The twisty afterlife comedy ventured in a whole new direction
Warning: This story contains plot details about Thursday’s episode of The Good Place.
Next stop: Earth. Hot diggity dog!
The Good Place wrapped up its sensational second season on Thursday night with a finale that threw its bracing-for-anything-and-everything audience for another curve/loop. After Michael (Ted Danson) explained to Judge Hydrogen (Maya Rudolph) that she should overturn her eternal damnation verdict issued to our fate-challenged foursome — Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), and Jason (Manny Jacinto) — because his failed experiment proved that these “bad” people started turning good, he persuaded the jolly judge to give them something highly unorthodox: a do-over. Back on Earth.
When Michael (who once said that the only way to the Good Place was via your good deeds on Earth) or someone saved Eleanor from her previous shopping-cart-related death, it prompted an epiphany, and she started to shed her old bad self. Well, for six months, at least. She half-apologized to the environmental activist, joined his team of clean energy crusaders, quit her sleazy job that preyed on the elderly, confessed to that roommate-dress crime, and left a note after banging into someone else’s car. Most of these good deeds ultimately came back to haunt her in some way, so she reverted to her old bad self, returning to her gross boss and his new ponzi-scheme-within-a-ponzi-scheme job. However, Michael stepped in harder this time — and Ted Danson stepped back behind the bar (Cheers to that wink) — to plant a seed (“What do we owe to each other?”) that would ultimately send Eleanor back on the right path. After watching Chidi’s online lecture about, well, what we owe to each other, she hopped to a plane to Australia, showed up at his office, and asked to chat, potentially in a bid to earn her place, unknowingly, in the Good Place.
Last year’s finale truly upended the Garden of Eden apple cart — The Good Place = The Bad Place! — and this year’s capper, while not disproving everything we knew, has turned the show on its head once again, setting up a third season that potentially will be Earth-bound. Here are some questions to consider during the long, cruel hiatus:
• Will a significant chunk of next season take place on Earth?
• How soon will we see how Jason and Tahani are faring on Earth?
• Slight tweak on that: Did Jason immediately die again upon returning to Earth?
• Are the foursome’s futures still tied together even though they were sent back to Earth separately?
• Enough foreplay: Is actual romance in the cards for Eleanor and Chidi?
• Is this really Earth? Or some sort of a parallel universe recreation?
• Could Chidi speaking English be proof of the above question? Or, are we reading too much into a tossed off joke in the pilot, in which Chidi told Eleanor he was actually speaking French that was being translated to a language she could understand? After all, we have seen multiple flashbacks in which he spoke perfect English, and we know he spent time in Australia…
• Are our four characters living on some sort of borrowed time or deadline?
• Why was Chidi’s ticker pile so large?
• Janet (D’Arcy Carden) said she’s not just a Janet: “I don’t know what I am.” So, what is she now, exactly?
• What are the consequences of Michael’s interference in Eleanor’s do-over?
• That was Michael who saved Eleanor from the shopping carts, yes?
• Will Shawn and his Bad Place minions be able to give the foursome a push in the wrong direction and interfere with their lives on Earth as well?
• Now that Janet has professed her love for Jason, will she break a few rules to help him on Earth?
• Or seriously, did he die immediately?
• Given that Tahani said she only improved herself with Eleanor’s friendship, what kind of role will Eleanor play in their new Earth experiment?
• Might we ever see the quartet’s individual Medium Places?
• Will these four remember what they went through the first time in the afterlife, once they die again?
• How easy was it to get Ted Danson to play bartender again?
• What do we owe to each other?