Warning! This post contains spoilers for the two-part Season 2 opener of The Good Place. Read at your own risk.
When Season 1 of The Good Place ended with Eleanor hatching a plan to ensure she and the rest of the memory-erased humans weren't again tricked by Michael into thinking they weren't in the Bad Place, few fans expected that Season 2's story would unfold in quite the way it did the first time around. And after the excellent Season 2 premiere, it's fair to assume that almost no one expected Eleanor's plan to work THAT well, and the game is now completely changed, as the humans already figured out they were in the Bad Place again. Not that things ended there...
As we knew at the end of Season 1 of The Good Place, Ted Danson's Michael was in hot water with his boss Shawn when his new innovative way of torture went south. For those that missed the scene in the credits, it was revealed the Michael hid this latest failure from Shawn, as well as from the rest of the Bad Place demons who think that Shawn was fully informed that they had to reset the scenario once again. With retirement on the table for Michael should Shawn find out he failed again, the silver-haired demon gets another chance to trick the now noteless humans that they are in the Good Place, lest he undergo the process hilariously animated below:
Unfortunately for Michael, the Season 2 premiere for The Good Place revealed there are a lot more issues with his plan that can't be fixed as easily as removing Eleanor's secret note. Jason, for example, still developed feelings for Janice, and the A.I. seemed to reciprocate rather quickly. It also didn't take long for Chidi to realize he was actually in the Bad Place, albeit for misguided reasons, as he was convinced it was for using almond milk his whole life, as opposed to his chronic indecisive behavior. Even without clues to help the humans along, it seems like it's going to take some real work for Michael and the other demons to ensure the subjects don't catch on to their unique form of torture as they head into round 3.
That's a bit of a problem, though, as the demons aren't all exactly on the same page this time around. While some -- like former "Real Eleanor," who is now "Denise the Pizza Girl" -- have specific issues with their characters and the roles they have to play, other residents seem to have trouble simply playing their part at all. More than a few times this episode, we heard someone remark that they'd much rather be torturing the old-fashioned way, with a penis-flattener or something of that nature, rather than playing mind games. With unrest seeming to already settle amongst his colleagues, Michael will almost definitely have more problems than just ensuring he can keep the humans separated.
That said, nothing truly seemed to fall apart in The Good Place until Chidi and Eleanor got together, so provided Michael can keep those two separated, he should be able to ride out their torture much longer than in Round 2. That hopefully won't happen, though, since Kristen Bell and William Jackson Harper were as good as they've ever been in the short time they spent together in the extended premiere. Hopefully Eleanor's "nerd with a fitbit" isn't the only verbal jab she'll throw Chidi's way in the rest of Season 2!
Those two characters weren't the only standouts of The Good Place Season 2 premiere, however. Jameela Jamil really flipped the script, with Tahani getting a lot more torture in the opening episode than she seemed to get throughout the entirety of Season 1. The small house and small soulmate were a great way to kick things off, and if Season 2 has a lot more of Tahani in crocs and cargo pants, this is bound to be as good a season as we'd hoped for. Plus, if the writers can get Jason in a role that's even crazier than a silent Buddhist monk, this might be the greatest series on television this fall.
While the acting on The Good Place was as good as its ever been in the Season 2 opener, the real treat for fans was being in on the big secret the whole time. It turns out that knowing our characters are already in the Bad Place is a lot more entertaining, with more and more blatant clues appear indicating this place isn't really all that great; **COUGH** Hawaiian Pizza **COUGH**. We also got to see the demons scheming without the humans present, which has given some lesser-seen characters and actors a chance to shine; like Atypical's Amy Okuda, as well as a few other familiar faces who didn't get much screen time in Season 1.
For now, it seems more than obvious that Michael will not be able to keep the humans from discovering they are in the Bad Place, so what will he do when they find out once again? One would imagine he can only reset the process so many times before Shawn gets wise to what's happening, or before one of the disgruntled demons tattles on him, which should have fans asking whether Michael is more concerned about torturing the humans or his own survival. If the answer is the latter, it's possible the humans might have an awfully strong bargaining chip to hold over Michael should they figure things out once again. It seems like a stretch, but with how crazy this first episode was, it feels as though any scenario is fair play!
The Good Place will be all-new at its normal time slot for this season September 28th at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. For more on this awesome show, read about how creator Michael Schur already has advance plans for the show's potential future seasons. For a list of other fall shows premiering in the next couple months, visit our fall premiere guide.