The Good Place Series Finale Review

WARNING: This review contains multiple spoilers for the series finale of The Good Place. If you haven't watched it yet and intend to, do not continue any further.

NBC's The Good Place came into the world four years ago, seemingly as a show about a woman who ended up in heaven when she didn't belong there. After a season full of twists and turns, the show threw one hell of a twist at its viewers in the first season finale, and the show was never the same since. Though at the time I wasn't a fan of that twist, I now see it as one of the all-time great TV twists. One that most shows wouldn't have been able to pull off so well. If done unsuccessfully, the show could have been absolutely ruined. Instead, though, it made this show into so much more than it otherwise would've been.

It's hard to say goodbye, but let's get to discussing the finale now. The episode immediately preceding it saw the show's beloved quartet of "cockroaches" finally making it to The Good Place, along with everyone's favorite good demon/fire squid and Not a Girl. The finale takes place many Jeremy Bearimys later and sees Jason become the first member of the group to decide to walk through the door they had established in the prior episode, ending his existence. It's all extremely bittersweet, but in the end, it's for the best. Tahani is the next to decide to go through, though she ultimately decides against it and becomes an architect. After Eleanor ultimately decides it's for the best, Chidi decides to go through the door and becomes the first to go through, since Jason was waiting to see Janet one last time before going through. Eleanor then helps Mindy St. Claire get out of the Medium Place and decides to finally walk through the door herself. Before that happens, she has to help Michael, talking to the judge and getting her to agree to let him become a human. Thanks to their contributions to the universe, the judge allows this and Eleanor's final mission is complete. Michael heads to earth as a human and begins to get acquainted as Eleanor walks through the door and ends her existence.

Going into this finale, there were a few ways that I definitely did not want to see the show end. At the top of that list was having the characters all walk through the door and ceasing to exist. Even as the episode made it clear that that was indeed how the show would end, I was against it and ready to be very upset with the way the show ended. Instead, though, the show was able to use the small amount of time it had left to make me feel that that was the only way it could truly end. It's extremely unusual for me to truly love a show's series finale. It's even more unusual for a show to actually challenge my previous perception of how the show should end and make me accept and even be extremely glad that the show wasn't ending it that way. Though it's sad to see the characters go through the door, that's just life. That a show known for throwing twists at the viewers week after week would end in a way that most of its viewers could've seen coming a mile away is so, so fitting. While life itself throws curveballs at you all the time, we all know how it will end. The Good Place was, at its core, a show about life and the human condition. This ending helped it continue to be that.

The Good Place was never a show that was going to have a very long run. It set out to tell a very specific story and that story reached its natural end. It could have gone on a bit longer, but it would've just been delaying the inevitable and making everything less enjoyable than it should be (just as Eleanor had done in trying to convince Chidi not to walk through the door). This was the time to bow out, and I'm grateful that they took the high road. I'll dearly miss the show and especially its cast of zany and wonderful characters (and the actors that portray them). I tried my best not to, but I cried from the moment that Jason said his farewell to everyone until the moment the episode came to a close. Even writing this review I'm still occasionally welling up with tears at the thought of this great show being over. Ultimately though, that just shows what a deeply special show this has been. I'll miss it, but I'm glad it went out with a bang. This was the best episode of television I've seen in 2020, and the best series finale I've seen since Veep.

I could wax poetic about how fantastic this show is and how wonderful the finale was, but I'm going to wrap things up here. This finale was truly perfection, and everything a finale should be. It provided closure to every major character the show has had, and even some very minor ones. It was so apparently crafted with love and care. It remained true to what the show was always about and served as the perfect sendoff for one of the best comedies on broadcast television.

Thank you to the cast and crew of The Good Place for sharing this show with us for four seasons. There were bumps along the road, but in the end, it stuck the landing in a forking extraordinary way. In the words of the great poet Michael Realman, take it sleazy.

Score: 10/10
Grade: A+

What did you think of the finale of The Good Place? Let me know in the comments below!

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