Finally getting around to catching up on the newest season of NBC‘s The Good Place over the holidays but need a refresher? We’ve got you covered! After laying down the facts of the first season, we’re back again with a season 2 rundown that gets you up-to-speed before finally starting the recently-released third season (which started this fall).
As always – as if it needs to be said – spoilers ahead (duh)!
We pick up this season where last season left off – our “good place” is actually the real bad place in disguise, specifically designed to torture our four protagonists. Head Demon Michael (Ted Danson) resets everything from the beginning and wipes their memories each time Eleanor (Kristen Bell) figures out that they’re actually in the bad place, much to the chagrin of the other demons populating the town.
As the heroes continue on the same Sisyphus-esque journey, the locals grow restless – especially “Real Eleanor”aka Vicky (Tiya Sircar), who stages a coup and takes control of the town from Michael, blackmailing him by threatening to turn him into the big “bad place” boss Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson).
The power struggle for the town and the search for a way out by Eleanor and friends continues on for most of the season – until things turn and Michael decides that if Eleanor and the other humans can be better, then he can be better: they all deserve to be in the real good place.
This leads them to the Judge (Maya Rudolph), who decides who goes where in the afterlife. She puts them through individualized tests to determine if they have adequately improved enough to better their afterlife experience.
The tests are inconclusive, and the Judge and Michael (with a little help from D’Arcy Carden‘s friendly neighborhood Janet) decide that they have to wipe their memories and put them back on earth to really see if they really can improve themselves before death.
This season also features a few gems: to get over Jason (Manny Jacinto) and move on, Janet creates her own boyfriend – with disastrous results.
We also get a fabulous standout story in episode 6 “The Trolley Problem,” which illustrates both Chidi’s continual indecisiveness and the classic ethics dilemma of having to choose between taking one life to save many.
Another standout of the season is Michael’s character arc: through the season, be begins to see the demons for the douche bags they truly are. He helps the humans and actively tries to be better, which is refreshing – but then again, I’m just a sucker for a villain-turned-hero arc.
The twist at the end of the series’ first season was absolutely brilliant television – and season 2 continues with that momentum, though not quite as fascinatingly as its predecessor. The final episodes of the season lead up to the twist and while it does justice to the first season’s twist – you see this one coming and it does feel a bit formulaic.
Hopefully, the third season will be just as good as the previous two – if not better – because I can’t forking wait! Except this time, we’ll be down on earth with our human heroes .
What could possibly go wrong with Life 2.0?