Watchmen is HBO's first significant success story in the wake of Game of Thrones' retirement. In many ways, the two shows hit the same notes. Both are based on cult-hit works in their respective genres that were formerly considered unfilmable. Both took critics by surprise with their takes on the material. And so far, Watchmen, like Game of Thrones, has spent its first season with hour-long episodes. But Watchmen Season 1, Episode 8 has a post-credit scene, and fans are going to want to make sure they keep watching.
Watchmen started as two stories happening side by side. One, on Earth, focused on Angela Abar. The other, in space, focused on Adrian Veidt. Angela's story was dramatic and serious. The trips to Veidt's castle functioned more as comic relief.
But in the last two installments, things have changed. Episode 6, "This Extraordinary Being," spent the entire hour on Hooded Justice. It came in under an hour, but to do so, it excised everything else. There was no Angela, other than her experiencing her grandfather's life. There was no Veidt at all.
Episode 7, "An Almost Religious Awe," focused on Angela's memories, and how her childhood echoed her grandfather's, as well as revealing why she became a cop (and a masked vigilante). There was time for Veidt, but not much.
Now Episode 8, the punnishly titled "A God Walks Into Abar," looks to have given up on fitting everyone in before the credits roll. Between needing to fill fans in on Angela's relationship with Manhattan, Veidt's sentencing, the current present crisis, and everything else, there's just too much.
Much like Game of Thrones, fans of Watchmen at this point would probably happily sign up for supersized episodes. The world Damon Lindelof has created is rich enough (and weird enough) that the show could run for at least a few more episodes, if not seasons. But if all the show is willing to give viewers is three or four extra minutes tacked on after the closing credits of the penultimate episode, I'm sure everyone will take them.
Let's just hope the word gets out for people to keep watching, and DVRs to keep recording, so no one misses the final scene.