The Good Place season 3, episode 1 recap: ‘Everything Is Bonzer!’


The Good Place returns for a brand new season fresh off several Emmy nominations.

If you’ve read any of my Emmy coverage, you know that I think The Good Place is one of the best and most inventive shows on television. And the Season 3 premiere, which aired last night, is no exception.

We left our doomed dead foursome last season as they were about to become undead, granted by the Judge (Maya Rudolph) last season of The Good Place.

Chapter 27

Michael (Ted Danson) appears on a bridge alone walking towards a man, called “The Doorman” (played by Mike O’Malley). The doorman is the keeper of the door to earth, so Michael needs him to approve Eleanor’s, Chidi’s, Tahani’s, and Jason’s return to earth for a special “experiment.”

The doorman uses a key attached to a grog (because he’s frog guy) made from the first atoms, that only he is allowed to touch, to open the door to earth. He gives Michael a clicker that will allow Michael to return if needed and sends him on his way.

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Instantly, we are back watching Eleanor crouching in the grocery store parking lot as a row of carts are about to hit her (her death) when someone pushes her out-of-the-way. Chidi jumps out-of-the-way by a bike, therefore doesn’t get crushed by an air conditioning unit. Tahani gets pushed out-of-the-way when her sister’s statue is about to fall on her. Jason is unlocked from the safe.

Michael is the man who saves them all.

His childlike reaction to being on earth is endearing and makes me appreciate the little things – like a Pizza Hut inside a Taco Bell. He even bought a gumball, but unfortunately, forgot to chew it.

As he and Janet keep track of how the foursome is doing on earth, they discover they’re not becoming better people, as we saw at the end of last season.

Michael believes the reason they started to become better in the Good Place was that they helped each other and it all starts with Eleanor and Chidi. He wants to “nudge” them together by going back to earth, but Janet reminds him that the Judge forbade him from interfering.

But Michael goes back to the doorman and lies about the Judge giving him permission. That’s when we see the scene from last season of Eleanor in the bar with Michael and nudges her toward Chidi.

Eleanor flies to Australia to meet Chidi and because he is convinced he can help her become a better person. At first, you can tell he can’t understand why she chose him of all people. But when she explains after almost dying, she wanted to become a better person, it sounds familiar to his own story, and he accepts.

He tells Eleanor about his own near-death experience, which led him to believe his brain was broken. A neuroscience professor conducts an MRI of his brain and show him that there isn’t in fact anything wrong with his brain but shows him science is all about finding definitive answers and that being a philosopher is clouding his brain. Not all decisions are life and death.

He becomes more assertive and more decisive. During this time is when he gives his talk, which Elanor sees online. He has never been happier!

But after giving advice to a colleague that landed that colleague in the hospital, he felt responsible and reverted back to his indecisive self. That’s when he encounters Michael posed as a librarian (complete with an Australian accent) who encourages him to help others.

After class one day, Eleanor and Chidi walk across campus and run into Simone (the neurology professor) who is clearly flirty with Chidi. She sort of asks him out to dinner, and he declines. Eleanor finally knows how he can pay Chidi back for him helping her, and it’s not edibles! She’s going to help them get together!

Michael thinks this new direction is no good and wants to go back to earth and push Tahani and Jason to Australia as well. But Shaw the Demon is not his tail, discovering his extra visits to earth.

Chapter 28

Chidi finally knows what he will write his thesis on!

He and Eleanor have absolutely nothing in common except for both having near-death experiences that made them want to become better people. He will study other people who have had similar experiences and in collaboration with Simone’s neuroscience department and magic MRI machine, will study their brains as well.

Enter Tahani!

We learn what she’s been up to the past year. After her near-death experience, she decided she needed to get out of the spotlight and break her starve for attention. She traveled to a Tibetan monastery and lived a peaceful, private existence until she decided to write a book about shedding the spotlight.

Tahani’s star begins to grow and her life of begins to roll back to the way things were before as an attention seeker, she decides to sign up for Chidi’s study – again with some nudging from Michael.

Jason, on the other hand, took a different path than Michael has laid out for him (community college). He instead sees a poster for a dance crew contest and creates a dance crew (Dance Dance Resolution), but they can’t win. The crew and Jason return to a life of crime. Michael nudges Jason towards Australia and Chidi’s study so that the foursome can reunite.

Back with the Doorman, Michael gives him a gift: a thermos with a picture of a frog on it. It will keep his antimatter (what we earthlings call coffee) hot for longer. We finally see the Doorman crack a smile!

Next. Forever season 1, episode 1 premiere recap: ‘Together Forever’. dark

Michael makes it back to the afterlife just in time for a visit from The Judge, but they don’t get caught! Just when they think everything is great, Michael discovers something dark is about to ascend upon them.


I don’t know what he’s supposed to be, probably has something to do with Shawn. But Trevor (ADAM SCOTT) is back and I am absolutely here for it!

What are your thoughts on the season three premiere of The Good Place? Do you think Michael’s many visits to earth will get discovered? Will the fab four become better people? Who the heck is Trevor?

Check back next week for my recap of the next episode of The Good Place.