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Hard Times Recap

The Garden of Eden – 4004 BC

As Aziraphale closes up Eden, God asks him where the flaming sword He gave him is. The angel claims that he misplaced it.

3004 Mesopotamia

"Crawly" finds Aziraphale watching over the Ark, and asks how giving the mortals his flaming sword worked out. Aziraphale says that God hasn't mentioned it, and Crawly wonders why Noah is building an ark. The angel explains that God plans to wipe out all of the bad humans, and assures the demon that Noah and his family will be fine. Crawly is shocked that God is going to kill kids, pointing out that demons typically do that. One of the unicorns escapes, and the rain starts.

Golgotha, 33 AD

Christ is crucified, and Aziraphale and Crowley watch. Crowley explains that he changed his name from Crawly to Crowley, and notes that the angels put Jesus on the cross. He says that he met Jesus and showed him all the kingdoms of the world because his travel opportunities are limited. The Romans hoist Jesus up.

Rome, 25 BC

Aziraphale is at a bar when Crowley comes in and orders a drink. The angel comes over and greets his associate, and says that he's in Rome to try a restaurant. Aziraphale invites Crowley to join him for some oysters.

Wessex, 537 AD

Sir Aziraphale, a member of the Round Table, arrives to speak with the Black Knight. A black knight confronts him, and Aziraphale realizes that it's Crowley. They chat and Crowley explains that he's there to foment chaos since Arthur is bringing orders. Aziraphale says that he's there to foment peace, and they realize that they're just cancelling each other out. Crowley suggests that they stay at home and send messages to the home office, but Aziraphale refuses to hear it and walks off.

Globe Theater, London, 1601

Aziraphale buys some grapes and Crowley joins him, noting that there are no crowds to hide in. Shakespeare comes over and asks for them to give the actors more to work with. Crowley tells the actor Burbage to get on with the play, while Shakespeare takes down Crowley's words to put into his plays. Aziraphale figures that Crowley is up to no good, and says that he has to be in the Edinburgh to do some blessings and a minor miracle. Crowley tells the angel that he has to tempt a clan leader, and suggests that one of them go to Edinburgh and do both. Aziraphale doesn't want them to discuss their relationship, and Crowley says that their head offices don't care as long as they cross the tasks off their lists. The angel reluctantly gives in and they flip a coin for Edinburgh. Shakespeare's mentions that it would take a miracle to get anyone to see Hamlet, and the celestials overhear him and Crowley agrees to handle it.

Paris, 1793

Aziraphale sits chained in a cell as outside, the citizens guillotine the nobles. Jean-Claude the Executioner comes in and Aziraphale insists that it's a mistake that he's there. The executioner tells Aziraphale that he's lucky because he'll professionally cut off his head. Aziraphale refuses to let Jean-Claude check his neck and time freezes. Crowley reveals himself and Aziraphale explains that he came to Paris for the crepes. The angel was reprimanded a month ago for performing too many frivolous miracles, and Crowley got a commendation for outstanding work performance. The demon says that he had nothing to do with the Revolution, and the humans thought it up on their own. He frees Aziraphale and tells Aziraphale not to mention that he helped. Aziraphale offers to buy him lunch and Crowley accepts, and the angel switches his aristocratic clothing with Jean-Claude . He gets taken to the guillotine and the celestials go for crepes.

St. James Park, 1862

The two celestials meet and feed the ducks, and Crowley insists that he didn't fall but sauntered downward. He tells Aziraphale that he wants holy water as insurance if it goes wrong. Aziraphale refuses and says that he can't be seen fraternizing. They tell each other that they don't need each other and Aziraphale storms off.

London, 1941

Aziraphale meets two German agents, Harmony and Glozier, in a church and tells them that he has the books of prophecy for Hitler. Agnes' book isn't there, and the agents comment on it. Aziraphale says that he wasn't able to find it, and the only prophecy he could find was a prophecy for 1972 not to buy Betamax. The agents prepare to kill Aziraphale now that they have the books, and Rose Montgomery of British Intelligence steps out and trains her gun on the agents. The angel says that Rose recruited him to work for them, and she's going to say that British agents have surrounded the building. No one steps out, and the Germans says that Rose is actually Greta Kleinschmidt, a double agent.

Crowley runs in, wincing in pain at the holiness, and tells Aziraphale that he's there to keep him out of trouble. The demon says that he has nothing to do with the Nazis. Glozier recognizes Crowley, and tells Greta to kill them both. Crowley says that a German bomber will drop a bomb on the church thanks to demonic intervention, and if they run fast they won't die. They hear a bomber flying overhead and a bomb drops on the church, destroying it and killing the Nazis.

Aziraphale and Crowley stand unharmed among the debris, and the angel thanks Crowley for saving him the trouble. Crowley gives him the books, which he saved with a demonic intervention, and leaves.

Soho, 1967

Crowley meets with a gang, including the locksman Corporal Shadwell. The demon is planning a theft in a church, and assures them that they'll be well-compensated. Shadwell asks if witchcraft is involved and Crowley assures him that no witches are involved. Afterward, Shadwell talks to Crowley privately and says that he's a member a vast anonymous secret army, the Witchfinders. He says that if Crowley needs him, he knows where to find him and walks off.

Getting into his car, Crowley finds Aziraphale there. Aziraphale says that he works in Soho and has heard about Crowley's caper. He warns that holy water will destroy Crowley's soul as well as body and doesn't want him risking his life. Aziraphale offers him a thermos full of holy water and Crowley wonders if he should say "thank you". The angel advises him not to and suggests that one day they dine at the Ritz. He admits that Crowley goes too fast for him and leaves.

The Present Day, One Day to the End of the World

After learning that the Antichrist in Tadfield, Aziraphale figures that he'll just go to the head office and explain everything. He figures that the Antichrist because he has a hell hound with him.

Adam and Dog go walking, and the hell hound realizes that he has no choice but to act like a small dog. They come across Anathema smashing her things and complaining that she's failed to keep the world safe. Adam asks if she's okay and if he can help, and Anathema gets hold of herself and says that she lost her book. They introduce themselves and Anathema asks if he saw Crowley and Aziraphale. Anathema invites him in for lemonade and assures him that she isn't a witch but an occultist. There's a horseshoe over the door and Dog barks at it, and Adam unconsciously uses his powers to let Dog inside despite the totem against evil and a little more of Hell burns away from it.

Newton looks through Shadwell's witch-torturing implements and the relics of previous witchfinders, and finds his ledger of payments to witchfinders. The ledger shows the others witchfinders, and Newton is unaware that Shadwell made all of the names up.

Shadwell finds Crowley at a diner, and Crowley says that Shadwell resembles his father. Crowley says that he'll drop the money off for the witchfinders on Saturday, and tells him to send his best people to Tadwell to find an 11-year-old boy. Shadwell wants to know if the boy is a witch, and Crowley says that they need to find him first and leaves.

Anathema serves lemonade and tells Adam about ley lines and auras. She determines that Adam doesn't have an aura, and talks about all of the ecological crises that the schools don't teach. Anathema says that power stations are rubbish and they need to get rid of them. She gives Adam some old magazines to read, with articles about Atlantis and the secret masters in Tibet. Adam goes to a bench to read the magazines, Anathema unaware that she can't see Adam's aura because it covers all of England.

Aziraphale meets with Gabriel and his staff, and suggests that the other side might have lost track of the Antichrist. The Archangel Michael points out that the other side is transporting Warlock to the plains of Meggido for Armageddon, but Aziraphale continues, saying that Warlock may have been a ruse and the real Antichrist is somewhere else. He offers to find out where he is, and Uriel says that it wouldn't change anything. The demons were cast out but nothing was settled, and Aziraphale wonders if there has to be another war. Gabriel says that they have other things to do and Earth isn't going to just end itself.

Anathema continues divining for the Antichrist and sees the villagers' auras. R.P. Tyler with the neighborhood watch comes over and wonders if Anathema is casing the place. Anathema explains that she's renting Jasmine Cottage and Tyler figures that she's an American tourist. She asks him if a beast came to Tadfield a few years ago, but Tyler is offended and suggests that she go back to America.

In Heaven, Gabriel wonders if Aziraphale has been on Earth too long.

Newton goes through Shadwell's clippings and finds reports of unusual weather activity in Tadwell. Aziraphale calls and Madame Tracy answers the phone. The angel asks for Shadwell or one of his agents, and Shadwell returns and takes the call. Aziraphale reminds Shadwell that he's his sponsor and asks him to send a man to Tadfield to observe Adam. Shadwell writes down Adam's name and address, hangs up, and goes into his apartment. Newton mentions Tadwell and says that it's snowed there every Christmas for the last 11 years, and the rest of the weather is perfect for a kid. Shadwell isn't interested and tells him to focus on witches.

Famine calls himself Dr. Rabin Sable and goes to a fancy restaurant to watch rich people not eat much. He launches a chain of restaurants and goes to Iowa to introduce food-free food. The international express deliveryman arrives and gives Famine his package. Inside are measuring scales, and Famine realizes that Armageddon is coming. He tells his assistant Frannie to cancel all of his appointments because he's going to England.

Newton tells Shadwell that witches can influence the weather and suggests that he go to Tadwell. Shadwell agrees since he has to send a man there anyway, and tells Newton to pick up his armor of righteousness before going.

Crowley calls Aziraphale and sets up a rendezvous.

Adam continues reading Anathema's magazines, and figures that it's all real. He goes to his bedroom and Deirdre asks Arthur if he thinks Adam is all right.

Aziraphale goes to the rendezvous--a gazebo--and asks if the angel has found the Antichrist. The angel wonders what they'll do when they find the Antichrist, and Aziraphale suggests that Crowley kill the boy and then the blood won't be on Heaven's hands. He refuses to kill anyone, and Crowley says that they could go off together once Earth is destroyed. Aziraphale insists that they're not friends and they're on opposite sides, and Crowley tells him there is no sides for them anymore. The angel says that it's all over, and Crowley tells him to have a nice doomsday and leaves.

In his room, Adam continues reading the magazines by flashlight, including an article on making Earth nuclear-free. He goes to sleep and unconsciously uses his Antichrist powers to cause every nuclear reactor in the world to stop reacting but still produce power. The Ministers of State of Energy gets call, and authorizes the employee to open their reactor. A team cautiously open the chamber and discover that the reactor is gone. In its place is a sherbet lemon.

A bag of sherbet lemons lays on Adam's bed.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 2, 2019

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