Good Omens Season 2 is six episodes of pure delight…until it’s not. That’s not to say that the part which is the complete opposite of delight is poorly executed—quite the opposite. But, in a creative landscape where absolutely nothing is guaranteed, it’s difficult to see the way the season ends as anything other than “why. Just why.” Which, of course, there are plenty of very good reasons to separate two characters in such a gut-wrenching way. But also: Why.
So, let’s just forget about that part for…well. A long time, probably. As in, as long as it takes for writers and actors alike to get a fair deal, more episodes to be ordered, those episodes to be created, and us to get to see them. Instead, let’s talk about all the things we absolutely adored about the latest from Crowley, Aziraphale, and all the others.
In the first place, Good Omens 2 offers plenty of unexpected moments that expand on the world born in Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s novel, then brought to our screens by all the (irreplaceable and in need of fair compensation) creatives at the Amazon adaptation’s heart. This time around, the mission seems to be more about solving a mystery than preventing the end of the world. Aziraphale gets to have a blast playing both savior and detective. Meanwhile, Crowley backs him up and lets him spread his wings a little while pretending to be terribly bothered by it all. As one does. And everyone else…just wants the prize of being in possession of someone very, very powerful.
On the surface, those stakes may seem much, much lower than last season’s. In reality, they’re really not. Anyone caught helping the recently-disappeared Gabriel will be erased from the Book of Life. Completely wiped out of existence, past, present, and future while life simply goes on, unaware, for everyone else. So, it is still all about preventing the end of the world as we know it. Just on a much deeper, more personal, level. In some sense, that feels something much more like a recipe for doom than if everything ceased to exist. Because we care about these characters, and they care about each other.
Then, in the end, yet another version of “the world” gets eradicated. And really, ripping one key person—or angel, or demon—out of another’s existence is, in its own way, even worse than all of the above. But they warned us, even “Before the Beginning,” that the “upstairs” plan was to create all sorts of beautiful things just to destroy them. And Crowley, drawing from David Tennant’s time as the Tenth Doctor for the first of many times this season, marveled at the vastness of “gorgeous” space while raging against the thought of its unjust death. All this, as Aziraphale repeated the party line on the stars’ purpose, while warning Crowley not to get himself into trouble.
So, even there, they tried to warn us that it was Crowley who stood to lose everything while Aziraphale, even with all his doubts, might try to find a way to justify the unjustifiable. Because one believes in absolute good, while the other knows such a thing may not be possible. And one is willing to cheat a little to do the right thing, while refusing to actually admit that he’s operating from a place of good…and the other repeatedly makes the mistake of operating under the assumption that the so-called good guys are, well, good.
Basically, the bottom line is: This story can do no wrong (except for the hurting us part!), Tennant continues to be the best not-quite-true stormcloud to Michael Sheen’s ray of sunshine, and we really have no idea how to put the many, many merits of this series into words. The human imagination, in the hands of true creative genius, really is limitless. So, the powers that be probably ought to start treating them like they’re as valuable as they actually are.
Maybe that’s the best we’ve got.
Some Highlights From Good Omens Season 2
- Jon Hamm as the lost, confused, and—apparently taking his cue from Lee Pace’s character in Foundation—Gabriel (Jim, if you prefer) who starts our heroes’ latest misadventure.
- The literal first line of Good Omens appearing here, plus all the other delicious literary…stuff. And speaking of delicious: Coffee. In Jim’s Mug (important).
- Although it feels super unfair that they get to build an eternity together while our favorite demon and angel, so far don’t, the romance with Beelzebub is a highlight. Not only does it open the door for that part and increase the effect of the ouch of Aziraphale’s flawed choice, but it’s just…the surprise is really nice. And, of course, it really drives home the idea that this whole concept of what’s good, what’s evil, and what has to be because of some great celestial plan is garbage, actually.
- Furthermore, if they can do it, certainly our two boys can find a way…right? Right?!
- “You’re making him risk is entire existence. For you.” It’s fascinating how this whole story turns out to be a case of Aziraphale risking his entire existence for Crowley. Or at least what he thinks will be good for Crowley. (It is not. And it can never be.) So, the whole “rescuing me makes him so happy” plan well and truly is a master plan. Unfortunately, it’s also one that, much like all the best laid plans, backfires.
- Next up, Quelin Sepulveda’s Muriel, who is just a great, big ball of light. If anyone can take good care of Mr. Fell’s bookshop while he’s away at his new/old job, it’s her.
- So, so much of our heroes’ history. And almost every look into the past involves something along the lines of this exchange: “That was a nice thing you did for me.” “Shutup.”
- Or, if you prefer: “You’re a good lad.” “Not actually.”
- “What’s the point of it all? Heaven, hell. demons, angels…it’s all…pointless.” This speaks to me. A lot of us, probably.
- “You are unloved and unlovable. You’re nobody. And you’ll live, and then you’ll die, a nobody.” I’m not sure why the writers had to come for me like this.
- The entire romcom/fanfiction/hopeless romantic vibe. Crowley’s into the caught in the rain trope; Aziraphale is all about a Jane Austen AU. Either way, they both go all in on trying to find some kind of happy ending for Nina and Maggie, who then (rightfully) call the two meddlers out on their bullshit. Really, the entirety of Good Omens Season 2 is just one big ball of here are your favorite tropes for love stories…including the angst.
- Um. The confession. And the kiss. Do we really even need to stay it? Probably not..but here it is.
Thoughts? Feeling a lot of feelings? Leave us a comment!