Warning: Contains spoilers for season three of The Good Place.
After consuming all three seasons of NBC's The Good Place like the eternal residents down frozen yogurt, questions abound about what could be in store for the Soul Squad's fourth and final season. On the heels of five Emmy nominations, including for Outstanding Comedy Series, this cosmically minded sitcom is ending the afterlife on top this September.
Here's everything we know about season 4 of The Good Place.
When will it air?
It was announced on the show's official Instagram page that season 4 will premiere on Thursday, September 26. So mark your forking calendars.
Which cast members will be returning?
Basically everyone! In April, a video of the OG cast members on the set of The Good Place assured fans that their faves would return. Michael (Ted Danson), Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Janet (D'Arcy Carden), and Jason/Jianyu (Manny Jacinto) all appear in the clip.
Other major additions to the core cast include Chidi's ex, Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and gossip blogger John Wheaton (Brandon Scott Jones). While the status of other key cast members, including Judge Gen (Maya Rudolph), Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson), and Derek (Jason Mantzoukas) is unclear, all seem likely to return given their sizable season 3 roles.
What are the stakes?
In an interview with TVLine, creator Mike Schur said that if the gang's season 4 experiment works, "they save humanity, and if it doesn't work, then maybe all of humanity is doomed." So it's safe to say final season will continue to to grapple with the existential. Although season 3 didn't end with quite as buzzy of a twist as season 1 ("This is the bad place!") or season 2's launch of the characters back to Earth, emotions ran high at season's end.
The finale left the gang grappling with a new experiment. All four members of the team will work to gain points in the Medium Place, while helping four new people chosen by the Bad Place. Through aiding others in a path to the Good Place, the Soul Squad will also prove their own moral worthiness. However, Michael begins to spiral about the new endeavor and the seeming hopelessness of the afterlife points system.
So in a major role reversal for the series, Eleanor is left as the de facto architect while two new instruments of torture are introduced. "The Gossip Toilet" columnist John, who triggered Tahani while on Earth, and Simone, an ex Chidi has history with, are two of the Bad Place recruits. To avoid conflict with his ex and doom for the experiment, Chidi erases his own memory, and burgeoning love story with Eleanor along with it. "We found each other before hundreds of times," Eleanor promises Chidi in the face of his reboot. "We can do it again." Totally new dynamics are in place for the next season with Chidi rebooted solo and Eleanor as leader of the pack.
Is this really the final season?
We're afraid that The Good Place series finale is not another of the show's signature bait-and-switch tactics. On June 7, Schur announced the heartbreaking news with a lengthy Instagram post. It went as follows:
"After The Good Place was picked up for season two, the writing staff and I began to map out, as best we could, the trajectory of the show. Given the ideas we wanted to explore, and the pace at which we wanted to present those ideas, I began to feel like four seasons — just over 50 episodes — was the right lifespan. At times over the past few years we've been tempted to go beyond four seasons, but mostly because making this show is a rare, creatively fulfilling joy, and at the end of the day, we don't want to tread water just because the water is so warm and pleasant. As such, the upcoming fourth season will be our last."
However, you're not alone in your mourning for the show. Jamil shared an emotional post after her last day shooting The Good Place, while Carden told fans at the show's Comic-Con panel that ending the show, "feels like a breakup when you're still in love with the person, but you know it's not going to last." (I'm not crying, you are.)
What about Chidi and Eleanor?
If forced to reckon with the show's end, one major question lingers: will Chidi and Eleanor end up together? The season 3 finale saw Michael playing a video montage of the lovelorn couple's relationship across hundreds of reboots. It was a bittersweet moment for viewers, who knew Chidi would have no memory of his romance with Eleanor at the start of season 4.
The Groundhog Day tinge to Eleanor and Chidi's future remains one of the true unsolved mysteries of this supernatural sitcom. How will Simone's arrival impact the relationship? Will Eleanor be able to balance running the operation and coming to terms with Chidi's memory loss? And were these two ever supposed to be together in the first place? The show has played with the idea of soulmates throughout its three-season run, so maybe the takeaway was that these two were never exactly meant for each other as they were valued chapters in the other's stories?
What else do we know about Season 4?
Schur told TVLine that the final season would have 14 episodes, ending with an hour-long series finale at some point in 2020. The cast and crew's July Comic-Con panel also offered some key insight into season 4's direction: the finale script is finalized, Bell will direct an episode, and audiences "may meet a new Janet this year," per Schur. The humanized Alexa did reveal that she was becoming less machine and more sentient with each reboot during the season 3 finale. So whether her newfound humanity will be disastrous or desirable for the Soul Squad remains to be seen...
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