Why ‘The Good Place’ Ended, and What That Ending Means

Why ‘The Good Place’ Ended, and What That Ending Means

The Good Place has certainly carved out a place for itself in the hearts of its viewers. Created by Michael Schur (of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Office, and Parks and Recreation fame) for NBC, this offbeat comedy quickly gathered a fan following once it hit screens in 2016.

In 2020, as the fourth season was airing on NBC, doubts started cropping up about whether or not the show would have a fifth season.

So, has The Good Place been canceled after season 4? If yes, why was it canceled? Also, what did that surreal ending mean? If you have these questions, you’ve come to the best place.

1. Is The Good Place Cancelled? Will There Be a Season 5?

Unfortunately, creator Michael Schur has confirmed that season 4 was the last season of The Good Place. There will be no season 5.

Why ‘The Good Place’ Ended, and What the Ending Means
The Good Place | Source: Fandom

2. Why Did The Good Place End?

Many sitcoms that are as popular as The Good Place tend to stretch into double digits when it comes to the number of seasons. So then, why did this fan-favorite wrap up so soon?

If you haven’t watched season 4 yet, it might come as a joyful surprise to you that The Good Place wasn’t technically “canceled”—it was planned to end this way from early on.

Creator Michael Schur says that he and the rest of the writers had already begun mapping out the rest of the series by the time the show got renewed for its second season. The writers felt that 50 episodes spread over four seasons was the perfect length and did not wish to unnecessarily prolong the show simply because they enjoyed it.

The full statement from the writing team was posted on the official Twitter account of The Good Place a few months before season 4 began airing.

Tweeted by the official account of ‘The Good Place’

The series finale made it pretty clear that the story had come full circle, and stretching it just for the sake of stretching would only have ruined it.

3. How Did The Good Place End? What Does the Ending Mean?

The show starts off with the protagonist, Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) dying.

When alive, Eleanor led a morally corrupt life. The rules dictate that she should have ended up in The Bad Place after dying, but due to an error, she ends up in The Good Place instead.

The show revolves around how Eleanor tries to hide her morally questionable past and to find the “good person” inside of her. We also get to see the shenanigans of her fellow Good Place dwellers, indecisive philosopher Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), shallow socialite Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil), and blundering Blake Bortles superfan, Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto).

Why ‘The Good Place’ Ended, and What the Ending Means
Eleanor Shellstrop | Source: Fandom

The Good Place is initially overseen by architect Michael (Ted Danson), the designer of the heaven-like utopia, and he is assisted by an AI being named Janet (D’Arcy Carden).

By the fourth season, Eleanor takes over as the architect of The Good Place. The main characters Eleanor, Tahani, Chidi, and Jason end up working to fundamentally better the human afterlife. This helps them end up in the real Good Place.

However, they soon learn that things are only good when bad exists too. Without the bad, the good loses its meaning. They come up with the idea of a door (which Janet creates), through which the people in The Good Place can leave anytime they want. This way, their essence returns to the Universe and they die for real.

One by one, the four main characters walk through the door after they are content and have experienced everything The Good Place has to offer.

When Eleanor walks through the wooden door, she gets swallowed by a new light, which turns her essence into small drops of light.

Why ‘The Good Place’ Ended, and What the Ending Means
The Good Place | Source: Fandom

We see one of these fiery droplets enter a city and follow a man who has someone else’s mail wrongly delivered to him. At first, he decides to throw it out. However, this droplet—Eleanor’s essence—enters him. He picks up the mail and decides to go deliver it to the correct address. As it turns out, this mail was for none other than Michael, who is now living as a human, his ultimate desire.

Eleanor knew how much it would mean to Michael to experience mundane human stuff like receiving mail about a rewards prize program.

From these events, we interpret that when a human decides to return to the universe in the afterlife through the door, they turn into specks of good energy and the urge that makes other humans want to do good deeds and earn positive karma.

What a beautiful ending to a beautiful show, wouldn’t you agree?

4. About The Good Place

Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) is a saleswoman who lives a morally corrupt life. After she dies, she finds herself in a heaven-like afterlife in a case of mistaken identity. The show follows her journey as she tries to hide her past in order to stay in ‘The Good Place’.

This NBC comedy series has been created by Michael Schur, who is also known for Brooklyn 99, The Office, and Parks and Recreation.