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Every last Watchmen Easter egg and reference in Episode 8 of the HBO show
We're down to the penultimate episode, "A God Walks Into Abar," which reveals what Doctor Manhattan has been up to for the past decade, explains exactly what happened to Adrian Veidt, and sets up what's sure to be a wild conclusion. Here are all the Easter eggs and references that we spotted in Episode 8. We'll update this list with any we missed.
"RHAPSODY IN BLUE" AND "BLUE DANUBE WALTZ"
The episode opens with the iconic first couple of notes from George Gershwin's jazzy classical composition "Rhapsody in Blue" — fitting, considering Doctor Manhattan's hue. Later, inside the bar, we can hear Johan Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz.”
DOCTOR MANHATTAN'S PENIS
As Doctor Manhattan strolls through Siagon's streets, he passes by a big painted mural of himself. We saw this same mural in the previous episode, during Angela's childhood. Back then, the mural had been graffitied to make Doctor Manhattan into a devil, but this time, somebody has just spray-painted a big ol' penis onto him. To be fair, he did stop wearing pants a long time ago.
"A GOD WALKS INTO ABAR"
The title of the episode is just a solid pun, riffing on the "guy walks into a bar" joke set-up and taking advantage of Angela's last name.
MR. EDDY'S BAR
The bar in question is called "Mr. Eddy's Bar" — a reference to Eddie Blake, who notably killed the pregnant mother of his unborn child after she sliced open his face in a bar at the end of the Vietnam War. Polygon confirmed the Easter egg in an interview with director Nicole Kassell.
As Jon explores the manor, he's eating an apple, which is thematically appropriate, seeing as he's learning about the Garden of Eden.
DAVE GIBBONS-STYLE BIBLE
The illustration of Adam and Eve in the bible certainly looks like it's in the style of Dave Gibbons, the artist who drew the original Watchmen comic. That's because Gibbons did, in fact, draw it, as HBO confirmed to SYFY Wire. Unlike Alan Moore, Gibbons is involved in the HBO series.
When Doctor Manhattan/Cal teleports to Antarctica, he passes by the ruins of Veidt's lair, Karnak. The vivarium, which he opened to the elements and destroyed after killing some of his assistants to keep the squid secret sage, can be seen in the background.
Doctor Manhattan's Antarctic visit is scored to the Fleetwood's 1959 song "Mr. Blue," an on-the-nose but cute allusion, similar to "Rhapsody in Blue" earlier in the episode.
"YOU'VE JUST ATTEMPTED TO DESTROY ME"
As Doctor Manhattan recalls, Veidt did attempt to kill him by luring him into an Intrinsic Field Generator — the same machine that gave him powers in the first place — to essentially disintegrate him (along with his loyal pet Bubastis, sadly). Doctor Manhattan was able to rebuild himself, and he did indeed tell Veidt that he was "very disappointed" in him.
"I MADE IT 30 YEARS AGO"
Veidt reveals that he created his Doctor Manhattan memory-eraser 30 years ago in much the same way as he infamously revealed that he "did it 35 minutes ago" in the comic's penultimate issue.
VEIDT'S YELLOW CLOCKS
Veidt's lab where he dumps squids on the world in order to keep up the inter-dimensional ruse (so that's what's been going on) is lined with yellow clocks — dead ringers for the yellow doomsday clock that graced the covers of the original comic books.
OZYMANDIAS ACTION FIGURES
Veidt's desk in Karnak looks quite a lot like his desk in his New York City corporate headquarters, as seen in the graphic novel. Veidt even has a little Ozymandias action figure — a relic of a time when he was a beloved hero rather than a recluse with a guilty conscious and failed plan for utopia. (Peteypedia, HBO's weekly releases of supplemental material about the Watchmen world, revealed that his post-squid plans largely failed because the world became too afraid of technology to embrace his vision, which explains Veidt's dismay at watching another meltdown on TV when Doctor Manhattan first meets him.)
"I LEAVE IT ENTIRELY IN YOUR HANDS"
Once again, we get a reference to the last line of the original graphic novel, where The New Frontiersman's hapless employee is unwittingly in a position to decide the fate of the world depending on whether or not he publishes Rorsharch's journal.
HIROSHIMA LOVERS SHADOWS
Just before Angela puts Veidt's device in Cal's head, the pair cast shadows that look like "Hiroshima Lovers," a repeated piece of graffiti from the comic that also appeared in Episode 2.
BUBASTIS AND OWL TOYS
At the Abar residence, we see Topher's Bubastis-inspired stuffed animal again (first seen in Episode 4), as well as another owl toy, continuing the series' subtle references to the unseen Nite Owl.
TELEPORTING PEOPLE TO SAFETY
In the third issue of the comic, Doctor Manhattan gets mad while members of the media are swarming around him asking questions about the allegations that he causes cancer. He instantly teleports them to the parking lot, not unlike the way he teleports the kids out of their bedroom.
NELSON GARDNER'S MANSION
The Peteypedia upload after last week's episode explained that Nelson Gardner, a.k.a. Captain Metropolis, left Will Reeves his estate and the Minutemen rights, in part as a way of atoning for how he treated him during their crime-fighting days.
THE EGG MOTIF
From the very first episode, with its eggy smiley face, the Watchmen TV series has featured eggs as a repeated visual motif, and the penultimate episode helps explain the thematic importance behind them. Doctor Manhattan creates an egg (life) to create Abar, and then stumbles upon the chicken or the egg paradox — Watchmen is all about cycles.
EXPLODING A RORHARCH
This is not the first time that Doctor Manhattan has obliterated someone wearing a Rorschach mask, although to be fair, Walter Kovacs took off his mask before his death in Watchmen's final issue.
A TOMATO... TREE?
Tomatoes do not normally grow on trees, yet we saw Veidt pluck one from a tree in an earlier episode of the show. The tomato tree is back in this episode, and now it's more clear what it means. When tomatoes, which are native to the Americas, were first brought back to Europe, they were known in France as pommes d'amour, or "apples of love." Tomatoes were the sexy, exotic version of apples, essentially, so it makes thematic sense for them to take the role of apples in Doctor Manhattan's version of Eden, since the flashback to his childhood revealed he has some pretty foundational memories about life, sex, beauty, and Adam and Eve.
Once more, we see someone reading Fogdancing, the book written by Max Shea (and as Episode 7 revealed, adapted into a movie by David Cronenberg). Shea also wrote Tales of the Black Freighter, and he was one of the people who helped make Veidt's squid, although he didn't know what he was really doing. This also means that Veidt is directly responsible for Shea's death, since he had the boat Shea and the other creatives were on blown up. Perhaps that has something to do with his attachment to it.