‘The Good Place’: How Chidi’s Wave Speech Helped the Cast Say a Real Goodbye

Though fans of The Good Place may have found it hard to say goodbye to the show after season 4, the cast of the hit NBC show seemed to struggle with their final farewell even more. The six main cast members have all been extremely vocal about how much the show meant to them and how enjoyable the working environment on set was. While it was difficult to close the book on the show after four short seasons, they all agreed it was the right thing to do.

The Good Place cast: William Jackson Harper, Ted Danson, D'Arcy Carden, Kristen Bell, Jameela Jamil, and Manny Jacinto
William Jackson Harper, Ted Danson, D’Arcy Carden, Kristen Bell, Jameela Jamil, and Manny Jacinto | Chris Haston/NBC/NBC Photo Bank

Fortunately, for the cast of The Good Place, their characters were experiencing a lot of the same feelings and emotions as they were. In fact, certain scenes actually helped the cast cope with the show ending and having to say goodbye to one another. One scene, in particular, that helped the cast is Chidi’s memorable wave scene in the series finale. Arguably, the most emotional moment in the entire series, Chidi compares death to a wave in the ocean as he says his final goodbye to Eleanor.

How Chidi’s wave speech in ‘The Good Place’ series finale helped the cast cope with saying goodbye

“Picture a wave in the ocean,” Chidi tells Eleanor in the series finale of The Good Place when she asks if he has any quotes to help her through what she’s feeling. “You can see it, measure it — its height, the way the sunlight refracts when it passes through. It’s there and you can see it and you know what it is. It’s a wave. And then it crashes on the shore, and it’s gone. But the water is still there. The wave was just a different way for the water to be, for a little while. That’s one conception of death for a Buddhist. The wave returns to the ocean  — where it came from, and where it’s supposed to be.”

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In an interview with Insider, William Jackson Harper (who plays Chidi in The Good Place) reflected on how the wave scene helped him say a real farewell. “You let all of that in when you’re doing a scene like that — when you’re saying goodbye,” Harper shared. “It was like, ‘Yeah, I’m actually legitimately saying goodbye to my friends.’ They all live here in LA and I live in New York. I’m probably not going to see them for a while and that’s really, really tough.”

William Jackson Harper has found continued comfort in the speech

But, the wave scene didn’t just help Harper and the cast on set. The Good Place star also shared that the wave scene has been a comfort to him throughout this challenging year. “But I’d like to think that it’s also comforting, especially in the midst of everything that we’re going through right now,” Harper added. “For me, there’s something helpful about reducing things that feel big and huge and all-consuming to something that’s just a moment — a blip. There’s something about that which is really helpful for me. It helps me not stay in a depressed place, where I find myself quite often, honestly.”

We can definitely see how the wave scene helped the cast of The Good Place cope with the show ending. As scores of fans have called out that particular monologue and one of the most moving moments of the series, it clearly resonates with others well.