The Good Place: 4.13 Whenever You're Ready
The Good Place is over, and it went out in the most beautiful way. I wan't quite sure what to expect from the finale of a show so full of dramatic plot twists and seemingly insurmountable roadblocks, but this wasn't it. Whenever You're Ready is one of the most heart-wrenching, yet calming, television experiences I have ever had.
After such a long journey, there is nothing standing in the way of of the gang living of their remaining bearimy's in the Good Place in peace. And that is what they do. They fill their days with learning new skills and completing everything they didn't get the chance to in life. From playing a perfect game of Madden NFL, to learning to pave a drive way and become a master woodworker.
We join the gang bearimy's after they managed to fix the Good Place, just as Jason is realising he is ready to go through the final doorway and return to the universe. Marking his end with a huge party, Jason then calmly walks to the door with Janet. The rest of the episode then follows everyone else's journey to the very end. One by one the humans each find completion, a sense of overwhelming calm and finality. And, one by one they leave Tlthe Good Place. Jason, Chidi and Eleanor leave through the door, while Tahani leaves to become an architect - effectively transcending humanity to become a celestial in function if not in spirit.
Each character has their own exit in their own way. Jason has his party, before accidentally spending nearly a thousand bearimy's in the woods contemplating existence; an interesting circle back to him pretending to be Jianyu in earlier seasons. this was an excellent way to show how had has changed over the course of the show. Though he is still very much Jason, he is also capable of contemplation and deep though rather than simply rushing in to everything.
Tahani's exit was also very telling of her growth, she didn't feel the need for a big showy party that would make her the talk of the Good Place. She didn't need anyone's approval, just the presence of her closest friends, showing that she has overcome her need to be seen by others in everything she does. She know her own worth.
Chidi's exit is probably the saddest, as he leaves Eleanor behind. True, he leaves her with a very funny personalised calendar, but she is the last human standing none the less.
Eleanor being the last to go doesn't surprise me, considering she was the first character we were introduced to way back in chapter one. And, just like the others, her ending epitomises the changes she has been through on the long journey that got her there. Her convincing The Judge to let Michael live as a human is a completely selfless act; she won't even be around when he gets back from Earth. All she really want's is the happiness of those around her, and only when she gets that does she experience the calm of knowing that she is ready to go.
Every thread was wrapped up, from seeing Doug Forcett in the Good Place, to Eleanor convincing Mindy St.Clair to enter the new system. Everyone found their absolution; there was no negativity left in them and they had done everything they needed and wanted to do. There was no more strife, or running from various incredibly powerful entities - just happiness and peace.
While it is always somewhat bittersweet when a show that you love ends, watching this did make me feel a little wistful, but it also filled me with joy to see how much this cast of characters has grown now that they have reached the end of their journey. The whole thing was thoroughly magnificent.
Overall, this episode felt like a warm hug goodbye. It was stunning and poignant, like much of the show before it, and gave a fitting end to a show all about finding joy and being kind. While I am sad that there will be now more of these amazing characters, this was the right time for The Good Place to end, and I am very happy with the memories I am left with.