DISCLAIMER: This recap of Good Omens Season 2 Episode 1, “Chapter 1: The Arrival,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, angels and demons! After over four years, our fave angel/demon dynamic duo is back on our screens. “Chapter 1: The Arrival” is as delightfully cheeky and whimsical as its predecessors. It cleverly sets up the central conflict: Gabriel’s disappearance and his lost memories. Performance-wise, David Tennant and Michael Sheen fully embody these roles. They are Crowley and Aziraphale. When I reread Good Omens, they’ll be who I picture now, and that’s a-okay by me.
This season will undoubtedly deepen Aziraphale and Crowley’s bond. Do I smell romance, folks? I sure hope so. Regardless, their relationship is ineffable in the best way. It goes beyond the surface to pierce the soul and really can’t be adequately described. It just is. I can’t wait to see how their dynamic shifts as the narrative unfolds.
Ready to delve into “Chapter 1: The Arrival”? Let’s get to it.
We open at a time before the Beginning when Crowley (Tennant) was still an angel. He’s creating the universe with an assist from Aziraphale (Sheen), who initially has no clue what he’s doing. Crowley says, “Let there be light!” and the cosmos emits the light of billions of stars. Methinks Tennant incorporated a bit of the Tenth Doctor into this moment here. Crowley’s giddy as can be. Unfortunately, Aziraphale has some bad news: God wants to add humans into the equation, so they’ll need to do away with this universe business. Crowley objects to that. Why can’t both exist? He wants to ask God some questions about this. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? He’ll fall from grace? (Or something like that.) Side note: Crowley shields Aziraphale with his wing here, mirroring what Aziraphale does for him in the pilot episode.
Later, we’re in the present day, with Aziraphale popping into Maggie’s (Maggie Service) record store for a spell. Maggie admits she doesn’t have the funds to pay the rent and is eight months behind. However, Aziraphale, the angel he is, excuses her debt by taking a few records for free. That sounds like a fair trade. Meanwhile, Shax (Miranda Richardson) gives Crowley the lowdown regarding Heaven and Hell while sitting on his usual park bench. He also accosts two men for feeding the ducks bread crumbs. Everyone knows you give them frozen peas.
Anyway, Shax is now the demon representative for London. She finds the job very easy because humans create problems significantly worse than anything she can conjure. Crowley is still persona non grata. He learns something is going on “up there.” Trouble’s brewing in Heaven. Shax wants Crowley to ask Aziraphale about it, but they’re not on speaking terms. Sadness.
Next, Maggie stops by Give Me Coffee or Give Me Death for, you guessed it, coffee. Nina (Nina Sosanya) greets her. Nina knows Maggie’s order by heart. There’s some mild flirtation happening here. I dig it. Suddenly, both flock to the windows to watch the spectacle unfolding on the street: a naked man walking with purpose as he carries a cardboard box. Said man is none other than Gabriel (Jon Hamm). Gabriel knocks on the door of A. Z. Fell and Co. Booksellers. Aziraphale opens it and is, naturally, shocked at the sight of Gabriel in his birthday suit. Gabriel has no idea who he is or why he’s on Aziraphale’s doorstep. Aziraphale lets him inside, away from the public eye.
Later, Michael (Doon Mackichan) is shown to take up Gabriel’s responsibilities while he’s missing. Uriel (Gloria Obianyo) protests Michael self-appointing herself as large and in charge. Shouldn’t there have been a vote? However, Michael is next in line and the most qualified. So, there’s that. On Earth, Aziraphale asks Gabriel questions, ones the amnesiac archangel doesn’t have answers to. Aziraphale gives Gabriel a blanket and a steaming cup of hot cocoa. I want that cup. Just look at those little angel wings!
Then, Crowley receives another visit from Shax, who reveals Gabriel is at the center of the Heaven mess. Crowley loves good gossip. Meanwhile, Aziraphale renames Gabriel “Jim,” but Gabriel seems intent on being called, well, Gabriel. I giggled when Gabriel claimed “Jim” was short for his real name. Aziraphale opens the box Gabriel was carrying. It’s inexplicably empty. Aziraphale calls Crowley and urges him to stop by the bookstore.
In Heaven, Muriel (Quelin Sepulveda) finds a flaming hot matchbook from, presumably, Hell. She can touch it. Everyone knows things aren’t tangible in Heaven. Crowley and Aziraphale get coffee from Give Me Coffee or Give Me Death. Nina takes their order. Side note: you can hear an instrumental version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” playing in the shop. Additionally, Crowley’s score includes fun Brian May-inspired guitar licks in honor of his Queen obsession. I love it. Crowley tries to elicit information from Aziraphale, especially regarding the “naked man” everyone saw wandering into his shop. After they depart, Maggie returns to the coffee shop with a Nina Simone record. She gives it to Nina as a gift.
Unfortunately, Nina doesn’t have a record player. She’s also in a hurry to close up because her girlfriend acts weird if she gets home late. Maggie looks crestfallen upon hearing Nina has a partner. Something tells me these two might become more than friends as the season continues. In Aziraphale’s shop, Crowley encounters Gabriel. Furiously, he asks the archangel why he’s here. Of course, Gabriel’s memory is wiped clean. He doesn’t recall anything. He pulls Aziraphale aside and wonders if they should get him as far away from them as possible. He’s worked hard to maintain a certain quality of life.
However, Aziraphale wants to help Gabriel. He’s an angel, after all. Crowley storms outside in a rage. Nina notices the steam rising from his skin. Suddenly, Crowley emits red-hot energy from his body that pulsates outward. It locks all the doors of the nearby shops, including Nina’s coffee shop. It also disables electrical devices, meaning neither Nina nor Maggie can call anyone. They’re stuck inside. Well, if this isn’t a rom-com moment.
In Heaven, Muriel and Saraqael (Liz Carr) show Michael what they found. Michael touches the matchbook with a hesitant curiosity. It’s clearly from Hell. But why is it here? On Earth, Beelzebub (Shelley Conn) whisks Crowley away to Hell for a hot minute. They ask if he knows where Gabriel is. What about his pal Aziraphale? Beelzebub reveals if Crowley locates Gabriel, they’ll restore Crowley’s former status in Hell. Crowley will no longer be persona non grata. However, if he knows where Gabriel is and withholds that info, there will be consequences. He’ll be scrubbed from the Book of Life as if he never existed. Uh-oh.
Later, Crowley unlocks the doors he inadvertently locked during his rage explosion. Oh, and the phones work again, too. I wonder if Nina will decide to serve him no longer, given his display of supernatural gifts. Nina’s phone is inundated with texts from her partner. Crowley speeds to Aziraphale’s bookshop while blasting “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy.” I love that this show satisfies my intense love for Queen, too.
When he arrives, Aziraphale makes him perform their apology dance. Of course they have an apology dance. Aziraphale has done it the last handful of times over the centuries. It’s Crowley’s turn. Crowley begrudgingly does as he’s bid. It’s adorable. Next, the pair decide to perform a miracle to shield Gabriel from Heaven and Hell. They will each perform half of one. After doing just that, Crowley tests the air to ensure it worked. Thankfully, it did. They urge Gabriel to stay in the store until further notice. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Saraqael shows Michael, Uriel and Muriel a blast of energy radiating from one particular location in London: Aziraphale’s bookshop. Uh-oh.
Will Heaven realize Gabriel is with Aziraphale? Why was the matchbook in Heaven? Will Crowley and Aziraphale manage to keep a low profile during all this (highly unlikely)? Only time (and more episodes) will tell.
Good Omens Season 2 is now streaming on Prime Video.
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