Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for the NBC TV Show, The Good Place.
It’s back! America’s favorite (and only) moral philosophy comedy, The Good Place, returned on air on Sept. 27 for its third season. The new season picks up right where the previous season’s finale left off, introducing new characters and a whole new plotline (and location!).
The episode starts off through Michael’s (Ted Danson) and Janet’s (D’Arcy Carden) perspective, as they rebooted the humans, Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), and Jason (Manny Jacinto). We see Michael pull some higher-being shenanigans to get Eleanor to meet Chidi. The show delves into Chidi’s life after his near-death experience. Both characters tried to become better people after the experience but soon regressed back to their same state (as seen in the season finale).
As he’s done in every reboot in the afterlife, Chidi agrees to help Eleanor become a better person (with a little nudge from Michael). Chidi decides to make his thesis about how a person’s brain is altered after a near-death experience and how it affects the person’s receptiveness to ethics in conjunction with the Neuroscience professor, Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste).
He begins to ask around for candidates for his research. This leads Tahani, who first retreated to a Buddhist monastery and went back to a life of fame, and Jason, who led an amateur street dancing crew (without crime) in several failed attempts to win dance contests, to Chidi’s study (after being influenced by Michael, of course).
Finally, each character arrives in Australia, reunited at last. However, Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) is scheming to ruin Michael’s experiment (outlined in the Season 2 finale). He sends Trevor (Adam Scott) to sabotage the humans.
At the end of season two, I thought it was a very bold move to bring the characters back to Earth again. Fortunately, the episode doesn’t fall flat. It definitely got off to a stronger start than the beginning of season 2. It set the stakes of plot arc very high since the humans are back on Earth and don’t remember anything from the reboots or the afterlife; so far, it’s playing like another reboot (but we’ll see). The episode still has the show’s signature ethical humor and I liked that the episode set the tone for the entire season- funny but also really dramatic.
I’m so glad the cast is all back together and I love the new additions to the cast, especially Simone. She’s such a funny and down-to-earth character; she’s pragmatic and she’s the complete opposite of Chidi. I also love the cliffhanger bit at the end where Adam Scott returns to the show. I’m so excited to see how this plays out. The introduction was a wonderful piece of dramatic irony which left me wondering how the next few episodes are going to roll out.
Will the humans realize Trevor’s ulterior motives? Will the humans foil Shawn’s evil plans to deny them a ticket to the real Good Place? How will each of the characters develop in the coming episodes? What’ll happen to Eleanor and Chidi’s relationship? Will Janet make an appearance on Earth and meet Jason? Will the dynamic between the group members remain the same, now that they are back on earth? I guess we’ll find out in the upcoming episode.
The next episode, “The Brainy Bunch”, airs Oct. 4 on NBC 8/7c.