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An Almost Religious Awe Recap

Jon Osterman arrives in the U.S. from Germany and eventually becomes Dr. Manhattan, and immortal god. He single-handedly ended the war in Vietnam, but may have decimated an entire way of life. Manhattan eventually retreated to Mars.

In a video store in Saigon, a young Angela picks up a video featuring Sister Night and takes it to the counter. The clerk says that her parents won't let her watch it, but Angela rents it anyway and leaves the store and goes out onto the streets of the city during VVN. Angela stops to watch a puppet show portraying the arrival of Dr. Manhattan to win the war for America. The girl finds her parents at the American embassy and shows them the video, and asks them to let her see it. They remind her that she has to wait until she grows up, and her father tells her that she should be scared of people who wear masks because they're hiding something. Marcus tells Angela to take it back and then come back to watch the fireworks with them.

As Angela goes back past the puppet show, a man rides up on a bicycle, looks briefly at the puppeteer, takes a backpack from him and puts it on, and rides away. Angela watches him ride up to her parents, and the bomb in his backpack explodes just after he yells "Death to the invaders!"

In the present, Angela falls out of her bad and climbs back up. Trieu comes in and tells Angela that her memory is a bit broken after she took an entire bottle of someone else's Nostalgia pills. The woman explains that Laurie asked her to treat Angela, and gives her a tutorial injection explaining how the new memories are overwriting Angela's own memories. The treatment flushes Nostalgia from the brain cortex and "cures" the patient.

Angela tells Trieu to never do it to her again, and Trieu says that the tube is connected to a natural host: Will. She tells Angela that Will's painful memories are coming out of Angela, and advises against contact with him since she wouldn't know where he ends and she begins. Trieu warns that Angela will abruptly experience her own memories and asks what knocked her out of bed. Angela claims that it was her tenth birthday party and her parents gave her a pony.

With 12 hours until the Millennium Clock is activated, Cal drives up to the Trieu facility. He finds Red Scare and Pirate Jenny outside and asks if Angela is there. Red Scare says that Angela is and advises him to go home. Cal drives in anyway and asks to see his wife. The security guard gets a call, puts a hologram disc on the ground, and Bian appears and tells Cal that they can't grant him access for his own safety while they activate the Clock. Bian assures Cal that Angela is doing well and disappears. Cal yells to see Laurie.

Laurie listens to Angela muttering about Will's memories of Cyclops, the mesmerism projector, and someone hanging themselves. Petey calls Laurie and tells her that he's at Wade's house after Laurie sent him there in case Wade was working with 7K. The agent reports that the five 7K intruders are dead and one of them isn't wearing a Rorschach mask. Petey wonders why Wade didn't call it in, and Laurie tells him not to call it in and leaves her phone in the car.

Jane rides up on a horse and Laurie approaches her. They go into the Crawfords' home and Laurie tells Jane that Will killed Judd. Jane wonders why Will wanted to kill Judd, and Laurie explains that Angela talked while she was ODing on Will's Nostalgia. It turns out that Will was Hooded Justice, the very first masked vigilante, and he was black. Will hid who he was because black men in masks are scary. Laurie asks if Jane knows the significance of "Cyclops", a racist cult that used mind control. The agent thinks that Judd thought Will was part of Cyclops, and she's considering the idea that Judd was a secret white supremacist. Laurie wonders if 7K is just Cyclops with a new name, and Joe engineered White Night so that cops would wear masks.

Jane says that was the original idea, and Laurie is surprised that Jane is confessing so readily. The woman takes out a remote and punches the button until the couch Laurie is sitting in falls through the floor. Jane then makes a call and asks if they want her to kill Laurie.

Angela stares out the window at the Clock, and Bian comes in with a chair and a laptop. She tests Angela's psychological responses and takes notes, Bian shows Angela a picture of the same woman twice and asks which one is angrier. Angela notes that they're the same, and Bian explains that she's doing a dissertation. When Angela mentions her son, Bian asks if it's tough lying to him that she's not a police detective. She wonders why Angela is a cop if she doesn't want her parents to worry that she's a cop. Angela stares off into space.

Memories of Angela's time in Vietnam come back to her. She's painting a Dr. Manhattan doll at the orphanage when the headmistress takes her out to two waiting policemen and leaves. The officers say that they need her help and show her the puppeteer in the back of their car. Angela identifies him and one officer puts a hood on the man and takes him away. The other officer, Jen, tells Angela that she's brave, gives her a badge, and says that Angela should find her when she's older. A gunshot rings out from the alley where the other officer took the puppeteer.

That night, Angela goes to bed in the orphanage. She gets up and looks at the badge she hid under her bed, then puts it back with the video.

Bian asks if Angela experienced her memory or Will's, and Angela says that it was hers. As Angela looks at the tube in her arm, Bian says that she has dreams of being a scared old woman and they hurt. She asks Angela what it was like for her when she saw what Will saw, and Angela says that it also hurt.

In a church, Philips announces the 365th day of the People versus Adrian. The Game Warden comes in and everyone rises except Adrian. The Game Warden takes the bench and the Prosecutor says that Ozymandias pulls them from the water and then slaughters them. She reminds everyone that the one law isn't to leave, and Adrian has admitted that he killed three million innocent people. Adrian doesn't apologize for anything that he's done or shows remorse, and insists that such carnage is necessary to achieve utopia. For years, Adrian has hurled their bodies into the void and boasting of his true purpose: escape. The Prosecutor tells the jury to either resign themselves to Adrian's cruel whim or find him guilty.

The Game Warden notes that Adrian is defending himself but hasn't presented anything in his defense. He invites Adrian to speak, and Adrian stands up and farts. Adrian then says that the defense rests and sits back down. The Game Warden apologizes to the jury for placing the burden of judging Adrian on them. He admits that the jury aren't Adrian's peers so he has assembled an alternate jury. Another Philips lets a herd of pigs into the room, and the Game Warden asks the pig foreman how they found the defendant. It squeals, and the Game Warden declares Adrian guilty. The Philips and Crookshanks all chant guilty.

Angela walks out of her room and finds a sealed door. Trieu finds her and asks if she's hungry, and as they eat Trieu explains that she has a secret plan to save humanity and it starts in Oklahoma. Angela says that she and Cal were looking to start over after Saigon and Tulsa seemed as good a place as ever. Trieu notes that Cal was in a car accident and Cal had total amnesia as the result of the crash. Angela demands to see Will, and Trieu says that it would be a bad idea at the moment. When Trieu says that Nostalgia is more tolerable in small doses, Angela asks whose memories Bian is experiencing. Trieu says that she's slipping Bian's own memories to her, and Bian is her mother. Before her mother died, she cloned her and has been reintegrating her memories while she sleeps. Trieu says that she wants her parents with her when she completes her life's work. Angela asks what the Clock does, and Trieu refuses.

Laurie wakes up in the 7K base, tied to a chair. 7K operatives are constructing a giant cage, and Keene comes over and admits that he didn't expect Hooded Justice to kill Judd. Laurie tells him not to talk her through his plan, and says that she doesn't care what his plan is. Keene tells him that she of all people will care, and says that Cyclops want to restore the balance on which the country was founded. It is difficult to be a white man in America right now, so Keene plans on being a blue man.

Angela watches a video of Trieu talking about her successes and failures. Her greatest failure was Nostalgia, which she hoped would let people better themselves. Instead they became fixated on their most painful memories because they were afraid of releasing their trauma. Angela walks out of her room and goes to the door, and says that she knows Will is in there. She explains that she took Will's pills and asks what he wants from her. When the door doesn't open, Angela breaks in and finds an elephant sleeping on the floor of a cage, hooked up to a device pumping its memories into her.

When Angela pulls out the tubes, she relives her memories of working at the orphanage. The headmistress arrives with an older June, who introduces herself and says that she's Angela's grandmother. June says that she's there to take Angela home. They go to a diner and June explains that Marcus came there. When the war ended, Marcus met Angela's mother and stayed for the opportunities. Eventually she learned that Marcus was dead and never listed June as her next of kin. June found out that Marcus had a wife and she was dead, and Angela was the only member of the family left. She flew to Vietnam to get Angela, and Angela says that she's going to be a police officer and shows June the badge. Angela shows her the Sister Night video, and says that Marcus told her they should be scared of people in masks. June explains that someone in a mask scared Marcus and he never got over it. Angela asks about her grandfather, and June talks about the video. She offers to take Angela to Tulsa and they'll watch the video together.

June and Angela prepare to take a taxi to the airport, and Angela collapses outside. Angela gets out and discovers that her grandmother has died of a heart attack.

Angela wakes up when alarms going off saying that the subject is disconnected from the tubes. She finds an elevator and takes it, and finds herself in a hallway. Angela follows it into a large dark chamber with a globe of the world in the center. When she touches Venezuela, a Venezuelan woman appears on a screen, talking on her phone. Angela touches the Middle East and an Arabic Man on a phone appears. She touches Tulsa and sees Laurie telling Manhattan her joke in the Manhattan booth. Trieu comes in and says that she owns and operates thousands of Manhattan booths. People beg for Manhattan to come down and make things better, but he ignores them all because he isn't listening and isn't on Mars.

Angela wonders where Manhattan is, and Trieu says that Manhattan is in Tulsa pretending to be human. She says that Will put the idea in her head, and Angela demands to know what Trieu is doing. Trieu explains that Will came to her because he needed someone with Trieu's resources to stop 7K. In an hour, 7K is going to capture Manhattan and destroy him... and then they're going to become him. Trieu insists that she's saving humanity. Angela says that it's crazy and she's leaving, and Trieu notes that Angela didn't ask her who Manhattan is. The detective ignores her and leaves.

Red Scare and Pirate Jenny are outside eating, and a van pulls up to the guard station. Pirate Jenny goes over to check it out, and Red Scare cuts it off. Angela is in van, and Pirate Jenny tells Angela that she's under arrest. When Pirate Jenny relates Red Scare's message, Red Scare says that he doesn't care and Angela rams past him and drives to her home. 7K operatives are watching the place.

Angela enters the house and Cal hears her. He finds her in the kitchen going through the cupboards. Angela tells him to listen to her and says that she loves him. She then tells Cal that it's time to come out of the tunnel, finds a hammer, and says that they always knew the day would come but Cal doesn't remember. When Cal wonders if they talked about it before the accident, Angela says that the accident was a lie so that they could be together. She explains that it was Cal's idea, and Cal figures that she's confused from the Nostalgia. Angela calls Cal "Jon" and says that he's not himself, and hits him in the head with the hammer. She then kneels over him and pounds on his head, reaches into the wound, and looks at the Manhattan symbol underneath. Cal's skin glows blue, and Angela says that they're in trouble.

Written by Gadfly on Dec 2, 2019

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