The end of The Good Place’s excellent second season wasn’t exactly confusing in a Mr. Robot or Westworld sort of way, but some aspects of it were still left a little vague. Thankfully, series creator Mike Schur has arrived to answer whatever questions you may still have, sitting down with Rolling Stone for a breakdown of “Jake Jortles,” Chidi’s American accent, and where exactly everybody ended up in the final twist. Of course, it’s been a few months, so here’s a refresher: The end of the season had Michael pitching a final test for Eleanor and the rest of the Good Place crew, which turned out to involve sending them back to their lives pre-Good Place for another shot at being good people.
One thing that viewers were confused by, though, was whether or not this was another “simulation” like everything that happened in the phony “Good Place” Michael had initially designed. Schur tells Rolling Stone that it’s not another simulation, noting that they’re “straight-up back on Earth, in a new timeline where they didn’t die.” That was implied by the show, but Schur thought it would be a good idea to just “flatly state” that the second season ended in an actual alternate reality, not just another fake world.
Another thing that puzzled fans was a short moment in the finale in which Eleanor saw a YouTube video of Chidi—now alive again in the alternate reality—speaking English with an American accent even though the pilot established that he speaks French. The language stuff was initially waved away as part of the magic of Michael’s phony Good Place, but with Chidi back in the real world, it didn’t seem to make any sense for him to be speaking English. Schur says they had initially tried something different for the finale, with William Jackson Harper speaking “pan-African accented English,” but in the end Schur decided that it would just be easier for the audience to accept hearing him the way they’re used to hearing him. That being said, the next season will have some kind of explanation for his accent.
Lastly, Schur touched on one of the most important parts of The Good Place: Jason’s obsession with Blake Bortles. He told Rolling Stone that it was sort of an inside joke for the cast and crew that just kept growing and getting weirder, until it ended up with Jason yelling things like “Jake Jortles” and “portals.” He also says that the show had a plan in place for if the Jaguars had somehow managed to win the Super Bowl last season—something the show definitively noted would never happen—but he won’t say what it was because “a modified version” will pop up in the show’s next season.