DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Good Place episode “Pandemonium” contains more spoilers than the number of times Eleanor has commented on her physical attractiveness. That’s a whole forking lot. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, my chili babies! The Good Place Season 3 came to an end this week, much to the dismay of the human race. “Pandemonium” rendered me an emotional wreck, which is something I never expect when watching this series. Eleanor became the “face” of this new neighborhood while Michael vowed to work behind the scenes. Chidi’s ex-girlfriend Simone was chosen as one of the new humans, courtesy of the Bad Place. Unfortunately, Chidi didn’t believe he could be objective and feasibly teach Simone ethics during the experiment. Thus, he asked Michael to wipe his memory. This meant he would also forget his time with Eleanor. Cue the waterworks, Soul Squad. If Eleanor and Chidi can’t be together, then love doesn’t exist.
Alright, ready to delve into “Pandemonium?” Just be sure to keep a hefty box of tissues at the ready. You’ll need it.
We open right where we left off: Michael (Ted Danson) is having a nervous breakdown at the mere thought of beginning to orchestrate a new neighborhood. Thus, Eleanor (Kristen Bell) swoops in to save the day. She ushers John (Brandon Scott Jones) into Michael’s office, assuming the mantle of architect. Eleanor explains the whole spiel – he’s dead, this is the Good Place, you lived a morally sound life, etc. Then, she introduces John to the neighborhood. She calls upon Janet (D’Arcy Carden) to finish the tour with John.
Next, Eleanor and Michael meet with Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Jason (Manny Jacinto). Eleanor doles out tasks for her friends. Chidi is asked to meet with Janet and decipher the strange writing in John’s files. Tahani gets to work on throwing the most lavish neighborhood bash known to humankind. Jason is ordered to remain silent. Someone give this man a lollipop!
Later, Eleanor catches up with Chidi to check on his progress with the files. Chidi confesses that Eleanor being his unofficial “boss” was revving up his engine. Eleanor, of course, is immensely proud of him. They’re a match made in horn-dog heaven.
Meanwhile, Tahani meets John. The latter explains that he ran a blog on Earth that critiqued Tahani’s every move. Of course, Tahani would remember someone who essentially tortured her…via the internet. After an excruciating interaction with John, Tahani marches into Michael’s office and brings a new theory to light. The Bad Place didn’t choose four humans best suited to the experiment – they chose four humans to torture our Soul Squad! Plot twist! However, this also isn’t entirely surprising considering Shawn is a naughty bench.
Now, Tahani’s theory is 100% solidified when Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) is selected as the next human. Chidi’s ex-girlfriend, whom he left to join the Soul Squad and inevitably rekindle the flames with Eleanor. Michael, infuriated, calls up Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) and the Judge (Maya Rudolph). Shawn admits to selecting humans meant to torture our heroes. However, the Judge never specified if the aforementioned selection process banned such a thing. The Judge allows it, and urges our crew to continue with the experiment.
Next, Eleanor and Michael introduce Simone to the neighborhood. Chidi vows to stay out of the way. He’s fearful he’ll say the wrong thing to jog Simone’s memory of their time together. Thus, Eleanor urges Simone to only interact with her and Michael for the first 6,000 years. Thankfully, time flies when you’re living out eternity.
Later, Chidi enters Michael’s office and admits that he’s compromised by Simone’s presence. He can’t objectively teach her ethics if they were formerly in a relationship. Chidi proposes that Michael wipes his memory. Eleanor is initially on board with this when it’s assumed that only Simone will be erased from Chidi’s mind. However, Michael forlornly reveals that the whole of Chidi’s memory will be wiped – including his time with Eleanor. Michael will have to wipe Chidi’s memory to right after the latter perished on Earth. Michael refuses to accept this, and vows to come up with another solution.
Then, Eleanor unites the Soul Squad to announce Chidi’s memory wipe. The Bad Place has successfully owned them once again with this elaborate ruse. Michael finally admits that the memory wipe is the only plausible solution to the issue at hand. Tahani and Jason make their tearful goodbyes to the Chidi they currently know.
Later, Eleanor and Chidi are sitting outside alone, spending their last moments together as a couple. Chidi tells her it’s “Jeremy Bearimy, baby,” and I never thought I’d sob at the mention of a made up phrase for a fictional TV series. Michael surprises the couple with a video montage of moments they may have forgotten. Moments as a couple that were wiped from their collective memory during the many neighborhood reboots of the past. We watched as Eleanor and Chidi danced in the rain, sharing a steamy smooch. The many times they studied together, laughed together and snogged together. Eleanor and Chidi were in tears by the end of the montage, as was everyone else on the planet with the ability to feel emotions. This broke me.
Next, we see Eleanor calling Janet into Michael’s office post-Chidi memory wipe. She asks Janet to give her the answer to everything – the ultimate answer to the universe’s cruel jokes. She’s heartbroken that, once again, an obstacle stands in the way of her being with Chidi. Janet urges her to “embrace the pandemonium,” the insanity that is life. This scene is absolutely stellar, and Janet’s words will stay with me forever. Life is pandemonium. However, I have all the faith in the world that Eleanor and Chidi will find each other again, as they always do.
Now, Eleanor calls in a memory-less Chidi into the office, ready to introduce him to the Good Place.
The Good Place made me feel so many emotions this week. It was a stark reminder that I’m not a robot, just like Janet. Seldom does a series make me laugh, gasp, cry and utterly enraged in one sitting. But The Good Place is brilliantly sharp, and good writing should elicit these emotions from the viewer. This series knows how to incessantly reinvent itself to stay fresh. While my heart is broken, I can’t wait to see where Season 4 takes us with this new neighborhood experiment. That’s all for now, my chili babies. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to write “Eleanor + Chidi Forever” in my spiral notebook.
The Good Place will return for Season 4 in late 2019 on your NBC affiliate.