On Wednesday, Aziraphale and Crowley realize they have the wrong child, and set off to find the Antichrist. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Good Omens.
Well, this is just fantastic. I’m shocked at how quickly these fifty pages went by. The writing here is snappy and gloriously funny, and any time Aziraphale and Crowley have a conversation, I’m impressed by how realistically they talk. Most of my favorite scenes so far are simply the two of them having a conversation.
Plot-wise, it’s clear that the baby swap performed by the satanic nuns was messed up. I’ll blame it on the winks. Those damn winks! The child the two have been following for eleven years is just a plain, boring child, one who is entitled, rude, and uninteresting. To be fair, Aziraphale’s magic is just awful. But I think that demonstrates just how out of touch he is with… well, anything that’s not from 1950 or the seventeenth century. I’d like to see Crowley do a magic show instead. Actually, on second thought, he doesn’t seem the type to enjoy magic at all. I’ll take that thought back.
This second “chapter” also shows me the powers that both Aziraphale and Crowley have. It seems that they can will pretty much anything in existence to help their cause. I noticed that at the beginning of this chapter, Aziraphale has to turn a bunch of real guns into water guns in order to prevent the not-Antichrist from blowing away a security guar, and then Crowley makes paintball guns real guns to cause a distraction. It’s a neat parallel.
Anyway, I’m jumping far ahead. The two come to realize that they have the wrong kid, especially when a giant black hellhound doesn’t arrive at Warlock’s house on his eleventh birthday. It made me wonder what the Antichrist’s life had been like without these two beings interfering along the way. It’s clear to me that the Antichrist doesn’t know he is the Antichrist, and he might not even be aware of his powers. Plus, other people don’t even know who he is due to those defense mechanisms that Aziraphale mentions towards the end of “Wednesday.” So, I wondered, was he perfectly normal? Was he like Damien? Was he just as boring and irritating as Warlock? Was he a child prodigy?
I guess I still don’t know. There’s a section narrated from the point of view of the Antichrist’s hellhound, and as far as I can tell, the kid seems pretty ordinary to me. I’m also fairly sure I’ve never read anything from the point of view of a hellhound, especially one that realizes it is a going to be a Dog to the Antichrist, so that was pretty awesome.
And then there is just so much beauty in everything that comes after this. No, seriously, so many things made me laugh or smile, especially since the authors can’t resist giving us these brilliant little details about the lives Aziraphale and Crowley have lived.
- Crowley and most demons don’t like the Satanist fandom. This one detail alone got me thinking about how if Crowley had a Tumblr with a list of the fandoms he was in, he’d go out of his way to disassociate with the Satanists. He would probably Tumblr Savior all their terms.
- On a serious note, the complete deconstruction of Satanism is actually very fascinating to me, especially because Crowley is so insistent that these people don’t get it. They don’t understand what evil actually is, nor do they act out evil things in their own lives.
- Crowley purposely finds ways to drive whatever speed he wants by rearranging traffic, humans, and timing. What a champ!
- The entire bit where Crowley has to find another word besides “godsend” or “blessing” is just too clever for words.
- CROWLEY CAN’T RIDE A HORSE. Why is this so funny to me?
- “Do you know, Aziraphale, that probably if a million human beings were asked to describe modern music, they wouldn’t use the term ‘be-bop’?” said Crowley.
- Aziraphale’s cluelessness is just so adorable, y’all.
- I’m still amused that so many Queen songs are attributed to classical musicians.
Impossibly so, after this, Crowley and Aziraphale run into Anathema. Well, wait, I’ve got that wrong. She runs into them, technically, while she’s riding her bike. Doing something concerning The Book, that is. Do neither of them get credit for this moment since they were both ignorant as to who she was? That’s probably the case, though I’m not sure coincidence is even a thing in this eternal battle for good and evil. But it’s through this that Anathema accidentally leaves The Book in the backseat of Crowley’s car. We don’t deal with that until the end of “Wednesday,” when Aziraphale realizes what he now owns.
For now, the two go straight to the Manor where the Antichrist was born, hoping that they’ll have some way to track down the other baby born that same night as the Bringer of Darkness. And to my surprise, both of them get shot almost immediately upon exiting the car. GREAT. Was someone protecting the place? I wondered. But that’s quickly answered in two ways. First, I learn more about Sister Loquacious, now Mary Rhodes, who stayed at the Manor and converted it to a type of Business Management camp/seminar. (From nuns to business management. Huh. Humans really are strange when you think about it. That means that the guns that shot Aziraphale and Crowley are paintball guns, used by the business as some sort of team-building exercise. I loved that Crowley frightened Nigel, the man who shot them, by appearing as some maggot-infested demon form. That’s awesome. I wonder how often he does that! Probably not regularly, but the demon can see a good atmosphere when he’s given one. So he turns everyone’s paintball guns into real guns.
For a moment, this kind of frightened me. Wouldn’t this cause a scene that’s a lot more difficult to handle than what he intended? I mean, surely a bunch of these businessmen would die, right? But Crowley’s justification for this, aside from the fact that no one would get hurt, was yet another example of his appreciation for free will. Just because he gave them all real guns doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll kill each other. They wanted to anyway, and he merely facilitated the choice they’d make given the opportunity. Unfortunately, it’s all for naught. When they finally do find Sister Loquacious, she has no information to give them about the other child born the same night as the Antichrist. So they’re back at zero again.
So they set off, confused and uncertain, and they discuss the end of the world. Turns out there are plans on either side for what might happen to bring about the Apocalypse. That’s kind of an interesting notion, right? Like, they each have contingent plans or varied political leaders in place for that sort of thing, but neither side truly knows what the one thing will be to bring on the End Times. So is it up to whichever side “wins” the Antichrist, then? Both sides share three politicians on their Apocalypse Plan Lists, so there’s no way this is set in stone. And what if the Apocalypse is disappointing? You know, there only gets to be one of them ever, and what if it’s underwhelming? I dunno, wouldn’t that suck?
Now I’m curious, though. Aziraphale has The Book, so does that mean once he finishes it, he’ll know exactly how the world ends? And if the prophecies of Agnes Nutter are foolproof, then how can either side do anything? Can you change reality to contradict one of Agnes’s prophecies if you know about it beforehand?
Well, I’m interested, that’s for sure. That’s especially the case since the final scene of “Wednesday” involves a massacre created by War. If there really isn’t going to be a next year, how can anyone change it?
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