Jess Thomas reviews the heartbreaking season three finale.
The final episode of season three is bittersweet, both because of its content and because it means we have to wait until Autumn to see what happens next. While I do like that shorter seasons mean that the narrative of the show is tighter than the more traditional US sitcom format of over 20 episodes, it does also mean that when the ending comes, it almost feels too soon.
Yet again, I am astounded by this show’s ability to create and new plot to start just before the end of a season. I have questioned how long the concept of The Good Place can remain fresh a couple of time over the past season, not sure what they were going to come up with next. But this finale did not disappoint. As the title suggests this episode cuts off at just the right point to tantalise us with the potential chaos to come.
Last week ended just as the repeat experiment was about to begin, and this episode picks up directly where it left off. As I anticipated, and as she usually does, Eleanor picks up the slack when she has to. Making herself the architect of the neighbourhood and Michael her assistant. This leads to unforeseen consequences as the participants in the experiment are revealed to be people who where somehow connected to at least one of the four original humans. One of whom is Chidi’s ex, Simone.
After realising that he couldn’t lie to Simone’s face, Chidi decides that his memories must be erased in order for the experiment to go on. Seeing Chidi and Eleanor part, after taking so long to get together, was not what I was expecting, but it makes sense from a narrative stand point. Having them together when Eleanor was posing as the architect would have been difficult, and this way it gives a chance to show how much Eleanor can do without Chidi being by her side. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if, before season four ends, Chidi and Simone get back together. I don’t think it would be permanent but it would be so sad, and just another point for The Bad Place to try and mess with the experiment.
I have grown very attached to all of the characters on The Good Place and seeing Eleanor and Chidi so sad to be apart, but also Chidi so trusting of Eleanor’s ability to do a good job with the experiment, really caught me. The relationships built on this show, and the way it emphasises people’s ability to build each other up and learn to be vulnerable, have really taken my breath away. I hope this paves the way for even more comedy that is both hilariously funny and sensitive.
Much like the rest of the show, this episode was truly stunning. It wrapped up the narrative of this season whilst also giving enough of a cliffhanger to make we excited for more. But mostly it just made me want to give Eleanor a great big hug!
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