Warning: SPOILERS GALORE!
This year brought the release of Amazon’s Good Omens, a limited series based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Personally, I had heard of but never read the book it was based on, but you can read The Fandomentals review here. Everything in the show, from the eccentric humor to the wonderfully silly story, were new to me.
I loved it. It has all the humor I love from Pratchett’s Discworld books combined with Gaiman’s gift at writing magic on display in the small screen. Most notable for me was the fantastic cast of characters of which I couldn’t get enough. From the lovely English couple accidentally bestowed with the antichrist to the no-nonsense witch who inherited the task of saving the world. Every last one has a quirk. Shouldn’t be surprising, as it is a skillset both authors share.
If there is a complaint I have, it is that the cast is predominantly male and white, which I tend to find boring these days. There are a bunch of characters that I believed deserved more screen time than they got. But hey, nothing is perfect. There are way more good than bad things to talk about.
Today, I’d like to direct everyone’s attention to the relationship between the demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale.
WHO THEY ARE
Aziraphale is an Angel of God (a.k.a. Frances McDormand) who believes wholeheartedly in their “ineffable” plan for humanity. He is Good™, if adorably naïve, and sometimes easily distracted by worldly pleasures such as food. He is absolutely NOT friends with a demon, no sir, and rationalizes explanations when they hang out.
Crowley, meanwhile, is the aforementioned demon. Like all demons, he started out an angel. He didn’t mean to fall, he was just hanging with the wrong crowd. He’s Bad™ in that he gets his orders from Hell done, one way or another. Half-heartedly, more often than not. He is friends with an Angel, even though said angel exasperates him sometimes.
They are both perfectly cast, brought to life by Michael Sheen and David Tennant respectively. Sheen is a very versatile actor and an expert at playing epic, fantastical characters. Tennant is a bold, eccentric, and brings chaotic sexual energy in this role. He is a delight to watch on-screen.
WHY LOVE THEM
Come on, everyone. They are an Angel and a Demon who spend six thousand years dancing around each other, helping each other out, and having dinner at The Ritz. I mean. Even just as a concept, it’s a great idea. With the execution of two notoriously great writers, it’s just unreal.
There is an episode that dedicates half of its runtime to summarizing these guys’ friendship over the course of the centuries, and honestly, I would watch all six hours of just that.
They meet at the dawn of existence. Crowley just tempted Eve in the form of a snake and Aziraphale gave the humans his appointed sword on the first day of duty. Crowley (then Crawley) is appropriately sarcastic and aloof. Aziraphale is good to a fault, if incredibly innocent. Their friendship really kicks off with Crowley tempting Aziraphale into sharing duties so that, at odd times, someone gets to chill out.
The plot of the show revolves around the Apocalypse. Crowley botches the delivery of the Antichrist, causing them to lose track of him. Angel and demon join forces to track the boy down and stop the Apocalypse before it begins. Crowley did his duty with the Antichrist half-heartedly as usual. He not-so-secretly wants the Earth to keep existing. Aziraphale wants to stop the Apocalypse because he considers it the right thing to do, and is shocked to discover Michael, Gabriel, and the other angels disagree—because God’s plan was to set up for an ultimate fight, to have a winner once and for all.
Philosophically, this is my favorite thing about the entire show. It’s… truly deep, man. That is the metaphor that would take 3000+ words to unpack. The show has real stuff to say about the fight between good and evil.
HOT TAKE? EH… NOT REALLY.
We cannot talk about Crowley and Aziraphale’s relationship without addressing the elephant in the room. Yes, I mean shipping.
It had not been a week since the show premiered and the Internet was already crawling (tee-hee) with fan art and feels and gushing. To be fair, there is good reason for it. They are openly the most important relationship in the narrative, and their coming together unequivocally marks the ultimate resolution of the story. So shipping gonna happen!
I don’t necessarily ship them. Not in the way where I want them to be unambiguously romantic. I happen to love them just as they are. I do believe they are more than just friends, if not in the romantic sense. They are life partners. Being the representatives of Hell and Heaven on Earth respectively, they are unique in the world. Unable to relate to humans because of their nature, but also distant from their fellow demons and angels because of their proximity to the human world.
They are, in many ways, two halves of the same whole. Soulmates. Seeing them interact, the actors’ choices, the things they do for each other throughout the story, would I say they love each other? Yes. Hell yes. I would say they each love the other more than anything. However, I don’t think they need to be physical with each other for their relationship to be whole and fulfilling.
In a way I guess, I am positing that they develop an asexual romantic relationship. I’m not saying they necessarily are asexual themselves. We don’t know that. There is no statement to that at all. That is left completely to interpretation. I read them as asexual, romantic fools, the both of them. The show depicts the story of how they slowly, oh so slowly, come to be on the same page re: their feelings for each other. What they mean to each other becomes undeniable for both of them. The lengths they go for each other is the heart of the show. That’s as much of a “hot take” as I have about them.
Before the events of the Apocalypse, there is still resistance on both their parts. Aziraphale stubbornly maintained faith in the other angels, and the “ineffable” plan they’re of which they’re meant to be in service. He resisted any attachment he had to the literal demon he had dinner with every week. I would say Aziraphale is constantly baffled by Crowley. Surely, a demon couldn’t be…good, could he? That is the inner conflict Aziraphale faces and ultimately resolves.
Crowley, meanwhile, is more of the “conceal don’t feel” type. Although he never resisted his friendship with Aziraphale, he was blasé about it in that “if you died I wouldn’t even care that much anyway.” He prides himself on being aloof and vaguely menacing at all times. Every time Aziraphale rejects him, he lashes out and says “who cares!” instead of admitting hurt. That is, until he fears having lost his friend forever.
Their dynamic is a delight to watch. In my humble opinion, also one of the most heartwarming depictions of love and friendship to grace television.
–Aziraphale protected Crowley from the rain with his wing?
–Aziraphale said “You go too fast for me, Crowley.”
–Or when Crowley rescued his Angel from Nazis and even saved his books for him.
–Or when he miracled away a stain on Aziraphale’s jacked because he was upset.
–Remember when Aziraphale wouldn’t give Crowley Holy Water because he didn’t want Crowley to commit suicide with it.
–Or when they had the same human agent, unbeknownst to each other.
–Or when Crowley knew Aziraphale’s ice cream order.
–When Crowley is heartbroken because he thinks Aziraphale is dead.
–My personal favorite, though, is when Crowley protects Aziraphale from learning the truth of God’s “ineffable” plan, which he has kept his faith about for six thousand years. There is no other reason to do this than to spare the Angel’s feelings. And it just gets to me, man… it gets to me.
Whether you ship them romantically or not, tell me some of your favorite Crowley + Aziraphale moments, or even individual moments of each characters, of which there are plenty.
Happy July, people, hope you’re not burning as hot as I am here. (See what I did there?) Peace!
Images courtesy of Amazon