‘The Good Place’ Season 4: Is Michael a Real Demon? This Theory Offers New Twist

Season 4 of The Good Place recently premiered and it is clear that there are many surprises in store for fans. Since the fourth season will be the final one for the show, the writers definitely have a lot of incentives to pull out all the stops.

While fans are still in mostly the dark about the upcoming twists and turns, they are already coming up with all kinds of interesting theories. A big idea that has been gaining traction in the fandom is one that concerns Michael’s (Ted Danson) real identity. Some fans believe that he might actually be a human, not a demon.

‘The Good Place’ is a show about good and evil

Ted Danson portrays Michael, a demon disguised as a human, on NBC's 'The Good Place.'
Ted Danson portrays Michael, a demon disguised as a human, on NBC’s The Good Place. | Justin Lubin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The Good Place premiered in 2016 as a comedy that tries to tackle the age-old question of what happens when we die. On the show, any human who passes away is sorted into either the “Good Place” or “Bad Place,” depending on how good of a life they have led.

In a “Good Place” neighborhood, humans can live in paradise for all eternity, while in a “Bad Place neighborhood, they are tortured.

The series follows four humans — Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), and Jason (Manny Jacinto) — who initially thought they had landed in the “Good Place” by accident. All four led questionable lives in the real world.

But it was later revealed that they had been in the “Bad Place” all along. Their “Good Place” architect, Michael, also turned out to be a demon who was in charge of torturing them.

Michael is a demon who became good after hanging out with the humans

Michael was initially a demon who did everything in power to make life miserable for the four humans. He originally was tasked with physically torturing them as any demon in the “Bad Place” would, but for these four humans, specifically, he decided to create a fake “Good Place” neighborhood and have them drive each other insane instead.

When the humans discovered that they were in the “Bad Place,” Michael erased their memory and started his experiment all over again. He did this way more times than he was allowed to, and it led one of the demons, Vicky (Tiya Sircar), to blackmail him. Vicky threatened to tell Michael’s bosses about his failed attempts if he did not allow her to take control of the neighborhood.

Since Michael was scared of Vicky, he decided to join forces with the human gang that he was supposed to be torturing. The humans, then, convinced him to join in on their ethics lessons that were taught by Chidi. Even though he struggled with grasping ethics at first, he became better after hanging out with humans.

Starting in the middle of season 2, Michael began abandoning his demonic tasks and focused on trying to get the four humans into the real “Good Place” instead.

Some fans believe that Michael was never a demon

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Despite being a demon, Michael has been through a lot mentally and emotionally throughout the show. This led a lot of fans to develop the theory that Michael himself is a human in his own “Bad Place.”

“I always figured that this was Michael’s Bad Place,” a viewer shared on Reddit.com. “He was a human whose torture was that he was convinced he was a bad-place rep and had to constantly live in a world where he could not be an effective torturer.”

This theory makes sense when looking at what the show’s creator, Michael Schur, has said about Michael’s identity in the fourth season.

“We sort of wanted to have him confront a bunch of different versions of himself, and try to figure out how it’s possible that they all exist in one continuous timeline,” Schur said.

There are some holes in this “Michael is human” theory, however. For example, Michael has a close relationship with higher-up members of the “Bad Place.” He also has several supernatural abilities, such as immortality and the power to erase memories.

To find out what will become of Michael and the rest of the characters, catch The Good Place every Thursday on NBC.