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‘The Good Place’ Recap: “Everything is Great!”

After last season’s finale that basically kicked everything we ever knew about NBC’s The Good Place right into the sun, season two kicked off last night under new but unclear rules.

If you recall, season one ended with Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) trying to figure out which two of them was going to hop on the train out of the Good Place and agree to be tortured for eternity in the Bad Place. But, before they could take the train, the highly underestimated Eleanor realized there is no train to the bad place because they’re already in the Bad Place. Michael (Ted Danson), the mastermind behind it all, confirms they are in fact in the Bad Place with a maniacal laugh before clearing their memories to attempt to torture these four (and prove to his boss this is an effective measure of torture) for all of eternity without them figuring out, again.

Of course, season two picks up nearly identical to where we started in season one: Eleanor is being told by Michael that she died and is in the Good Place, which she clearly recognizes is not right while he praise her for the environmental work she did on earth. This time, though, we see behind the scenes of how Michael is orchestrating the rest of the neighborhood to work against the four humans. The clever mirroring of his season one behavior (before the big reveal) sort of makes you go, “How did I not see it before?!”

The one-hour premiere of The Good Place, again, pulls the rug out from under us a bit. When heading into the season, it was probably safe to assume we’d follow the same sort of formula: see how long it takes for Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason to find each other and figure it out all over again. But, instead of taking a full season, it took about 45 minutes before Eleanor figured out something was off — in large part because of a note she quickly scribbled on a ripped out page in one of Chidi’s philosophy books and stuffed it in Janet’s (D’Arcy Carden) mouth before their memories were wiped. And, so, next week we pick up with attempt number three, lead by a thorough sweep of Janet’s mouth and no clear bait as to how the gang will figure it out once again.

Catch the premiere of The Good Place on NBC on-demand now, and don’t miss new episodes Wednesdays at 10pm ET on NBC.