And so The Good Place closes its twistiest season with its biggest twist yet: A finale that doesn’t have a twist. “Pandemonium” doesn’t radically reset the structure of the show: no “This is the Bad Place,” no ensemble resurrection, no ensemble re-death. The basic stakes established in last week’s penultimate episode will, it seems, define next season. Eleanor, Michael, and their friends will continue their experiment to rescue humanity from an eternity of Bad Place torture. But, for now, they’re down one friend.
“Pandemonium” has some fun watching the characters reboot their original neighborhood from the other side. Michael is still a panic-attacky mess, worrying that his experiment will fail (and doom his friends to an eternity of torture at the hands of Bad Michael.) That means Eleanor has to step in as the decidedly unprepared Architect, guiding new arrival John through his introduction to The Good Place.
But John isn’t just some random sinner. He’s the creator of a world-famous blog called the Gossip Toilet, the place that invented the Olsen Twins Turn 18 countdown clock. They invented it, man! And John has a history of writing outrageously nasty, in-fairness-generally-accurate things about Tahani. He’s stunned at the prospect of spending eternity with her and is full of fun things to say. Tahani died in Canada? “That’s like the nipslip of dying!”
The Bad Place, it seems, didn’t just pick a random assortment of serial killers, tax cheats, and marathoners. “They picked the people who would be the worst for us,” the gang realizes. The second arrival? Simone, the chipper neuroscientist Chidi dates back in the Australia days.
Shawn gleefully admits that he picked people dangerously close to the onetime Soul Squad. The Judge didn’t say he couldn’t, after all. Her Judgeship lets Michael erase Simone’s memory to before she met Chidi. And what’s the problem? Chidi could live a hundred years in the neighborhood without even running into Simone. She certainly seems happy enough to have arrived in this corner of the afterlife, even if she thinks there’s a decent chance it’s all a complex electro-hallucination firing through her neuronic cylinders, brain stuff. Why complain? You can order Froyo in every flavor: Vanilla, Mint, Male Coworker Gets Called Out For Stealing Your Ideas.
This could work! The team has full faith in Eleanor. Says Jason: “You’re like the Blake Bortles of whatever’s going on right now, I’m not really sure.” Michael is excited about playing a behind-the-scenes puppetmaster role, kinda like Cyrano de Bergerac, more specifically like Kris Jenner. And Tahani defeats temptation to reach out in friendship to John — though John seems destined to make their friendship rather complicated/impossible.
But Chidi is troubled. His role in this experiment has been neutralized. He can’t teach their new arrivals moral philosophy. He might slip up around Simone — and if he slips up, that’s it for humanity for, like, infinity. Chidi thinks Shawn’s outflanked them — so they have to double-outflank him back. “You need to erase my memory,” Chidi says, “And reboot me.”
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