Watchmen S1E8: A love that dare not speak its name.
Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen loves stretching a joke to the point of a symbolic pun. Naming an episode "A God Walks Into Abar" was all we needed to know how Angela came up with her married surname. A simple and yet such an effective tool of deception.
We finally see the missing, mysterious blue man on screen. He comes to Vietnam in the year 2009, enters a bar, and tells Angela he is in love with her. We get a glimpse of Angela the police officer in Saigon: she definitely has fashioned herself after Officer Jen, her hairstyle and posture reek of a woman who cares enough but is cynical to love.
Through seamless transitions of scenes, we keep jumping back and forth in time, and like Dr Manhattan. the viewer lives every scene at the same time relatively. The episode begins in Eddy’s Bar—a nice but dark ode to the same bar in the comic book—and it ends in Eddy’s bar. I think that was a commendable job of storytelling and editing.
We also see a bit of Jon’s life, a Jewish boy escaping the Nazis and taking shelter with a generous British Lord and Lady who look like the clones Mrs Crookshanks and Mr Phillips. What I loved about the 1936 storyline was how maturely the Lord and the Lady explain that engaging in sex is an act of love. They hand over the Bible and ask Jon to create something beautiful in the future. The entire discourse that sex is bad and shameful and sin in the eyes of God was negated in one scene.
What I most enjoyed was Angela turning from a sweet loving person into an angry loving person in moments. Jon, who is no longer Cal, has brought in his own sense of humour to the story and frustrates the hell out of Angela. The plunge from "baby" to calling Jon "a motherfucker" happens in minutes and it was hilarious to watch. Angela knows what is coming for them, Jon knows what will happen yet he still wants to make waffles. Angela with guns are scenes to die for, her entire house is a chamber of secrets of guns. She is quick and confident and desperate to save what’s hers.
We finally learn how Adrian ended up on Europa. His frustration with humanity’s obsession with weapons was sorrowful. Personally, it is annoying how we keep advancing towards science that can annihilate us, instead of creating things which would make our lives easier. Adrian is still the smartest person because he is always prepared and imaginative. Maybe if Adrian was the one who got disintegrated in the chamber, he could’ve been a better blue god. Though old and frail, his narcissistic personality is still intact and his god complex bigger than ever. But how is he going to save humanity again?
We didn’t see Lady Trieu or Laurie or Wade in this episode; I hope Wade will come to help Angela and Laurie next episode. Laurie has been clear about her stand that she doesn’t care what Joe Keene is up to, but since we know the plan involves the blue god, it is her concern now. Though Lady Trieu was not present, it becomes evident that she has been keeping an eye on Dr Manhattan for a long time.
The eggs finally made some sense, from fertility metaphor to sex joke to being consumed by Will to being thrown on the floor, it has eventually arrived at the paradox question; Which came first: the chicken or the egg?
But most important, episode eight was one of the best love stories ever told on screen. Two lonely beings gambling away their future for ten years of love is brutally beautiful. Though Dr Manhattan has stated in the book that he is a puppet who can see his strings, Angela on other hand is the one who refuses to believe in strings, and may lead to the butterfly effect in the story that is assured to end in tragedy.