Lost in Translation 461: Good Omens Season 2 (2023)

The first season of Good Omens covered the original novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, showing the chaos that can happen when angelic hosts and demonic hordes lose track of the Antichrist and what happens when the Antichrist is brought up as human. The first season fit in most of the book, with a few ideas, such as Death having never touched Elvis Presley, who could be found working at a diner serving FOODTM created by Famine. There was a sequel hook left in the form of the second volume of The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, but Newt Pulsipher tossed it into the waste bin.

Why have a second series? The first reason is popularity. Michael Sheen and David Tennant had amazing on-screen chemistry as the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley. In the novel, people were always making the assumption that they were a gay couple who have been together for a while. This came through on screen, and the Aziraphale/Crowley ship set sail. The second reason is that there is a dangling plotline that didn’t get wrapped up in either the book or the first series.

The second series puts the focus solely on Crowley and Aziraphale, but there is a strong supporting cast. Along with Sheen and Tennant, several other of the original cast returned, including Miranda Richardson as Shax, Jon Hamm as Gabriel, Doon Mackichan as Michael, Gloria Obianyo as Uriel, and David Jacobi as the Metatron. Nina Sosanya, who played Sister Mary Loquacious in the first series, returns as Nina, owner of the coffee shop near Aziraphale’s bookshop. Joining the cast are Liz Carr as Saraqael, Shelley Conn replacing Anna Maxwell-Martin as Beelzebub, Quelin Sepulveda as Muriel, and Maggie Service as Maggie, the owner of the record store in the back of the bookshop.

In the time between the end of series 1 and the start of series 2, Aziraphale is semi-retired, taking care of his bookstore, and Crowley is on the run from Hell with his apartment and former job taken over by Shax. The balance between Heaven and Hell is at a status quo, with neither side making any moves against the other. The problems start when an amnesiac and nude Archangel Gabriel appears at Aziraphale’s shop carrying only a strategically placed box.

Expecting trouble from both Heaven and Hell, Aziraphale and Crowley each perform a half of the tiniest miracle they can to hide Gabriel. The attempt is noticed in both Heaven and Hell, but the emissaries who arrive at the bookshop see the former Archangel but don’t recognize him. That problem at bay, if not solved, gives time for Aziraphale to start digging into the mystery of Gabriel’s appearance.

The series also digs into Aziraphale and Crowley’s relationship over time, starting before The Beginning. The seeds for Crowley’s inevitable sauntering vaguely to Hell are set, but the major turning point is during the Trials of Job. Aziraphale arrives to stop a demon from destroying a flock of sheep owned by Job, played by Peter Davidson. The demon turns out to be Crowley and he has a permit to destroy the flock. When Aziraphale watches Crowley at work, he notices crows bleeding. When it’s time to kill Job’s kids, Aziraphale works with Crowley to keep them safe while still following the edicts of Heaven and Hell. Job gets his reward for still being faithful and is rewarded with his children and flocks back, though Gabriel is told that the children and animals are new ones.

Aziraphale, being Aziraphale, also tends to meddle. He’s allowed Maggie to fall behind on her rent out of a sense of duty to protect her from herself. Aziraphale also noticed that Maggie is pining for Nina. Nina has a partner, but the relationship is rocky. Aziraphale believes both women would be happier together, and he may be correct, but he gets Crowley to try some traditional ways used in romcoms to get the two together.

The series builds up to a crescendo including a demonic attack on Aziraphale’s bookshop, and the revelation of what happened to Gabriel. Maggie and Nina sit Crowley down to tell him off for trying to get them together and to help with his relationship with Aziraphale. The series ends with a gut punch that has to be experienced.

Above, the second reason mentioned an unfinished plotline. Adam stopped Armageddon in series 1 and in the book. However, both Heaven and Hell are still ready to fight the Final War. Adam only delayed the War. Series 2 doesn’t wrap up the plotline, only brings it back out in the open. The ending implies the possibility of a series 3.

Good Omens 2 continues the story from the first season and the book. Neil Gaiman is still involved with the production. The series makes an effort to call back to bits that got dropped from the novel, such as Aziraphale’s dabbling in stage magic and the missing Shakespearean quartro with The Gold Diggers of 1589The Trapping of the Mouse, and The Comedie of Robin Hoode. When an amnesiac Gabriel tries to sell Saraqael a book, he uses one by Terry Pratchett. The details just add to the proper feel of the series as related to Good Omens.

The cast is strong. Tennant and Sheen still have their chemistry together. Shax is the type of villain to be booed by the audience, but still comes out ahead by the end of the series. Nina and Maggie are familiar to the audience, going through relatable troubles even without the angelic meddling. Hamm’s amnesiac Gabriel is a himbo yet still sympathetic. The casting director deserves a bonus for getting the cast together.

Good Omens 2 builds from the first series and the novel, bring forth the unfinished plotline from both while still being light through most of the series and still able to be serious when needed. Series 2 is a sequel that needs the original work and expands on ideas in it. Well worth watching just for the writing, with a bonus of being well-acted without the actors appearing to act.

This article was originally published at THE REMAKE ZONE.

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