As The Good Place prepares to air its final season on NBC, viewers are eager to learn exactly how things will play out for Eleanor, her formerly human friends, and Michael. The fanbase has been well-accustomed to game-changing twists closing out seasons in the past, and while the cliffhanger aspect might have been welcomed in the past, an open-ended finale that leaves everything in the air might not not be so well-received.
Several iconic shows have gone the route of an ambiguous ending, with varying levels of acclaim and criticism. The Good Place's creator Mike Schur, speaking about the series' ending to CinemaBlend and others during press roundtables at San Diego Comic-Con, said that audiences can expect an ending akin to that of Breaking Bad. No, Michael won't be shaving his head and referring to himself as "The One Who Calls Janet." Rather, Schur is referring more to the nature of the ending's conclusiveness.
I would say on the spectrum of endings from The Sopranos to Breaking Bad, it tends more toward the Breaking Bad type, where you will have a pretty clear idea of what happened. With almost every character, I would say.
Some may argue that Breaking Bad itself left things more ambiguous than other shows like Six Feet Under, where everyone's eventual fates got shown. Why else would there be a follow-up movie meant to wrap up some loose ends? It's still reassuring, however, to hear The Good Place isn't going the route of The Sopranos.
The question of whether Tony Soprano was shot by that man leaving the bathroom has been debated over and over, and even creator David Chase has flip flopped on what happened (though his original plans can infer one outcome happened over another). Luckily, The Good Place will apparently not have that level of ambiguity.
The Good Place's ending will allegedly be closer to Breaking Bad, which put every major character on a clear path to some kind of future, even if some explicit endings weren't shown. Viewers can assume Jesse Pinkman escaped and that Walter White died of his injuries (though the movie may change some of those assumptions).
If we take that kind of comparison to The Good Place, it would seem to say audiences will get to see what becomes of most of the major characters, and there will only be some slight lingering questions left unanswered. For example, it's possible that D'Arcy Carden Janet may not get a tied-with-a-bow ending, considering her character is more abstract.
Mike Schur spoke more about the afterlife comedy's ending, and revealed it's something he's had in his brain for quite a while. He wasn't always married to the idea, however, and explained that the ending could've changed at any point before The Good Place Season 4 was determined to be the final season.
The original sort of gut feeling about it was Season 2, and I sort of like to come up with an idea for something, like an ending, and then not commit to it because I want to allow for the possibility that a better idea will be pitched by someone, so I didn't really fully commit to it. We didn't as a group commit to it until we were actually discussing the outline of Season 4, at which point, it was like 'Okay, I think we were right,' and then it sort of remained pretty close to what I imagined a couple years ago.
Hopefully it's a good sign that Mike Schur was able to stick with his original vision for the ending, but of course, that can't really be known until the episode is out for the masses. Of course, The Good Place has been amazingly solid to date, so precedent would dictate the ending will be just fine. After all, it can really only be truly heavenly – or Good Placely – if the God-like figure that's running the universe appears to Jason in the form of Blake Bortles, right?
The Good Place is back on NBC this fall Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for more on other upcoming fall shows, and the latest news in general in the world of television and movies.