The core message of Good Omens Season 2 Episode 4 is one of trust.
On the periphery here — but soon to take center stage, it seems — Nina’s relationship with Lindsay is falling apart because there is no foundational trust. Can she and Maggie do better if their connection is jumpstarted with meddling?
Crowley and Aziraphale’s relationship is rooted in an unspoken trust that has developed over the millennia they’ve known each other, while it is clear that trust will only be betrayed when dealing with Hell’s workforce. You’d think Nazi zombies might know better.
Shax kicks it off by pretending to be a hitchhiker to get close to Aziraphale as he returns to London from Edinburgh.
Picking up a hitchhiker is a pretty intense trust exercise on both sides. Driver and hitchhiker must both trust the other to not be a serial (or even a one-off) killer.
Of course, Aziraphale — as an angel driving a magical car — has little to fear.
You could wonder why Shax bothered with the deception of changing her appearance when she and Aziraphale have never met before.
Save for the excessive pointy teeth, her regular appearance is misleadingly docile.
She does have that tendency to overdo things, like showing up mysteriously and phoning simultaneously.
The overachieving and ambitious bent parallels Heaven’s Michael, who tries to appoint herself to interim Supreme Archangel when Gabriel goes missing.
However, while Michael seeks to step into a vacated role, Shax takes a bit more initiative and proposes carving out a position for herself as a general in command of a Hell Legion.
Shax: To be clear, you are hereby authorizing me to storm the angel’s bookshop, sending wave after wave of demons to besiege it until it falls and we capture the archangel, destroying anything and everything that stands in our way?
Beelzebub: No. I am not authorizing you to do that. I am commanding you to do it. I want you there, Shax, on the ground, bravely leading the attack into the bookshop, leading the army of the damned.
Shax: I can do that.
Beelzebub doesn’t initially look all that convinced of Shax’s plan, but once she gives the command, it’s a done deal.
The keen timeline buff will realize that the planned siege of the bookshop will probably coincide with the Business Owners’ monthly meeting Aziraphale has decided to host.
Speaking of our enthusiastic hobbyist of an angel, his interest in human magic tricks is rather bemusing.
I’d like to know why he settled on an inkwell for the potato’s final form. Did it just happen to be the item closest at hand when he was developing the trick?
It’s 1941, after all. Watching a magician disappear a good staple food like a potato seems the height of wastefulness.
Firing guns, however, is perfectly in keeping with the times.
I love that Crowley and Aziraphale have known each other for nearly four thousand years at this point, and they’re still capable of making erroneous assumptions about each other.
Granted, Crowley seems to understand what makes the angel tick better than Aziraphale is at sussing out the demon’s motivations.
Aziraphale: You could’ve walked away. If you were truly as evil as you like to paint yourself, you would’ve done.
Crowley: Nah. That’s the trouble with you lot. You tend to see things in black and white. Sometimes, you just gotta blur the edges.
Although we never learn why the Nazis were threatening the bookselling Mr. Fell with a gun when Mr. Crowley diverted a Luftwaffe payload to their building, the fact that Crowley made sure to protect Aziraphale’s books from the explosion while forgetting about his own bootlegged booze smacks of un-demon-like selflessness.
He also seems genuinely concerned that the magic act won’t go well, which would devastate Aziraphale.
It’s all very sweet, really.
Now, despite the magic show being the novelty act, the Nazi trio are the headliners.
As spies, they are not a successful lot, seeing as they end up dead. As zombies, they’re marginally more successful spies, although the tendency to eat the brains of their marks probably draws more attention than spies should.
Of course, the whole ensemble is quite a League of Gentlemen reunion, seeing as Jeremy Dyson wrote the script, Mark Gatiss and Steve Pemberton play Nazi zombies, and Reece Shearsmith is Furfur.
Of the four, I’ll admit that I’m most familiar with Mark Gatiss, although Mr. Harmony is a far cry from Mycroft Holmes.
Now, if you aren’t privy to the League of Gentlemen inside joke, you might feel like there’s an awful lot of time devoted to watching the Nazi trio shamble about, eating brains, and trying to be unobtrusive.
Like Elsbeth on Good Omens Season 2 Episode 3, I’m curious where the Nazi zombies go off to after Furfur lets them know the deal they struck was to remain zombies for eternity.
On the balance of things, living as a zombie with your friends is preferable to being eaten and pooped out and eaten again by a giant spider.
But considering they’re settled in London, what are the chances they’re still around in the present day?
There’s got to be some sort of accounting in Hell that takes a census every hundred years to check up on the undead they’ve released to nature.
It’s a little surprising that Aziraphale was so okay with Crowley bombing the church they were in and killing the people he was with, even if they were threatening him with violence.
Aziraphale: I knew you’d come through for me. You always do.
Crowley: Well, you said, ‘Trust me.’
Aziraphale: And you did.
But the point of this outing is to focus on the magic between the two friends, not to get distracted by inconsistencies and musing about Nazi zombies hanging out in the West End for a few decades.
What are your thoughts, Fanatics? Will Aziraphale’s minor omission about running into Shax become problematic now that she’s on her way with a legion of demons?
Considering no one seeking Gabriel sees him as anything but Jim, will they be able to bargain with the sieging forces when they can’t show them Gabriel?
Let us know your thoughts on how Shax’s siege will go. Will her training as an admissions clerk and emissary hold up when commanding a legion?
Hit our comments with your best speculative scenarios!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond ’til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.