We are well into our recap of the fantastic adaptation of the even more fantastic book Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – so make sure you are caught up, not only with our articles recapping the series, but also the entire series before you continue reading, because there will be spoilers ahead!
And now, let’s dive into Armageddon’s idea of a “Saturday Morning Funtime.”
Have you ever wondered what would happen if all those conspiracy theories suddenly were proven right? Reptiles, shapeshifting aliens, urban myths of all sorts? That’s what happens after our favourite Antichrist, Adam Young, is confronted by various ideas and myths Anathema has shown him.
This episode begins with Captain Vincent (played by David Morissey) on a classic cruise ship, discovering the long-lost city of Atlantis, as Adam is dreaming it up. We’re slowly being introduced to the expanse and reality of Adam’s powers as he realizes he can indeed make things “happen and real.” Not just lost continents, but also alien races are going to be introduced in this episode. The scene in which he discusses these possibilities with his friends is sprinkled with loving references to the genre of alien movies and TV shows, most famously the phrase “Exterminate,” which is of course an homage to the destructive alien race from the famous TV show Doctor Who, the Daleks (who are mostly famous for looking like wheeling bins and having a distinctive voice – and okay, maybe the destruction of entire planets).
Adam also shows awareness, but maybe not enough awareness, when he says “Things on the internet are made up, these are magazines!” Someone should introduce the Antichrist to the concept of Fake News.
We meet Aziraphale and the (f***ing) archangel Michael again, jogging (unsuccessfully) in Hyde Park, where Aziraphale shows his concerns about actually going through with the entire concept of Armageddon and in which he also utters the phrase that I want to say every time I see Michael Sheen portray this adorable, not-so-innocent angel: “I’m soft!”
Our favourite odd couple is also being watched by both sides respectively, so their plan to deal with the Antichrist in their own way might soon be interrupted.
There are also some deliveries to be made to the last two horsemen, one of them the strongest and probably most famous one: Death himself. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be yelling at you like the book (in which all of Death’s utterances are written in all-caps), but I am going to emphasize how much I loved the entire portrayal of the Horsemen in general, and especially Death, because he says one of my favourite lines in the entire book: “Don’t think of it as dying. Think of it as leaving early to avoid the rush.” (Which was also tweeted and posted after Terry Pratchett had passed.) This show being Neil Gaiman’s fulfilment of Pratchett’s final wish makes that line so much more powerful and I’m happy that it made it into the final version. Death is played by Brian Cox and, although we never see his face, we hear his voice and we see his presence, both of which are a joy to witness on screen.
Before Death, we have already met Pollution, the horseman brilliantly played by Lourdes Faberes, who shows a very real and current problem — not only at the time the book was published, but even more so today. Humans not taking care of their planet and drowning their environment in plastic and other garbage means Pollution is thriving –- which adds a strong message to this series in general.
Meanwhile, Newt (played by Jack Whitehall) is on his way to Tadwell to find and confront Adam. He’s still very new to the Witchfinding business and also probably not ready for a confrontation with actual aliens, but we say in the beginning that this was a “Saturday Morning Funtime,” so he will have to deal with it the way all of the characters deal with the apocalypse: with acceptance that this is their life now with a dash of Stiff Upper Lip. Whitehall does a great job portraying Newt in his oblivious yet determined wish to help and not be baffled by all the strange things happening around him.
Oh and this Kraken you were waiting for and/or afraid of? He’s in this episode. So if tentacles are not your thing, skip ahead until minute 20. You will however miss an epically animated scene and Adam’s idea of the revenge against whale hunters, which are both good things.
The scene between the Duke Of Hell and the three demons (who could be extras on Supernatural with their creative names of Demon N°1-3, respectively) is another demonstration of how well the humour from the book translates to the screen. The Duke is living the fantasy of just being able to get rid of employees or underlings who don’t know what they’re doing (or doing it with a bad joke), which makes this scene all the funnier.
This episode also shows us Adam coming into his full potential as the Antichrist, using his powers not only to make the things about which he read possible, but also to get his way — in this case, making his friends stay with him against their will. Adam is truly starting to look scary and threatening, a quality he needs to have in this role, but that also doesn’t go with the character traits he has shown previously.
We also learn that Hell had the wrong idea about who the Antichrist is, but that gave us not only the scene where The Duke Of Hell is accused of smelling like poo, but also the scene in the cinema where Crowley is confronted by the Duke in form of a children’s cartoon. These little slapstick elements are reminiscent of the book in the best way: the lightness they bring to the rather serious topic makes this series just as loveable as the book.
Crowley, meanwhile, is offering Aziraphale to run away together to escape their superiors’ wrath and to avoid Armageddon altogether. Again, this scene has heavy undertones – I’m not even going to say they’re subtle, because they’re really not, but they show the connection between the angel and the demon who have grown so close and are now running out of time to realize their plan altogether.
The situation Aziraphale and his “boyfriend with the dark glasses” (that’s an actual quote, yes) find themselves in is starting to look dire, even though Crowley has managed to trap the Duke in his answering machine. (If you want to find out, just refer to the theory of how many demons are able to dance on a pin.) His angel is now being called into battle without his flaming sword, because he lent that to someone a while ago.
We end this episode with Adam causing a storm and finally bringing one of Agnes’ prophecies to life, which is Anathema and Newt connecting on more than a spiritual level. This ending sets us up for the events of Armageddon, showing Adam forcing his friends to join him in his plans, while Aziraphale talks to Metatron and is then confronted by Shadwell (played Michael McKean) and involuntarily sent back to heaven in Shadwell’s attempt to exorcise the potential demon.
Will our heroes (and antiheroes) manage to stop Armageddon? You can find out in our recap of episode five of Good Omens!