Michael Schur and D'Arcy Carden drop hints about the afterlife comedy's finale
It is time for the first season of The Good Place to pass into the next realm. NBC’s delightful afterlife comedy will wrap up season 1 tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT with back-to-back episodes — and with Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Jason (Manny Jacinto), and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) taking the train they stole from eternal judge Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) to the Medium Place, where they will meet its lone inhabitant, Mindy St. Clair. What can be said of the purgatorial area that is neither good nor bad?
“It’s extremely unusual, and what I mean by that is that it’s not like the neighborhood in the Good Place,” creator Michael Schur tells EW. “This was like a once-in-a-lifetime situation — or once-in-a-thousand years or whatever you want to call it — so it’s a neighborhood of one.”
Details, please? “Cannonball Run II weirdly factors in in a small way,” says Schur, though he cautions: “I don’t want to insinuate that they’re going to embark on a plot that’s similar to the plot of Cannonball Run II.”
D’Arcy Carden, who plays the Siri-esque know-it-all Janet, told EW that she was thrilled to get the chance to visit the destination Eleanor has long been wondering about. “It’s perfectly medium in the exact same way that the Good Place is good,” she says. She was especially charmed by the interior of a house that the trio visits. “It’s not even horrible, it’s just so… nothing,” she says. “It’s like, what color is it? I think it’s beige? They nailed it.”
Meanwhile, back in more heavenly environs, Michael (Ted Danson), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), and Tahani (Jameela Jamil) desperately plead Eleanor’s case to Shawn who has, let’s say, an acute aversion to emotional arguments. Hints Schur: “It’s very amusing to watch them try to navigate his particular methodology of ruling on such things when he has zero interest in hearing the words ‘Eleanor is a good person.’ He doesn’t care.”
Adds Carden: “He’s no-nonsense. You give him nonsense, he gives you ‘no.”
And what should audiences brace for when he renders his verdict? “The decision causes Eleanor and Jason and Chidi and Tahani to take everything that’s happened for the entire season and use it to try to solve their problem,” says Schur. “It’s not only on Eleanor’s shoulders. It becomes a real team effort where they have to all put their heads together.” (Hmm, sounds a little like Cannonball Run II…)
Schur, naturally, is staying mum on the ending — or whether we will finally catch a glimpse of the Bad Place, home to such degenerates as Trevor (Adam Scott) and Bad Janet (D’Arcy Carden). “I will say that by the end of the final episode, you hopefully will be very excited to see what season 2 is,” he teases. “Because you’ll get the sense that season 2 will be very different from season 1.”
You may also be teeming with questions. “[Mike] did such a good job of cliffhangering every episode,” hints Carden, “and the finale is that times a million.” She also offers up this cryptic morsel on which to chew: “Time factors heavily into the finale. It ups the stakes — a lot.”
Anything else, she who plays all-knowing Janet? “I cried. That’s a good sign,” she reveals. “Whether that means it’s sad or not, it’s emotional, for sure.”
To learn how the point system in the Good Place came to be, click here.