Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Good Omens Season 2.
The Big Picture
- The second season of Good Omens is filled with hidden references and callbacks to previous seasons and the book, with over 200 Easter eggs to discover.
- The show pays homage to Terry Pratchett, the co-author of Good Omens, in various ways throughout both seasons, including featuring his hat and scarf in Aziraphale’s bookshop.
- There are several movie and book references peppered throughout the season that foreshadow the events of the season and callback to relationships in Good Omens.
The highly anticipated second season of Good Omens, the beloved TV adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman‘s best-selling novel, has finally arrived, and after binge-watching all six episodes, fans were left with plenty to process. (No, seriously. Check on your Good Omens friends. We’re not okay.) In a chat with Inverse before the SAG-AFTRA strike, Michael Sheen and David Tennant playfully teased an abundance of hidden references to numerous shows and films, along with several nods to the first season and the book, assuring fans that they were in for a delightful treat that would keep them thoroughly busy – and they weren’t exaggerating. On August 4th, Prime Video will release the full extent of their bonus features for the season, allowing viewers to catch all 200+ Easter eggs and callbacks. But for now, we’re sharing some favorites from our first viewing of Good Omens Season 2!
The Bentley’s Motor Crank Means More Than You Think
In the opening exciting sequence of Season 2, Good Omens takes us back to the beginning, overturning previous assumptions about Crowley and Aziraphale’s first meeting, revealing that they have known each other since before the Big Bang. In this visually captivating scene, we witness Angel Crowley use the motor crank from the Bentley to create the universe, the same crank they used to restart time in Season 1, after pausing it to have a private talk with Adam Young (Sam Taylor Buck) about Satan (Benedict Cumberbatch). This further reaffirms the significance of the object, showing that it’s more than just a tool – it symbolizes Crowley’s power to ‘start things up.’
Tributes to Characters Who Didn’t Return
In Good Omens Season 2, David Tennant and Michael Sheen were once again joined by a brilliant and familiar ensemble cast. The season was also full of little tributes to Season 1 Good Omens characters who didn’t return, like a painting of Agnes Nutter being burned at the stake at The Dirty Donkey pub and Wensleydale’s collection of The Wonders of Science and Nature magazines in the back of Aziraphale’s office desk.
Muriel’s David Tennant-Inspired Look
Of all the new Good Omens characters, our favorite has to be the lovable albeit naive Muriel (Quelin Sepulveda), an angel tasked with investigating Aziraphale’s bookshop for signs of the missing Gabriel (Jon Hamm). The uniform Muriel adorns may be familiar to observant David Tennant fans. Tennant played PC Andy Crawford in the radio adaptation of BBC TV’s classic police series Dixon Of Dock Green. Muriel’s uniform pays homage to Dixon’s costume from the BBC cop show.
Cameos You May Have Missed
The new season also featured several exciting cameos. In “The Clue”, David Tennant is joined by his father-in-law, Peter Davidson, and his son, Ty Tennant, who play Job and Job’s son, Ennon, respectively. In Episode 4’s minisode “Nazi Zombie Flesheaters,” we also get to see Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith, and Mark Gatiss, who make up The League of Gentlemen, reunite. Pemberton and Gatiss reprise their roles from Season 1, but this time, they appear as zombies, while Shearsmith, who previously played Shakespeare in the show, now joins his fellow Gentlemen as the demon Furfur.
‘Good Omens’ Season 2 Book References
One of the season’s humorous highlights is Gabriel’s unusual method of shelving books alphabetically based on the first letter of their opening sentence. Director Douglas Mackinnon personally selected titles for Gabe to read aloud with opening sentences starting with “I,” including The Crow Road, A Tale of Two Cities, and Pride and Prejudice. And of course, throughout the season, there are several references to the Good Omens novel. One of the sentences Gabriel reads aloud is, “It was a nice day. All the days had been nice,” the famous opening line of the book.
In another instance, he uses The Wicked Bible as a fly swatter, which is mentioned in the novel as part of Aziraphale’s collection. Another carefully placed nod can be seen in the bullet-through-the-window decals on Crowley’s car, which were inspired by a passage in the book mentioning Crowley’s purchase of James Bond bullet-hole-in-the-windscreen transfers in 1967. Interestingly, the show’s composer, David Arnold, has composed music for five Bond films.
‘Doctor Who’ Is Still Everywhere
The most obvious Doctor Who connections, as always, are David Tennant, who played the 10th Doctor, and Michael Sheen, who voiced House in the episode “The Doctor’s Wife” (written by Neil Gaiman). This season also saw the return of Metatron (Derek Jacobi), who previously appeared as an incarnation of The Master in Doctor Who. In addition to Peter Davison’s previously mentioned cameo (he’s best known for playing the 5th Doctor), this season is brimming with fresh references. In Episode 3, Crowley asks Mr. Dalrymple (Sean Biiggerstaff) to call them ‘Doctor.’ In the magic shop in ‘The Ball’, Crowley plays with a red fez. In the same episode, Aziraphale reveals having a 1965 Doctor Who annual in the back of his bookshop during a conversation with Mr. Arnold. Mr. Arnold is playing the Doctor Who theme on his harpsichord when Aziraphale first walks into his shop and if you listen closely during their dialogue, you can hear the TARDIS in the background. In Episode 6, Beelzebub gifts Gabriel a fly that’s “bigger on the inside,” like the TARDIS.
Sherlock is another universe that consistently makes appearances in Good Omens, and Mark Gatiss’ return is an obvious nod to this connection. When Crowley suggests taking Gabriel to Dartmoor and dumping him, it is a direct reference to Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound Of the Baskervilles.”
There Are Endless Film References To Discover
The season is filled with various film references, some obvious and many still waiting to be unveiled. Some can even be seen playing in the background, like The Spirit of St Louis, which is on the TV in the pub where Gabriel and Beelzebub meet in Episode 6. The movie tells the story of Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic in which Charles is saved when he is woken by a fly (sound familiar?) One of the more subtle movie references comes in the form of a pair of red ballet shoes on the coffee shop door, paying homage to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Red Shoes. If you’re up for the hunt, every episode is said to include at least one reference to their films, particularly A Matter of Life and Death, which happens to be Michael Sheen’s favorite movie!
Season 2 of ‘Good Omens’ Is Full of Rom-Coms
When Aziraphale and Crowley strategize to bring Nina and Maggie together, Crowley mentions ‘a Richard Curtis film’ as inspiration for his plan. Curtis is famous for films such as Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Notting Hill. Aziraphale, on the other hand, proposes a ball for the women, directly inspired by Pride and Prejudice, and the dance scenes in “The Ball” echo those from the film.
Long Live Terry Pratchett
The show pays homage to Terry Pratchett, the legendary co-author of Good Omens and a close friend of Neil Gaiman, in various ways throughout both seasons. In Aziraphale’s bookshop, Pratchett’s hat and scarf can still be seen hanging from the coat rack. The Color of Magic, the first novel in Terry’s Discworld series, makes an appearance as a “bendy” book presented by Gabriel to the angels in Episode 2. Furthermore, the show cleverly references Discworld’s use of the word ‘seamstress’ as a euphemism for a sex worker. This reference appears when the owner of a brothel repeatedly describes her profession in “The Ball”. The owner’s name, Mrs. Sandwich (Donna Preston), is also a clear nod to Pratchett’s style of creating characters with names like Mrs. Cake and Magrat Garlick. There’s also a portrait of Terry hanging in The Dirty Donkey.
The Return of Queen
Crowley’s love for the band Queen comes directly from the first 15 pages of the Good Omens novel, and it’s something that stayed consistent with the character in both seasons. When the Good Omens Twitter account dropped Crowley’s Season 2 playlist, the first song was Queen’s “I’m In Love With My Car.” And while the song “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy” is Queen’s only direct soundtrack appearance in Season 2, Queen can be heard throughout the series in several places in string sextet versions if you pay close attention. The version of “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy” playing in Crowley’s car during his rush to get to Aziraphale in “The Arrival” skips over the line “dining at the Ritz.” This omission of such a perfect line seems to foreshadow the fact that they wouldn’t be dining at the Ritz in the finale after all.
David Tennant’s Scottish Accent(s)
Another fan favorite recurrence this season is David Tennant’s range of Scottish accents. Neil Gaiman suggested that people might complain that David never let him do his Scottish accent, so Neil made him do as many different Scottish accents as possible from Episode 3 on, a variety from Iain Cuthbertson (“Sutherland’s Law”) to John Laurie (“Dad’s Army”).
What’s With All the Fire Extinguishers?
In the aftermath of the fire in Season 1 that reduced Aziraphale’s bookshop to ashes, the angel clearly took extra precautions to ensure the safety of his newly restored shop in Season 2. Now, his quaint bookstore is full of battery-powered candles and strategically placed fire extinguishers, which Nina and Maggie valiantly use to fight off demons in the season finale. Beyond being a nice callback to the first season, it really seemed to add to the evidence that Aziraphale was hellbent on protecting the “precious life” he and Crowley carved out for themselves.
The Meaning of the Nightingales
In the Good Omens novel, there’s a famous line about a nightingale singing in Berkeley Square for the first time, which Neil Gaiman wrote with the idea that, for once, this extraordinary event truly happened, as the song suggests certain things never happen except this one time. The song also mentions “angels dining at the Ritz.” During Season 1’s final moments, the song played while Aziraphale and Crowley dined at the Ritz, toasting “to the world.” In the recent finale, this beautiful song took on a heartbreaking significance. At the end of ‘Every Day,’ Crowley finally confesses his feelings to Aziraphale, with plans to take him away for some alone time after they chat, starting with an “extremely alcoholic breakfast at the Ritz.”
Instead, Aziraphale chooses to become the Supreme Archangel and asks Crowley to join him. Devastated that Aziraphale would choose Heaven over the precious life they’ve created for themselves, Crowley points out that there are no nightingales singing, highlighting the tragic turn their relationship has taken. The song does ultimately start to play when Crowley gets in the Bentley to drive away, revealing his initial hopeful anticipation of success that ultimately turned into immense heartache.