Just as The Good Place was properly hitting its stride, we’ve been hit with the news that we’ll have to wait a whole *seven months* for the next episode.
The second season of the show reached its conclusion over the weekend, after weeks of theorising from fans about how it might end.
Jameela Jamil, one of the stars of the comedy, claimed no one has figured out what will happen in the third season (which is expected to premiere in September), but we’ve got plenty of time to speculate.
In fact, we’ll likely spend plenty of that time speculating whether we even know what happened at the end of Season 2, due to one major aspect of the finale.
If you want to avoid spoilers, stop reading here, but if you’re all caught up then carry on.
OK, you’re still here, so you’ll know the finale – entitled ‘Somewhere Else’ – sees the gang seemingly saved from death, to test whether they really have become better people for their experiences in the fake Good Place.
I say ‘seemingly’ for two reasons – first of all, we only see Eleanor’s full journey, with Chidi entering the fray right at the end of the episode. There’s no sign of Tahani or Jason, and given that we have spent the duration of the two seasons being urged to remain sceptical, we really shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
Secondly, and this is something which plenty of fans of the show have picked up on, we have the issue of Chidi’s accent.
Early in the first season, we learn that Chidi was born in Nigeria and raised in Senegal, meaning his first language is French and – you’d imagine – he has a Senegalese accent. However, at the end of the episode, as Eleanor watches a video of his lecture and flies to Australia to meet him, he sounds distinctly American.
So, what might this mean?
1. It’s an oversight
This feels the most unlikely, considering the show’s stringent attention-to-detail from start to finish. Still, we can’t rule out the idea that – in constructing a deeply convoluted arc – someone high up forgot about this one aspect.
2. Eleanor is in a simulation
When Michael enters Eleanor’s world as a benevolent barman, it’s not just a smart reference to Ted Danson’s past in Cheers. However, by looking at that knowing nod, we might be ignoring the depth of that particular scene. Upon returning, Michael asks Janet whether anyone noticed he was gone – a bizarre question if we consider that would involve him hiding from the omniscient Gen – might he instead be attempting to convince Janet that this simulation is taking place in the real world?
3. We’re not at the moment in time we’ve been led to believe
At the start of Season 2, when Eleanor shows Chidi the ‘Find Chidi’ note she has left herself, he points out that it comes from a book he used to teach entitled What We Owe to Each Other. “I have never seen you before in my life, but I think, somehow, that we know each other”. The question of ‘what we owe to each other’ is also what Michael uses at the end of the finale to lead Eleanor to Chidi. Could this mean we’ve not actually left the infinite loops of the early part of the season, and are just back where we started? Could the near-entirety of the second season have actually been just another loop, wherein the characters are merely led to believe they have broken the cycle.
4. No one has actually gone anywhere
Sure, we might cut to the moment just before Eleanor’s death, but we’re only led to believe this is a real version of that moment, rather than a simulation, due to the narrative framing. Eleanor being in a simulation would explain Chidi’s accent, but what has happened to the other three? Before doing… something, Gen says: “I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.” As suggested on Reddit, if they have legitimately been saved then a change of mind would involve the four humans being killed – if they’re all in simulations as worst, or even all in the same simulation, this issue would be removed.
Of course, this is all just the tip of the iceberg. Knowing the way things have gone so far, we’re likely to encounter a few more elements that we haven’t even considered.
Just another seven months to wait until we find out.