“Good Omens” Season 2 Review: Second Verse, Good as the First

Michael Sheen and David Tennant in season 2 of Good Omens. Photo by Mark Mainz and used courtesy of Amazon Studios.

Every day, it’s a-getting close; love like yours will surely come my way. The second season of Good Omens breaks this fangirl’s heart.

I was provided with advanced screeners for Good Omens season 2 for free for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

I have been a Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman fan for quite a while. I love the book Good Omens, and have followed its iteration as a radio show (twice), audiobook (one with the cast of the television show reprising their roles), and a soon-to-be graphic novel. When I first heard they were going to do a television series, I was healthily skeptical but open: with Gaiman showrunning (as a promise to a dying Pratchett), it was likely going to be mostly accurate. And while I had some minor issues with the first season, overall I was satisfied with the adaptation. (Read our review of season one here.)

A long-time Doctor Who fan, I had gone into it knowing I would love David Tennant, who plays Hell’s emissary Crowley, but I came out of it ready to follow Michael Sheen into battle if he asked. While I had seen Sheen in things here and there, his chaotic energy playing heaven’s emissary on Earth, Aziraphale, was the first thing to have me sit up and take notice of him.

When a second season was announced, I was a little hesitant. After all, Pratchett is no longer with us (#GNUTerryPratchett) and there was no more book to adapt. However, my caution was somewhat relieved when it was announced John Finnemore would be the co-writer.

I could write an ode to Finnemore. I’ve been a fan of his ever since the radio sitcom Cabin Pressure hit the airwaves in 2008, and love his other series. While not a replacement for Pratchett (who could be?), his style of writing has a lot in common. It’s smartly funny, crisp, and some of the best British comedy I’ve come across. There are many sequences in the second season of Good Omens that felt very ‘Finnemore-esque’.

The other thing that helped alleviate my concerns was Gaiman’s assurances to fans on social media that he and Pratchett had talked about a sequel to the book, and had actually plotted it out. The sequel series also had the approval of Rob Wilkins, Pratchett’s representative.

The second season did not disappoint me. The first season ended with Crowley and Aziraphale helping to avert the apocalypse and getting thrown out by their respective sides. We’re now following the demon and angel as they navigate the world (there’s also a mention of the pandemic in the first episode). Their lives are interrupted when the archangel Gabriel (Jon Hamm) arrives – naked – at Aziraphale’s bookshop with no memory of who he is or why he came there.

Jon Hamm (Gabriel) sits in a chair, as Michael Sheen (Aziraphale) looks on in Good Omens season 2. Photo by Mark Mainz and used courtesy of Amazon Studios.

The six episodes follow the mystery of what happened, with Aziraphale and Crowley dealing with their respective sides as the news leaks as to Gabriel missing in heaven.

One of the things that many fans, myself included, liked about the first season was the third episode’s 28-minute cold open wherein we get several instances of seeing Aziraphale and Crowley throughout the millennia running into each other. This sequence was only really hinted about in the book, and expands the relationship into the queer love story the television series ends up being.

Well, the second season doesn’t have a cold opening, but it does have three minisodes in the season that work in a similar way. We see how the two originally met (not what the first season seemed to indicate), them dealing with Job, a Victorian arc dealing with grave robbers, and a WWII post-church scene from the first episode dealing with zombies. Each of these shows Aziraphale grappling with the complexity of good and evil in the ‘real’ world, showing a gradual understanding that the world is not as simple as he thinks it is.

The Easter Eggs also abound in the second season. We’ve got Crowley referring to himself as a doctor, him putting on a fez, and Peter Davison and Ty Tennant both showing up in an episode and interacting with Tennant. We also have references from Cabin Pressure: the Bentley goes yellow for Aziraphale, which was a game played in one of the episodes. Additionally, there’s a case of Talisker whiskey referenced in both shows. Finally, the local lady of the night refers to herself as a seamstress, which is a reference to the Seamstress Guild in Pratchett’s Discworld.

The second season also abounds in love stories. While yes, the underlying Crowley and Aziraphale relationship is at the heart of the show, there’s a secondary plot that comes out of part of the reason Gabriel is in hiding. Additionally, due to plot reasons, Aziraphale and Crowley decide to make two ladies of the Whickber Street Traders and Shopkeepers’ Association fall in love with each other. There’s also a dance!

Douglas Mackinnon does a great job in direction, and a shoutout for the costumes they get throughout the various time periods we see them in.

The only big thing I didn’t like was the subtitles were horribly auto-generated.

As for the breaking of my fangirl heart, that’s all to do with the ending, which I won’t go into in detail. We don’t get a happy ending, and Good Omens season two also ends on a cliffhanger.

I don’t feel it’s a copout or badly written – it fits the story as we saw it progress in the season. It’s, as the Buddy Holly song that gets used throughout indicates, a roller coaster.

Gaiman has been repeatedly telling people that what we see in season 2 was NOT the plot of the sequel book that he and Pratchett had worked on, but gets us there.

It’s only a matter of whether Amazon decides a third season is warranted. Fingers crossed!

However, there are too many good bits (Aziraphale doing a magic show in 1940’s West End is one of the highlights) for me to be upset at how it ends.

Released on July 28, 2023, Good Omens season 2 is available on Amazon Prime. Watch – and watch again – so we can get that third season, okay?

And Neil – we need to see you do the apology dance ASAP!

Author: Angie Fiedler Sutton

Angie Fiedler Sutton is a writer, podcaster, and all-round fangirl geek. She has been published in Den of Geek, Stage Directions, LA Weekly, The Mary Sue, and others.

She also produces her own podcast, Contents May Vary, where she interviews geeky people about geeky things. You can see all her work (and social media channels) at angiefsutton.com.

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