For being, strictly speaking, a piece-moving episode (with various characters making their way to the air force base in Tadfield – a full circle moment given the airfield was created to lure the ambassador’s wife to the area to raise the Antichrist), “The Doomsday Option” avoids the dryness that sometimes comes with an episode designed to send people where they need to be for the finale. Often, it’s an episode that pays the price for the next hour not having to waste time, setting-up, but there’s a confidence and efficiency to the way this episode moves, starting with Crowley learning Aziraphale might have discorporated.
The first scene, though, spells bad news for Adam, who seems resigned to the fact that Pepper, Wensleydale (Alfie Taylor) and Brian (Ilan Galkoff) aren’t going to be his friends anymore, but crumbles after the Hellhound rescinds his support, as well. From there Adam is brought to his senses but still has his powers (as seen when he grants them entry to the air force base).
Can there be Armageddon without Adam? The Four Horseman are proceeding without him and if Adam’s role was to get the ball rolling, he’s done that. Not having to stop him should make the job easier. They only have to stop Armageddon now, but either the Great Plan is going horribly wrong or it’s been wildly misinterpreted, by everyone except Agnes Nutter.
“The Doomsday Option” questions the wisdom of being beholden to any plan, though, accurate or otherwise. Anathema’s devoted her life to her ancestor’s prophesies, but when they include having sex with Newt because Agnes told her to, that approach becomes uncomfortable. The one saving grace of the prophecies has been they’re often not understood until after they’ve happened (in that way ensuring they stay predictions, and not dictations) but there’s getting a heads-up about Steve Jobs and being told you’re going to do something in the future. At what point do you stop making choices and start following a script?
Newt calls Anathema out on this, and that’s what Good Omens is all about, in the end: friendship. It’s the common ground connecting all the storylines: Crowley’s centuries spanning friendship with Aziraphale; Newt’s new relationship with Anathema; Adam’s attachment to his hometown and childhood friends. It’s friendship that spoils Armageddon (“spoils” dependent on whether you wanted the world to end in the first place) and friendship that will decide whether it’s stopped. Adam doesn’t go to the air force base by himself because he didn’t get rid of his red eyes by himself. It’s four against four – Them against the Four Horseman. May the best friend squad win.
Other thoughts on episode 5:
- It’s not like the series has been lacking, in the music department, but a lot of thought went into the lyrics this episode.
- The emphasis on checkpoints throughout the series (immigration, military) feels very relevant to what’s going on in the world.
- And on a different note, a fun scene: War, trying to spice things up, by suggesting they crash through the barriers, only to have Death shoot the idea down.
Good Omens is streaming on Amazon.