Holy forkin’ shirtballs! With The Good Place gearing up for its season finale on Thursday, Michael’s eclectic neighborhood has been abandoned as Team Cockroach pleads their case for salvation to the Eternal Judge. (An Eternal Judge who is a delightful law priestess with a penchant for burritos and Friday Night Lights.) Now that Michael and Janet have arrived to help sway the judge in the quartet’s favor, it’s up in the air as to how the finale will ensue. But if you want to indulge some guesses, why not take a few fan theories for a spin?
“It’s bloody brilliant and so exciting, and nobody has guessed it so far,” Good Place actress Jameela Jamil recently teased to Vulture about season three. “I do some internet digging every now and then to see what people are guessing, but nobody has thought of what’s to come yet.” With that cryptic quote, we’ve dug through various internet threads to find some of the most interesting theories out there — in addition to other widely popular theories that have been circulating for awhile. Have another theory not included here? Drop it in the comments.
One Reddit user posits an interesting question: What if the Judge ends up being so moved by the quartet’s progress, but still can’t will herself to put them either in a “Good” or “Bad” place? As a result, she concocts an ultimate test and the gang is put in an entirely new Place, completely separate from the system we know, to help rehabilitate people just like themselves — not inherently good, not inherently bad, but capable of significant moral change. They’re then required to teach and change a certain amount of people to get into the Good Place once and for all. Michael and Janet are in this new Place helping out, of course. Bonus: The fact that the finale is titled “Somewhere Else” fits this theory nicely.
We’ve already seen cracks in the way the Bad Place operates, as evidenced by Michael’s failed neighborhood reboots and Shawn breaking celestial protocol to retrieve Team Cockroach from the Medium Place. (Only to discover Mindy and Derek getting it on. Maximum Derek!) As another Reddit user reckons, this could be beneficial to the gang, as Michael can prove the Bad Place is getting increasingly corrupt and plead that case to the Eternal Judge. The Judge could then forcibly remove all of the Bad Place’s executives — or even send them to their own “eternal shriek” — and Michael will be forced to take over, owing to the fact there’s nobody else left to do the job. Perhaps he’ll bring along the quartet and Janet to help implement his new, more ethical vision for the Bad Place, and shenanigans ensue.
Another interesting take from a Reddit user, who theorizes that the Good Place isn’t as idyllic and blissful and full of wonders as we’d expect it to be. Instead, what if it’s a place where intellectual stimulus and growth never fully stops, and the lucky people who ascend there are privy to constant challenges to become even better people? Eleanor and her pals, in turn, are improving on their respective flaws by thinking they were meant to be in the Bad Place.
Good Place creator Mike Schur has been vocal about his admiration of Lost and its showrunner Damon Lindelof for years. (Did you catch that subtle Lost nod in the very first episode?) It’s not unreasonable to think the Good and Bad places do indeed exist, and Team Cockroach is on the brink of entry into either place but is continuously being tested to determine their destiny.
This theory has been growing in popularity since the big reveal at the end of season one, so it’s not the most timely, per se. But think about it: Michael has already led a somewhat tortuous life as a desk jockey pushing pencils in the Bad Place for thousands of years, and when he finally gets the opportunity to be an architect and create his own neighborhood, he fails spectacularly. If you thought Chidi was always on the verge of an ethics-driven panic attack, think how Michael felt in the 800-plus times he was forced to reboot the neighborhood. Talk about a slow burn!
She’s omnipresent. She’s unbelievably helpful. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of everything that’s ever happened. What if, as one Reddit user guessed, Janet is God and in charge of an extended group of Janets to bring order to the universe? If nothing else, that would mean Bad Janet is the devil. Yes, please.