This is truly the first ineffable series… Lazy segue aside, Good Omens is a brilliant series which shows off the talents of David Tennant and Michael Sheen whilst also being a very faithful adaptation of the book. At least in the first series because the second series is an entirely original story to bridge into a potential third series. Anyway, given the second series has only recently dropped this is an obligatory SPOILER warning. Now, without further ado here is some history about the show.
Good Omens first debuted on Amazon Prime in 2019 and has just released its second series on the 28th of July 2023. As mentioned above, the show is based on the bestselling book of the same name by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It follows an angel, Aziraphale (Sheen), and a demon, Crowley (Tennant), as they work together to avert Armageddon thus angering Heaven and Hell simultaneously. The second series sees them working together to hide the fallen archangel, Gabriel, from the prying eyes of Heaven and Hell in order to prevent more war. Both series received critical acclaim for Tennant and Sheen’s chemistry as well as the writing. Although the writing felt better in the first series, maybe that’s because I’m a Neil Gaiman fan…
10. The Doomsday Option (S1, E5)
Well, what is it they say about hellfire? I believe it involves the only thing that can survive it is an antique Bentley driven by an annoyed demon. Anyway, that terrible segue relates to a huge part of Armageddon which reveals Crowley changed the design of the M25 so that it would set on fire and spell the name of Satan. Well, Armageddon does weird things to us all… Anyway, with the apocalypse nearing, tensions rise, and the forces of Heaven and Hell become more involved, leading to some intense and humorous situations. Mostly involving Aziraphale and the Witchfinder General.
9. The Arrival (S2, E1)
And Crowley and Aziraphale thought they could enjoy retirement… Despite both Heaven and Hell despising them, both have led relatively normal lives since preventing Armageddon; all of that is shattered when the fallen archangel Gabriel arrives at Aziraphale’s shop. The only problem is he has no memory that he is Gabriel. Now if only Crowley and Aziraphale’s plan to hide Gabriel didn’t alert Heaven to his location. At least there’s the opportunity for a romantic subplot…
8. Saturday Morning Funtime (S1, E4)
Well, was this an intentional parody of how some people see children? Probably not but even still…. This episode explores the childhood of the Antichrist, Adam Young, and his group of friends, known as the Them, who play a crucial role in the story. Also, the extent of the lie Crowley and Aziraphale have told is exposed as Hell’s forces at Megiddo realise they’ve been lied to all while the Four Horsemen prepare to ride. And that’s not even accounting for the blossoming of Anathema and Newt’s relationship all while things start to escalate towards Armageddon.
Who’d have ever thought you could get a whole arc in a series out of a Buddy Holly song? That aside, this episode deals with Aziraphale and Crowley’s role in the story of Job. For some reason, Hell sends Crowley to carry out Job’s torment which naturally involves murdering Job’s kids. However, both Aziraphale and Crowley decide that’s not going to work for them so pull the old trick of turning his kids into salamanders trick in order to deceive Heaven. A very solid episode which keeps developing the ever expanding backstory of Aziraphale and Crowley.
Speaking of Aziraphale and Crowley’s ever expanding backstory, I Know Where I’m going is another great example of it. When Aziraphale tracks a clue about Gabriel to a pub in Edinburgh, it swiftly brings in a flashback to Edinburgh in the 1800s. Here, Good Omens does a great job at illustrating the harm Aziraphale can cause through his sheer goodness of heart as he inadvertently stops a young girl grave robbing when it could have lifted her out of poverty. Oh, and seeing David Tennant completely improv sing Flower of Scotland is a sight that everyone needs to witness. Once again, this episode does a great job at humanising the pair while continuing to flesh out their backstory.
5. Hard Times (S1, E3)
In what is a recurring theme throughout Good Omens, Aziraphale and Crowley have a very chequered history with each other. Case in point, Hard Times where we see the pair constantly interacting throughout history. Examples include them in Roman times, them squaring off as knights or Crowley saving Aziraphale from German scammers during the Blitz. And that last one even pays off in a later episode… All of these interactions add depth to their relationship and show how they’ve grown fond of humanity.
4. The Very Last Day of the Rest of Their Lives (S1, E6)
Well, obviously given the second series the title is slightly inaccurate. That aside, this is a brilliant episode as it brings all the plotlines together for an epic and heartwarming conclusion, where Aziraphale and Crowley face their respective sides in a bid to stop the end of the world. And that doesn’t even account for Adam and his friends standing up to the Four Horsemen as well as Satan. Fair play to Good Omens for casting Benedict Cumberbatch as Satan as despite only featuring for a couple of minutes. A very heartfelt and emotional finale
Remember those German scammers who I mentioned about in Hard Times? Well, just like Backstreet they’re back as zombie spies for Hell who intend to catch Crowley and Aziraphale fraternising. And yes all of this is in order for a demon to get a promotion within Hell. There’s that little touch of Neil Gaiman humour…. Oh also, there’s a lovely moment where Aziraphale manages to trick the demons at the end to preserve his and Crowley’s friendship. Overall, a very solid episode.
2. Every Day (S2, E6)
It was so close between these two episodes as both are brilliant and fully explore Aziraphale and Crowley’s relationship. Now while shipping the pair is nothing new, this is new territory with an incredibly emotional finale to the series (and potentially the show). Apart from the emotional core of Aziraphale and Crowley, there’s also a nice conclusion to the series long arc of will they/won’t they between Nina and Maggie. And that doesn’t even account for the appearance of the Metatron or the surprisingly heartbreaking ending which will bring a tear to your eye.
1. In the Beginning (S1, E1)
And the best Good Omens episode is…. In the Beginning. Now people who’ve seen the Series 2 finale, this decision might be contentious but as the first episode of the show it sets the tone for the entire series. It manages to introduce the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley as they witness the beginning of the world and the birth of the Antichrist and also there’s some lovely dramatic irony. This involves the baby swap and the Antichrist which the audience can see coming through some clever setup. A fantastic episode which introduces the series and the chaoticness that will come.