If you were wondering whether the second season of Good Omens was going to explore angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and demon Crowley’s (David Tennant) storied past or progress into the present day with their relationship, the answer is yes.
Good Omens season 2 does take place after the events of the first season (and the book that it’s based on), with Aziraphale and Crowley settling into a new normal after postponing the apocalypse. But it also includes long, extended flashback sequences within those present-day scenes, dubbed “minisodes.”
Now, most of them aren’t actually “mini” (in fact, the longest one takes up most of its episode time). All of them take place in the past and have little to do with the main modern-day storyline, where the archangel Gabriel (Jon Hamm) has shown up at Aziraphale’s door, butt-naked and with no memory.
In fact, they almost feel like they’re from a separate version of Good Omens season 2, one that’s made up of episodic adventures throughout Aziraphale and Crowley’s past (perhaps they were once rough ideas that Neil Gaiman outlined with co-author Terry Pratchett). If that were the case, then these minisodes would be thoroughly enjoyable. But in the structure of the season, they tend to pull away from the main plot for too long to the point where the main plot barely inches by. It’s uniquely frustrating — while I want to watch them and spend some more time with these characters, I also find it takes away from the central plotline, which is compelling on its own.
Aziraphale and Crowley are just fascinating characters, so any screen time with them is a delight. I just want to see more of them interacting, especially through their thousands of years of misadventures. Sheen and Tennant embody them so perfectly, with an easy chemistry that makes any mundane interaction wonderful. And since they are a demon and an angel, what’s mundane to them is fantastical to us, be it orchestrating the events of the Book of Job or digging up bodies in Scotland. These flashbacks key us in on crucial moments that affected Crowley and Aziraphale’s relationship and shaped it into what it is.
But Good Omens season 2 has more plot going beyond these singular episode adventures. There’s the fate of the universe, once again, as Aziraphale and Crowley try to figure out what the hell (ha) Gabriel is trying to warn them about, while also hiding him from the prying eyes of heaven and hell. And, because of contrived hijinks, they also need to matchmake two shopkeepers across the street. That in itself is a fun setup, but it keeps getting muddled by the minisodes, which rarely if ever add anything to the episode itself besides some insight into a small moment or two. As someone who loves these characters and actors and also historical settings, those minisodes are so fun and I want a full season of them. But also I keep forgetting why we even care about the actual overarching plotline of the season if we only get 10 minutes of it in an episode.
If you’re in it for the Aziraphale and Crowley of it all (like I imagine many Good Omens fans are), then these flashbacks build out their history and establish moments in their relationship. But those minisodes don’t do much to move that relationship forward, and the main plotline that takes place in the present day doesn’t have enough time to do that either. They are the most fun part of the season — but also put a cap on the potential of the modern-day plot. I want more, but also I want less. Mostly, I just want to see more of these characters, though, and if this weird way is what’s currently available, I’ll take it, even if they deserve more.
The second season of Good Omens is out on Prime Video on July 28.