The Good Place aired its hour-long season 1 finale on Thursday night, and it left us with a lot of questions. Spoilers ahead.
If you haven’t seen The Good Place yet, do yourself a favor and sign off from social media, binge-watch the entire season, and then come back to talk to me about it. You won’t regret consuming all 13 episodes in one sitting, especially once you finish the epic finale.
In case you’re still trying to wrap your head around what happened in the season finale for The Good Place, let me lay it out for you: we were all duped. You, me, Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jianyu, and even Janet, in a way.
The Good Place was actually the Bad Place.
From the beginning, Michael tricked our four main characters into thinking they had gotten into The Good Place, when in reality, this was their own personal Hell meant to drive them insane. Eleanor was constantly surrounded by people who were better than her, Chidi was faced with ethical dilemmas on a daily basis, Tahani was relegated to being second best for all eternity, and Jianyu, well, his inconveniences were fairly minimal compared to everyone else’s, actually.
Kudos to the writers of this show for not only keeping that secret on total lockdown, but for throwing in hints along the way that felt incidental at the time but were actually purposeful acts of deviance from Michael from the very start. It’s been a long time since a television show has shocked me as completely as The Good Place has, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it from a half-hour comedy like this.
Eleanor figured out Michael’s plan, but he wasn’t upset for long. In fact, she gave him the idea for how to improve his scheme. He’d erase everyone’s memories and set them apart from each other. They’d still drive each other insane, but there would be less of a chance for them to come together as a team and figure out the big secret a second time.
Eleanor has a plan for that, too, though. In the final moments of the episode, Janet reappears to Eleanor and delivers the message she wrote to herself before their memories were wiped: find Chidi. And that’s where season 1 ends.
What the fork!?
The big question now is where The Good Place goes from here. It would be repetitive to spend all of season 2 getting these four people to come together and solve the mystery again. We, as the audience, already know the trick, so the writers will have to find another way to keep our interest and blow our minds.
When Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason do once again figure out they’re in the Bad Place, Michael’s chances at redemption will probably be over. He may have to retire (whether or not the previous description of retirement is real, I’m not sure) or he may be relegated back to his boring desk job before he got the position as an architect.
But where will our heroes go? Will we actually get to see a normal Bad Place in season 2? Were Trevor and his posse real Bad Place residents? Can Eleanor and the others actually earn their way into the Good Place?
I love the way season 1 ended because it leaves the show open to do so much more. I thought The Good Place was going to be a typical half-hour comedy — I only tuned in because I think Kristen Bell is hilarious — that would give us laughs and lessons along the way. It turns out The Good Place was so much more than that, and the overarching story and mystery has kept me just as interested as the weekly moments of comedy and clarity.
Holy mother forking shirt balls. That was a wild ride.