The final episode of the current season of The Good Place, “Pandemonium”, brings an unexpected twist. It’s perhaps not as concept-shattering as previous season finales but it sets things up beautifully.
This recap of The Good Place Season 3, Episode 12, “Pandemonium”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
It’s a sad, sad day. It seems like only yesterday that I was so happy about The Good Place returning to our screen and now it’s finished already, marble-ized like a wayward Janet. Now the long wait begins.
I thought that “Pandemonium” was a perfectly crafted episode to cap what has been a wonderful season. The series may be fairly fantastical, and previous seasons have been driven by a defining concept, but this season felt more grounded in many ways. But then again in other ways, it felt completely bonkers. I felt that with season 3 The Good Place has managed to maintain its outlandish setting while also doubling down on the characters at the heart of the show.
“Pandemonium” sets up the shape of the next season with our heroes’ eternal fate hanging by the thread of an experiment. I just hope they’ve validated their methodology and sought the correct ethical clearances. Michael has created a brand new neighborhood to test whether four randomly selected humans can become better people when taken out of the nightmare-scape of life on Earth.
The first real snag that Eleanor and Michael hit this week is Michael’s complete and utter crisis of confidence about the task before him. After all, he is just middle-management and not built for this level of pressure. It falls to Eleanor to take the role of the architect in the afterlife, and Kristen Bell does a great job of selling her part.
The other major issue with Michael’s plan is that the boys in the Bad Place get to select the four humans to add into the experiment. The first just happens to be John (Brandon Scott Jones), a celebrity gossip blogger, who said more than a few unkind things about Tahani in his time. Unsurprisingly the Bad Place are exploiting loopholes and they’re going to fill the new neighborhood with “problematic” inhabitants. I should say at this point that I thought Jameela Jamil did a great job this week of balancing Tahani’s over the top, upper class worrying with some moments of real character growth.
The second person to enter the neighborhood is, of course, Chidi’s ex-girlfriend Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) which threatens to derail everything they have planned. After all, how would you react if upon reaching the afterlife you run into your ex and three of their friends that you hung out with on Earth? I guess it could be awkward. I can’t even begin to imagine who the final two inhabitants will be, I guess we’ll have to wait until next season to find out.
I really didn’t see the final “twist” coming in “Pandemonium”, and it was a real hammer blow when it finally landed. It was nicely done and its emotional impact is a testament to just how well the characters have been developed this year.
A great finish to a great season and one that has left me desperate to see what happens next.