Season four of The Good Place has finally been released on Netflix, and, unfortunately for my midterm grades, I spent the last weekend binge–watching it. After being disappointed multiple times before by finales (I’m looking at you, Game of Thrones), I was worried that The Good Place would meet the same fate, especially considering how season four started off. However, it ended up hitting the mark and finishing with a near perfect ending.
The finale starts off an unknown number of Jeremy Bearimys left over from the previous episode, with Michael (Ted Danson) struggling to play guitar and Chidi (William Jackson Harper) leading one of his classic philosophy classes—except this time, it's with real-life philosophers. After that, it’s a series of time jumps that lets us say goodbye to each character. After finally playing the perfect game of Madden, Jason (Manny Jacinto) is the first to leave, but not before hosting and DJing a massive goodbye party in which we get to see Donkey Doug and Pillboi one last time.
After that, we see Tahani (Jameela Jamil) wearing overalls—which should tell you enough about how much she’s changed from season one. She finally faces her parents again, who have just arrived in the Good Place. This time, she and Kamilah are there together to support each other. To their—and my—surprise, the family reunion goes well, and Tahani crossed off the last thing on her to–do list. She’s ready to move on, but instead she goes a different route and trains to become an architect instead of going through the door.
Chidi’s the next one ready to move, but Eleanor (Kristen Bell) quickly realizes this and in her typical, stubborn fashion, she does everything she can to prevent his departure. This leads to one of the saddest scenes in the whole show: Eleanor and Chidi’s goodbye. While I was expecting the inevitable, watching Eleanor cry on the bridge, begging Chidi to stay was heartbreaking—I was bawling until the moment Eleanor woke up to find Chidi gone.
The last twenty minutes largely focus on Eleanor and her attempts to find peace. She struggles to move on until she helps give Michael the gift of experiencing life on earth as a human. She finally walks through the door, and it’s revealed what happens after. Her essence dissolves back to the universe in fairy–dust style particles, which seem to embody and encourage perpetual goodness.
While the rest of season four was slow paced and frustrating to watch at times, the finale managed to wrap everything up nicely. The series ends on a bittersweet note, with most of the characters permanently leaving or in a sense dying (again) to find peace. Even with the sadness of saying goodbye to some of our favorite characters, the show still has plenty of comedic moments and ends with an overwhelmingly hopeful message.
The Good Place finale does a beautiful job wrapping up everyone’s character arc and the story as a whole. We get to see or hear about almost every side character we’ve met throughout the four seasons, from Uzo, Chidi’s friend who we see in a total of four cumulative scenes, to Jeff and his collection of frogs. Each of our five main characters gets their own perfectly fitting conclusion, and I can’t imagine any of their stories ending differently.
It also sticks to the philosophical base that has been instilled in The Good Place from the very beginning, tackling the complex concept of death and what it means to be human. The finale symbolizes the inevitability of the end of our lives and time in the universe, but—according to this episode—that’s what makes life special. It’s a comforting, yet dark ending.
While I’m sad to see the end of one of my favorite shows, at least I can say it’s a forking good one.