(Spoiler warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday’s season finale of “The Good Place.”)
“The Good Place” wrapped up its third season on Thursday, fleshing out the new iteration of itself with Eleanor in charge heading into Season 4 next year.
Ever since its game-changing first season finale, “The Good Place” has never stayed the same version of itself for long, mixing things up with bold, dramatic twists at the end of each season. What was once a sitcom about a bunch of semi-bad people trapped in a Heaven-like afterlife became a show about semi-good people trying to escape a Hell-like afterlife in Season 2. Then, in Season 3, the mostly-good-but-still-endearingly-bad characters were all sent back to their lives on Earth and given the chance to do it all over again.
Now, heading into its fourth season, with that first version of the show in the distant past (or as close as it gets given Jeremy Bearimy), Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) have a new goal to prove they belong in The Good Place by doing the one truly good thing a person can do — help other people be better.
Things pick up right where last week’s episode ended, with Michael (Ted Danson) and the humans in a scientific study version of Michael’s original fake Good Place, where they’re tasked shepherding a new crop of newly dead people into becoming better people in the afterlife. (And, in the process prove Michael’s realization that the afterlife points system is so hopelessly unbalanced it’s impossible for humans to qualify for entry into the real good place while they’re alive.) But with Michael freaking out about his ability to run the new test, Eleanor was forced to step up as the pretend leader of the new fake Good Place.
But that wasn’t the only wrinkle. The finale also revealed that at least two of the new afterlife residents have connections to the central four from their past lives on earth: John of “The Gossip Toilet,” who made his living as a blogger tormenting Tahani; and Chidi’s onetime girlfriend Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste).
As a way to avoid complications with Simone, Chidi comes up with a plan to erase his memory to keep from derailing the test. Unfortunately, the memory wipe also takes all his memories of Eleanor and their swoon-worthy relationship, a mere three episodes after their climatic admission of love.
One montage and one tear-jerker of a goodbye later, Chidi is forced to start over, and for the first time, “The Good Place” will head into next season with only one of its characters rebooted. Eleanor, Tahani and Jason will all have to find their way without Chidi as their philosophical mentor.
“I guess all I can do is embrace pandemonium, find happiness in the unique insanity of being here, now,” Eleanor says at the end of the episode, attempting to take control of her truly unique and truly insane situation.
But with two more afterlife residents still waiting to wake up in the afterlife and surely more twists to come, “The Good Place” likely has even more insanity in store for next season.