Even eternity can’t last forever.
As you may have heard (and then cried out in cosmic pain), The Good Place will ascend to the afterlife following the upcoming fourth season. Returning to NBC on Sept. 26, TV’s most ethical comedy is set to unveil a new version of the “can-humans-evolve?” experiment, which hellscape architect Michael (Ted Danson) arranged to keep Team Cockroach from being everlastingly damned. Aided by all-knowing database Janet (D’Arcy Carden), our core quartet of in-limbo souls — Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), and Jason (Manny Jacinto) — will face plenty of challenges while trying to make four fresh test subjects into better people. “We thought of them almost as morality caseworkers,” says creator Michael Schur of the Soul Squad. “They have large-scale projects and big ideas for how to get all four of them to bond and change and grow. They’re there to help out and, almost sheepdog-style, herd them into better choices and better decisions.”
While you wait to see how all of this plays out — it’s probably wise to expect several paradigm twists — Schur is focused on adding a fitting final chapter to this thoughtful, mind-bending saga. “The thing that I like about the whole season is we’re following through on the idea of the show,” he says. “People who have liked the show will feel like we didn’t pull our punch.” In other words, prepare to be hit on an emotional level and a philosophical one.
Previous seasons have showcased guest characters such as Derek (Jason Mantzoukas) and Mindy St. Clair (Maribeth Monroe), but season 4 will feature “new additions to the world who are fairly permanent — at least for the initial status quo,” Schur recently told EW. “That was a new thing for us. We’d never really had characters besides the main six who we were juggling week to week, and now we have a bunch of new ones.” (Two of them you already know a little — Gossip Toilet’s John (Brandon Scott Jones) — or very well: Chidi’s ex Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste.)
To grab a glimpse of the afterlife action to come, simply gaze at the top and bottom of the story and study these first-look images. In the top photo, Eleanor, Tahani and Jason need to hug it out while Michael and Janet look on. Another shot features the gang at a formal function of sorts, while the final photo showcases a memory-wiped Chidi reuniting with Eleanor, a.k.a. the woman who he doesn’t remember that he loves. (Yet.)
Ahead of the final season, the creator and stars of The Good Place — which was nominated for five Emmys on Tuesdays — will appear on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.