White House Plumbers Episode 3 Recap and Ending, Explained

White House Plumbers Episode 3 Recap – After fifty years, people remain fascinated with the Watergate Scandal, and recent years have seen renewed attention towards it as a historical event. “White House Plumbers,” an HBO series, strives to draw attention to one of the more engaging aspects of Watergate: its bizarre retrospective nature rather than any immediacy to the crime itself.

Episode 3, entitled “Don’t Drink the Whiskey at Watergate,” chronicles E. Howard Hunt (Woody Harrelson) and G. Gordon Liddy (Justin Theroux) led a team that attempted multiple times to gain entry to the Democratic National Committee headquarters but were met with various obstacles each time. Concurrently, President Nixon engages in negotiations with the Soviet Union to negotiate an armistice treaty and reach an understanding. To provide more detail and address any outstanding questions from episode three of “White House Plumbers,” please read further below.

White House Plumbers Episode 3 Recap

White House Plumbers Episode 3 “Don’t Drink the Whiskey at Watergate” Recap

Episode 3 of the series begins with an initial attempt to break into the DNC offices. Alfred C. Baldwin III, a former FBI agent now involved with covert operations, watches news coverage of Nixon meeting with the Russian leader while enjoying takeout food. Their team enters the Watergate complex through interconnected buildings that enable them to bypass the security checkpoint in the lobby with a “backdoor” approach and break in via interlinked buildings in the Watergate complex – bypassing the security checkpoint through a “backdoor approach.”

Howard and the locksmith find themselves trapped inside a banquet hall when locked in overnight, forced to use whiskey bottles as urine containers to relieve themselves of bodily wastes. Meanwhile, Liddy and her companions panic and flee before they are granted access to the banquet hall.

James W. McCord Jr. was left alone when their subsequent attempt failed, becoming separated and confronting two security guards. The locksmith, Virgilio Gonzalez, claims to have already left all the necessary equipment for opening the door behind them.

Despite facing its own set of difficulties, the team successfully plants recording devices. John Dean informs Liddy and Howard that only one functioning recording device they planted had any effect; John told them this resulted in useless transcripts. This moment in the series symbolizes Howard’s realization that his professional endeavors have failed yet again, similar to his previous failure at the Bay of Pigs invasion. Dorothy helps him accept that reality.

As Howard’s career begins to decline, his priorities shift towards prioritizing loved ones. Kevan, Howard’s beloved daughter who visits from out of town, is perceived by Howard to be not only an outstanding student but also a daughter. As expected, conflicts arise among Kevan, St. John, and Lisa. However, Howard only compounds matters by lavishing Kevan with attention over her siblings.

Howard decides to take his family on vacation after experiencing public humiliation at Dean and Magruder’s third attempt. But Liddy convinces him not to; Magruder had informed them that Nixon required all the images O’Brien had stored in his bottom left drawer. Even though Liddy feels disillusioned with his superiors, he remains staunchly supportive of Nixon. Convincing Howard not to leave now would prove his critics within the CIA correct.

On June 17, 1972, Virgilio Gonzalez, Bernard Barker, James McCord, Eugenio Martínez, and Frank Sturgis broke into the Democratic National Committee office at Watergate. He breached several locks that had been taped over. Frank Wills alerted the police when he found that several latches had been taped over. Three police officers dressed similarly to hippies arrived at the scene dressed for arrest: Sgt Paul W. Leeper, Officer John Barrett, and Officer Carl M. Shoffler.

White House Plumbers Episode 3 Ending, Explained

White House Plumbers Episode 3 Ending Explained

Baldwin informs Liddy and Howard of three individuals resembling hippies present on the DNC floor, initially confusing them but quickly increasing their anxiety when they realize these individuals are actually undercover police agents brandishing pistols. When one of their arrested comrades possesses room keys, panic ensues. Howard attempts to comfort Liddy and himself by telling them the Cubans won’t succumb to pressure. However, police officers discover an envelope Howard gave Bernard “Macho” Barker, which contained membership dues intended for the Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. Howard attempts to assure them both by reminding Liddy that Bernard “Macho” Barker had given to Bernard “Macho.” However, police discovered his envelope containing membership dues intended for the Lakewood Country Club.

After the episode, one of the police officers uses a dart to attach an envelope with an address addressed to Nixon that has been used as target practice by DNC staffers. Although not an advanced method of foreshadowing events to come, this action effectively conveys what is about to occur. Ultimately, though, no espionage tactics were needed as Nixon easily won the 1972 US presidential election without resorting to them. Rather, subsequent efforts undertaken by his administration to conceal its break-in became the key component of the Watergate Scandal, rather than the actual break-in itself, unfolding over several comedic mishaps until ultimately leading to his stepping down in 1974.

Stream White House Plumbers on HBO.

Also Read: Is HBO’s “White House Plumbers” Based on a True Story?