Welcome! Everything is most certainly not fine.
Our favorite cockroaches may have finally made it to the Good Place, but I would still take a penis flattening over seeing NBC’s The Good Place end its delicious (as delicious as stardust milkshakes, even) four-year run.
That being said, let’s take this one last opportunity to test whether time is in fact timey-wimey-jeremy-bearimy and predict the big finale to television’s first great black-box comedy. So if you aren’t caught up so far …
Where we last left off, in the penultimate episode “Patty,” the humans, demon, and not-a-girl, not-a-robot (also not-an-Emmy-winner-what-the-fuck-Academy) had … won. They had gotten to the Good Place, found and fixed its flaws, and were now chillaxing with their loved ones in front of a perpetual sunset.
Surely the writers behind “butthole spiders,” “describing the plot of Entourage to William Shakespeare,” and the “Partial Decapitations” Department won’t leave things like this.
NBC is not going to make this easy: the show is ending its run as it lived (er, after-lived) it: secretly as hell (er, here). The show’s famous first-season twist was a secret even to its stars, so it’s no surprise the official logline on NBC.com for tomorrow’s episode reads “various conversations occur between groups of people.” Motherforkers.
Have we been dead and the The Good Place writers our demon-torturers all along? I have a stomachache.
On that note, here are our Good Place finale predictions, ranked in ascending order of likelihood:
9. The Accident-Induced Jason Psychosis: Stupid Nick’s Edition
Jason underwent a case of food poisoning at Stupid Nick’s Wing Dump so severe that he hallucinated all the show’s events.
8. The NORM!
During one of Norm’s blackouts at the eponymous bar in Cheers, he hallucinated a whole world centering around the last person he saw before his head hit the counter: Ted Danson. But, like, old. But a hot old. Actually, scratch this one. I’ll go watch Cheers and clear my head.
7. The Accident-Induced Jason Psychosis: Dance Dance Resolution: We Resolve to Dance Edition
Jason got kicked in the head while partner-breakdancing with his sixty-person dance crew so hard that he hallucinated all this shirt.
6. The Return of Forcett
This entire show has been an acid trip by the one, the only, Doug Forcett. I hope this is an option mostly because it would increase the chances NBC would sell me a lookalike Doug Forcett poster.
5. The Accident-Induced Jason Psychosis: Mana-Ski Edition
When Jason crashed that jetski into that manatee the blunt force trauma caused him to hallucinate all this shirt.
4. The Accident-Induced Jason Psychosis: Medical Malpractice Edition
The Stupid Nick’s food poisoning didn’t kill Jason, but did compel him to go to his primary care physician, a veterinarian, who gave him horse tranquilizers that caused him to hallucinate all this shirt.
3. The Mortal Michael
Last episode, Michael mentioned that he didn’t know how long a demon was allowed to exist in the Good Place, and that his body might be so repulsive to the Good Place that it slowly kills him. Not much was made of that comment, so perhaps that’s the loose end that gets tied up this time, and Michael can finally get what he’s wanted this whole time: to experience life as humans do, by way of learning to appreciate life through knowing it will end. Though a possibility, primarily to address the unaddressed remark from last episode, I rate this prediction unlikely because of the time the show has already spent with Michael confronting mortality—like in his existential crisis episode in Season 2, which was a real trip for biscuits, daddy-o.
2. The Flashsideways/”THIS Is the Bad Place”
I have to admit how fervently I’m hoping for one last big Russian nesting doll. Not even getting a 12 out of 12 on the Buzzfeed quiz “Do you know all the slang words the Kardashians invented?”or graffitiing a red lobster, or playing a drinking game with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively on their macrobiotic farm could compare to the thrill of The Good Place’s absolutely exquisite Season 1 twist. A la Lost, I’d love to box this puppy up one more time by learning the whole show has been, say, a test for one character or another (Michael or Janet, probably), or that the oft-mentioned door of last episode sends characters back to earth in another, wiser form. Counterintuitively, if the show takes the Big Twist route, I’d never be able to predict that twist now. The Dalai Lama may have texted Tahani that enlightenment comes from within, but in our case, enlightenment comes from showrunner Mike Schur.
1. The Schur
Aforementioned showrunner Mike Schur (more like Schur-runner! … How many points do you think I lost for that?) is known for his full-of-heart ensemble sitcoms The Office and Parks and Recreation. And though Schur notes that he didn’t work on the Office finale, both wrap-ups fit Schur’s brand; they’re both extremely earnest and heartwarming and use the passage of time to give the characters we’ve come to love just what they wanted and/or needed this whole time. I predict Schur’s affection for his fire squid in a human suit, mean giraffe, human sweater-vest, Arizona dirtbag, Jake Jortles, and busty Alexa will prevail over any desire to throw the audience for one last loop. If so, we’ll see the group learn a few last lessons, realize the ways in which they’ve all grown together to overcome their (literally) fatal flaws, and get a few final equal parts horny and heartfelt Eleanor/Chidi moments. I will cry. You will cry. Eleanor Shellstrop will remind us, in the words of a “very wise” Bed, Bath, and Beyond employee: “Go ahead and cry all you want, but you’re gonna have to pay for that toilet plunger.”
The Good Place series finale airs Thursday, January 30th at 8:30 ET on NBC.
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