What do you get when you mix an angel, a demon, the Antichrist, some prophecies, and a pesky little thing called the apocalypse? Good Omens of course! Beginning as a novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, the Prime Video series tells the tale of the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and a demon from Hell, Crowley (David Tennant), as they work together to stop the apocalypse. Having stopped the destruction of Earth, and fulfilling the prophecies of one Agnes Nutter, the story set out in the novel was complete with the six-episode first season. So where could the second season, aptly titled Good Omens 2, possibly go?
What once was conceived as a limited series returns with six new episodes, telling the next chapter in these two frenemies’ journey on Earth. With a story that bounces between the present and the past, Good Omens 2 works to put Tennant and Sheen’s characters more at the forefront than ever before. With some of the cast carrying over from the first season, Good Omens 2 sees a plethora of new faces joining the fray, in an attempt to reinvent the series as something that can stand on its own.
Returning to write the entirety of Good Omens 2 is Neil Gaiman, along with fellow writer John Finnemore. Directed by Douglas Mackinnon, all episodes of Good Omens 2 drop simultaneously on Prime Video on July 28. So is this second outing worth your time? Let’s explore what shenanigans Aziraphale and Crowley are up to next.
[Warning: Light Spoilers and impressions from Good Omens season 2 are below!]
A more intimate story between a demon and an angel
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of Good Omens’ second season is that it no longer has the restraints of the source material to dictate its story. Sure, there are plenty of series that are based on novels that don’t follow the books as close as they should, but the second season has no template in which to operate, allowing it complete creative control to do whatever it wants within the world it inhabits. And Gaiman and Finnemore give fans of Good Omens exactly what they want, a greater exploration into the relationship between Aziraphale and Crowley.
This season spends a significant amount of time furthering their relationship utilizing flashbacks and a modern-day relationship. Good Omens 2 features many flashbacks, with a good chunk of the first couple of episodes diving into different time periods, showcasing interactions between the two. Through these, we see how their relationship changed over time, from enemies to best friends, even if they are so reluctantly. While at times these felt unnecessary, even bordering on Arrow’s use of flashbacks which was way too much, their use becomes apparent by episode four, where the larger picture for these two comes into play.
In present-day Earth, Aziraphale and Crowley’s relationship is foiled by another, the budding situation-ship of Maggie (Maggie Service) and Nina (Nina Sosanya). These two mortals are wrapped up in the war between Hell and Heaven and their relationship becomes a plot point on which the entire story hinges. A storyline that feels distracting in the beginning, but like the flashbacks, feels more important and makes more sense as Good Omens 2 carries on.
With both the flashbacks and the relationship of Maggie and Nina as a focal point, a ton of emotional growth for both Aziraphale and Crowley occurs, in between solving the main mystery and saving their own skin. All of which begin with a knock on the door.
The larger mystery of Good Omens 2
This season begins with a sense of peace for both of our main characters, which changes with someone knocking on the door of Aziraphale’s bookshop. This single knock throws his and Crowley’s life into complete chaos because it signals that someone huge is off in both heaven and hell. It isn’t every day that a naked archangel with no memory of who he is or how he got there, especially when this angel’s disappearance could have huge ramifications for the delicate balance that exists after the events of season one.
The mystery of this angel’s appearance, what happened to his memories, and why he arrived at Aziraphale’s doorstep starts and stops frequently across the five episodes given in the screener. There are times it’s full steam ahead, while at other times it takes a back seat as the other stories take a turn in the driver’s seat. However, the mystery of Good Omens 2 gives the actors tons of great moments in which to stretch their acting abilities, even if the narrative meanders more than season one.
The good and bad of Good Omens 2
Let’s start off by giving the most praise to three actors specifically, all of whom made Good Omens 2 excellent. Of course, Michael Sheen and David Tennant are at the top of this list, bringing to life Aziraphale and Crowley respectively. It’s awesome to see how much these two characters have grown, and how much influence the other has had on each of them. Tennant was the standout for me, with Crowley showing so much more humanity and compassion compared to last season, whereas Aziraphale remains pretty similar to his season one counterpart.
While those two are exceptional in almost any way, the highlight of Good Omens 2 for me was Jon Hamm. I’ve loved this man’s acting since Mad Men and was delighted to see him in the first season. That being said, his role in season two is so much juicer and hilarious than in the first season. You’re reminded just how fantastic of an actor he is and boy does he take his character of Gabriel and run with it. Stretch his wings so to speak. If there’s one reason besides the Sheen and Tennant to watch Good Omens 2, it’s for Jon Hamm.
Perhaps the biggest disservice I felt for the second season was the practically total change-up of characters/actors from season one. While I understand from a storyline perspective that most of the characters in the first season had closure and Good Omens 2 is something else completely, there felt like something was missing from this season without the likes of Anathema (Adria Arjona), Shadwell (Michael McKean), and Newton (Jack Whitehall). These personalities helped make Good Omens such a strong show, so the transition to a whole new group of characters with just a few holding up the connective tissue was a difficult pill to swallow.
That being said, those who live on Aziraphale’s block are quirky and loveable characters that, by the end, you come to enjoy in equal but different ways from those in the first season. I wasn’t sure about Maggie and Nina at least, with Nina specifically being off-putting from the start. But these two grow as characters, and grew on me, by the end of episode five.
At times, the narrative of Good Omens 2 felt confusing. I was unsure for quite a while what exactly was going on, feeling like something was going over my head. Granted, once viewers settle into the story, all eventually become apparent, so give it time to cook.
Overall, Good Omens 2 is a great second outing for this Prime Video series. While I enjoyed season one more, there’s still plenty of charm and hilarity in season two. If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman’s work, this is definitely a season you don’t want to miss.
Good Omens 2 arrives on July 28 on Prime Video. Will you be checking it out? Let us know on Twitter or in The Cosmic Circus Discord.