The Good Place season 3 finale recap: Pandemonium


The Good Place ended its third season with an understated, almost quiet finale; nothing like what the title of the episode suggests.

The Good Place season finale had no cliffhanger. It didn’t even have a twist. Well, unless you call losing Chidi a twist.

Don’t worry, your favorite philosophical worry wort is not leaving the show. But he won’t be exactly himself either.

Let’s back up.

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While Michael is having a meltdown about the possibility of his friends being tortured for eternity by a clone of himself, Eleanor takes charge.

She wakes up John, the first subject, and poses at the Architect, introducing him to the Good Place, while Michael calms down.

It turns out, John wasn’t just any serial killer or cheater on earth. He was a gossip columnist who wrote about Tahani his blog The Gossip Toilet.

John didn’t just follow Tahani and report on her appearances and charity work. No, he tortured the hell out of her. And when he realizes he’s going to be spending eternity with her, he’s stoked! Tahani is not.

Just before the next subject is ready, Tahani tells Michael and Eleanor who John is, and it all becomes clear. All four subjects that Shawn chose weren’t some random bad people; they were terrible people for each one of Tahani, Jason, Eleanor, and Chidi.

In fact, Chidi’s “subject” is sitting in the waiting area next, and it’s none other than Simone, his ex from Australia!

Is it me? Or do people die young on this show?

Instead of handling it entirely on their own, they take it to the Judge, who admits it was a dirty trick. She allows them to erase Simone’s memory as not to put the whole experiment in jeopardy.

Problem solved, right? Wrong.

Chidi fears that he will in some way ruin the experiment because of his history with Simone. And it’s not his typical worrying. He’s looked at it from every angle.

He’s supposed to be teaching the four subjects moral philosophy. And he’s terrified he will slip up at some point. He knows what needs to be done.

“You need to reboot me.”

But Chidi and Eleanor are finally together and happy! Well, as happy as you can be dead. Why can’t they just erase his memories of Simone?

Unfortunately, his memories of Simone are all tied up with Eleanor and the rest of the Brainy Bunch. It’s the only way.

Before the reboot, Michael arranges for a showing of all of Chidi and Eleanor’s “lost memories.” It was a montage of their best moments since they met (all the way back in Episode 1), and how they fell in love over and over again.

Yes, I cried. And so did Eleanor. I just realized how far they’ve both come.

Eleanor went from a selfish garbage person to a sweet, selfless, humane being. If she had lived her whole life the way she had been living for the past several hundred years, she’d absolutely get into the Good Place.

And Chidi, he’s become decisive, reliable, and brave, and I’d like to think his love for Eleanor (and the others) have a lot to do with it.

Feeling down, Eleanor has a heart-to-heart with Janet after she asks what it all means.

“If there were an answer I could give you to how the universe works, it wouldn’t be special. It would just be machinery.” Janet says.

“Euphoria in all this randomness and pandemonium?”

Eleanor recognizes this from Paradise Lost, something Chidi had taught her, is the center of hell.

If all of this pandemonium is hell, and she found Chidi in hell, then maybe it’s really their heaven. They found each other hundreds of times over the last thousand years. They can do it again.

Eleanor opens the door to the waiting room, and there is Chidi.

“Hi Chidi, I’m Eleanor.”

As I said, it wasn’t your typical Good Place ending. This show has ended many episodes with a twist and a turn and a reboot, that I’ve gotten whiplash a lot of the time.

No, this episode was different in a good way. It reset things a bit, but not the trajectory of the entire storyline.

The re-set of one character humanized the show in a way.

When a character moves away, or gets killed off, or has a baby or some other life event, you’re left watching how the rest of the characters will figure out how to go on or deal with this sudden change.

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We now get to see the characters deal with a minor problem as opposed to a huge one (I.e., We’re in the Bad Place or “Humanity is doomed.”)

I have full faith that next season will bring more twists and turns because that’s why we love The Good Place. But I appreciated the understated finale and look forward to what’s to come.

What did you think about the finale? Watch The Good Place anytime on NBC.