If you haven’t been following Watchmen up to now, and are thinking of doing so, you probably don’t want to read this review. It’s all a spoiler, because the entire episode follows up on the big reveal from the previous episode.
It is also more like a specific issue of the original series than any other episode. Dr Manhattan (Yahya Abdul-Marteen II) is given the focus, and we watch him have a series of conversations, one each with Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons) and Will Reeves (Louis Gossett, Jr), and numerous ones over the years with Angela Abar (Regina King).
As Dr Manhattan experiences all time at once, the story jumps around through the time periods, giving the viewer a bit of a sense of how Manhattan perceives things. There was a very similar issue of the original comic. Dr Manhattan displays awareness of events to come, yet still has emotional reactions to things he knew were destined to happen. The intense frustration that this causes to anyone who spends time with him is very tidily evoked by King.
And major kudos to Marteen for his portrayal of Manhattan. He manages to capture the disconnected nature of the entity, while at the same time conveying that Jon still does have feelings, very strong ones, as mystifying and annoying as that may be for others around him. And bravo for letting it all hang out.
The episode even managed to top the issue that was inspired by, pulling a bit of a Twelve Monkeys style twist, as Angela makes use of Dr Manhattan’s cross time communication to ask a question, but in doing so winds up being the person to set off the chain of events she has been trying to comprehend.