'The Good Place' Ending Explained: What Happened at the End of the NBC Series?

The Good Place Season 4, Episode 13, titled "Whenever You're Ready," (which is streaming now on the NBC website and internationally on Netflix) was perhaps the most definitive finale of any TV show ever made, as it not only chronicles our leads through their afterlives (or in one case their new life), but through to whatever comes after their afterlife as Jason (played by Manny Jacinto), Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Eleanor (Kristen Bell) all decided to go through the door in after many "Jeremy Bearimys" in The Good Place.

What happened at the end of The Good Place?

The finale of the series followed the introduction of the door in the previous episode as a way of solving the Good Place's (the place, rather than the show) biggest problem: that everyone in it became emotionally numb because they knew they would be there forever, making everything seem meaningless.

To solve this, a doorway was introduced that people could choose to walk through at any time that would take people out of the Good Place and return their essence back to the universe.

Much of the finale was concerned with our four leads eventually deciding that they were ready to walk through the door. Jason was first, deciding to walk through the door after finally playing the perfect game of Madden (after 433,000 tries) and having the ultimate Jason party, featuring an all-EDM playlist and a reunion of his dance group from Earth, Dance Dance Resolution.

the good place ending explained
"The Good Place" ending saw the cast deciding when to use the door in the afterlife Netflix

In order to stop Janet (D'Arcy Carden) forgetting about him (even though, as she points out, that's actually impossible), he makes her a necklace which he then cannot find. He says his goodbyes to Janet, and we think he has walked through the door.

Next up is Tahani (Jameela Jamil), who completes the 4,000+ tasks she wanted to achieve in the Good Place (including making the perfect chair with guest star Nick Offerman) and finally gets closure with her parents and sister. However, when it comes her time to walk through the door, she realises that she is not ready to go through, but also does not want to stay in the afterlife. She asks Michael (Ted Danson) to allow her to become an intern at the Good Place architect program, so she can spend her eternity helping others to become better people in the afterlife. Last we see her, she is about to be certified as an architect and promises to personally design the afterlife test for the Medium Place resident Mindy St. Claire (Maribeth Monroe) after Eleanor decides she wants to help her get into the afterlife system.

The next person who feels they are ready to leave is Chidi, which causes a problem: He is ready to go, but love of his (after)life Eleanor is not ready for him to go. She plans a trip around his favorite places in the world, but eventually realises she has to let him go.

Janet takes him to the gate and he walks through. Then, Jason reappears, telling her he never went through the doorway because he wanted to give Janet the necklace. While waiting for her to return, he has spent many "Jeremy Bearimys" pondering the infinity of the universe and communing with nature, which Janet points out to him is what a monk does, suggesting that four seasons after he was trapped in Michael's fake Good Place having to pretend to be a monk, he has finally reached the enlightenment of one.

Eleanor then thinks she is ready to go, especially after she helps Mindy. However she feels there is still something she cannot grasp, something she feels that is left undone. However, when Michael then tries to go through the gateway because he is bored of his role overseeing the Good Place, she realises the last thing she has to do.

She speaks to the Judge (Maya Rudolph) and asks her to give Michael the one thing he really wants: To be a human. They send him to Earth to live out a real human life, so that he too can experience the world, die, pass his test, make it to the Good Place and (eventually) pass through the gate himself. We see him finding joy in many mundane human experiences⁠—burning himself on a hot TV dinner, getting a dog (named Jason) and texting someone that he's five minutes away when he has not left the house yet.

The time then comes for Eleanor to talk through the gate. We see her turn into a ball of energy, which then heads to Earth. We see her enter the body of a neighbor of Michael's, who has thrown away a letter addressed to Michael that was delivered to him by mistake. Once Eleanor's energy enters him, he changes his mind and delivers the letter to Michael, who laughs with pleasure when he sees it is that very human of things, a discount card. After totally changing the way the Good Place works for eternity, Jason and Chidi's energies have come back to earth, making people commit good acts and treat each other with a little more kindness.

The Good Place Season 4 is streaming now on NBC in the U.S. Season 1-3 are on Netflix.