After a ridiculously inventive Season 2, where did The Good Place‘s gang end up in Thursday’s finale? Right back where they started, as it turns out.
Michael and Janet join the gang in the Judge’s chambers, with Michael telling the Judge they’ve all become better people since they died, and deserve a second chance. In fact, he says, the whole damn system is out of order, and billions of souls are in the Bad Place who don’t belong there. His impassioned speech impresses the Judge enough (she gets goosebumps!), and she agrees to work out a plan with him. While they do that, Janet shows up to confess her love to Jason… and that inspires Chidi to lay a huge kiss on Eleanor. (Her response: “Hot diggity dog!” Yeah, she immediately regrets that.)
The Judge and Michael’s plan: The four of them will wait it out in separate Medium Places while Michael works on a way to get them into the Good Place. The wait could be a month… or it could be a million years. Eleanor doesn’t love that idea, and when the Judge points out that they only became better people because they expected a “moral dessert,” Michael gets a wild idea. He and the Judge confer: She thinks he’s crazy at first, but she’s eventually convinced — and she snaps her fingers. Bam! Eleanor is back on earth, and miraculously saved from the runaway shopping carts that originally killed her. She’s alive! (Again!)
They’ve sent all four of them back to earth to re-live their lives, with Michael and Janet monitoring their ethical progress on old-school financial tickers. Alive Eleanor returns home to her detestable, Real Housewives-watching pals, and when she relates her near-death experience, their sympathy is lacking. (“I was in Syracuse, New York,” one counters, “like, two weeks before 9/11.”) Eleanor fully realizes what a jerk she’s been — “I cyber-bullied Ryan Lochte until he quit Instagram” — but now she’s resolved to be a better person. She quits her shady telemarketing job and even asks that annoying clipboard guy outside the grocery store to help her “get all horny for the environment.”
We see a montage of Eleanor’s good deeds, and it goes well at first, but then she starts getting punished for being honest: She confesses to stealing her friend’s T-shirt idea and gets kicked out of her apartment; she leaves a note when she nudges a parked car and gets sued. She starts to resent her clean-living kick: “I ate vegetables for the first time,” she tells her environmental pal, “and I got diarrhea for, like, a week.” She eventually tells the guy to “eat my farts,” skips work to go see Taylor Splifft (yes, a reggae-flavored Taylor Swift cover band) and goes back to scamming people with pyramid schemes. Uh-oh.
Michael is desperate to help, and when Eleanor ends up alone at a bar on her birthday, Michael materializes behind the bar. (Hey there, Sam Malone! He’s still great at wiping down glasses, isn’t he?) After she tells him the plot to Kangaroo Jack, he tries to angle her back towards goodness, asking her: “What do we owe to each other?” She doesn’t quite get it, until she Googles the phrase and finds a video of… Chidi! She watches his whole, boring three-hour lecture — and gets inspired. She ends up flying to Australia, knocking on Chidi’s door and introducing herself: “Can we talk?” Hot diggity dog!
Now it’s your turn to be the Judge: Give The Good Place‘s Season 2 finale a grade in our poll, then hit the comments to share your post-finale thoughts.