November 29, 2023

‘Good Omens’ Season 2’s Smaller Story Makes the Series Better


Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Good Omens Season 2.

The Big Picture

  • Good Omens Season 2 focuses on character development, giving Aziraphale and Crowley the time they deserve to build relationships and reflect on their growth.
  • The season explores the theme of binary morality and the limits of the Christian faith as a tool of ethics, delving deeper into the complexities of good and evil.
  • Season 2 delves into Crowley and Aziraphale’s relationship, showing how they influence each other to be better people and how their love transforms them. Their backstory is further explored, revealing the importance of their bond in shaping their characters.

Terry Pratchett‘s and Neil Gaiman‘s best-selling novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch tells a self-contained story filled with wonderful characters and deep ruminations on faith and the nature of evil. Gaiman himself masterfully adapted the book for Prime Video as a TV show starring Michael Sheen as the angel Aziraphale and David Tennant as the demon Crowley.

As much as we loved the duo, no one expected Good Omens to get a second season since the full story of the book had been adapted into six episodes. So, when Good Omens did get renewed, we wondered where Gaiman could take the story next. Fortunately, Good Omens Season 2 proves why Gaiman is one of the greatest creative minds ever, presenting a smaller-scoped story that nevertheless improves what we loved the most about the original work.

RELATED: Maggie Service & Nina Sosanya on Being Back and Better Than Ever for ‘Good Omens’ Season 2

‘Good Omens’ Season 2 Keeps the Focus on the Characters

Image via Prime Video

While it’s exciting to see how Gaiman and the late Pratchett deconstruct Christianity and turn it into a thrilling fantasy universe, Good Omens characters are the heart of the story. Specifically, the book and the show wouldn’t have the fanbase they do if it weren’t for Aziraphale and Crowley. However, as good as the duo’s dynamic is in the original story, the plot of Good Omens Season 1 is too bloated to give them the time they deserve in the spotlight. In Season 1, Aziraphale and Crowley barely had time to breathe, jumping from place to place while trying to stop Armageddon. That is understandable, given that the fate of the world was at stake. Still, when the credits roll in Season 1, we can’t help but feel that the series should have explored more of their past.

Season 2 of Good Omens also has a big mystery at its core, with Aziraphale and Crowley joining forced to find out how Supreme Archangel Gabriel (John Hamm) lost his memory and why the forces of Heaven and Hell are hunting the once-powerful angel. Still, this time around, Good Omens has a minimalistic cast of supporting characters and a central plot that could fit in three episodes at most. That gives the series plenty of time to fill its runtime with minisodes that take fans back in time as Aziraphale and Crowley forge their unbreakable bond.

As great as Season 1 of Good Omens might have been, sometimes it feels like the show can’t give its characters the space they need to build relationships and reflect on the people they want to become. Season 2, on the other hand, takes the opposite path, offering a small-scoped story and dozens of scenes dedicated to Aziraphale’s and Crowley’s character growth. It’s a surprising change that allows the series to hit us harder than ever, even though Gaiman still didn’t quite find the right pacing for the new story format. Even so, regarding character development, Good Omens has never been better than Season 2.

‘Good Omens’ Season 2 Improves on the Series Themes

crowley and aziraphale in good omens season 1
Image via Amazon

Season 1 of Good Omens explored how binary morality does more harm than good, showing that Heaven could sometimes be as bad as Hell. The issue comes from trying to paint the world in black and white, forgetting that the many shades of grey make humans so interesting. Furthermore, by creating orthodox codes of conduct, Good Omens’ version of Heaven condemns good people to spend eternity in Hell instead of creating a distinction between those who are genuinely evil and those who are just misguided.

Since Season 2 of Good Omens has the time to spare, the many flashback sessions of the show are dedicated to further inspecting this theme. For instance, by retooling the biblical story of Job, Season 2 of Good Omens shows how absurd it is that God, a being of pure goodness, decides to destroy the life of their most faithful servant just to win a bet with Satan. Likewise, when Aziraphale tries to teach a lesson to a girl who has been robbing graves, the angel is forced to realize that the hardships of poverty do push people to sin more than others, and that isn’t far to ask those who need help the most to be more righteous than others.

The limits of the orthodox Christian faith as a tool of ethics are also part of the first season of Good Omens. Yet, the smaller scope of Season 2 allows the show to properly investigate the issue, which it does brilliantly. In doing so, Season 2 of Good Omens also doubles down on the first season’s endorsement of the transformative power of love.

While holy wars and prophecies push the story forward in Good Omens, the show is also about how a demon and an angel influence each other to be better people. As an agent of Hell, Crowley is tasked with spreading chaos and destruction upon the lands, but Aziraphale constantly guides him to do good actions. Similarly, Crowley shows Aziraphale that some minor sins can be used to prevent a greater evil from growing. Because they love each other, even when they don’t admit it, Crowley and Aziraphale slowly become improved versions of themselves. By filling the gaps in the duo’s backstory, Season 2 of Good Omens can further explore this idea, showing how important their relationship was to forge them into the people we see in the show.

Season 2 of ‘Good Omens’ Gives Us More Detail Into Crowley and Aziraphale’s Relationship

Aziraphale and Crowley in Good Omens
Image via Prime Video

In particular, Season 2 of Good Omens is about how Crowley received unfair treatment for daring to ask questions and how he decided to play the part of a villain that Heaven gave him. Nevertheless, with Aziraphale by his side, Crowley is motivated to surpass his fear of trust and stand for the oppressed people that roam Earth. Season 2 also showed how Crowley tempted Aziraphale to commit his first sin, not out of spite, but because he genuinely cares for the angel. Crowley wanted to show Aziraphale how Heaven’s restrictive guidances can harm people, a lesson that the angel, unfortunately, forgot in the Season 2 finale.

Without a novel to base the scripts on, Season 2 of Good Omen doesn’t always manage to keep us engaged in the central mystery. However, the smaller scope of the second season does favor its characters. So, since Aziraphale and Crowley are the beating heart of Good Omens, we can argue that the show is treading the right path. Now we just need Season 3 to iron everything out while maintaining its focus on the angel-demon duo.

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