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Watchmen Episode 8 Theories: What Happened to Doctor Manhattan?

Much like the impressively un-shrunken schlong of Doctor Manhattan, the secrets of Watchmen are being revealed for all to see, apparently immune to the Arctic cold and only growing larger the more freely they swing about in this penultimate episode’s breeze. The wonderfully pun-titled “A God Walks Into Abar”—directed by Nicole Kassell, written by Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen—explained just how, exactly, the most powerful man in existence ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a memory-wiping device in his forehead and a vigilante wife at the center of a white supremacist organization’s plot to rule the world.

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Image via HBO

It also did exactly as advertised; Doctor Manhattan descends from outer space and literally walks into a bar. It’s V.V.N. Day in Vietnam, and police officer Angela Abar (Regina King) drinks alone to celebrate the anniversary of her parents’ untimely death. From there, we learn the entire doomed history of these two star-crossed lovers. We see Angela’s extremely reasonable skepticism that the blue stranger in the blue mask is the real doctor Manhattan; the whirlwind seduction that has her picking an identity off the corpse pile two weeks later so Manhattan can adopt the persona of “Calvin Abar”; the tension that comes with dating a man who can’t kiss or dance or cuddle or make love without also simultaneously living through the gnarliest poops he’s ever taken. (This is not stated specifically but it’s also all I can think about, I’m sorry, I am so sorry.) We also learn that it was Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons)—living a solitary life in Karnak, presumably alone with his life choices + 30,000 bottles of Just for Men – Blonde—who designed the device that robbed Manhattan of his memories, leaving Big Blue free to live out a ticking time-bomb relationship with Angela on a fast-track to sweet, disastrous inevitability. “Ten years and then tragedy, huh?” Angela asks “Cal”, her tone sounding like that irrational voice in your head that tells you to click on the weird spammy porn, even though you know, by definition, all weird spammy porn ends in tragedy.

This particular tragedy comes in 2019, in the form of a few racists in Rorschach masks wielding a whole-ass Tachyonic Cannon in the back of a 2003 Ford pick-up truck. Angela does her gun-wielding damndest to save her husband’s life—he chips in with a few skull-pops, eventually—but there’s no fighting what’s already in the cards. The second to last episode of Watchmen‘s first (and only?) season ends with The Seventh Kavalry transporting Doctor Manhattan to Joe Keene Jr.’s (James Wolk) mysterious god-killing lair.

A lot going on, folks. I’ve certainly got questions. You most definitely have some questions. Let’s get into it…

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