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  #201  
Old 01-30-2020, 09:11 AM
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My ending - not a prediction...
They keep trying to make the good place better, it doesn't work.
They realize that the good place would be a journey, not a destination. They have learned, grown, made friends, etc. The best place would be repeating seasons one through four (in their terms) over and over again. Michael says that they finally got it. He pushes a button and then the series ends with the same way it started - Michael welcoming Eleanor to the good place.
  #202  
Old 01-30-2020, 12:26 PM
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People have been making jokes about the Christian heaven forever, like they'd be bored with all the pious people or that they'd want to go to hell because that's where their friends would be. The obvious flaw with this reasoning is that it's human-centered nonsense. If heaven is perfect, then it's perfect. Perfect is not flawed or boring or short-lived.
Bollocks. People have been trying to have their Heaven-cake and eat their Heaven-cake too for a long time. People envision "themselves" in heaven and even the actual Bible describes it that way. It's completely incoherent, and I don't think they're off-base for ribbing it.

But moreover, The Good Place isn't a show about theology. It's a show about (shrimp dispensers and Molotov cocktails and) terrestrial philosophy filtered through the metaphor of the afterlife. You can argue that "eternal happiness is boring" is a weak argument about the afterlife, but I think "having everything you want and nothing to strive for or learn is poisonous" is a little more toothsome.
  #203  
Old 01-30-2020, 01:07 PM
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But moreover, The Good Place isn't a show about theology. It's a show about (shrimp dispensers and Molotov cocktails and) terrestrial philosophy filtered through the metaphor of the afterlife. You can argue that "eternal happiness is boring" is a weak argument about the afterlife, but I think "having everything you want and nothing to strive for or learn is poisonous" is a little more toothsome.
First, of course it's about theology. Atheists don't think an afterlife exists at all, let alone a place where someone can be tortured for all eternity.

Second, you can get everything in this Good Place, including the opportunity to learn, and learning is striving. That argument is self-defeating. I'd argue instead that for most of the great minds on earth their work is their happiness. Given the chance to extend that work in all directions with other like minds would take precedence over stardust milkshakes. That's an embarrassingly 21th century notion of pleasure. Moreover, the show needs to ask the people being tortured for eternity whether they'd like to try this Good Place as an alternative. I'm betting the voting would be about 100,000,000,000 to 0 even if they veg out from a surfeit of eels pleasure.

Ironically, the last show just announced that the atheistic idea of death is the final reward. That utterly confounds the moral underpinning of the rest of the series. That can't possibly be where they leave it. I'm hoping that the twists I mentioned will turn our expectations around yet again.

Can the ending satisfy everyone? Obviously not. No two philosophers ever agree on anything, and the meaning and purpose of life itself is the most argued and most contentious point of all. We'll be right back here after the show slagging and/or praising what Michael Schur did. That's the real-world future and always will be.
  #204  
Old 01-30-2020, 01:20 PM
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I think anyone expecting them to throw out all the solutions they've already come up with in the last episode are going to be disappointed.
  #205  
Old 01-30-2020, 02:07 PM
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First, of course it's about theology. Atheists don't think an afterlife exists at all, let alone a place where someone can be tortured for all eternity.
Right. Questions about the afterlife or a point system to decide where you go in the afterlife is definitely dealing with issues of theology.

I would also half-jokingly say that terrestrial philosophy filtered by the afterlife (though the belief in its reality as opposed to using it as a metaphor) is what most of theology is.

Last edited by ISiddiqui; 01-30-2020 at 02:10 PM.
  #206  
Old 01-30-2020, 07:00 PM
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... Ironically, the last show just announced that the atheistic idea of death is the final reward. That utterly confounds the moral underpinning of the rest of the series. That can't possibly be where they leave it. ...
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I think anyone expecting them to throw out all the solutions they've already come up with in the last episode are going to be disappointed.
I agree with both these points.

Certainly the 'walk through a door and your consciousness ceases' device is unlikely to be the show's solution to all the problems brought up in the course of the show.

Once the show committed to the idea that human consciousness goes on forever---a wish-fulfillment classic for millennia, after all---it can't just pull the rug out with a claim that 'oblivion is really what everyone ultimately craves.' That's simply not true, and such a claim would leave a sour taste in the mouths of most viewers.

Whatever the solution is, it will involve consciousness going on forever. And I don't think they'll try to present the cheat of 'your mind goes on forever, BUT it will be merged with all other minds.' That's a device used in a lot of fiction treating The Afterlife, but it's a cliché--and unsatisfying, besides.
  #207  
Old 01-30-2020, 09:00 PM
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Is tonight's finale really 90 minutes or is that some kind of recap + 20 minute episode?
  #208  
Old 01-30-2020, 10:05 PM
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It was 70 minutes with a 20 minute post show with the cast and Seth Meyers.
  #209  
Old 01-30-2020, 10:16 PM
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Without spoilering the show (which was just wonderful and extremely moving), the recap was one of the better examples of the after finale live show genre. It was kept short, and the actors clearly were very fond of each other.
  #210  
Old 01-30-2020, 10:28 PM
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Once the show committed to the idea that human consciousness goes on forever---a wish-fulfillment classic for millennia, after all---it can't just pull the rug out with a claim that 'oblivion is really what everyone ultimately craves.' That's simply not true, and such a claim would leave a sour taste in the mouths of most viewers.
Oops. That's what Schur did say. Even for Michael Realman, who was designed to be eternal and had already lived an eternity without worrying about it. Heaven turned out to be a hospice. That's interesting and unexpected, but I also doubt he meant it to be read that way.

Oh well. The ending was a series of satisfying farewells and tissue-moments. As finales go, this was among the best ever purely emotionally. I'm not complaining.
  #211  
Old 01-30-2020, 10:59 PM
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Take it sleazy, everyone.
  #212  
Old 01-30-2020, 11:24 PM
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Ironically, the last show just announced that the atheistic idea of death is the final reward. That utterly confounds the moral underpinning of the rest of the series. That can't possibly be where they leave it. I'm hoping that the twists I mentioned will turn our expectations around yet again.

I don't think the show depicts death as the final reward. It instead says that without the prospect of death, humans struggle to find meaning in life. This is pretty explicitly stated in the previous episode.
  #213  
Old 01-31-2020, 12:53 AM
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BOOOOOOORRRRING ENDING!!!

Everything else was great, though.
  #214  
Old 01-31-2020, 01:10 AM
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I was very confused by the very last scene, with the junk mail and the stranger. Was it supposed to mean more than it did?

Other than that, not a very surprising ending, but very satisfying, and lots of very funny moments.
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  #215  
Old 01-31-2020, 01:34 AM
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Looks like it’s going to take Brent at least a few thousand more Bearimies to make it...
  #216  
Old 01-31-2020, 07:32 AM
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I was very confused by the very last scene, with the junk mail and the stranger. Was it supposed to mean more than it did?
Early in the series Michael talked about wanting to feel human. "I wanted to get a rewards card, any rewards card." "I wanted to talk briefly to someone and then say, 'Take it sleazy'." You can see a clip here.
  #217  
Old 01-31-2020, 09:51 AM
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One recap I read last night said the club mentioned in that piece of mail was someplace Eleanor hung out at.
  #218  
Old 01-31-2020, 10:33 AM
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I was very confused by the very last scene, with the junk mail and the stranger. Was it supposed to mean more than it did?

Other than that, not a very surprising ending, but very satisfying, and lots of very funny moments.
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Early in the series Michael talked about wanting to feel human. "I wanted to get a rewards card, any rewards card." "I wanted to talk briefly to someone and then say, 'Take it sleazy'." You can see a clip here.
SPOILER:
When Eleanor walked through the arch, she became a thousand points of light. One of those points made sure Michael got a rewards card.
  #219  
Old 01-31-2020, 10:53 AM
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It's also a reference to the episode Jeremy Bearimy, where Eleanor finds a wallet, and despite just finding out she's going to the Bad Place no matter what, she still returns it.
  #220  
Old 01-31-2020, 11:38 AM
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Oops. That's what Schur did say. Even for Michael Realman, who was designed to be eternal and had already lived an eternity without worrying about it. Heaven turned out to be a hospice. That's interesting and unexpected, but I also doubt he meant it to be read that way.
For what it's worth, I really disagree with this read. The idea wasn't "oblivion is what everyone truly craves." Our heroes didn't crave oblivion, because they didn't know that oblivion was behind the door. They didn't know anything about what was behind the door. I'm not sure there's a good way to distill the thesis statement of The Good Place into a few sentences - and anyway whatever it means to you is what it means, right? - but what I got from it was this:

To be human is to question. To ask "why?" And "how?" And "can it be better?" We obsess about unanswered questions, but to some degree we shouldn't, because it's the unanswered questions that make life interesting. If you ever had the answer to every question, you'd eventually have to invent new questions with unknown answers, just to keep going.And eventually, you'd have to seek the answers to THOSE questions, even if it you're risking oblivion, because all that matters is the pursuit of knowledge.

Last edited by storyteller0910; 01-31-2020 at 11:39 AM.
  #221  
Old 01-31-2020, 12:27 PM
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It was definitely time for the show to end and that was an okay way for them to do it.

Janet's place in the universe sort of reminds of the position of the Overlords in Childhood's End. Spoilered just in case some one never read it and might still.
SPOILER:
Far more intelligent than individual humans can ever be but just as Overlords were unable to ever become part of the Overmind, she can never walk through the door and be water no longer wave but as part of the ocean. Never knowing what that is.
  #222  
Old 01-31-2020, 04:32 PM
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I was reluctant to open the thread today because I thought it was a wonderful and satisfying conclusion to the series, and was afraid I'd come in here to find people shirting all over it. But it looks like that is not the case (so far...)

Lots of fun cameos, including

SPOILER:
Mrs Danson as the guitar teacher!
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  #223  
Old 01-31-2020, 04:39 PM
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I was reluctant to open the thread today because I thought it was a wonderful and satisfying conclusion to the series, and was afraid I'd come in here to find people shirting all over it. But it looks like that is not the case (so far...)

Lots of fun cameos, including

SPOILER:
Mrs Danson as the guitar teacher!
I was expecting to see her as a love interest after he became human. Wasn't disappointed to see her in that role.
  #224  
Old 01-31-2020, 04:55 PM
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Why are we spoiler-boxing stuff? The music teacher was played by Mary Steenburgen, who is the real-life wife of Ted Danson (since 1995).
  #225  
Old 01-31-2020, 07:54 PM
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The Tempest 2: Here We Blow Again!
  #226  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:11 PM
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This left me feeling similar to Rise of Skywalker. I was emotionally drained and cried the whole time, but I didn't exactly feel satisfied.

However, I didn't feel manipulated and it did make sense in-verse. And really thinking about it, I can't think of another ending that would have been satisfying. All of them still doing the same thing for millennia with no end in sight? It turning out to be another Bad Place trick? A concrete answer on an after-afterlife? Pass.

It didn't try too hard so for a Good Place episode it fell a little short for me, but it wasn't an INFURIATING ending like Dexter or HIMYM, endings so bad they make me too angry to watch reruns.

Questions were answered, but some things left hanging. Real emotional growth. No cliffhangers. Nothing that undermined the series as a whole. I can live with that.
  #227  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:28 PM
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I thought it was a great ending.
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:17 PM
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Why are we spoiler-boxing stuff? The music teacher was played by Mary Steenburgen, who is the real-life wife of Ted Danson (since 1995).
Heck, people upthread were bitching about speculation not being spoilered. You can never be too careful around here.
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  #229  
Old 01-31-2020, 09:17 PM
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The ending seemed really sudden, like no coda at the end to wrap up the show. I was surprised. On Hulu, it showed 11 minutes left and it was the reunion with the cast.

I thought the show was going to roll out a bit slower.

I expected Eleanor to wait for Michael to die and when he showed up, they'd walk through together...
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:39 PM
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I thought it was a great ending.
Agreed. I loved Tahini becoming an Architect in the end. Also, was that Ron Swanson teaching her how to make furniture?

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  #231  
Old 01-31-2020, 10:10 PM
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Agreed. I loved Tahini becoming an Architect in the end. Also, was that Ron Swanson teaching her how to make furniture?

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It was! Or rather, it might have been the actual Nick Offerman in the afterlife, since he's actually a really good woodworker.

A lot of those actors are good friends in real life. Offerman is friends with Kristen Bell and her husband Dax Shepherd, as I recall. And of course Mary Steenburgen is Ted Danson's wife. I got the sense that the show invited some friends in for the big blowout.

Offerman Wood Shop. My wife got me a Christmas present from there last year.
  #232  
Old 01-31-2020, 10:11 PM
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Also, was that Ron Swanson teaching her how to make furniture?
Nick Offerman is well known as an accomplished carpenter.
  #233  
Old 01-31-2020, 11:07 PM
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Actually, when you think of it, the Judge, as much as I love her, is the only character that really didn't show any growth. Even Shawn, who tried to be Mr. Demon throughout the transition, started to like the new system and (presumably) the humans. Judge Gen really didn't care one way or the other what happened to humans, and was willing accept whichever argument she heard last. Even at the end she joked about erasing part of humanity because of something she saw on TV.

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  #234  
Old 02-01-2020, 03:48 PM
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Better to end a year early than a year late. I think the show did end early, but a very satisfying ending it was.
  #235  
Old 02-01-2020, 04:48 PM
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I was reluctant to open the thread today because I thought it was a wonderful and satisfying conclusion to the series, and was afraid I'd come in here to find people shirting all over it. But it looks like that is not the case (so far...)

Lots of fun cameos, including

SPOILER:
Mrs Danson as the guitar teacher!
I loved Ron Swanson praising Tahani’s chair.
  #236  
Old 02-01-2020, 04:51 PM
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I didn't like the ending. It was probably time for the show to end, but this was unsatisfying to me. I think I was still waiting for a twist but nothing happened. Not a bad twist, a good twist, mind you. But nothing really happened. It's unclear to me if the sparkling lights are supposed to continue existing or if they go out after landing on earth. A bit of a downer IMO.
  #237  
Old 02-01-2020, 06:13 PM
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Bollards

Last edited by Uniqueorn; 02-01-2020 at 06:14 PM. Reason: F U
  #238  
Old 02-01-2020, 09:00 PM
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Emotionally, the finale did a great job of attending to each character. And the cameos were fun. I appreciated the effort to bring back so many actors from the run of the show.

Story-wise, I don't think the finale came anywhere near the high bar set by the show as a whole. It ticked off the boxes, but it failed to do what the show has done so well: examine Big Questions in a fresh way.

So the Ultimate in the afterlife is to follow around people you liked in the earlier part of your afterlife....just watching them? Kinda creepy.

Also, other bits felt under-thought. (Michael couldn't have gotten guitar lessons in the Good Place?)

I guess my favorite bit was Jason actually living the life of a monk, for yea-many Bearimies. That was nice.

Taken all in all, the finale certainly didn't ruin the show. But I don't think it really measured up to it, either.
  #239  
Old 02-01-2020, 10:37 PM
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  #240  
Old 02-02-2020, 03:49 AM
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That hit me a lot harder than I was expecting. From Jason's dance party through Chidi's farewell, I was pretty much sobbing like a baby. Not exactly my normal reaction to sitcoms.
  #241  
Old 02-02-2020, 08:20 AM
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Any one pay attention to Jason's Madden score (~75 yards per play; opponent: -7) or Tahani's list? (Solve the Poincare Conjecture, Break Graham Gooch’s record of 456 runs in a single test)
List here: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...everYoureReady

tidbit I found online:
* Jason’s perfect Madden score is stuffed with Easter eggs: His rushing total of 11,271 yards is the franchise career total of Jacksonville Jaguars great Fred Taylor, and his total number of takeaways is — of course — 69. (Nice.)

Brian
  #242  
Old 02-02-2020, 11:02 AM
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One of the nice things about the show was how the four of them became good friends in the afterlife, even though they were very different and unlikely to cross paths while they were alive. That sort of echoes how Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson were friends and colleagues who respected each other despite having very different philosophies about the role of government.
  #243  
Old 02-02-2020, 06:26 PM
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I loved it and cried a lot, which is unusual for me. With all of the death and loss of the past two years in my life, this show just gave a beautiful comfort to me.
  #244  
Old 02-03-2020, 08:03 AM
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Spoilers ahoy:

I have to admit that I really enjoyed the last episode. It wasn't climactic but then it wasn't supposed to be; it was pretty much entirely denouement. All the umpteen loose ends were wrapped up (I even got the return of Doug I was hoping for), and if we didn't get the specifics of what happens to everyone post-arch, that was entirely intentional. I'll admit part of me wanted to see how Tahani's family reacted upon initially discovering that she was one of the four most important humans in the history of the universe, but I suppose that's just me being petty; we got the family catharsis instead.

Michael's human name amused me. Although Janet has to remain in the Good Place after everyone had left, I took some comfort from the fact this is mitigated by her perception of time; she will always be in every moment of her interaction with her friends. Despite Derek's apotheosis I noted he still had his martini glasses (and remained fundamentally Derek). And Shaun's failed attempt to sound less evil was quite amusing, as was the Radiolab joke.

In short, I'm happy with that. Sad to see them go but then not going on and on once all the conflicts have been resolved is good advice for television shows as well as afterlives.
  #245  
Old 02-03-2020, 05:42 PM
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I enjoyed the ending.

As a vision of heaven, "become the best version of yourself and spend time with the best versions of your loved ones until you are sufficiently spiritually fulfilled to move on" seems pretty great. And each character got a fitting end.

In addition to the more well-known cameos, the guy who delivers the letter to Michael at the end is Kurt Braunohler, a comedian possibly best known for hiring a skywriter to write "How Do I Land?" over LA a few years ago.
  #246  
Old 02-03-2020, 06:42 PM
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That hit me a lot harder than I was expecting. From Jason's dance party through Chidi's farewell, I was pretty much sobbing like a baby. Not exactly my normal reaction to sitcoms.
Same here. Due to a number of recent personal issues, I've been pretty emotionally raw lately, and I was absolutely not ready for the impact this finale had on me.

As for the plot, as soon as Jason said, "Yeah, I did it," I pretty much knew what was going to happen. And nothing was terribly surprising after that, though letting Michael become human was a nice touch.
One nitpick: I didn't think Eleanor was ready to go through the door. The others clearly were, but whether it was Kristin Bell's performance, or the writing, or the directing, I just didn't see it in her.

Still, I found it an extremely satisfying and surprisingly emotional finale.
  #247  
Old 02-03-2020, 06:49 PM
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I loved how the characters came to the ends of their arcs: Jason coming full circle to actually become Jianyu; Tahani, who in life learned nothing useful, striving to learn every skill; indecisive Chidi making the ultimate decision without hesitation; and selfish Eleanor making the ultimate act of selflessness. Plus Michael becoming the human he always wanted to be.

Chidi's speech about the wave is one of the most profound and beautiful things I have ever heard. I want someone to read it at my funeral.
  #248  
Old 02-03-2020, 06:55 PM
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One nitpick: I didn't think Eleanor was ready to go through the door. The others clearly were, but whether it was Kristin Bell's performance, or the writing, or the directing, I just didn't see it in her.
The podcast mentioned a scene that was cut - after Chidi went through the door, Eleanor expresses confusion as to why the others were ready but she was not. Then she realizes her unfinished business and convinces Mindy (her alter ego) to move on from the Medium Place and gets Michael his shot at humanity. Now she is ready.
  #249  
Old 02-03-2020, 08:36 PM
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I still think Michael dying and joining Eleanor hand-in-hand as they go through the door would have been very touching.

I feel bad for Janet for "living" forever without them now. Am I alone?
  #250  
Old 02-03-2020, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
The podcast mentioned a scene that was cut - after Chidi went through the door, Eleanor expresses confusion as to why the others were ready but she was not. Then she realizes her unfinished business and convinces Mindy (her alter ego) to move on from the Medium Place and gets Michael his shot at humanity. Now she is ready.
That scene wasn't cut from the version I got from iTunes.
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