[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Season 4 premiere of The Good Place, "A Girl From Arizona, Part One." Read at your own risk!]
Pour out a bag of peppermints for Linda (Rachel Winfree), the most boring woman ever to cross the threshold of the fake Good Place. Linda didn't want to do shirt with her afterlife, and that's valid. Linda just wanted to listen to some birds and be left alone.
I'm going to miss Linda, who was introduced in the Season 4 premiere of The Good Place as one of the humans in the Soul Squad's grand experiment. Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Michael (Ted Danson), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto), and Janet (D'Arcy Carden) have one year to prove that that the points system just doesn't account for how hard it is to live ethically anymore, so they're back in the fake Good Place, land of a thousand frozen yogurt flavors, ready to help four new humans become better people.
But the Bad Place gets to pick who our heroes have to reform, and in the Season 3 finale, they chose Chidi's (William Jackson Harper) ex-girlfriend, Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste). Chidi sacrificed himself by wiping his memory in order to avoid ruining the project. (They also picked John [Brandon Scott Jones], a gossip blogger who used to target Tahani, but no one erased their memory because of him, so there are bigger fish right now.)
In the final season's premiere episode, the Soul Squad Minus One meet the last two people in their experiment: Linda, who is actually the human embodiment of the Medium Place, and Brent (Ben Koldyke), the ultimate middle-aged CEO bro. ("Princeton. Graduated in the top half of the bottom half of my class. Rowing team, sailing team, class president — I hung out with all those guys.") Brent sucks in obvious ways, but Linda is an enigma until she loses her cool and starts punching everyone.
Linda turns out to be Hot Demon Chris (Luke Guldan) in disguise, sent undercover from the Bad Place to undermine everything. He just blew his assignment, unless that's exactly what he wants us to think. (Trust no one.) The good guys load Chris onto a train bound for the Bad Place, but not before they get some game-changing news from the Judge (Maya Rudolph): To punish Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) for breaking the terms of the deal, she's making Chidi the new fourth member of the experiment.
This is great news for the experiment, since Chidi is, in Michael's words, their "ethical sleeper agent." It's also great news for us because it integrates Chidi into the story. Chidi spends this season premiere off to the side of the action, living his best life while a lovesick Eleanor — who's still pretending to be the architect — pastes on a smile. He can summon philosophy books like Thor's hammer, and no one is secretly trying to torture him. It's what he deserves.
Meanwhile, neuroscientist Simone has convinced herself that none of this is real. She believes she's been in some kind of accident and her dying brain is constructing this reality around her, so she starts acting out: wearing clown pants and a cheesehead (it's a look), pushing people into pools, knocking over cakes. Eleanor balks at the idea of sending Chidi to calm her down, but she eventually relents. It doesn't seem to help and since Simone and Chidi both worked at the same university, it only further convinces Simone that this is all in her head. But the introduction still sets the stage for a possible love triangle.
Elsewhere in love triangles, Jason kills Derek (Jason Mantzoukas) so he can't slide into Janet's DMs. I hope the next version of Derek still says "Derek" too much.
Best lines of the night:
ELEANOR: "It does make me feel authoritative, like that chick from Law & Order: 'Well boys, looks like we've got ourselves an SVU.' I've never seen the show."
THE JUDGE: "Shawn, I don't have time for this, I just started Deadwood finally and I need my daily dose of Timothy Olyphant."
DEREK: "Attention: Murder has been me!"
BRENT: "Here we go with all the terms we gotta learn right? Vice President of Helping. Captain Marvel. You know what I'm saying."
MICHAEL: "Oh I'm not part of this."
JANET, when Linda asks for a peppermint: "Suuuuure!"