, Doctor Manhattan takes the time to explain everything about his plans to Angela even though he knows that the Seventh Calvary has surrounded his home and will kill him. In Manhattan’s mind, everything has already happened, so there is nothing to be changed. Unlike Angela, Jon sees no reason to try to save himself. ” A God Walks into Abar,” presents Angela and Doctor Manhattan’s complete love story from birth to death. I wonder what the finale has in store for us?