White House Plumbers Episode 3 Recap – How is Macho connected to Hunt?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 23, 2023 (Last updated: May 24, 2023)
View all
White House Plumbers Episode 3 Recap - How is Macho connected to Hunt?


White House Plumbers remains very funny, but it becomes much more absurd here, as repeated failed attempts to break in to the DNC office lead us to an inevitable catastrophe.

This recap of White House Plumbers Episode 3, “Don’t Drink the Whiskey at the Watergate”, contains spoilers.

How many times do you have to fail at doing something before you realize that a) it’s a bad idea or b) you’re not cut out to be doing it either way? “Don’t Drink the Whiskey at the Watergate” argues that if at first, you don’t succeed, you should try again. And again. And again.

The logical endpoint, one supposes, is when you’ve left so much evidence undermining the very fabric of American democracy that you couldn’t try again even if you wanted to.

White House Plumbers Episode 3 Recap

What goes wrong during the first break-in attempt?

The first attempt to break into the DNC office at the Watergate Hotel is a failure – twice.

One team, led by Liddy, tries to break into George McGovern’s campaign office. After spending a while trying to shoot out the light outside, they’re stymied by Liddy’s “inside man” getting cold feet after being discovered by a janitor, denying them access to the building.

After, McGovern’s team hires a 24-hour security detail. The place was probably impossible for someone as stupid as Liddy to break into anyway, but now it’s impenetrable full stop.

Elsewhere, Hunt books a banquet room in the Watergate Hotel, which is internally connected to the DNC office, with the idea being that he and Villo can sneak inside when everyone leaves. While they wait, they drink and make merry, and then accidentally got locked in the banquet’s storage cupboard all night.

The episode’s title comes from the two of them having to relieve themselves into half-empty whiskey bottles. Needless to say, no bugs are planted anywhere.

What goes wrong during the second and third break-in attempts?

You’ll remember the second attempt from Episode 1. It’s the one where Villo brings the wrong tools to pick the lock, and McCord is recognized by a security guard he used to work with.

McCord, somewhat incredibly, has absolutely no reservations about revealing he’s currently working on the Committee to Re-Elect the President.

On the third attempt the team manages to plant the bugs and photograph the files, but neither amounts to anything. Most of the bugs aren’t even operational, and the one that is only picks up only asinine secretarial chit-chat.

At some point, Hunt recognizes the pointlessness of this whole endeavor. His wife reminds him that Nixon is probably going to be re-elected anyway, especially on the back of the SALT Treaty. He has a family he should be devoting his time to, and Gordon Liddy is patently a psychopath.

And yet, for whatever reason, Hunt is compelled to try again. This time, it goes really wrong.

White House Plumbers Episode 3 Ending Explained

How is Macho connected to Hunt?

The final attempt is one too many, and everyone knows it.

Despite Liddy’s coercive promises of political spoils from a re-elected Nixon, Hunt is at least savvy enough to keep them off the premises themselves. And this is just as well since McCord and all the Cuban locksmiths are arrested on them.

As ever, it’s stupidity that connects Bernard “Macho” Barker to Hunt. In real life, Hunt’s name was found in his address book. Here, it’s on the envelope of a letter destined for the Lakewood Country Club to settle his overdue membership bill. Macho was supposed to post it on the way but forgot.

So, it’s over. The efforts to snoop on the DNC for the benefit of Nixon’s re-election, which was already virtually guaranteed anyway, amounted to nothing but repeated attempts to correct previous failures. With two episodes left, it’s now time for the ensuing scandal to make Hunt, Liddy, and the entire administration front page news.

At least they’ll get mentioned in the same breath as Nixon after all. But it hardly seems worth it.

You can stream White House Plumbers Episode 3, “Don’t Drink the Whiskey at the Watergate” exclusively on HBO.

Additional reading:

HBO, Premium Channels, TV, Weekly TV
View all