When’s ‘The Good Place’ back? Everything you need to know about S4
It seems hard to believe the “smartest dumbest TV show on network television” (said by Marc Evan Jackson) is so close to the end. But sadly, The Good Place only has a few episodes left in its fourth and final season.
For those who have yet to get on the trend, first off, ya basic. Second off, seasons 1-3 of The Good Place are on Netflix, and we want you to experience this journey for yourselves. But since it’s gonna be a while until season 4 hits streaming, we’ll recap the journey so far this season.
The new experiment begins
We open with the Soul Squad still powering through on their experiment. Eleanor (Kristen Bell) helps a brainwiped Chidi (William Jackson Harper) get adjusted to his new apartment. Of course, Chidi has no clue who Eleanor is and she’s dying inside the entire time, but she powers through like the bad bench she is.
Eleanor and Michael (Ted Danson) work to prepare for the arrival of their new humans, an older woman named Linda Johansson (Rachel Winfree) and businessman deckhead Brent Norwalk (Benjamin Koldyke). Eleanor determines Linda was sent for Jason (Manny Jacinto) and Brent was sent for herself, though Janet (D’Arcy Carden) gets most of the torturing from Brent.
Now that our four humans are here to run around free in the fake Good Place, it’s time for the experiment to begin. Our friendly neighborhood accountant Matt (Brad Morris) has been promoted from weird sex things to keeping score of the entire experiment. His weird glowing obelisk lives in Mindy St. Claire’s living room for the remainder of the experiment.
The Bad Place interferes, twice!
In a twist shocking to absolutely no one, one of the four humans is actually a demon in disguise. What is shocking is that the demon wasn’t Brent, but Linda! Our favorite shirtless demon Chris (Luke Guldan) was squished into such a little frame, but finally got caught. The Bad Place comes to pick him up, but they end up leaving behind a treat for the gang.
This treat is revealed in “Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy” to be a Bad Janet posing as a Good Janet, thanks to some help from demon Glenn (Josh Siegal). Michael and Jason end up going on a rescue mission in the Bad Place to save Janet so the experiment can function properly. But don’t worry, there’s someone else who can help with the experiment while Janet is gone.
Maximum Derek my dudes
Derek (Jason Mantzoukas) is still around, being Mindy’s sex slave. But he has definitely been rebooted a few hundred times since the last time we saw him. Since the neighborhood is made of Janet babies anyway, Eleanor has Derek stepped up to help with the neighborhood while Jason and Michael go on their rescue mission.
She knows this won’t end well though, so while this is all going on, the humans (besides Chidi’s stubborn self) all go on a nice retreat way outside of town. Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Eleanor dig Chidi out and somehow make it so he doesn’t see anything going on with the Derek/Janet babies too. Thankfully, the rescue mission is a success, so Janet can quickly fix everything shortly after.
So how’s the improving going?
Well, it depends on who you ask. Tahani struggles to get through to John Wheaton (Brandon Scott Jones) until she realizes his whole problem is being left out and not having a friend. Tahani gives him the friendship he needs to be a better person.
Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) doesn’t believe anything in the neighborhood is real, so Eleanor reveals to Chidi that Simone and he are soulmates. With Chidi’s connection, Simone begins to open up to the possibility of the neighborhood being real. Of course, this kills Eleanor inside and she tortures Chidi for a little bit but ends up letting go of her anger. Of course, Chidi improves, but he’s done this 803 times before.
Then we get to our favorite troublemaker, Brent.
Brent and the mystery of any human decency
From the beginning, it’s clear that Brent is going to be the problem child of our human experiment. Brent has a silver spoon so far up his ash that he can’t believe that anyone wouldn’t like him. The only good thing is that The Good Place is a fictional show, so no one like Brent actually exists in real life.
Brent has no desire to improve, even when it’s clear that everything is going wrong because of him (a la horror sequence straight from season one). Eleanor and Michael at least have a smart idea of telling Brent that there is a Best Place he can get into if he gets his points high enough, but that still corrupts his motivation.
By the time the experiment is up, Brent has stayed basically the same person. He’s no less of an ash-hole than he was a year ago. With only hours left, the Soul Squad band together to try and get him a last-minute boost. But there’s bigger problems on the horizon.
While it seemed like Simone was getting better, she ends up doing a full 360 in the last hour, presenting her evidence to the humans (Jason, Tahani, Brent, John, and Chidi) that this is actually some kind of experiment in humanity involving the six of them. Since Tahani and Jason know the truth, they try and play damage control to lower any doubts, but then John rats out Jason which makes everyone else more doubtful.
Simone and Chidi break into Eleanor’s office and find the emoji progress board. Tahani and Jason warn Eleanor of Simone’s theory, so Eleanor and Michael go into emergency plan mode: make it clear Brent doesn’t belong. Naturally, this means having him get swallowed up in a huge chasm.
The three humans have another fight whether or not they should save Brent, with Chidi being the only one willing to save him. Simone and John make a run for it so they’re not next to be taken out by the chasm. Eleanor and Michael dig them out and Chidi chews out Brent for being an awful person and comes to the realization that this is the Bad Place.
Cue Eleanor’s evil laugh reminiscent of Michael’s evil laugh from “Michael’s Gambit”. Eleanor says they were just messing with them for a little until the real demons took over in the Bad Place. Brent freaks out thinking this is some kind of practical joke. Finally, Brent comes to terms with who he is, and begins to genuinely apologize, until the experiment ends, frozen on Brent mid-apology.
Judgement Day is upon us
Now that the experiment is over, Matt finally gets freedom from his obelisk to present the scores of the four humans. Michael leaves to go to the proceeding on whether the planet will survive or not. Judge Gen (Maya Rudolph) reveals the scores, showing that everyone has improved significantly, except for Brent. Brent did have a huge spike right at the end, but still technically failed to improve. Michael argues though that the experiment still shows something important: we can all get better with time. While Brent didn’t improve within the time of the experiment, had he gotten to utter the words “I’m sorry”, that would’ve put him above it all. And he could’ve improved even further with time.
Gen believes in Michael, calling in the humans while they’re giving their fake eulogies at each others’ fake funerals. Gen declares Michael the winner, admitting the system is in fact broken. So all of humanity needs to be reset with a new system.
There is no answer
The Janets, good, bad, neutral, and Disco, team up to hide the Earth resetter from Gen. In the meanwhile, the Soul Squad has to try and figure out a new system to judge all of humanity by. No biggie, right? The Good Place team is useless, as they’re going to spend forever getting their committee approved.
There’s only one person that can save humanity right now, Chidi. Michael snaps him awake, giving him every memory he’s ever had across all 803 reboots and his entire life. Through all this, we learn before Chidi has his memory erased, he gave Janet a note. That note, according to Chidi, was his best writing ever. “There is no answer, but Eleanor is the answer.”
Where do we go from here?
Well, since there’s no answer, who knows? We tried to call the twist coming forward, but the reality is Mike Schur has led us on a very twisty journey so far. Even with only five episodes left, Schur definitely has more twists up his sleeves for us. Especially when the series finale is scheduled to be 90 minutes long, there’s time for the stakes to change again.
Why is The Good Place ending?
One of the hardest decisions to make is ending a show before the audiences tune out. Mike Schur made the announcement about the fourth season of The Good Place being the final season back in June. In his announcement, Schur said that when mapping out the future of the show back in season 2, they knew the show would be about 50 episodes long to tell the story he wanted.
While it’s disappointing to hear that one of the best shows on network TV is ending, it’s refreshing to hear a creator ending a show for the sake of the story. So many shows go on for years, like The Simpsons, with no end in sight, even if the quality has diminished. The last thing The Good Place needed was to run past its prime.
What’s the schedule for the last five episodes?
The final season resumes on January 9th, with a change of time from 9pm to 8:30pm on NBC. From there, the season will air in that time slot until January 30th, when the 90-minute series finale will drop. Of course, Schur and co aren’t leaving us hanging, as they’re giving us a post-finale treat. Seth Myers will host a special directly after the finale with interviews from the cast.