The Good Omens 2 Ending Makes Me Seriously Angry

MAJOR spoiler alerts for Good Omens, Seasons 1 and 2. Most of the ideas here were developed in conversation with Ingrid, and many of them are hers to begin with, including the core analysis.

The problem isn’t that it ends on a cliffhanger. Although it’s true that I don’t like that. Not when the next installment is probably years away and hasn’t even been nailed down yet. I think that’s bad writing, cynical and insecure, a breaking of the social contract between creator and audience. If you want people to watch your next installment, make your world and your characters compelling. Sure, leave some doors open, but provide enough closure to make your story feel like a story. As shitty as he is as a human being, Joss Whedon was really good at that with Buffy the Vampire Slayer: every season could have been the last, and it would have been satisfying. And Good Omens Season 1 did this beautifully. It was a lovely, perfect ending, leaving its audience basking in narrative afterglow — and leaving us in eager anticipation of the next round. Season 2 did the opposite of that, and it sucked.

But the cliffhanger thing isn’t a deal-breaker for me. I make exceptions. I cut slack. And even when I hate it, it doesn’t leave me shaking and seething.

And the problem isn’t that Crowley and Aziraphale don’t end up together. I’m okay with that. I adore them as a couple, and I like that this season brought their obvious coupledom out of the closet. But there are other queer love stories in the season that end more or less happily — Gabriel and Beelzebub (Beelzebub is non-binary), Maggie and Nina. I’d be fine if Crowley and Aziraphale’s story had some other creative, unexpected resolution. I don’t need the season to end with them walking off into the sunset. That’s not the problem.

The problem is that the ending is a betrayal.

It’s a deep betrayal of Aziraphale’s character.

Aziraphale’s character arc — for the entire run of both seasons — has been learning that Heaven is shitty. The people are shitty, the rules are shitty, the institution is shitty. The system is fundamentally broken. And Heaven can’t even begin repairing itself and making amends — because it has no idea it’s broken. It’s smug and self-righteous, convinced of its own goodness and unwilling to question that.

Aziraphale’s arc, for centuries, has been learning this painful truth, struggling against it, grieving over it, accepting it, and deciding what to do about it. Over the centuries, he’s been creating new meaning and purpose and values — in his love for Crowley, and in their shared love of the human world.

Good Omens 2 leans into this hard. The Job sequence alone is devastating: it digs deeply into the idea that Heaven could profoundly traumatize people — including KILLING THEIR CHILDREN — and then think they could fix it by giving their stuff back. And giving them different children. It digs into the appalling idea that you could murder someone’s children to win a bet — and still somehow consider yourself the good guy.* It reminds me of the Noah’s Ark sequence in Season 1 — but it’s longer, and harsher, and the effect it has on Aziraphale is more shattering. Aziraphale has spent centuries, millennia, learning to trust Crowley, humanity, and himself — and learning that Heaven is absolutely not to be trusted.

And in the last few minutes, in the conclusion of the season, Good Omens 2 nukes all of it.

Aziraphale is offered a high position in Heaven by Metatron, the voice of God. And he jumps at it. He doesn’t struggle with it, or question it, or even think about it. (Or if he does, we don’t see it.) He leaps at it, with pride and joy. He’s so overcome with delight, he doesn’t even imagine that Crowley wouldn’t want to go with him, that Crowley wouldn’t be thrilled. And when Crowley flatly disabuses him of this notion, Aziraphale doesn’t take a moment to consider; doesn’t stop to remember all the times over the centuries that Crowley has been right and Heaven has been wrong. In the course of one short conversation with one angelic bigwig, Aziraphale lets himself be yanked back to his moral square one.

It’s a fucking betrayal.

There is a legitimate point to be made here about temptation. Temptation is a major theme throughout Good Omens: the show keeps asking what the differences are between tempting someone, offering them alternatives, and asking them questions. I know that power can be a serious temptation — and for a good person, the power to fix things from the inside can be especially tempting. I know it can be tempting when the people who belittled you suddenly seem like they recognize your value. And there’s a legitimate question to be asked here about broken institutions: when do we try to fix them, when do we dismantle them and build new ones, where’s the continuum between those two choices? (It’s a question regularly asked by every leftist who votes Democratic.)

But the show doesn’t make this point, or ask this question. It just pulls the rug out from under us, and from the character we love. And it does it without respect. It doesn’t treat Aziraphale’s decision as a massive character reversal. It treats it as just another twist ending. Surprise! Want to know what happens next? Tune in next time!

If Aziraphale had spent an episode wrestling with the temptation from Heaven — thinking about it, not wanting to tell Crowley about it, finally telling Crowley about it, being kissed by Crowley and being stunned by that and wrestling with that offer as well — I might not be as angry. I could see it as a character backslide, which is absolutely a thing that happens. I’d still see it as a shitty, unsatisfying cliffhanger ending. But I wouldn’t feel furious and betrayed. My wife Ingrid and I wouldn’t have sat there as the credits rolled, silent, stunned, waiting for some final scene to pop up after the credits and tell us we didn’t really see what we just saw.

Nope. We saw it. We saw Aziraphale walk away from Earth and take the elevator to Heaven. He doesn’t just walk away from Crowley, or from humanity, the two great loves of his life. He walks away from himself. He blows himself up. He does it without hesitation or thought. And Good Omens 2 treats it as just another plot twist.

My headcanon is that Aziraphale was drugged. The show makes a weirdly big deal about Metatron getting a cup of fancy coffee and giving it to Aziraphale — maybe the coffee was drugged, maybe Aziraphale wasn’t himself. That’s my headcanon. That’ll get me through the next few years. That’ll let me think about Season 1 without feeling like it was poisoned, and let me look forward to Season 3 with some degree of trust.

But if Good Omens leaves us basking in narrative afterglow, Good Omens 2 blows up the floor under the bed. It dangles the possibility of a new floor, a new home, which we might get in a few years. It does this without any explanation. And it treats it as a clever, unexpected narrative choice.

Fuck that.

* Don’t tell me that God didn’t do the number on Job. He gave the order. The mob boss is every bit as responsible for the murder as the hit man.

 

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The Good Omens 2 Ending Makes Me Seriously Angry
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10 thoughts on “The Good Omens 2 Ending Makes Me Seriously Angry

  1. 3

    Thank you for the warning. I plan to do with it similarly to what I did with various other shows that tried to pull the same nasty trick — namely, watch most of the season, then wait till (if) the next season comes out, and watch the remaining part then. I am disinclined to go along with being jerked around if I can avoid.

  2. 4

    This is the second really good series to have a really disappointing and heartbreakingly bad ending. The series I refer to is Lucifer.

    Why would you show how close Crowley and Azeraphel are and the let Azeraphel betray Crowley? Senseless. Very similar to the Lucifer thread where Chloe and Lucifer are split up for a ridiculous reason but at least they are reunited in the end.

    So sad!

  3. 5

    You are literally the only other person I’ve found who’s saying this. I’ve felt like I’ve been going crazy because up until now, it seemed as though I was alone in having viewed it this way.

    Like, genuinely, were we or were we not supposed to have understood Aziraphale’s overall story arc to be one of learning, of growth, of acceptance? Were we or were we not, as the audience, right there with Aziraphale, absorbing his journey as it was so very clearly presented to us?

    I feel like the answer to both questions is an obvious, unequivocal YES, WE WERE! But no one’s actually acknowledging that! And it’s driving me up the wall! AUGH!

    So I just wanted to thank you for saying this, and showing me I’m not the only one thinking it. Seriously, thank you.

  4. 6

    Thank you for this analysis. I finished watching S2 yesterday afternoon, and was quite stunned – too stunned to analyze. I will read your analysis again, later, after the coffee has kicked in. I do have one complaint, though, which is that the subject line of your post gave away that SOMETHING MESSED UP was going to happen at the end, which was a bit of a spoiler, and that had an impact on how I watched the final ep. (To be fair, after I saw that, another FB friend posted something about heartbreak, which had a further impact.) Anyway, thanks again to you & Ingrid.

  5. 7

    I saw people’s reactions to this episode on social media before I watched it. From all the lamentation, I was bracing myself for something even worse!

    The ending was tragic, but I thought it was in keeping with both characters. There’s no question that they’ve both witnessed Heaven and Hell committing awful deeds. But they’ve responded differently to that knowledge.

    Of the two of them, Crowley is the cynical, embittered one. He’s the type to believe that nothing will ever change, so he’d naturally reject Metatron’s offer as false hope.

    Aziraphale is disillusioned, but he’s not jaded to the same degree as Crowley. He still believes in helping people and in doing the most good he can. I can definitely believe he’d see the promotion as an opportunity that’s too good to pass up. After all, unlike the other angels, he’s intimately acquainted with humanity – so, given the power, he could do a better job of running things. He can fix it all! He can make the world better!

    I can almost see that train of thought playing out in his head. Given the premises of the show, it comes off as naive, but it’s an understandable mistake for the type of person he is.

  6. 8

    I think we are supposed to, with him starting to frown in the elevator, on the way up, that he might be rethinking things, but… what things? Its unclear if he is rethinking his leaving Crowley or he is rethinking the whole thing, but since there is no dialog we are left utterly guessing. Maybe he really imagines himself as being the one to “fix things”, but he has also bought into a bit of the nonsense, like the “second coming”, enough that he imagines that will fix something. Who knows. But, yeah, I am with you, unless a third season slaps him in the face, day one, with how utterly terrible this is going to be, and he either just flat quits, to fight against it (the best solution, but probably not the one narratively plausible), or he starts enlisting help to smash the whole plan to pieces…

  7. 9

    Greta Christina’s analysis of the “Good Omens 2” ending is both insightful and thought-provoking. Her passion for the characters and the narrative shines through, making readers reflect on the deeper themes and character arcs of the series. It’s always refreshing to read a critique that delves into the heart of a story and challenges creators to be true to their characters. Well done!

  8. 10

    Oh, what a riveting piece! 📝 The depth of analysis on ‘Good Omens 2’ and its ending is truly thought-provoking and offers a fresh perspective that I hadn’t considered before. 🤔 The exploration of Aziraphale’s character arc and the profound betrayal at the end of the season is articulated so well, it really got me pondering about the character dynamics and narrative choices! 🎭 I appreciate the emotional honesty in expressing the disappointment and betrayal felt – it’s so valid and relatable for many fans, I’m sure. 🖤 It’s always a joy to read content that sparks such a rich internal dialogue and external discussion among the fandom. 🗣️ Can’t wait to dive into more discussions and see how others perceived this ending too! 🚀 Kudos to the writer for such a heartfelt and deeply reflective analysis!

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