Well, this is definitely the second best series Michael Schur has ever done. And no reward for guessing the best one…. Anyway, despite having aired its last episode back in 2020, The Good Place is still an underappreciated series given the comedic talent within it as well as the fact it’s by Michael Schur, so it’ll be slightly funny. Anyway, check out our other rankings of Michael Schur’s shows here and let’s get into some history about The Good Place!
The Good Place first aired in 2016 on NBC and ran for 4 series of 13 episodes each until the cursed year of 2020. The show has received and been nominated for plenty of awards, like the 14 Primetime Emmy nominations and 2 of those were for Outstanding Comedy Series. The show follows Eleanor, played by Kristen Bell, a corrupt pharmaceutical worker who gets confused for a lawyer who saves people from death row in the Good Place (basically Heaven) Here, she desperately has to try and prove she is a good person in order to avoid expulsion with the help of her neighbour Chidi, played by William Jackson Harper. So with the history out of the way, here are the best episodes of the Good Place!
10. Whenever You’re Ready (S4, E13)
And we end at the ending of the show with this great two part episode: Whenever You’re Ready. Also, it delivers an emotionally satisfying end to the narrative as all four lead characters accept their fate and leave the Good Place. Here, we see people confront their parents about the trauma they caused them as well as the fact that Jason waits an eternity to find out if Janet gets a necklace that he made for her. Now that is eternal love… Overall, the series finale wraps up the show in a poignant and heartfelt way, providing closure for the characters.
9. The Answer (S4, E9)
So, if this episode is the answer then what is the question? Cheesy segue aside, this episode explores Chidi’s backstory and how his parents divorce led him to believe there is only one single answer to every question in the world. Bit of a weird supervillain origin story but I digress… Also, there’s yet another example of Eleanor and Chidi being the emotional heart of the show as we see a heartbreaking note that Chidi gave to Janet for safekeeping. Overall, this episode provides important backstory and emotional moments for one of the main characters.
8. Pandemonium (S3, E12)
Once again, the best part of The Good Place is the relationship between Chidi and Eleanor. So, this episode deals with pandemonium in the aftermath of Chidi Sees the Time-Knife as the remaining people for the experiment are revealed. And by sheer coincidence, everyone has a connection to one of the main characters because the plot demands it. Also, the scene of an amnesiac Chidi being welcomed by Eleanor is emotional and almost akin to when Amy and Jake finally become official. All in all, the third season finale wraps up the season’s storylines with a satisfying and unexpected conclusion.
7. Chidi Sees the Time-Knife (S3, E11)
I mean this is arguably where the Good Place starts going utterly nuts when it gets into experiments in worlds to see whether or not humans are good enough at moral decision making. What this leads to is a complicated plot where one of the ‘moderately bad’ humans chosen, Derek, may be Janet’s ex throwing an enormous spanner into the works. So while it’s utterly mental, the penultimate episode of the third season is full of twists and turns, building anticipation for the finale.
6. Janet(s) (S3, E9)
While this episode mainly focuses on Janet, it is weirdly heartwarming and frustrating that this episode devolves into the power of love saving the day. Anyway, with all the characters now looking and behaving like Janet in a weird simulation world, they have to figure out a way to escape Janet’s void. And by sheer coincidence that involves Chidi kissing Eleanor to prevent her having a mental breakdown and destroying Janet’s void. Besides the copout power of love ending, this is a great episode that delves into the character of Janet, providing a unique and emotional perspective.
5. Somewhere Else (S2, E12)
Speaking of that Michael ex-machina, this episode sees a lot of kissing and moral desert, so I’m sure that’ll appeal to some people. Also, there’s plenty of emotional moments like when Eleanor eventually crumbles and turns back to her old career of scamming using pharmaceuticals and Michael meets with her to show her a lecture by Chidi. Honestly that revelation and eventual reunion between Eleanor and Chidi is heartwarming as hell. Also, the fact Michael is sitting there smiling knowing he has potentially saved the pair is again weirdly heartwarming and charming. Overall, the season finale of the second season offers surprising developments and sets the stage for the next chapter.
4. The Burrito (S2, E11)
Now this episode doesn’t have that much to do with burritos unfortunately which is a shame but it does have some interesting moral dilemmas. Anyway, this episode sees all four lead characters having to all pass moral dilemmas so they can get out of The Bad Place. Interestingly, all four opt to try and pass together thus increasing the drama. But despite Eleanor’s best efforts the group fails and needs a Gabriel ex machina to try and save them from returning to the Bad Place. Overall, a hilarious and clever exploration of ethical dilemmas and the consequences of one’s actions.
3. Existential Crisis (S2, E4)
Well, the title ain’t joking, this is an episode where plenty of the characters go through existential struggles about themselves. Case in point, Michael who is despondent over the possibility of ‘retirement’ and in an existential crisis due to his immortality. Unfortunately for everyone else, that is soon replaced by a midlife crisis. Out of the frying pan and into the frying pan much? Anyway, this episode also sees Eleanor remember her formative experiences about death and my good isn’t this supposed to be a comedy? Because this episode really is dead funny…. Anyway, this episode explores the characters’ existential struggles, and the humor is both clever and thought-provoking.
2. Michael’s Gambit (S1, E13)
Just like British Politics, this is a twist you’ll never see coming… unless you’ve seen the show before. Anyway, the main plotline of this episode revolves around Eleanor and Jason having to work out who to send to the Bad Place as their replacements. Now that sounds simple enough but trying to get someone to leave a form of Heaven is quite a hard sell. Anyway, there’s also a subplot about Michael redesigning homes but I’m sure that won’t factor into the twist ending at all. Overall, the season finale of the first season contains a major twist that sets the tone for the rest of the series.
1. Everything is Fine (S1, E1)
Well we all know what that sentence and title implies…. Anyway, the best episode of the Good Place is its first episode: Everything is Fine. Now as every good pilot should do, it introduces the audience to its world and characters very effectively. Also, the comedic elements are right in play from the beginning as its revealed Eleanor died after shopping trolleys pulled her into traffic. Good start from Schur there… It immediately throws the audience into a moral dilemma as should they be rooting for Eleanor who accidentally fluked a good afterlife. Overall, a fantastic episode and beginning of the series which introduces us to Eleanor Shellstrop and sets the stage for the unique premise of the show.