The Good Place has always been, well, the place for philosophical questions and good fun, at the same time. It’s ultimate episode, titled “Patty,” could not be the exception to the rule. In fact, it had to be, if anything, the encapsulation of all the good that has gotten us here, and all the questions still to be answered.
Because there are still questions. If The Good Place has shown us anything, it’s that there’s always questions. Just because you do right, because you’re good, well, that doesn’t mean your story suddenly ends with you being good.
It doesn’t mean you get to stop being good, stop trying.
No, being a good person is about continuing, about getting through one obstacle and then another, and yes, then one more. It’s about not giving up – even when you inevitably make mistakes.
Being a good person is about never stopping.
This ties into the idea of the show, the idea of this episode, that even The Good Place is, well …not perfect. Perfection is not a thing. Plus, there is the question of: can we really be happy with perfection?
Is happiness something we can only feel because we’ve experienced failure?
(Now, I’m not going to say that as a sports fan I very much agree with this assessment, but as a sports fan I very much agree with this assessment).
The flaw in The Good Place seems obvious from the beginning: it’s perfect, and everything you ever wanted is …possible. So, of course, getting there would make you incredibly happy, and then you would try a bunch of amazing things, and then, after a while, you’d just run out of amazing things to do. Except you’d still have eternity.
Eternity to do nothing.
Because, and once again, this show just absolutely gets it, the real Good Place, real happiness, isn’t about all the things you can do, all the places you can visit. The Good Place, and happiness, is about having enough time with the people you love.
Things don’t bring happiness, even if they can bring the idea of happiness, for a while. But that never lasts long, and it’s never as fulfilling as it should be. Life is about connections, it’s about falling in love, or finding a friend who just gets you, it’s about the family you are born with, or the family you create.
The Good Place is having love, and getting to enjoy it.
I can’t think of a better message than that one.
Things I think I think:
- FLYING PUPPIES!
- See, you really should have thought of that, Michael. No one would have ever thought they were in The Bad Place if you had flying puppies.
- What would you choose first? Getting back the Energy you had when you were 12, getting to Fully Understand the Meaning of Twin Peaks, hearing Every Nice Thing Someone Has Ever Said Behind Your Back, or feeling A Hug from Grandma?
- Switch out The X-Files for Twin Peaks, and we’re golden.
- Yes, I teared up at the official good place architect thing, sue me.
- EVEN IF I KNEW IT WAS A TRAP.
- I mean, there are worse people they could have left in charge.
- LISA KUDROW.
- Yeah, I don’t think I’m getting over Lisa Kudrow. The guest-stars in these last couple of episodes have been ON POINT.
- It’s Phoebe!
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of “Patty”? Share with us in the comments below.
The Good Place airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC. It will air its series finale next week.