TV Review – The Good Place: Pandemonium & Season Three

TL;DR – We come full circle as we explore what happens when Eleanor has to take over for Michael, oh and then the show kicks you right in the feels.   

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Good Place: Pandemonium. Image Credit: NBC.

Today we have reached the end of The Good Place’s third season, and what a ride it has been. We have been from Australia to The Good Place to the Interdimensional Hole of Pancakes, and more. Throughout that time we have discovered the source of the problem plaguing the afterlife and watched as people continued to grow and develop even after they are dead. With that in mind today we will be looking at both the season finale Pandemonium and also an overview of the season as a whole.   

So to set the scene, in last week’s Chidi Sees the Time-Knife, The Judge (Maya Rudolph) set out the rules that would be used to govern this new experiments, and of course both Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) and Michael (Ted Danson) were not happy, which probably means that it is a fair system. But we all know that The Bad Place does not play fair as they rattle Michael so much that Eleanor (Kristen Bell) has to step in a pretend to be the architect. However, as we soon find out, that is not the only way The Bad Place is playing dirty, because they are here to torture, and that is what they are going to do. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

The Good Place: Pandemonium. Image Credit: NBC.
Michael falling apart is completely understandable with all the world/s on his shoulders. Image Credit: NBC.

Where The Good Place works best is when it is exploring the relationships between the different characters and how they respond to the ever-shifting landscape of the show. Well in the season finale we get two big shifts, this time based around Eleanor. The first is how she has to step up and pretend to be the architect, using all here knowledge both from her time on Earth and in the afterlife to be convincing. However, the big change comes at the end after The Bad Place’s scheme gets brought into the light. This is because they have picked four participants with pre-existing relationships with the main cast, hoping to use this to skew the data from the experiment.

It is the perfect crime because it was not technically banned, but also because it is torture for the team. This is bad when it is just John (Brandon Scott Jones) who ran a gossip site that mercilessly targeted Tahani (Jameela Jamil). But it is devastating when the next person is Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) who ran the experiments back in Australia and who is Chidi’s (William Jackson Harper) ex. This leads to Chidi asking to get rebooted so that the experiment can proceed because he can’t see it going well if he knows who she is. This is bad, but it shows the emotional growth of the characters as they respond to the world is falling around them. All of this is wonderfully acted by a cast that clearly know their characters inside out.

The Good Place: Pandemonium. Image Credit: NBC.
Eleanor has to find the strength within to step up for everyone. Image Credit: NBC.

However, the show is here not just to explore the characters relationships it is here, well it is here to kick you in the emotional feels. Because not only does the show commit to resetting Chidi, which fits the character’s arc, but it takes us down memory lane with a slide show of memories (some old, some new). Eleanor not only has to say goodbye to the love of her life, but she has to welcome him back with no memory of her. This is both a devastating blow to Eleanor but also a moment a true growth as she continues along the path of self-discovery.

As this brutal emotional gut punch was washing over me I could not help but think back at the season and how it worked as a whole. We started the season off in Australia, a land of Hemsworths and interesting accents. Where Michael took the no messing around to mean 100% mess around, which was fine until The Judge caught him and Janet (D’Arcy Carden). Then we were fugitives going across the world, trying to fix their past relationships only to technically die in Canada because of manipulations from The Bad Place. Only then to sneak into the afterlife, steal a book from Accounting, and then try and brute force their way into The Good Place. Then we found out what was really happening, and no one could wait the 700 years for The Good Place to think about getting a committee together to look at it.  

The Good Place: Pandemonium. Image Credit: NBC.
“I got a twist, Half strawberry, and half ‘Male Co-worker gets called out for stealing your ideas’.” Brilliant The Good Place. Image Credit: NBC.

It has been a wild ride, however, as I said right at the start with Everything is Bonzer! this is the first season where I have seen it week to week, rather than all at once. Well, honestly I think this hurt the season a little bit especially in the back half. There was a big gap between Don’t Let the Good Life Pass You By and then Janet(s), and then another big gap of over a month until The Book of Dougs, and then the season was over. Now scheduling is its own big beast of a thing, and there is a lot of factors that go into when you show what episode, but I can’t help but feel that this disjointed end of the season blunted the impact.

In the end, do we recommend Pandemonium? Well as a state of being no, as an episode of The Good Place, yes, very much yes. It allowed the cast to have beautiful performances, it once again shook up the stories of the show, and propelled the series forward. Hell, I would recommend watching it just to find out what Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Drake have in common.                  

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen Season Three of The Good Place yet?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    

Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Good Place
Directed by
– Michael Schur
Written by – Megan Amram & Jen Statsky
Created by – Michael Schur
Starring in Season 3 – Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, D’Arcy Carden & Ted Danson with Maya Rudolph, Marc Evan Jackson, Kirby Howell-Baptiste & Brandon Scott Jones      

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