Last season, The Good Place pulled off one of the most brilliant plot twists in recent TV memory, but its bait-and-switch cliffhanger left viewers with plenty of lingering questions. Like, is the Medium Place still real on The Good Place, or was that just another part of Michael's elaborate con? Season 2 is officially in swing, but we've yet to get an answer, leaving speculation to run wild.
Fans will recall that Eleanor and Jason ventured to the Medium Place in the penultimate episode of Season 1. Desperate to avoid The Bad Place (and unaware that she was already in it), Eleanor thought it could be a suitable compromise: Her many wrong turns were still too terrible to make her worthy of staying in heaven, but the growth she'd done as a person after landing there on a fluke seemed like enough to make her eternal damnation just a little bit milder. Enter the Medium Place, home to the fabled Mindy St. Claire (Maribeth Monroe), a coke-addled corporate lawyer who was on the fast track to hell until she decided to pour her life savings into a new worldwide charity that went on to done a lot of good after her death. The fates that be were conflicted about which side of the afterlife she actually belonged in, so they settled for neutral ground. Now, Mindy lives in her own decidedly "medium" neighborhood, where there's beer, but it's always warm; there's entertainment, but not the kind she likes; and worst of all, she's perpetually, painfully lonely.
Eleanor quickly realizes that a life of empty monotony isn't much more satisfying than one of unrelenting torture, and her newfound conscience draws her back to "The Good Place" to find Chidi and Tahani, who she left behind when she and Jason stole Shawn's train. When Season 2 picks up, there's no mention of Mindy or the Medium Place, which may be the biggest hint that it is, in fact, real. If Mindy had been in on Michael's ploy, she would have been recast in his rebooted torture test, just as the fake-real Eleanor/Denise/whatever her name is was downgraded to the role of Vicky. But instead, she's nowhere to be found — likely because she's still relegated to a life of mediocrity. Plus, as several Reddit users have pointed out, Michael had no idea Janet would bring Jason and Eleanor to the Medium Place. If it had been part of his scheme, it would have added to their torment, not distracted from it. He hand-crafted their neighborhood for optimum misery, so he would have to know every inch of it, and the Medium Place doesn't seem to have been in his blueprint.
And if that isn't compelling enough to sway you, creator Mike Schur seemed to outright confirm the Medium Place's validity in a recent interview with Variety, saying that its existence added to the unpredictability of the show and that Season 2 will continue to delve into new territories. As he told the outlet:
"I think part of the fun of the show is that unexpected things happen. Last year, at the end of the year, they realized there was this medium place that had once been built for Mindy St. Claire [Maribeth Monroe]. They hopped on a train and were able to get to that medium place. I enjoy the idea of peeking around the edges of the curtain to see what the rest of the afterlife looks like. I think it’s safe to say that will continue in the second season."
So, yes, all signs point to the Medium Place being real, and apparently, it's not the only corner of the afterlife yet to explore.