Alright, listen up, because I’m only going to explain this once: Janet is God.
“Hey, yeah, I heard that fan theory! It’s a cool one. I guess we’ll have to just wait and see.”
No. Buckle up, my little chili babies. I’m taking you on a trolley ride.
This is not a fan theory. This is not a guessing game about how the series is going to end. It’s never going to end. I refuse. But in the afterlife of The Good Place, Janet, the omnipotent and omnipresent being, is God. It’s just how it is, regardless of how the show itself plays out or what the writers intend. And this non-believer is about to put all that tuition money my mom spent on Catholic high school to good use proving it.
Let’s take a look at the facts, shall we?
Like the God of Christianity, Janet is not a static being with a single aspect. There are Good Janets, who exist to make human souls happy; there are Bad Janets who exist to cause misery. A Good Janet is the God who bestowed children on people who were way too old to be doing anything in bed outside of a Charlie and The Chocolate Factory grandparent-type situation. A Bad Janet is the part of God that’s like, “Hey, Satan, I bet you won’t believe what I can do to this guy and he still won’t get mad.”
“But what about the Neutral Janets, if you think you’re so smart, huh, Jenny?” Yeah, well, I’ll tell you what about Neutral Janets, Bozo. Neutral Janet is the methodical, dispassionate God who, when faced with the choice of saving one really important Moses baby or like... every baby, focused on the task at hand with unemotional specificity and just up and let a whole mess of kids die. Oh, also, the part of God that was like, "Wow, I really need to get my kid crucified so I guess it’s a good thing this Judas guy is gonna betray him, wink wink" (explain to me how the entire plot of the New Testament, and allegedly the fate of every person in the world, can hinge on this one dude’s actions and there isn’t any predestination involved, Father Stanley). Neutral Janets don’t care about the feelings of humans; they’re just doing what they have to do to get their jobs done.
Now, if you’re a little kooky New Age like I am, you could also interpret Neutral Janet as the cold, indifferent universe. But let’s get back to Sunday school because I’m trying to stay Vatican II on this business.
Not only is Janet everywhere, but she’s also nowhere. She exists in what she once described as a “boundless void,” an infinite blank space. We see the void in the season three episode, “Janet(s),” when the four human characters are forced to hide there. Their presence (and the wielding of her limitless powers) threatens the order and fabric of the universe...which seems to exist within Janet herself. It’s not that Janet is everywhere; it’s that Janet is “everywhere.” Janet is the definition of omnipresence.
I know you want to talk omnipotence. Janets have limitless power. Good Janets are just more prone to use it constructively. For example, when providing therapy, or producing duffle bags stuffed with cocaine. Even Bad Janets are good for creating (hellish) things, like the worst playlists of all time or truly epic farts. Whether they are good, bad, or neutral, Janets are responsible for creating. When Michael needs a fake Good Place, a Good Janet assembles it from nothing. She even creates life in the form of Derek, a... somewhat functioning person. And when the entire neighborhood nearly crumbles from the corruption of Janet’s powers? She’s willing to sacrifice that particular version of herself to save it.
You know. Like a certain giant, bearded man in the sky gave up a version of himself to save mankind?
We know that Janets can create whole worlds, objects, presumably animals, and even people. We know that she is infinite and the universe resides both within and around her. But there’s one ingredient missing that I know is buried in my hastily scribbled theology notes somewhere: omniscience. Janet knows everything, from understanding how the Jeremy Bearimy timeline works to what seven million caucasian women think about Mark Harmon. Knowing is one of her main functions. Nothing escapes Janet’s notice. Not even the inner thoughts of Kevin Paltonic from Avondale, Arizona.
The only knowledge a Good Janet struggles with is lies. “Our” Janet finds herself capable of falsehoods after many reboots make her more human, but the structure of the whole neighborhood is threatened when she does learn to lie. In John 17:17, Jesus prays to God, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is the truth.” When our Good Janet’s sense of truth is corrupted, catastrophe occurs.
And one last point, if you haven’t agreed that I’m completely right, yet: where did Michael, a vile demon from the pit, find a Good Place Janet? She wasn’t kept under lock-and-key by the Good Place. He merely had to look for her, ask for her help, and she granted it unconditionally. And it was through that act of finding her and knowing her (no, not that kind of knowing, Eleanor) that Michael gained his humanity. Proverbs 8:17 says, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”
Maybe that’s why the Good Place leaves that door unlocked.