It seems to me that everyone who watches NBC’s The Good Place does so because it was recommended to them. Certainly, not a single one of my friends watched it off their own back and I am no exception.
I started watching it because someone raved about it, ‘that’ surprise twist in particular.
But I’m not surprised, I will recommend this show to everyone I come across.
It is one of the few shows I have watched from beginning to end before it is cancelled, and that really shows how the quality it preserves all the way through is amazing.
Last Friday, as I am writing this (31st January), the final episode of season four – which also serves as the series finale – arrived on Netflix. I watched it within two hours of it being uploaded and I was glued to my laptop.
Prior to watching the final episode, I read so many comments on social media and from other fans of the show that they expected a disappointing finale, as the previous episode served as a pretty neat ending already.
However, I remained optimistic and I’m glad I was. I’m not ashamed to admit it prompted tears more than once, although it is not quite so heart-rending as the previous season’s final episode.
What happens in The Good Place finale?
I will be as spoiler-free here as possible. The whole season has seen Team Cockroach attempting to overhaul the entire afterlife system, as the current one has been complicated and skewed by unethical consumption under capitalism – seriously, this show is a gem – which has made modern
life really difficult.
The Judge, ably and hilariously played by Maya Rudolph, has finally agreed to their idea and the trials are well under way.
The final episode sees each of the six main characters experience personal revelations and heartbreak, culminating in a heart-warming and totally satisfying ending. Everyone finds what they need from their very existence.
As usual, D’Arcy Carden delivers a stunning performance as Janet and acts as a carrier for the humans’ revelations. However, she is also allowed her own conclusion and it is every bit as perfect as it needed to be.
It is, I think, fitting that Michael should be allowed the final words in the series, as he was given the first.
Each character finds a version of what they spent their lives looking for and Michael is no different. His ending was the only part of this finale that truly surprised me, and I think it was exactly the right closure that his character deserved.
Following in the footsteps of other long-awaited finales, this episode takes part in a much-loved tradition of bringing in as many characters and references from previous seasons and episodes as possible.
The Good Place is in a unique position here – because of its subject matter, it can work with time and space in ways that make this realistic and understandable. It is my favourite use of this trope, beloved by fans and detested by casual watchers.
I could write a whole article on why The Good Place is such an important show. But it is the final episode that amazes me more than any other because it is such a satisfying conclusion, a rare thing with popular TV shows.
Why is the finale of The Good Place important?
Although I am focusing on the series finale, I have to mention the brilliance of the series as a whole.
It is wonderfully unique, in its premise, its experimentation and its unapologetic diversity.
I haven’t seen another show yet that has been able to weave social issues so seamlessly into its plot lines.
Jason’s impassioned speech about poverty making it virtually impossible to consume products ethically under a capitalist system was something I honestly never expected to see on mainstream media, and I loved it.
Whilst some of the jokes are overtly supporting an agenda, they are undeniably funny and necessary to our world.
The Good Place was a beautiful show in premise and character, and I hope more people continue to discover it if they haven’t already.
I will genuinely miss waiting for a new episode on a Friday, but I am glad it ended on the writers’ terms. The finale was self-assured above all else – it clearly knew that this was where it would end up.
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