We’re in the second to last episode of Amazon Prime’s “Good Omens” and are careening towards the End Times in a flaming Bentley…or maybe as part of a supernatural biker gang. Just joining us? Check out Shuffle’s previous recaps.
What can I say about “The Doomsday Option…”
It’s bigger. It’s brighter. It’s more bombastic, more emotional, more high stakes, and the single greatest use of Queen in recent soundtrack memory. You could say that “Good Omens” is going out with a bang and, apparently, it’s such a big bang that it will carry over two episodes.
So, here’s what happened in “Good Omens” episode five, “The Doomsday Option.”
Aziraphale has just been exorcised by the Witchhunter Shadwell and Crowley is devastated by the loss of his beloved friend. Set to a stellar Queen soundscape, Crowley bravely enters Aziraphale’s bookstore (now up in flames) and grabs what precious little he can before driving his beloved Bentley (in a literal blaze of glory; the car is on fire) to the location of the end of the world. He’s hell-bent on putting an end to this fight.
We learn that the apocalypse will begin at a simple Air Force base, as the result of a nuclear war brought about by the influence of the Four Horsemen.
More than once, music has come up in my discussion of “Good Omens” as the show really is as cheeky and innovative in its song selection as it is in any other aspect. This is especially true of episode five. Queen is used to emotional, humorous, and climactic perfection… truly, it’s a soundtrack just for Crowley (played by David Tennant).
The vast majority of the show has been defined by the friendship between the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley, but when it comes to arc and development this is really Crowley’s story. Crowley may be most comfortable being bad, maybe even using his wickedness as a shield to protect himself, but in this episode we see him stripped bare. He’s lost without his other half.
The accompaniment of Queen’s greatest hits to Crowley’s journey takes us along for this emotional ride without sacrificing any of Crowley’s charm and rocker vibe. It’s a fantastic choice.
But fear not! Aziraphale is not lost to us; he’s just in desperate need of a body. Out of necessity, Aziraphale possesses the form of Madame Tracy and much hilarity ensues as he rushes to beat Crowley to the end of the world.
All forces are converging on the Air Force base: our intrepid angel and demon duo, Anathema and Pulsifer (still blushing with their unexpected union), and Adam and the gang riding in, perfectly paralleling the ride of the Four Horsemen.
To briefly sidebar: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are easily the most badass elements of not only this episode but the entire show. Once you can get past how goddamn awesome the concept of an apocalyptic biker gang is, you are further seduced by how fascinating it is to see these powerful entities interact as friends. Going about business, as usual, to bring about the end.
Meanwhile, Heaven and Hell’s perfectly laid out plans have fallen apart out of spite, incompetence and a strange amount of human error on the part of so many divine beings. While they stumble over their ambitions, Adam has had time to contemplate his newfound power.
Following a brief and fearful moment, when he comes into his true powers and dances for a moment with darkness, Adam realizes that just because the world is flawed it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth saving. He has a new perspective on his powers and the support of his friends to create a new vision for the world.
This blurring the line of what is evil and what is good, and this sardonic questioning of dogma, authority and the status quo have always been a part of “Good Omens.” Episode five illustrates that better and more fully than any other so far. In this way, it seems that “The Doomsday Option” carries the heart of the show.
But will we survive the apocalypse? All that’s left is the finale!
Have you had a chance to watch “Good Omens?” What was your favorite Queen song used in the episode?
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Caitlin is a lean, mean writing machine based in Austin, TX. Her love of film began when she was shown “Rosemary’s Baby” way too early in life. Bylines include The Financial Diet and Film Inquiry. Caitlin is a member of the Online Association of Female Film Critics and the Women Film Critics Circle.