With a show as high-concept as NBC’s The Good Place, we’ve had trouble imagining how the season could possibly wrap up ever since we watched the first episode. After all, the pilot laid it all out: Kristen Bell’s Eleanor Shellstrop was in the Good Place — but she wasn’t good. Things were doomed to fall apart from the start as Eleanor’s secret unravelled. So where would the story go? Would Eleanor get discovered and sent down to the Bad Place? Would The Good Place season 2 have a new name? Could Eleanor redeem herself enough in the afterlife to earn her spot?
When the existence of “real” Eleanor was revealed, things got even dicier. How could our Eleanor — “fake” Eleanor — stay if she was taking someone else’s spot? We had a lot of questions and a lot of predictions.
But we never could’ve guessed how The Good Place‘s season finale ended up actually playing out.
Here’s a quick recap, in case you missed it.
After escaping with Jason and the all-knowing Janet, Eleanor found herself in the perfect medium place. That isn’t to say that it was perfect, but that it was exactly medium — not heaven, but definitely not torture either. Meanwhile, Chidi, Tahani, “Real” Eleanor, and architect Michael were arguing that Eleanor and Jason (okay, mainly just Eleanor) had done enough good to earn their right to stay. And then the first bomb was dropped: If Eleanor and Jason, two arguably not great people, didn’t turn themselves in to be delivered to the Bad Place, Chidi and Tahani would have to go in their places.
The run-aways rushed back (with a little resistance from Jason), but only made it just past the deadline, meaning Chidi and Tahani were still technically doomed. Until the judge presiding over Eleanor and Jason’s cases gave up and decided, fine. It didn’t matter who went to the Bad Place, as long as two people went. But while Chidi, Tahani, Eleanor and Jason were arguing over who should go, Eleanor figured out something very important.
This wasn’t the Good Place at all.
But Eleanor was right, and Michael didn’t take long to give up the ghost (forgive the afterlife pun). Turns out, Eleanor and Jason weren’t there by mistake — they were hand-selected for “The Good Place,” aka a new take on the Bad Place. As for Chidi and Tahani, well, they weren’t exactly as angelic as they seemed. Everyone else — everyone other than Janet, that is — was just an actor dedicated to making this personal hell as torturous as possible.
And then a third surprise as the show started to wrap up: Though Eleanor had uncovered the truth, she’d also given architect Michael a few ideas about where he’d gone wrong… and how he could fix it. And he did intend to fix it. After all, they still belonged in the Bad Place. He’d just wipe all of their memories and start over, this time going for more of a “slow burn.”
Basically, the finale was a double-episode of absolute insanity.
And next season, they’re starting over from the beginning. Just check the last few episodes with Eleanor waking up in “The Good Place” and meeting her new, non-Chidi soulmate.
This is pretty much the best twist we’ve seen on TV in a long time — and one we didn’t see coming even a little bit. So what will happen on in season 2 of The Good Place — assuming there even is a season 2?
Please, please let there be a season 2. Please, please, please!
If Chidi’s not Eleanor’s soulmate, where in the neighborhood is he? And where have Tahani and Jason gone? Will Tahani and Chidi figure out their own weaknesses without Eleanor and Jason there to drag them down? And will Eleanor be able to learn again how much more value her life can have when she learns to be kind and to and care for others?
Though it kills us to see Eleanor lose all of her amazing character development and start over again at the beginning, we can’t help but hope that The Good Place gets the slow-burn that Michael promised. Just imagine getting several more seasons of this amazing show.