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Broadcast TV The Good Place - Season 3 (1 Viewer)

Jake Lipson

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The other thing that always felt off to me about Michael's theory that the Bad Place was messing with the system is that if they were doing that, he would likely know about it. He was a valued employee there for long enough to be in the loop on things like that. Given all the reboots, he tortured Eleanor and company for hundreds of years. It wasn't until very recently that he switched over to Team Cockroach. So it would make sense for him to be aware of any messing around the demons were doing with the points system. So this explanation makes more sense, in addition to being more complex and more interesting.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The other thing that always felt off to me about Michael's theory that the Bad Place was messing with the system is that if they were doing that, he would likely know about it. He was a valued employee there for long enough to be in the loop on things like that.
I always got the impression that he was actually very low on the totem pole in the Bad Place hierarchy. Wasn't the fake Good Place his first independent project as an Architect?
 

Jake Lipson

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A friend of mine has been predicting the eventual return of the neighborhood because the sets for it are still standing where they film.

Going forward, if they do maintain the neighborhood setting for a while, they'd get to use their standing sets, which hasn't really been the case this year since the group has been traveling a lot.

However, the placement of this episode is interesting to me. If this episode had been aired as the season finale, I would say that the "new neighborhood" concept was clearly being established for next season, the same way that the season 1 finale established that Michael could reboot them and the season 2 finale established that they were brought back to life, for further exploration in the following season.

But we still have next week to go. So I wonder how far they are going to take this experiment next week. As in: is this truly meant to set up next year, or are they going to burn through this concept in an episode and then completely reinvent themselves again for next year? You can never really tell with this show.
 

DaveF

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Wow! Another stunning episode.

“That’s a Niednagel!”

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1233671/
David Niednagel is the visual effects producer for The Good Place. :D

They were referencing him in the podcast for the previous episode, so it was yet another fun, oblique naming joke to have a horrible thing in the VFX-filled scene named after a the VFX lead.

Also, if you’re not listening to The Good Place podcast, it’s forking great. Three weeks ago, they discussed Darcy Carden going mad due to the intense preparation for her episode. Last week they explained why Chidi was swole in the Internet-breaking shirtless episode. I’m looking forward to listening to this weeks episode.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Assuming that it doesn't run itself into the ground in later seasons, I think people will look back on this show like we look back at the "The Prisoner" and marvel that it got made at all.
 

Jake Lipson

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Assuming that it doesn't run itself into the ground in later seasons

I think they will be smart enough to stop at whatever point they feel they've run out of ideas instead of that. It does feel like the sort of show that will need to come to a definitive conclusion at some point and won't be able to run forever. I'll be glad to stay on the ride until that happens, though.
 

Jake Lipson

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Tonight is the season finale, and I just woke up with a terrible idea - by which I mean, potentially interesting for the show, but something that wouldn't be good for the characters.

I'd like to be clear that this is total speculation -- I haven't seen the episode early and don't have any idea what they're actually going to do -- so if I'm right, I don't want anybody yelling "spoiler." I genuinely don't know.

[Edit: Even though I wrote it in the morning before the finale aired, I'm editing this post after the finale aired because some of my speculation was actually correct. I'm going to leave it as-is so the record of the thread can be maintained. This isn't a brag; however, I am hiding it behind a spoiler tag after the fact in case people who read this thread in the future can choose whether or not to read it before seeing the finale.]

But we know that, per the Judge's rules, the Bad Place is allowed to choose the four new humans.

What if they deliberately choose one or more humans that we already know, just to mess with Michael and the existing group? Whether the Judge would allow them to choose a direct relative of the existing humans is unclear, but they could choose, say, Simone or Pillboy.

Chidi even mentioned Simone by name last week. "It's like Simone taught us about data collection. Try it again and see if you get the same results." I think Jason mentioned Pillboy last week too in the IHOP. I wouldn't put it past Shawn and the Bad Place folks to do something like this, and it would certainly complicate thing for the experiment if they did. Plus, Simone's presence could throw a wrench into the Eleanor-Chidi romance.
 
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NeilO

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Interesting speculation. I was taken by surprise when I saw in today's listings that it is the season finale. So quick.

By the way, I want to recommend the Good Place Podcast again. There is a lot of Behind the Scenes information in each episode, plus things to look for. They started it between season 2 and 3 with podcasts on each episode that discussed matters from both seasons and how things worked out. Then they did one for each episode of Season 3, only discussing that episode and earlier ones. It is quite fascinating. One new thing in the Season 3 podcasts is that they have an "advertisement" from a "totally real and not made up" sponsor. They are quite amusing.

One thing learned from the podcasts is that they are filmed long and then a few minutes are cut for time - sometimes with edits of pauses, etc. and usually a scene or two. The episodes available on Netflix are extended by a couple of minutes (sometimes more) from what was broadcast. (Just doing a little quick research, the DVD has the extended episodes of all but the pilot 2 episodes. Why the pilot is the broadcast version is a mystery.)
 

Jake Lipson

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I was taken by surprise when I saw in today's listings that it is the season finale. So quick.

Tonight is episode 13, so it's the same number of episodes they normally do. I think why it feels weird is because of the airing pattern. There were only three episodes left when it came back two weeks ago, so the majority of the season was stacked in the fall, making it a relatively fast return vs. when it will be gone again. If it hadn't been for bumping up against the holidays, they probably could have aired the 13 episodes consecutively.
 

DaveF

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By the way, I want to recommend the Good Place Podcast again. There is a lot of Behind the Scenes information in each episode, plus things to look for...
Yes. I’ve also recommended the podcast a couple of times. It’s top notch, up there with The Americans podcast. The previous episode switched it around with guest star Jason Mantzoukas (Derek) hosting so that Marc Evan Jackson (Shawn), the regular host, could be a guest. And it was kookier than usual, suggesting that Jason’s characters might not be so totally different from the actor. :)
 

Jake Lipson

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What an ending!

I said this morning:

What if they deliberately choose one or more humans that we already know, just to mess with Michael and the existing group? Whether the Judge would allow them to choose a direct relative of the existing humans is unclear, but they could choose, say, Simone or Pillboy.

First of all, let me reiterate I really didn't know. And in this case, I hate being right because I was an emotional wreck over this. It's great storytelling. But I was a wreck watching it. I suspected that if I was right, they would play the awkwardness of the situation, but I never expected that Chidi would be rebooted again. I'm also surprised that they're going with the Eleanor-as-architect setup. It works, it makes sense and it provides a new dynamic than when Michael was running the previous neighborhood on his own. But I expected that Eleanor would just be herself in the new neighborhood. Obviously, this is better, and why I don't write this show.

I never expected this show to make me genuinely sad, but they did it and it was great. I've been saying for months in discussions with friends that my one hope for the finale was that it would not involve another reboot for the humans, because I couldn't imagine what narrative value doing that yet again would present. I sort of got my wish in that three out of the four weren't rebooted. I've got to admit that they found a great reason to do it again with Chidi which has already paid big narrative dividends in the emotional impact of this episode, and will continue to do so next season as they progress this new dynamic between Eleanor and Chidi.

Since Eleanor is introducing herself as the architect, Chidi will think she is an eternal being and probably won't see her as a potential romantic partner. Meanwhile, Eleanor will probably be doing everything she can to get him to fall in love with her again, within bounds of respecting the experiment. But since Simone is there, I wouldn't be surprised if she and Chidi hit it off again, just as they did the first time they met and he didn't remember loving Eleanor. This is a great new way for the show to do an unorthodox love triangle.

The previous two finales were OMG Shocking!!! Season three goes a little differently with an emotionally affecting end, built on three years of these characters.

I said last week:

is this truly meant to set up next year, or are they going to burn through this concept in an episode and then completely reinvent themselves again for next year? You can never really tell with this show.

I think that even though they aired separately, the final two episodes were in essence both a two-part season finale, because they both did the job that the season finale normally does. The surprise part of it was last week when we got the return to the neighborhood setup that clearly indicates where they are going next year. This week was the ramifications for our characters, which is the structural equivilant of previous years showing us what happened when Eleanor was rebooted.

Other questions and immediate thoughts after my first viewing of the finale:

So..who are the other two humans? How will they be designed to torture our group? John is supposed to bother Tahani; Simone was supposed to bother Chidi. It seems likely that Shawn, etc. would choose a new human specifically to get under the skin of each of the original humans. If so, that means the remaining two newbies are supposed to bother Eleanor and Jason, respectively, without being people that the Judge would force them to exclude. I would like to change my theory from this morning and remove Pilboy from consideration; Jason would be too happy to see him for that to be effective torture, unless the goal was to get him to blab to Pilboy and ruin the experiment that way (which he might do anyway even without Pilboy's presence.)

So who else can the Bad Place get to irritate Eleanor and Jason? Will they be new cast members, or people we've already seen? If Eleanor's annoyance knows her from Earth, then the Eleanor-as-architect line doesn't work. Would that invalidate that person in terms of the Judge's rules?

I hope we get to see the moment where Shawn realize that Chidi has been rebooted. I'm not sure if he'd be pissed that his torturing Chidi didn't go over the way he expected, or pleased that Chidi's memory wipe is torturing Eleanor.

Also, how the hell did Simone die? (Pardon the pun.) It's super-convenient for Shawn that Chidi's ex-girlfriend who happens to know the entire group happened to die on Earth exactly at the time they were putting the experiment together. He claims she just happened to die on Earth. Did he intervene to cause that? If so, and if Michael or the group somehow figure that out, would that lose Shawn favor with the judge? When modifying her memory to erase Chidi, was Michael able to keep her actual manner of death, or did erasing Chidi somehow also change that? I can't imagine why it would have changed her death, but you never know with this show.

dying in Canada - the nip-slip of death

Speaking of death: We know that Tahani died in Canada because they were in Canada when Janet took them into her void. But what does the world think happened to cause her death? The same question applies to Eleanor, Chidi and Jason. Although Chidi's memory of the alternate timeline was wiped, presumably the people he interacted with while on Earth still remember him being alive after the freezer didn't fall on his head (except, of course, Simone.)

Will news of Eleanor, Jason and Chidi's new deaths trickle down to their loved ones? (I'm not sure what kind of loved ones Chidi has; unlike the other three, we didn't visit any of them this season, and he seemed pretty alone before Eleanor walked into his office in last season's finale.) But anyway, I'd love to find out what happened on Earth right after they went into the void.

Oh, and if Jason doesn't understand the concept of Chidi not remembering him, what's to prevent him from slipping up and telling Chidi something that ends up tainting the experiment? Eleanor, Michael, Tahani and Janet will be careful, but Jason is a loose canon, to the point where I was wondering if they were going to decide to reboot him, also, as a safety precaution. The souls of the entire human race are at stake here, after all.

I can't wait until next season. In the meantime, I'm really curious to see who joins the cast as the remaining two humans..

I know time means nothing, but if that's the case, can it be September yet so we can have the show back immediately? ;) (I'm only half-kidding here.)

Edit: Another thought this morning:

Last week, they established that the plan was for Eleanor and Chidi to move in together again in a replica of their original house (or, really, their original house, since it's going to be the same set.) However, I highly doubt that Architect Eleanor is going to tell Chidi that he's moving in with her -- and I doubt she would want to be that close to him unless they could be romantic, which they probably won't be, at least for a good while. So, what are Chidi's new living arrangements? And, will Eleanor still want to live in a replica of the house they shared together without him there, or will she ask Michael to modify it in some way? I assume it will be largely the same because they will be able to use their standing set, but it seems like having it untouched would be setting her up for some extra pain.

And lastly, I would like to thank NBC for doing the right thing and renewing this show. I also appreciate that they did it early, so we knew ahead of the cliffhanger ending that there would be more. In the first season, they actually fully aired the entire season and then waited a while to decide on a renewal, which sucked because we didn't know if that game-changing "This is the Bad Place!" would have to be the end or not. I'm glad we've gotten to a point where they can renew it earlier and let the fans know what's going on before the season ends. So, thank you, NBC, for treating this show right. I look forward to its return next fall.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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I really liked this finale. Given the way the show rebooted itself every 2-3 episodes this season, there's a good chance the fourth season premiere will completely explode the premise again. But I wouldn't mind seeing this play out over the course a season.

I really loved Michael's gesture to Eleanor and Chidi in the town square. And I loved Eleanor and Janet's chat in Michael's office at the end most of all. The best thing about Michael Schur is that he deals with deeply cynical subject matter but isn't afraid of moments of earnest emotion.

Since Eleanor is introducing herself as the architect, Chidi will think she is an eternal being and probably won't see her as a potential romantic partner. Meanwhile, Eleanor will probably be doing everything she can to get him to fall in love with her again, within bounds of respecting the experiment. But since Simone is there, I wouldn't be surprised if she and Chidi hit it off again, just as they did the first time they met and he didn't remember loving Eleanor. This is a great new way for the show to do an unorthodox love triangle.
The interesting thing about this setup is that it tests how far Eleanor has really come. If she prioritizes Chidi's happiness (and the overall mission) above her own desire for Chidi, that will demonstrate a pretty colossal evolution of her character from where she started in the pilot.

So..who are the other two humans? How will they be designed to torture our group? John is supposed to bother Tahani; Simone was supposed to bother Chidi. It seems likely that Shawn, etc. would choose a new human specifically to get under the skin of each of the original humans. If so, that means the remaining two newbies are supposed to bother Eleanor and Jason, respectively, without being people that the Judge would force them to exclude.
This was the big question I was left with after the finale, too. John was chosen to irk Tahani, and Simone was chosen to undermine Chidi. I think the final two will be debilitating to Eleanor and Jason in ways completely different from either of the first two. Pillboy or Donkey Doug might be worthwhile choices, even if he's really happy to see them, because they have a way of bringing out the worst in him.

I would bet Eleanor's human will be someone really unexpected and devastating. Someone like Patty, Donna's new stepdaughter.

Oh, and if Jason doesn't understand the concept of Chidi not remembering him, what's to prevent him from slipping up and telling Chidi something that ends up tainting the experiment? Eleanor, Michael, Tahani and Janet will be careful, but Jason is a loose canon, to the point where I was wondering if they were going to decide to reboot him, also, as a safety precaution. The souls of the entire human race are at stake here, after all.
I think the biggest defense, where Jason is concerned, is that he never really understood what the hell is going on in the first place.

In the meantime, I'm really curious to see who joins the cast as the remaining two humans..
Assuming they're not characters we've already met, holding the reveal until the summer gives them months to find the best actors.
 

Jake Lipson

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Given the way the show rebooted itself every 2-3 episodes this season, there's a good chance the fourth season premiere will completely explode the premise again. But I wouldn't mind seeing this play out over the course a season.

I think part of the reason that it shifted gears so much this year is because they were on Earth for most of it and had to keep finding new things for the group to do in order to avoid repeating themselves. I suspect that season 4 will take a little bit longer to fully explore this idea, and that's fine. I suspect it to mirror season 1; most of it will be in the Fake Good Place, but there will be pivot points (such as when Eleanor confessed to being the "glitch" in the neighborhood, which took the story in a different direction since she wasn't trying to hide herself from Michael anymore.) As I mentioned before, this setup allows them to use their standing Fake Good Place set, which they didn't get to do as much of this year because they kept hopping from place to place. That will probably make the episodes a bit cheaper to produce, too, since they won't constantly have to be building new sets.

Pillboy or Donkey Doug might be worthwhile choices, even if he's really happy to see them, because they have a way of bringing out the worst in him.

That's a good point. But I hope it's neither of them, simply because as an audience member, I felt like a little of them goes a long way. I understand why the episode this season where we met them was important and insightful in terms of Jason's character. But I was glad to leave them behind at the end of one episode. The four new humans are likely to be around for a while, and I just hope Pillboy or Donkey Doug aren't there to constantly grate on my nerves.

I would bet Eleanor's human will be someone really unexpected and devastating. Someone like Patty, Donna's new stepdaughter.

Because she's a child, Patty would be exceptionally dark for this show. It would absolutely push Eleanor's buttons. But I'm not sure if the Bad Place could get a direct relative past the Judge. I think it's pretty clear that Shawn (or some of his employees) intervened to cause Simone's death, because it's simply to coincidental that she would die at exactly the same time as the new experiment is being put together. The Judge didn't seem concerned about that, but I bet she would be more suspicious of the Bad Place folks if a kid who is connected to Eleanor dies. Also, she's a kid. I don't think Shawn would have a problem with child murder, but I suspect the show might.
 
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NeilO

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Because she's a child, Patty would be exceptionally dark for this show. It would absolutely push Eleanor's buttons. But I'm not sure if the Bad Place could get a direct relative past the Judge. I think it's pretty clear that Shawn (or some of his employees) intervened to cause Simone's death, because it's simply to coincidental that she would die at exactly the same time as the new experiment is being put together. The Judge didn't seem concerned about that, but I bet she would be more suspicious of the Bad Place folks if a kid who is connected to Eleanor dies. Also, she's a kid. I don't think Shawn would have a problem with child murder, but I suspect the show might.
It could be a grown up Patty.

I don't think we know how many years have passed on Earth from when they knew Simone and when she died. I thought they could pluck people out from any time on Earth.
 

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