Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Good Place season 4, episode 9.
The Good Place has taken its four lost souls (and Janet, and Michael) to hell and back, but the show is coming to an end in 2020, with just five episodes left. The midseason finale saw Chidi wake up and regain hundreds of years of memories, both in the afterlife and on Earth. Now it's up to Chidi to devise a new and fairer afterlife, and save humanity from being wiped from existence.
This is the final season of The Good Place, which was created by Michael Schur (Parks and Recreation) and premiered on NBC in 2016. Kristen Bell stars as Eleanor Shellstrop, a self-proclaimed "Arizona dirtbag" who is killed by some runaway shopping carts and finds herself mistakenly sent to the Good Place, a part of the afterlife reserved for only the most incredible and morally pure people. However, season 1 ended with the big twist that the Good Place was actually the Bad Place, and Eleanor and her three friends were all being subjected to an experimental form of psychological torture.
Over the course of the series we've been to the real Bad Place, the Medium Place, the actual Good Place, and a few neutral places in between. Now everything as stake, as the almighty judge has agreed with Michael and Eleanor's argument that the current afterlife points system is incredibly unfair - and to fix it, she wants to erase humanity and start over again. Can Team Cockroach save the day? Well, we'll find out in just a few weeks.
The Good Place Season 4 Will Return in January 2020
The Good Place is on hiatus over the holiday season, but will resume with season 4, episode 10 on Thursday, January 9 2020, at 8:30/7:30c on NBC. Though the series is ending with season 4, it's not because it's been cancelled by NBC; Schur has said that he decided season 4 would be the natural endpoint of the story while working on season 2. Hopefully that means we're in for a satisfying conclusion.
The Good Place Has Five Episodes Left
There are 14 episodes in total in the final season of The Good Place, so the Soul Squad has just five episodes left to wrap up the story, save humanity, and finally make it to the Good Place (or the new version of it) themselves. This is slightly longer than the three previous seasons, each of which had 13 episodes. Considering that The Good Place season 4 has to provide a definitive answer to how to morally judge people and sentence them accordingly in the afterlife, an additional episode is probably warranted.
What To Expect in The Good Place Season 4B
The Good Place's season 4 fall finale, "The Answer," was a deep-dive into Chidi's backstory as he recovered his memories. Upon waking up and being asked to devise a new afterlife, he didn't get his usual stomach ache, but instead seemed fairly calm and clear-headed. Retrieving a piece of paper that he'd given to Janet before having his memory wiped, Chidi read the message that he'd left for himself: "There is no 'answer.' But Eleanor is the answer."
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, William Jackson Harper (who plays Chidi) explained this message as being "the most basic, completely un-nuanced view of contractualism... the point of existence is other people." This suggests that his design for a new afterlife will be based around the idea of contractualism - less about rewarding people with a paradise and every material item they could ever wish for, and more about who they end up in the afterlife with. Harper also had this to say about the final episodes of the show:
"We go all over the place. Now there are no more secrets being held, and it's just sort of a free for all. It's pretty fun. We go to some strange, strange places, but we are a group again. The Soul Squad is back in full effect, which makes me happy."
This strongly suggests that we're not going to be spending the next five episodes stuck in the judge's chambers with Chidi and his blackboard, but exploring some other weird corners of the afterlife. It remains to be seen if things can get any weirder than the IHOP, but we'll find out when The Good Place returns next year.