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“Good Omens” Ep. 3: “Hard Times”

“Good Omens” Episode 1 got us hyped for the ride, Episode 2 brought us more laughs, and now Episode 3 flips the script and basically screams “We’re in it now!” Just joining us? Get caught up with my previous Shuffle recaps of “Good Omens.”

One thing that “Good Omens” has done really well is completely capture the best moments and all the best feelings of Gaiman and Pratchett’s original novel. The show is so good because it’s so spot-on. Who would have thought that the best episode so far would include a totally original cold open, lasting half an hour and featuring a major deviation from the book?

So, here’s what happens in “Good Omens” Episode 3: “Hard Times.”

Aziraphale and Crowley have been friends since the beginning of time, they’ve quite literally been through it all together. During the cold open, we get to watch the pair journey to Mesopotamia and witness Noah and his Ark. Their journey progresses through some of the most important moments in culture and history: Crowley entices audiences to see Hamlet, Aziraphale is imprisoned during the French Revolution, the pair go undercover against Nazis in World War II, and, more somberly, Aziraphale and Crowley witness Christ’s crucifixion and ponder whether or not the war between their respective sides is really worth it all.

It’s an incredibly poignant moment in the series and an absolute highlight, thus far. Crowley and Aziraphale are obvious fan favorites and this exploration into their past and the gradual development of their friendship is like a tonic to the intrepid binge watcher. The comedy is interlaced with very mindful commentary and while it may be a deviation from “script,” it’s a perfect fit in the overall tone and messaging of the story.

To deviate for a moment, myself, it’s worth noting how much the fandom of “Good Omens” has embraced Crowley and Aziraphale. I’m having trouble recalling a ship that has sailed so proudly, in recent memory. Fans everywhere stan the friendship of (several) lifetimes and pen glorious fanfiction and fan art of a possible love affair.

In terms of the Internet wilderness, the Crowley/Aziraphale fandom is the purest of pure and it’s as worthy of checking out as “Good Omens” itself.

Now back to our regularly scheduled recapping.

That first half hour of the episode sets a really high bar for entertainment, but we still have the End Times to rush to! An obvious theme of the episode is the friendship of Crowley and Aziraphale, but an important thread woven in there is how they bridge the gap in this great war.

Crowley harnesses the power of Heaven (in the form of holy water provided by Aziraphale) to protect himself from his fellow demons. We learn that Shadwell the Witch Finder is a double agent that has been (unknowingly) working for both Aziraphale and Crowley simultaneously. Following an argument with Crowley, Aziraphale returns to Heaven to implore his fellow angels that war may be preventable.

But the End Times are inevitable. The episode ends with Newton closing in on the location of the Antichrist, tension between angel and demon, and another of the Four Horsemen, Famine, summoned to the fields of Armageddon.

Favorite moment of Episode 3 of “Good Omens:” Is it cheating to say that the entire cold open is my favorite moment? If I had to choose I would say that the scene of Crowley making “Hamlet” a success, as a gift to Aziraphale, was an “Aww” moment.

Are you on board the Aziraphale/Crowley ship? Let us know in the comments!

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