Photo: Justin Lubin (NBC)

We’ve still got two long weeks (and a couple of annoying extra days) to wait until the September 27 return of NBC’s tricksy sitcom delight The Good Place. For most of it, in any case: Entertainment Weekly has a little treat for fans of Places both Good and Bad (and Medium!) to dip into tonight, showing off the first scene of the show’s upcoming third season.

Said sequence focuses mostly on Ted Danson’s demon-made-good Michael, as he pays off the promises of the show’s game-changing second season finale (while also making it clear, once and for all, that Eleanor and her friends’ return to Earth is some actual time travel, branching timelines shit, and not just yet another simulation). Besides showing us how Michael intervened in order to save Chidi, Tahani, and Jason from their various untimely ends, the sequence also sets up some savvy stakes for Michael’s attempts to further intervene in his friends’ Earth-bound lives, introducing Mike O’Malley as “The Doorman,” an interdimensional watcher who gates access between The Places and Earth. (Also, he has a thing for frogs.) It’s always folly to try to predict where this particular show is going to go from week to week, but we have to assume The Doorman will have something to say about Michael’s decision (also from last season’s finale) to dip back down to do his best Sam Malone impression and set a backsliding Eleanor back on the right (Chidi-directed) track.

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