For five blissful episodes, the second season of Good Omens looked like it would explore the relationship between its two protagonists: demon Crowley (David Tennant) and angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen.) Season one had already primed viewers for odd-couple shenanigans. Fans dubbed the duo the Ineffable Husbands because of the escapades they’d experienced over the centuries. Their partnership was delightful as they found support in one another throughout the season, despite their many differences. In Season two, they became even more entwined in each other’s lives.
We see this through the increase in times Crowley endearingly referred to Aziraphale as “angel.” It’s more of a term of endearment than it was in season one. Aziraphale playfully announces that Crowley loves to come to his rescue.
But television has a history of mistreatment and queerbaiting. This often happens with queer-coded characters and fan-favorite couples. Still, Good Omens seemed very aware of its fandom and the rich chemistry between the two stars. It believably conveyed the thousands of years the two had known one another through witty banter and lovesick gazes. The show even took efforts to create a broader, queer space beyond the central relationship.
In Episode 5 of the series, the coffee shop owner, Nina (Nina Sosanya), asks Crowley about his relationship with Aziraphale. She inquires if they’ve “been together long.” Crowley is quick to shake off the label. Nina’s final comment about how relationships always look simpler from the outside sticks with him. Crowley’s transformation is aided greatly by Tennant’s soulful performance. He was once an agent of hell, a fallen angel, who lost faith in both dominions. He found his space among humans and then with Aziraphale. His loneliness was absolved by that partnership and camaraderie.
The season finale delivers an enormous punch to the gut. Crowley confesses his feelings for Aziraphale and kisses him impulsively. He also kisses him as a goodbye. Aziraphale chooses to go back to heaven, believing he can reinstate Crowley. He misses all that the two have accomplished together and all that Crowley believes in.
I don’t remember the last series that had me hoping so strongly for a different outcome. The rest of the internet’s response was similar. The writing, while painful, is given greater depth and emotional potency due to the performances of Tennant and Sheen. Crowley is infuriated and heartbroken by Aziraphale’s naivety. He can’t understand why the angel doesn’t see the possibility they had to exist just as themselves.
Aziraphale’s journey is complicated. While he has felt the tug of humanity, he’s never lost his belief in heaven. The allure of being reinstated and bringing Crowley with him is strong. His decision and his painful “I forgive you” to Crowley are hard to watch, but they also create an interesting and layered path for the character.
I wanted them to kiss, profess their love, and run their little bookshop together without pain or incident. With a season three on the way, that was never going to happen.
According to Neil Gaiman, Season 2 is a bridge to the original follow-up to the first story, which will take place in Season 3. This leads one to believe that the series won’t keep the two protagonists apart for long.
What was the point of their happiness if it was only to turn into something broken? The breakup creates drama for season three. To not let the series end on a grim note, they need to allow the characters to reconcile. Their relationship is the core of the series. Let this be just a bump in the road on the path to their final happiness.
What’s refreshing about Good Omens is its optimism. The story demonstrates what happens when those positioned to be opposed instead come together. To end in division would go against the thematic heart of the series.
Aziraphale and Crowley have broken up for now. The season ends with Crowley driving off in his Bentley, house plants in the back, and Aziraphale ascending to heaven to accept his new position. It’s a new chapter, and hopefully not an ending. At this point, denying the characters their deserved happy ending would be a disservice to the series itself.
Season 2 of Good Omens is now streaming on Amazon Prime.