‘The Good Place’ 4×01 Review: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

It feels hard to believe that this is it, the final season of The Good Place is here, and we’ve already watched an episode  of it (ironically titled “A Girl From Arizona”). Someone save us from having to exist in a world without this show!

Okay, fine, that was more than a tad melodramatic, especially for a premiere that was kinda slow – even if it manages to be also charming – but the point still stands. Even when The Good Place doesn’t wow me, it still does a really good job of entertaining me, and in this day and age, even that feels like a win.

But also, I think that, considering this season will be the last, it would be good for us to take this premiere and use it as a measuring stick for our characters, for the whole message of the show. So allow me to do just that, as we start the journey of season four by reviewing “A Girl From Arizona”:

THIS IS WHERE WE STARTED

With Eleanor, Chidi, Jason and Tahani on the other side of this experiment, one that wasn’t meant to save anyone – much less everyone, but that was meant to get these four humans to torture each other for eternity. And torture each other they did, but they also, strangely enough, learned to rely on each other, to care for each other. They became family.

And, even more strangely, that family has expanded to include Michael, the demon who was originally set out to torture them, and who also grew and learned that despite being a demon, he didn’t have to choose the same path as the others; and Janet, an inter-dimensional being who’s supposed to have no feelings!

Talk about progress.

THIS IS WHERE WE ARE

This team, this family, is tasked with the most important task anyone has been ever tasked with, and that’s not even hyperbole: they have to save humanity, by proving that they weren’t a fluke, and change isn’t only possible for Eleanor, Tahani, Chidi and Jason. No, all humans can, indeed, get better. We can learn, we can grow, we can improve. The way we are isn’t static, it’s ever evolving.

Growth is a choice we make.

At its core, this is the message of The Good Place, the reason for these four seasons, and it’s truly an important message to send in this day and age. Maybe you’ve done bad things, maybe you’ve made mistakes, but you are not the sum of your mistakes, you are the decisions you make going forward – and those decisions can always be better, as can you.

Years from now, when we reflect on this show, on what it taught us, I hope we focus on this, just as much as I hope we, as a society, can take that message to heart and start, you know, improving.

Things I think I think:

  • “Now I’ll never forget” / “Well, you might”
  • IT HURTS.
  • Legitimately, it does. How do I care so much about Eleanor and Chidi if this show has never actually made a big deal about their feelings for each other?
  • Or maybe it’s because that?
  • I don’t know, but trust me, I care.
  • The bad guys get pep talks too!
  • “Like that chick from Law and Order”
  • LOL, Eleanor. I have never watched an episode of SVU, but even I know her name.
  • Then again, you are still Eleanor. Improved version or not.
  • Brent is my literal nightmare.
  • HE’S A DUDEBRO WHO BROUGHT UP CAPTAIN MARVEL. I have had arguments with 20 clones of him online.
  • Fifty, even.
  • Michael’s like “I would like to be excluded from this narrative.”
  • But guess what, Michael? You’re not Taylor Swift.
  • I know Simone is supposed to be funny, but I just feel bad for her. She was a sweet person while she was alive, and though Chidi doesn’t, probably can’t love her, that was never what her happy ending was.
  • “I believe everything Chidi ever tells me.”
  • ME TOO.
  • Derek stopped being as amusing as he was at the beginning about half a season ago.
  • Oh, wait …

Agree? Disagree? Did you enjoy “A Girl from Arizona”? Share with us in the comments below!

The Good Place airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.

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