(This article contains spoilers for The Good Place episode “Somewhere Else” – you have been warned.)
We have seen our characters in the “Good Place.” We have seen them in the “Bad Place.” Going into season three, where else is there for them to go? Back to Earth to try it all again.
As the episode opened with all six main characters facing the all-knowing judge (Maya Rudolph,) Michael was trying to overturn her ruling to send Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason permanently to the real “Bad Place.” He was trying to convince her that although each person’s “goodness points” total had stopped moving once they had died, had it continued their scores would have improved because of how they had grown in the fake “Good Place.” While the judge was intrigued, she was not entirely convinced. The four did not want to go to the “Bad Place,” they would not separate to go to their own “Medium Places,” and Michael and the judge had come to a standstill. Even I was skeptical of how the writers were going to be able to move the story forward. But they did – by sending them all back, their memories wiped, to Earth to live out their lives as if they had not died. And I am so excited to see how this plays out next season.
While Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason were all sent to Earth for the experiment, the rest of the episode focused solely on Eleanor, which made sense even though I missed the rest of the gang. After she was not run over by a runaway chain of shopping carts, Eleanor realizes she has made the wrong choices in life and tries to turn it around. She quits her scam of a job to join an environmental action agency, stops drinking as much and is honest with her friends and those around her. But after about six months of doing these things, many hard or painful, without seeing any point or justification, she begins to slip back into her old ways. It is not until a conversation with a bartender – who happens to be Micheal sneaking to Earth to help her find the right path – that she stumbles upon a lecture about moral ethics by Professor Chidi Anagonye and flies to Senegal to meet him. What happens when they meet, the whereabouts of Tahani and Jason, and the fate of the foursome lie in the coming season.
There were so many reasons why I loved this episode. The first was the final moment of romance before the reboot. Realizing they all may be separated again, Janet confesses her love for Jason and in doing so inspires Chidi to do the same, who walks up to Eleanor and gives her the kiss she has been waiting for. What this, and the final scene, show to me is that no matter what universe or situation these characters are thrown into, they will find each other no matter what. So many shows refuse to give their characters happy endings and while The Good Place certainly won’t make it easy, this episode gives me hope that the endgame for these characters I have come to love will be happy ones.
The other great thing about this episode – and this season – was Michael. Michael went from an all-powerful demon secretly torturing the four to genuinely caring about his four human friends. He was willing to sacrifice himself for them in the previous two episodes and during the episode you can see him and Janet meticulously reading what seem to be “goodness meters” to see how their friends are doing. Going into season two with Michael suddenly having been revealed as the villain all along, I was not sure what they were going to do with him or whether I would ever come to like him again. But this season proved that not only can people (and demons) change, but my feelings about them can too. I look forward to seeing how Michael’s story plays out just as much as the other five main characters, mainly due to his development this season.
You can catch up on season one of The Good Place on Netflix and both seasons one and two are available on Hulu. A release date for season three has not been announced yet.