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Recap / The Good Place S 4 E 13 Whenever Youre Ready

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"With all the joy in my heart, and all the wisdom in the universe, take it sleazy."
-Michael

The new system for the afterlife is working. Michael and Janet have regular meetings with the Judge, Shawn, and the Accountants to smooth out bumps in the road, and can see that millions of humans are being properly sent to their appropriate destinies. And those in the Good Place are making the choice to leave once they are ready.

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The first of the Soul Squad humans to feel ready to leave the Good Place is Jason. He's won a perfect game in Madden NFL, after hundreds of thousands of tries, and he's reached the end of his goals in the afterlife. He tells his friends and throws a big farewell party, with everyone Jason knew in life who are now in the afterlife themselves, including Donkey Doug, Pillboi, and the members of Jason's dance group, in attendance. It's a fun, wild, and joyous affair, with Jason describing his feelings of completion and contentment to Chidi and Eleanor.

The next day, Jason and Janet walk in the woods to the Last Door. He had made a necklace for her to remember him by, but he can't find it. Janet reassures Jason that she'll never forget him. They say a final goodbye to each other and Janet leaves him alone at the bench to go through the Last Door when he's ready.

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Tahani, meanwhile, has been spending her afterlife mastering every practical skill she can think of, from wood carving to computer programming. She has also made peace with her parents (who are racked with guilt at how they had treated their daughters) and Kamilah, finally gaining the happy family she's always wanted. She feels complete, and calls her friends in for a last get-together. During the party, however, Tahani changes her mind about leaving, coming to the realization that she would be wasting all the knowledge she's gained by going through the door. She decides to become an Architect like Michael and continue helping people. Michael takes Tahani through the Hub and over to the architects' facility to meet with Glenn (who has since reformed himself after getting blown up) and the Good Place architect Beadie and start her apprenticeship, giving her the peacock bowtie he'd worn when he had first met her as a gift.

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Chidi and Eleanor have been happily going through the works of famous philosophers and hanging out with their friends and family members who've made it to the Good Place. Eleanor quickly suspects that Chidi is ready to go and is determined to keep him staying with her. She takes him on a whirlwind tour of Athens and Paris, which were important places in his life. Chidi admits he'd already reached that feeling of satisfaction a long time ago, but continued staying because he knew Eleanor wouldn't accept it. Eleanor tearfully lets Chidi go, knowing it would be selfish of her to force him to stay when he's ready to pass over. On their last night together, Chidi reassures Eleanor that he'll always be with her in a way and promises to leave before she wakes up the next morning. When the next morning comes, Eleanor wakes up alone in bed with a final parting gift from Chidi. Janet takes Chidi to the Last Door, where the two of them share a goodbye hug before he walks through.

Just after Chidi goes through the door, Jason pops out from behind a tree, startling Janet. He reveals that he eventually did find the necklace he had meant to give her and couldn't bear to leave until he gave it to her, so he quietly and patiently waited in the forest for her to come back. He puts the necklace on Janet (a heart-shaped pendant with "J+J" engraved into it) and says a final goodbye to her before racing after Chidi through the door.

Eleanor, upon rewatching the video of herself and Chidi confessing their love for each other, realizes that Mindy isn't getting the chance to be re-evaluated by the new system. She goes to the Medium Place, meeting with Derek who has been rebooted over 150 million times. Eleanor argues that Mindy owes it to herself to shoot for something better than eternal mediocrity but Mindy is reluctant to be evaluated by some stranger. Eleanor takes her to the Architect center where Tahani is, and Mindy accepts being evaluated by Tahani once she's finished her apprenticeship.

Eleanor feels ready to leave but Michael also wants to go through the door, as he feels he's accomplished everything and no longer knows what to do anymore now that the Judge has stopped the meetings due to how well the new system works. But as the Last Door wasn't made for him, Eleanor gets an idea. She gets the Judge to agree to let Michael go to Earth and live as a human being. Michael is turned into a human and says goodbye to Janet, promising her that they'll see each other again. In his new human life, Michael makes friends, makes mistakes (and learns from them), and experiences new things.

Feeling whole and complete, Eleanor shares a last margarita and chat with Janet before she goes through the Last Door. Her soul is scattered into the fabric of the cosmos as thousands of little sparks of light. One spark goes to Earth, touching the soul of a man getting his mail at his apartment. He's about to throw away something that was wrongly delivered to him, but Eleanor's soul fragment inspires him to deliver it to the proper address instead. It's addressed to Michael, who is giddy upon seeing the grocery store rewards card he'd applied for has come. Michael thanks his neighbor and tells him to "take it sleazy".


Tropes:

  • All of Time at Once: In this episode, Janet reveals she perceives time this way, which means that even the sad farewells we see here aren't truly final — in Janet's mind nothing ever truly ends. (And yet, even so, future events can still surprise her, or at least make her act surprised.)
  • Ambiguous Ending: Played with. We do get an unambiguous, final closure for all of the main human characters showing how they complete their evolution and pass on out of the Good Place. We learn nothing about what happened on Earth during this time, though — just that all their friends and family eventually died and joined them, which was always inevitable — and the final ending has Michael pop into mortal existence in the present day, with Janet warning him the future will now be totally unknown to him, just as it is to us. (Even the hope of reuniting with her in the Good Place is uncertain, because the whole theme of the show is the rules of the afterlife can always change.) And that's just the way he likes it.
  • Arc Number:
    • 322, the original number of residents in the neighborhood in Season 1 (a reference to the Skull and Bones society at Yale). It shows up again as the number of frog-themed gifts the Doorman has accumulated — with Michael's gift of a real frog making 323, symbolizing Michael's decision to go from Architect to resident and Become a Real Boy. It's also the number of Michael's apartment in the final scene.
    • Also 12358, the numerical part of the original Good Place neighborhood's designation (12358W), which is also the number of passing yards Jason gets in his perfect game of Madden, and is the house number for Michael's apartment building.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence:
    • Derek has been rebooted over 150 million times that he has evolved past his humanoid form, becoming an omnipresent mini supernova space cloud. And yet, he still somehow is a Third-Person Person.
    • Those who walk through the door leading out of the Good Place meet an ending something like this — no one, not even Michael and Janet, actually knows what they experience, only that it's an end to their conscious identity as themselves. The ending sequence implies they scatter as particles throughout the universe to merge with other souls and make them just a tiny bit better.
  • As Himself: Tahani gets Nick Offerman to teach her woodworking. The credits list his character name as Nick Offerman, not Ron Swanson.
  • Back for the Finale: Just about every supporting character, including Donkey Doug, Jeff the Doorman, Doug Forcett, Pillboi, Simone, Uzo, John, Glenn, and Kamilah to name a few. Eleanor's parents sadly are among the few who don't, but they are mentioned. Even small-time characters appear, such as Beadie, the Good Place architect that appeared in the Medium Place orientation video from Mindy's debut episode.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • After Jeff the Doorman is given a real frog by Michael, he says he knows just what to name it... and says Mr. Jumpy Legs.
    • Michael, overwhelmed by gratitude to the man who was inspired by Eleanor's soul spark to give him his misdelivered mail rather than throwing it out, says he's going to give him some cosmic wisdom from the afterlife... and then takes the opportunity to finally use his Catchphrase, "Take it sleazy."
    • The episode opens with Michael speaking into his old dictophone, proclaiming that he's beginning attempt no. 803 of the original experiment, implying that the previous three seasons and Michael's Heel–Face Turn were all part of the torture, only to reveal that it's actually his 803rd attempt at writing a song.
  • Became the Mask: At the end of the day, each of the four humans becomes the person they were pretending to be in the first fake Good Place:
    • The "real" Eleanor Shellstrop was said to be an absurdly compassionate human rights activist and lawyer. Our Eleanor successfully argues with the Judge to reform the afterlife system, for the good of all of humanity.
    • Chidi applies his knowledge in ethics to build a system that teaches people how to become better.
    • Tahani's false pretense was her selfless philanthropic work, though she really did so for attention. When she decides to become an Architect, she does so out of a genuine desire to help others.
    • Jason spends untold amounts of time alone in the forest in meditation, just like Jianyu the monk. Janet lampshades this.
  • Become a Real Boy: The finale finally pays off years of hints that this was always Michael's deepest desire and true destiny — the overwhelming fascination with humanity and dissatisfaction with his own nature as an eternal demon that led him to create the false Good Place in the first place, triggering all the other events of the plot, culminate in the revelation that he'll never be truly happy until he experiences humanity himself.
  • Big Eater: Doug Forcett makes it to the Good Place and enjoys his just reward by stuffing his face full of fried chickennote . Justified, as he'd spent his earthly life eating nothing else besides radishes, lentils and recycled water.
  • Big Good: This setting was formerly famous for not having any character who fills this role — Gen, the Judge, has a Blue-and-Orange Morality that almost led to her destroying the universe, and the original Good Place Committee was mostly known for being useless. Now the universe finally has a Big Good: Michael, who is the new ruler of the Good Place and sits on the Council as humanity's greatest advocate. He kicks ass at it, too... So much so that he soon puts himself out of a job.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The new system works and everyone eventually become good enough to enter eternal paradise. Tahani reconciles with her family, who have reformed. Jason, Chidi, and Eleanor, however, choose to walk through the door, leaving Janet and Tahani behind. Tahani is allowed to intern and become an afterlife architect and seems to take to it. Michael is given permission to become a human on Earth, which means he gives up his powers and he won't see Janet and Tahani until he dies and passes the trials in the Bad Place. Even though that means he'll be tortured by Shawn and Vicky, who will definitely have him run the gamut, Michael is excited to be really human and no longer a fire squid. He starts with guitar lessons to master something he wants to do, rather than something he has to do.
  • Book-Ends:
    • Michael once created the persona of Jianyu the monk to torture Jason, who couldn't stand any amount of time without the stimulation of video games and partying and drugs to keep him from getting bored. In this episode, Jason spends untold eons of time waiting in the forest by the door peacefully waiting for Janet to return so he can give her the necklace he made for her, in total silence and solitude so as not to disturb the others who've come to leave. As Janet wryly observes, somehow along the way Jason has become the mask.
    • The series began with Michael opening the door and telling Eleanor to "come on in". Now, the reverse happens.
    • The setting of Michael's new life on Earth turns out to be Eleanor's stomping grounds in Phoenix, Arizona.
    • In the final scene, Michael receives a rewards card for Coyote Joe's, the grocery store where Eleanor died in the first episode of the series.
  • Brick Joke: Shawn once again grumbles "Shut up Glenn", although he now does it as a reflexive tic while trying to make something not sound evil.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Michael is very seriously warned that if he truly becomes human he will lose all of his authority as an Architect and go through everything other humans do — including being completely at the mercy of the afterlife when he dies, even if Shawn should overturn the system just for the sake of torturing him eternally. It turns out that the vulnerability and uncertainty of true mortality is exactly what Michael wants.
    • Janet, to a lesser extent. Unlike Michael she can never actually become human or be less than what she is but she reveals when she's with Jason she turns off some of her omniscience so she can truly be present with him.
  • Call-Back: As to be expected of an hour-long Grand Finale.
    • Michael at the start of the episode says into a recorder that he is starting Attempt #803... at writing a good guitar song.
    • When Chidi says that their next lecture would be on the Trolley Problem, the student he says will be giving it says to bring a poncho because it "gets messy", implying that it is like when Michael tortured Chidi with it in "The Trolley Problem".note 
    • When Chidi first had his memories restored, he confessed his Tragic Flaw is "I'll never be able to walk through a door not knowing what's on the other side." In this episode he does exactly that.
    • In "Employee of the Bearimy", Tahani realized that she had no practical skills other than party-planning and wanted to learn to do other things. Here it is revealed that she has been spending all of her free time in the Good Place learning every practical skill she could think of, including carpentry, flying a helicopter and defusing bombs. She even put her many skills into practice by preparing her own farewell party, having cooked all the food, mixed all of the drinks, made all of the furniture, repainted all the walls in her mansion and trained all of the animals to act as butlers.
    • The Al-Jamils watch Home Alone together, which Jason had shown Tahani for the first time in "Derek".
    • Beadie, who along with Trevor briefed Mindy St. Clair on the medium place way back in Season 1, is shown designing afterlives and is training Tahani to do the same. Glenn is also now not goop anymore, and is doing the same as Beadie.
    • In Season 2, Tahani is the one who realizes that the only way out of their predicament is to "Talk to the Manager", i.e. the Judge. When Michael is reluctant to help Tahani become an architect like him, she responds "Don't make me talk to your manager."
    • Eleanor has finally finished reading the book Chidi gave his lecture on in Season 3, T.M. Scanlon's What We Owe to Each Other, and the message of the book — the concept of moral contractualism, that the rules we choose to live by must be fair to the other people we interact with and not one-sidedly selfish — is what prompts Eleanor's realization she has to let Chidi go.
    • Chidi's parting gift for Eleanor is a calendar of himself in numerous costumes and poses, including a Sexy Mailman outfit and dressing up as her Celebrity Crush "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
    • Doug Forcett appears as the younger version seen in Michael's photo.
    • Jason's farewell party has his "Dance Dance Resolution" dance crew there giving a pretty epic break dance.
    • The street address of Michael's apartment building in Phoenix is 12358, the same number as the Bad Place designation for his original neighborhood (12358W) and a reference to the Fibonacci sequence.
    • Michael's apartment number is 322, the official number of residents in the original neighborhood and the Arc Number for the show.
    • When Eleanor walks through her final door, we see that her essence scatters across the world to help people be a little better. This is in contrast to the torturous "retirement" Bad Place architects previously expected.
    • Michael's last words and the last words of the series are him fulfilling his wish from Season 1, to "get a rewards card, any rewards card", and to tell someone "Take it sleazy".
    • In the Season 3 finale, Tahani says that if she could pick anyone to impersonate an immortal deity, it would be herself. Here, she actually becomes an immortal Good Place architect instead of going through the door.
    • Eleanor's explanation to Michael of her epiphany of how to help him is similar to her Season 1 explanation of how she realized that she was in The Bad Place:
    Season 1: It took me a while to figure it out. But just now, as we were all fighting, and yelling at each other, and each one of us demanding we should go to the Bad Place, I thought to myself, "Man, this is torture." And then it hit me: they're never gonna call a train to take us to the Bad Place. They can't. Because we're already here. This is the Bad Place.
    Season 4: You know, it took me awhile to figure it out. But earlier, when you were walking back and forth through the door, it hit me: you will never be at peace until you get the one thing you truly want.
  • Character Development:
    • Chidi conclusively overcomes his indecisiveness and confidently steps through to the next step of his journey with no hesitation.
    • Jason gains impulse control and spends an eternity quietly waiting for his Janet to return so he can give her the gift he thought he lost.
    • Tahani learns countless practical skills that are unrelated to event planning, eventually deciding to put those skills to use by becoming an architect so she can sincerely help others.
    • Janet seems to have learned to come to terms with her emotional complexity, seeing all of her friends leave without it overwhelming her. The least in-control we see her is with Michael on his way to Earth, acting like a doting mom seeing her kid leave for college.
    • Eleanor has come a long way from her roots as an Arizona trashbag, as it does not take long for her to realize that forcing Chidi to stay with her in the afterlife is selfish and lets him leave.
    • In his last scene, Shawn is shown sincerely trying not to be mean. He still hasn't gotten it right, but he's making an effort.
    • Defied for Brent, who is up to Attempt #15,734 of his trials and still getting stuck on elementary stuff like not telling a woman to smile. Actual felons such as Pillboi and Donkey Doug got through far earlier.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Jason is the first member of the cast to depart the afterlife, and he makes a necklace for Janet to remember her by, but being the same forgetful Jason, he loses it on the way to the door in the forest. Janet tells him not to worry about it, since she doesn't need any tokens in order to remember him, and they have their farewell. Many Bearamies later, in a shocking and surprisingly touching moment, we learn Jason stayed in the forest searching for the necklace, while living an eternity of quiet, lonely contemplation in the forest until the next time Janet returned so he can give it to her. When she finally did return, with Chidi, Jason was at last able to give her the necklace, having found it in his other pocket which he never checked.
  • Continuity Nod: Janet still can't eat; when she summons a final round of margaritas for Eleanor, she sniffs the glass she's holding.
  • Creative Closing Credits: On Netflix, instead of the credits appearing over the final scene, like they usually do, they appear on a black background while part of "The Purple Train to Groovy City" plays.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Mike Schur has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as an afterlife being who is still testing Brent (albeit, it's just the back of his head).
    • Todd May, consultant to the show and author of Death, appears as himself, having died and now attends Chidi's lectures. Funny enough, the lecture is about his book. Chidi then yields the floor to the show's other consultant on philosophy, Dr. Pamela Hieronymi, for a lecture on the Trolley Problem.
  • Crossover: Although hopes for an official Parks and Recreation crossover were Jossed with the reveal Nick Offerman was cast As Himself rather than Ron Swanson, his scene is therefore a crossover of sorts with his non-fiction show Making It, with his character critiquing Tahani's woodworking exactly as he does with contestants in Real Life.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Tahani is the first human to become an Architect and create new worlds in the afterlife herself, something Michael thought was impossible (even after having Eleanor pose as an Architect for the sake of the experiment in the first half of Season 4).
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Michael is not happy when he finds out that his system works so well that the council has been dissolved and he now has infinite time with nothing meaningful to do.
  • Distant Finale: Set hundreds of Jeremy Bearimys into the future, enough that the Soul Squad's friends and families have all died and successfully went through the afterlife tests.
  • Driven to Suicide: When the council meetings have finished and he no longer has a purpose in life, Michael tries walking through the doorway, clearly more upset than content. It doesn't work because he isn't human, which gives Eleanor an idea.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Everyone works hard to earn their place in the Good Place and live out their paradise, which ends up being the theme of the whole show. Doug Forcett especially stands out, as he'd driven himself to painful extremes of altruism in his life to earn the points necessary and made himself miserable in the process.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: First played straight by conveniently showing the Acropolis in Athens. Downplayed later with the Paris scenes, which were actually filmed in Paris but avoided the most obvious landmarks, including the Trope Namer. note 
  • Face Death with Dignity: This is how humans' time in the Good Place ends. They realize they've accomplished everything they aspire to and have nothing left to do or prove. So, they ask to be taken to the door and are given all the time they need to sort out their final thoughts before they make their final choice and step through to find eternal peace.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Chidi says he's read every book on morality and philosophy as has started on mainstream fare like The Da Vinci Code but declares it to be garbage. This is the first hint that he's reached the end of his time in the Good Place.
    • Tahani proving that a human can transcend their limitations and become an Architect is foreshadowing for the ending of the episode, in which Michael does the exact reverse.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Jason wakes up in bed with Janet, his tank top has the same pattern of Janet's standard blouse.
    • The membership agreement on Michael's new Coyote Joe discount club card says that his purchasing information will be used for targeted advertising on Facebook. This seems to delight him as much as everything else about the foibles of life on Earth.
    • Trevor is still flying through the Void Between the Worlds in the far distance where Gen banished him in Season 3.
    • Brent is apparently still going through the Bad Place tests, is now up to attempt #15,734, and is currently trying to wrap his head around the concept of why it's bad to tell a woman to smile.
    • Tahani's To Do List is full of various things she wants to do, all of them either typical of her or oddly low-brow.
      #9358: Land a Triple Axel
      #9359: Solve the Poincaré Conjecture
      #9360: Perform "Il dolce suono" from Lucia di Lammermoor at La Scala
      #9361: Burp the Alphabet
      #9362: Become a Master Woodworker
      #9363: Learn how to repack a Driveway
      #9364: Break Graham Gooch’s record of 456 runs in a single test
      #9365: Master Conduction (Orchestra)
      #9366: Master Conduction (Train)
      #9367: Beat NBA Jam on All-Star
      #9367: Free solo the Colossus of Rhodes
      #9369: Fix the Jesus Fresco That Lady Messed Up
      #11332: Write "Tahani Al Jamil's Borges's Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote"
      #11333: Make a Vegan Dessert that Nobody Suspects is Vegan
      #11334: Invent New Musical Instrument
      #11335: Truly Nail the Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes Rap from "Waterfalls"
      #11336: Finish Infinite Jest
      #11337: Spend one meaningful day with my parents
      #11338: Problematically Objectify Eleanor
    • Jason's final stats from his perfect game of Madden include some numerical jokes:
      • His number of passing yards is 12,358, the numerical designation for the original Good Place neighborhood (taken from the Fibonacci sequence).
      • His number of rushing yards is 11,271, the same as the career total of Fred Taylor, legendary running back for his beloved Jacksonville Jaguars.
      • His number of takeaways is 69.
    • The coffee shop Michael walks out of in the montage of his life advertises itself as "Home of the Unnecessarily Complicated Pourover!" Its slogan, "Have some coffee, you'll be fine", is a Call-Back to the slogan of Michael's Good Place in Season 1, "Everything Is Fine".
    • A freeze frame of Michael looking at the poster for guitar lessons reveals Mary Steenburgen's Cameo character of Michael's guitar teacher goes by "Guitar Mary".
    • Michael's new residence has several:
      • The apartment number is 322, the same as the number of people in the original neighbourhood.
      • The apartment building has the number 12358, calling back to the original neighbourhood's number (12358W) and the Fibonacci sequence.
      • The name of the apartment building is "Blatta Vista" - "Blatta" meaning "cockroach".
    • Michael's dog, Jason, has a bow tie on its collar, a Call-Back to Michael's gift to Tahani. It's teal, the team color of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • Grand Finale: This episode is the final episode of the series.
  • Healthy in Heaven: Doug Forcett reappears as his younger self as seen in the framed portrait in Michael's office. Presumably, this applies to the others, depending on how old they were when they passed, as everyone is played by the same actor who had played them in previous episodes. Interestingly, it's implied he could avert it, as Chidi compliments him on "Deciding for his young look".
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Although Brent seemed to be having an absolute last minute reformation last time we saw him, this time he's so bad at self improvement that the Demons have resorted to flat out telling him how to be a good person and he still doesn't get it.
  • Historical Domain Character: Following Hypatia of Alexandria's appearance in the previous episode, we learn that people like Alexander the Great and William Shakespeare have joined our heroes' social circle in the Good Place, along with celebrities who are currently alive in Real Life, like Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
  • Hugh Mann: Michael's full name as a human is apparently "Michael Realman".
  • Hypocritical Humor: Played with, in that Tahani chides Michael that name-dropping is a little gauche when Michael says he wants to tell people he knew Tahani before she became a famous Architect - but in an obviously tongue-in-cheek fashion.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: When Michael decides to leave, he walks through the door... and nothing happens, because he's not human. He needs to Become a Real Boy first.
  • Irony: When the Council is dissolved, Michael is left having accomplished all his goals and has an eternity to bask in his victory as the all-powerful Chief Architect of the Good Place. He cares nothing for this form of reward, bitterly comparing himself to "a retiree puttering around". But then his final reward is to actually become a retiree puttering around as a human on Earth living in a community of senior citizens in Phoenix. It turns out that what most of us would find undesirable about that life — the limitations, the uncertainty, and yes, the looming specter of mortality — is everything Michael has always craved.
    • Due to Jason staying in the forest to find the necklace, Chidi, whose indecisiveness and lack of conviction was his defining character trait throughout the series, is the first member of Team Cockroach who steps through the doorway to end his existence.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • Eleanor is able to convince Chidi not to walk through the door, but soon realizes he isn't truly happy and she is being selfish to force him to continue existing if he doesn't want to. So she gracefully allows Chidi to go through the door.
    • Janet doesn't want Michael to become human. She nevertheless sets up everything he needs to be human and not suffer needlessly. He promises he'll see her when he gets back.
    • Jason shows no jealousy over the fact that, because he's about to pass on and Janet never can, Janet might someday fall in love with another human companion. Indeed, he encourages her to if it will make her happy.
  • I Will Wait for You: Michael promises Janet that she'll see him again, when he passes the Bad Place trials. Janet tearfully smiles in response.
  • It Was with You All Along: Played for Laughs when Jason looks for thousands of years for his bracelet for Janet, which was in his other pocket all along.
  • Karmic Jackpot: The Doorman gets all the frogs that he wants. Michael ups the ante by giving him a real one.
  • Kill 'Em All: Because it's a Distant Finale, presumably everyone that the main cast knows is currently dead (sans Michael in the epilogue), since almost every supporting character is in the Good Place by the time the episode rolls around.
    • Because of just how Distant a Finale it is, this trope even extends to real-life figures currently living, including philosophers Todd May and Pamela Hieronymi, and Nick Offerman, all of whom appear As Themselves.
  • The Lifestream: How the final door functions, as whoever passes through it will have their soul scattered through the cosmic energy of the universe, taking on new forms and bonding with other living souls to make them a bit better to other living beings.
  • Master of All: In a Call-Back to Tahani's breakdown in "Employee of the Bearimy" about how useless she feels thanks to her life of sheltered privilege, Tahani chooses to spend her afterlife mastering every single real-life practical skill she can think of — from carpentry to cooking to computer programming — and succeeds, to the point where Michael compliments her on knowing more things than he does. This leads to her realization that passing through the door would be a waste of all the knowledge she's gained, and instead she becomes the first human to ascend to become an Architect herself.
  • Memento MacGuffin: In an episode revolving around final farewells, there are several:
    • Jason makes a necklace for Janet to remember him by after he leaves; the fact that he loses it before he can give it to her is a Chekhov's Gun for his surprise reappearance in Act 2.
    • Michael gives Tahani his original bow tie from Season 1 to celebrate her becoming an Architect.
    • Chidi leaves Eleanor a calendar featuring him in various sexy outfits and poses as a final parting gift.
    • An existing Memento MacGuffin gets a Call-Back — Eleanor is rewatching the VHS tape Mindy St. Clair recorded of her and Chidi saying "I love you" to each other from back in "Dance Dance Resolution" and suddenly realizes it isn't just a memento of her relationship to him but also her relationship with Mindy, who gave it to her (a selfless act that shows she's capable of leaving the Medium Place).
    • Now that Jeff the Doorman has accumulated countless frog trinkets from people passing through, Michael one-ups them all with a final parting gift—an actual pet frog.
    • Finally, Eleanor gives one to Michael (indirectly and unwittingly) — one of the sparks from her soul alights in Michael's neighbor and inspires him to bring him his wrongly delivered mail rather than tossing it, which turns out to be the supermarket rewards card he's always wanted.
  • Mundane Luxury: There's nothing glamorous about Michael's new life; Janet created an identity for him that has enough money to live comfortably but not extravagantly. He eats a lot of TV dinners, he lives in a mediocre apartment building, by all appearances he's just another fixed-income retiree puttering around... Which is exactly what he wants and has always wanted. This life, our world, is Michael's Good Place.
  • Not So Different: Eleanor says this to Mindy St. Clare, who had served as her Shadow Archetype. Back in the beginning of the series, she wished for exactly what Mindy has - a completely "medium" afterlife that she knows is exactly no better than she deserves and doesn't challenge her to grow beyond what she already is. She tells Mindy that it's because she knows exactly how she feels that she knows leaving the Medium Place will be the right choice for her.
  • Not So Stoic: Janet's voice breaks when she asks Eleanor if she can watch her friend walk through the door.
  • Obligatory Joke: Multiple characters make jokes about how they're all dead.
    Tahani: Mindy St. Clair! As I neither live nor breathe!
  • The Oner: The shot where Eleanor walks from the pizza place to her house to Michael's office and back to her place was done without any visible cuts, even managing to still hide how Janet comes and goes as she pleases.
  • Overly Long Gag: Shawn saying he will never ever, ever (multiple evers) admit Michael is right.
  • Passing the Torch: Michael giving his bowtie to Tahani to celebrate her becoming an Architect is treated as this. He reveals he's already more or less retired from designing afterlife neighborhoods himself, and not long after this makes the decision to abandon the afterlife entirely in favor of life on Earth.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: The Judge gives Michael permission to become a human on Earth, with all of his memories of the afterlife. This means he will live, die and go through the trials. Janet sets up a bank account and a life for him, but she warns him he can't have salty food and needs to schedule a doctor's appointment.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: When Chidi admits he's been ready to leave the Good Place for a long while, Eleanor initially pleads with him to continue staying with her because she's not ready to let him go.
  • Portal Network: The green doors that can take you anywhere you imagine from the previous episode get their payoff here — not only do we get to see fantasy environments like Jason's massive football stadium where he plays Madden with his dad, but we get to see real location shoots of Eleanor and Chidi traveling to Athens and Paris.
  • Reincarnation: When Eleanor asks Chidi what he thinks about what lies beyond the door, he quotes a common Buddhist parable about a human life being like a wave in the ocean, changing its form once it crashes on the shore and dissipates but never changing the substance of what it was. Once Eleanor goes through the door herself, we see the show's interpretation of what this means — rather than being reincarnated as a single new individual, Eleanor's soul scatters into particles of light that spread through the universe to inspire positive action in others.
  • Scare Chord: Played for Laughs when Shawn says something sincere about Tahani following his Heel–Face Turn, and one of these plays in the background. He hasn't quite shaken his habit of speaking in a sinister way, and he has to explicitly state that it wasn't actually meant to be evil.
  • Sequelitis: In-Universe: Shakespeare keeps on writing thousands of new plays in the Good Place, which are largely agreed to have really gone downhill from his work while alive until his going through the arch is seen as very much for the best. The only one mentioned is The Tempest 2: Here We Blow Again.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Judge has been rewatching The Leftovers and almost wiped out 2% of humanity out of anger that Carrie Coon never scored a prestigious award nomination.
    • When the Judge shows up without her robes to tell Michael the Council is disbanded, she's wearing an East Dillon High T-shirt.
    • One of the people to get into the Good Place is Clara Peller, the Where's the Beef? lady.
  • Shown Their Work: Chidi's speech about the wave in the ocean is taken from Buddhist teaching, and Tahani's choice in this episode — being done with existence for her own sake but unwilling to pass on while there are other souls she can use her abilities to help — exactly matches the Buddhist concept of the bodhisattva.
  • Take a Third Option: Tahani is tired of perfect existence, but does not want to go through the door to non-existence yet, so what does she decide? To become an architect so she genuinely helps people!
  • Take That!:
    • After an eternity of reading profound books, Chidi decides to unwind by reading The Da Vinci Code, which he calls a "garbage book".
    • Michael says that after five years of trying to learn to play the guitar he still can't actually play any chords but he's just about mastered "Hey There, Delilah."
    • Janet's last piece of advice to Michael before he departs for his life on Earth is that rental car insurance is a scam.
    • The coffee shop slogan "Home of the Unnecessarily Complicated Pourover!" is Mike Schur's dig against a faction of the writers' room who insisted on making coffee breaks a major production with hand-ground beans and precise water temperaturesnote 
  • Time Skip: The gang goes through thousands of Bearimies in this episode, putting the timescale as longer than that of the entire rest of the series by orders of magnitude.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The "Jeremy Bearimy" timeline the afterlife exists in comes seriously into play here — the characters have experienced a Time Abyss that can't be measured in human units (only in Bearimies) that has given them enough time to become sated with the afterlife's delights, achieve as much maturity as they're capable of under their current identity, and choose to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Along the way everyone they knew on Earth has died and gone through the Bad Place's purgatory. (This also includes real people who are currently alive in Real Life, such as the show's philosophy consultants Drs. Todd May and Pamela Hieronymi.) And yet when Michael returns to Earth to begin his life as a human, it's Earth in the recognizable present day — indeed, the show's ending implies that in the present day of the real world, Michael is still alive and well in Arizona. We also get to see what an afterlife calendar looks like, and some of the days are shown as irregular, non-rectangular shapes that don't fit into a regular grid. The clock is also a twisted and strange contraption with multiple hands and gears twirling around.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Michael seems briefly offended that the Doorman doesn't think to name his new pet frog "Michael". When he makes it to Earth, he goes on to name his Great Dane "Jason".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Janet is the only member of the Soul Squad whose fate is left completely ambiguous, apart from her implicit promise to wait for Michael and the fact that she's not human so she can't die by going through the door. But whatever it is, it's no doubt as satisfying as the other members' fates.
    • The show ends without letting us know what became of the original Good Place Committee (or, indeed, explaining where it is they could've left to).
    • What's the advanced Bad Janet who was rebooted millions of times doing now? Was she ever de-marbleized?
    • We don't get to see Eleanor's parents in the Good Place, although Eleanor and Chidi mention having had dinner with both their mothers recently. Which possibly means her father is still being tested after dying (his funeral was shown in a flashback early on, and considering how many times Brent has failed, could be likely).
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: This episode gives an update on the afterlife status and the whereabouts of most characters throughout the series (both major and minor), but we also get one within this episode for Michael — a brief montage that plays over Eleanor's wistful monologue wondering what his life on Earth is like, giving us no solid details about his life as an ordinary Arizona retiree but assuring us that he's doing well, living in an unassuming apartment with a big dog and a rich social life.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Carrying on the theme of the previous episode, all of the events of this episode are driven by the fact that no human can remain in the Good Place indefinitely without becoming weary of existence and seeking to pass on — and that once they reach this stage, they may choose to stay out of love for others, but their continued existence can only be a form of suffering.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: This episode is about this being true of everyone in the show, both the Soul Squad themselves and their deeply imperfect friends and family from Earth, all of whom — Jason's delinquent friends, Eleanor's bitchy roommates, Eleanor and Tahani's abusive parents — find redemption in the Good Place in the end. Eleanor even goes out of her way to go to the one human who it seems is incapable of change and has no need to change, Mindy St. Clair, still chilling in the Medium Place after all this time, and tell her she owes it to herself to try for something better.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Chidi and Eleanor have already proven their devotion to each other with actual Hell at stake, but even in Heaven this trope applies. We learn, heartbreakingly, that Chidi grew weary of the Good Place long ago but chose to stay for Eleanor's sake, and he would've been willing to stay for an eternity longer had she not let him go.

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