Are we all living in the worst timeline, a literal hell on Earth?
It certainly feels that way sometimes, but there's one indisputable fact that guarantees we are not--we get to watch The Good Place. And life is about to get a whole lot better, because NBC's fantastic comedy about four humans, a demon, and "not a robot" trying to earn their way to eternal paradise returns on September 27 for its third season. But what exactly will it look like? Just like season one's shocking finale upended everything we thought we knew about the show, season two changed everything in its last episode by sending the four dammed souls back to Earth (maaaybe) for a second chance at getting life right.
So what can we expect from the new year? Where will we find everyone on their own journeys to salvation? We have some theories after Entertainment Weekly shared the first photos from season three along with some insight from show creator Mike Schur. It looks like there are still some doors everyone needs to walk through on their way to the actual good place.
Season two ended with Eleanor seeking out Chidi in Australia (after some brilliant nudging from Bartender Michael). The new images include a couple looks of Eleanor appearing student-like at the university, including her meeting new cast member Kirby Howell-Baptiste who plays Simone, "a brilliant neuroscientist and fellow academic whose expertise Chidi seeks when he becomes convinced that his brain is broken." Apparently the library didn't have any answers for him. What could have happened to make Chidi lose his mind? The easy guess is Eleanor, since she always makes him go a little crazy. But it could also be possible he remembers his connection with her deep down; the same thing that drew her to him could be messing with him. Since he can't know why that is happening, it's easy to see why he'd freak out. Maybe Simone could cause problems between Chidi and Eleanor, specifically one covered by the Seven Deadly Sins.
first look at the good place season 3 💚 pic.twitter.com/d5SwztnePD
— best of the good place (@goodplacepost) August 24, 2018
Schur has described Simone as "a very different kind of academic from Chidi," because "she is a person who scans things with machines, determines results, and draws conclusions," as opposed to Chidi who overthinks everything. From what we know of Eleanor and Chidi's time together (Schur revealed that time was roughly 300 years, even though for them it's been the same short interval over and over again, proving time is meaningless when you're dealing with eternity), they tend to end up in each other's arms. But could the brilliant Simone, who has enough of Chidi's respect that he turns to her when he needs help, also be a potential romantic interest for him? They have more in common than he ever would with Eleanor; Simone also seems to be his opposite in the best ways too. Could that cause Eleanor to become jealous? Might she covet thy neighbor? Envy isn't a great line on your Heaven application.
Maybe the most intriguing photo features another new character: The Doorman played by Mike O'Malley. We see Ted Danson's Michael meeting with the being "who guards the door that connects the afterlife to Earth," located on a dark bridge that exists in its own indeterminate plane. Michael convinced The Judge to let the humans have a second shot at proving they had grown as people, but he wasn't supposed to interfere in order to help them, which he then did in the season two finale. The fate of his own eternal soul seemingly rests in whether or not they succeed, so is this him on his way back from that bar, where he could get in trouble? Or better, is this him on his way to try and help out again? Either way, the Doorman could play the potential spoiler for his plans; that would certainly jeopardize the second try the Judge reluctantly allowed.
Oh, and notice the frog keychain? According to Schur it "does become important at a certain moment." We'll be looking for frog-related clues all season.
Michael isn't the only one whose fate might be determined by whether the four humans prove themselves. Janet, who we see standing in the same black void with Michael, will also have her own issues this season. This photo might not seem as exciting on its own, but remember, that's the door between the Afterlife and Earth. And Janet's not in the other photo with Michael...this might mean...JANET ON EARTH!
Season three could just be Janet trying to live on Earth like a normal person and it would be amazing. In fact, we'll fear we're in the bad place if we don't see Janet on Earth.
Speaking of doors, our only look at Tahani features her in a non-glamorous gray sweatshirt, walking through her own entrance after apparently making some major changes to her privileged life. Schur says these doors "lead directly to the rest of her life." She was punished in the afterlife by being appointed a silent Buddhist monk as her soulmate, so could she be visiting an actual monastery on her own journey of enlightenment? Despite Jason's true identity, did something about that simple lifestyle make a mark on her? No matter where she is this looks like a very different Tahani, one who looks far more comfortable with herself.
THE GOOD PLACE S3 SNEAK PEAKS ARE HERE! CHIDI IS... BEING HIMSELF. ELEANOR IS TRYING TO LEARN AND I LOVE HER OUTFIT! TAHANI LOOKS LIKE SHE'S ON A RETREAT AND WEARING SOMETHING OTHER THAN HER FABULOUS DRESSES! JASON IS LIVING HIS BEST LIFE! IM EXCITED! pic.twitter.com/vmMMR97YjD
— angel (@localnerdo) August 25, 2018
The final image shows us what Jason Mendoza has been up to: dancing. We see him happy as a member of a troupe. That's definitely better than trying to rob a pizza parlor from inside a safe, but is it the best use of your time if you're trying to prove you deserve to go to Heaven? Maybe not, but at least he's not at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. Schur did reveal that after his near-death experience Jason is questioning if he has ever accomplished anything in life, which is a good way to actually try and do something productive. There are worse things than bringing people joy with your sick moves, bro.
So what do these first photos tell us? Everyone has a new path to follow, and all of them have been changed by what they have experienced, but "good enough" isn't enough to get to where they want. So will these doors lead to paths that bring them to closer to Heaven, or will all of them end up returning to the Bad Place?
What do you think of these images? Tell us in the comments below what you think they mean for the new season.
Images: NBC, EW