We’re back with Episode 2 of “Good Omens” and it’s just getting better and better. If you haven’t already, check out my recap of “Good Omens” Episode 1!
If you thought that “In the Beginning” was the only introductory episode of “Good Omens,” think again! While the first episode of the Amazon adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s iconic collaboration with Sir Terry Pratchett sets the stage for events as we understand them now, “The Book” dives deep into the history that has been leading up to this moment.
We also get a whole set of new characters introduced!
So, here’s what happens in “Good Omens” Episode 2: “The Book.”
In typical end times fashion, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are being summoned. A regular old postman finds himself in the middle of Africa, where a peace treaty is about to be signed. He delivers the package to a beautiful red-headed woman, there as a reporter, but as she opens the package fighting breaks out and the peace treaty is dissolved. War (played by Mireille Enos) reveals herself and departs with her delivery, the sword of the apocalypse.
(Note: I will say that my first disappointment of “Good Omens” was the realization that the show would be unable to make the time for the elaborate Horseman reveals that had been set up in the book.)
We take a step back to 1656 and to the trial and burning of a known witch, Agnes Nutter (Josie Lawrence). She faces her fate with calm and resolve, and it is known that she had foreseen her death; Agnes goes out with a literal bang when it is discovered that she filled her petticoat with nails and gunpowder.
Agnes leaves quite the legacy to her descendants: a book of prophecies that span centuries forward. The task of her descendants is to interpret the sometimes bizarre prophecies and to carry them out. As a result, the family lives in wealth and prosperity (after buying stocks in the Apple “that can’t be eaten”). The book of prophecies has fallen to Anathema, the great-great-several times over great-grand granddaughter of Agnes, who journeys out to Tadfield to use witchcraft to find the Anti-Christ and do her part in stopping the end of the world.
At the same time the descendant of the witch hunter that pursued Agnes, Newton Pulsifer (Jack Whitehall), has been living his life as a technologically impaired loser who seeks out companionship by joining the ranks of the Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell.
Through a series of crazy events Anathema meets Adam (the Anti-Christ) and finds him a very sweet and likable boy. She then runs afoul of Aziraphale and Crowley, and then her book of prophecies falls into Aziraphale’s hands.
The wheels have been set in motion.
If we could give this episode a theme, that theme would be discovery. In “Good Omens,” everything is connected. Even in the smallest and most seemingly insignificant ways.
One of the greatest parts of the novel, was how the tapestry of the story was so delicately woven: the detail, the care, the way small threads connected into the much bigger picture. The novel was practically a work of craftsmanship, and the show is just as good at conveying that level of detail in storytelling.
Beyond discovery and revealing new and important links, Episode 2 gives us even more exploration of how the divine interact in the human world and it’s damn funny.
Favorite moment of Episode 2 of “Good Omens:” Jon Hamm’s Gabriel loudly announcing to Aziraphale’s bookstore that he is buying a book of pornography as a means of “blending in” with humanity. Gabriel is actually just an overall favorite when it comes to side characters.
Who is your favorite character so far? Have you binged the whole series? Let us know!
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Caitlin is a lean, mean writing machine based in Austin, TX. Her love of film began when she was shown “Rosemary’s Baby” way too early in life. She currently serves as the Lead Film Contributor for Shuffle Online; other notable bylines include The Financial Diet and Film Inquiry. Caitlin is a member of the Online Association of Female Film Critics and the Women Film Critics Circle.