Thursday, October 11, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Good Place' - Eleanor Fights to Keep the Group Together Despite New Challenges in 'The Snowplow'

NBC's The Good Place - Episode 3.04 "The Snowplow"

A surprising announcement from one of the humans threatens to dissolve the group.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of NBC's The Good Place.

"The Snowplow" was written by Joe Mande and directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller

Is our time spent on Earth already coming to a close? That definitely seems like the direction the show is heading in at the conclusion of "The Snowplow." It also shows just how far Michael and Janet are willing to go in order to ensure a favorable outcome for their friends. Right now, they are stuck on Earth as well. They don't have their powers but they feel the need to intervene in every aspect of the humans' lives. They need their friends to pass this test and get into the Good Place on their own merits. They understand that it's possible. They just believe it takes a near-constant level of intervention in order to ensure this outcome. That is their new mission. Of course, that would seem likely to help anyone on the planet become a better person. It may not be an indication that Eleanor, Chidi, Jason and Tahani deserve to make it into the Good Place. At some point, Michael and Janet have to trust that this experiment will run its natural course and hope that their four friends have changed enough to lead better lives the second time around. However, they don't accept that. They continue to pop up in their lives to keep things running on a strict schedule that may possibly benefit them all in the end. Instead, it just leads to the exposure of the experiment right away. Sure, another year passes over the course of this hour. In that time, the group has grown closer together once more. Progress has been made. Tahani and Chidi are in healthy relationships. Tahani is engaged now. Eleanor and Jason are continuing to work on themselves. Eleanor has gotten to the place where she feels bad and needs to apologize to her friends for her recent outburst. And yet, she is still willing to lash out at the people she loves because they don't agree with her feelings towards the situation. Right now, the group is on the verge of breaking up. Chidi needs to compile the results and potentially repeat the study with new subjects. That's how he'll know if the results are conclusive or if they were just special to the Brainy Bunch. Meanwhile, Tahani wants to move back to London in order to start her new life with her fianc√©, Larry Hemsworth. Michael and Janet are doing their best to keep the group together believing they will fail in their own individual lives. They are operating without the understanding that the original neighborhood experiment always failed because the four humans were together. They were never torn apart and just allowed to be isolated again. They were stronger together. That may still be the case. But it would be impossible to keep this study going forever. And yet, it seems like the humans have the far more rational response to all of this. They have the clarity that these friendships mean something. They make plans to reunite once a year. That will ensure that they maintain these relationships and continue to aspire to be better people in their actual lives instead of just for a study. Meanwhile, Michael just wants to reset the timeline all over again. It's his determination that leads to the humans walking in on him as he opens the door to the afterlife. That's a major cliffhanger that he won't be able to explain away so easily. But it's also important to note that Simone has already left for the night. She has become a major part of the group this season as well. Her relationship with Chidi has been charming. Plus, she is able to talk Eleanor through her emotional dilemma here better than anyone previously has. She may be a necessary component of the team dynamic as well. But Michael and Janet don't care about her because she's not a part of this experiment they are running with the Judge. As such, she may be left behind. The humans will have to reckon with that now that they appear to be in on the truth. Them coping with that has to mean something otherwise this could seem like a huge waste of time. And on a final note, who wouldn't want a Blake Beartles?