Thursday, October 18, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Good Place' - A Sudden Discovery Turns Life Upside Down for the Humans in 'Jeremy Bearimy'

NBC's The Good Place - Episode 3.05 "Jeremy Bearimy"

The group explores the three main branches of ethical thought.

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.

"Jeremy Bearimy" was written by Megan Amram and directed by Trent O'Donnell

All of Michael and Janet's constant meddling in the lives of the four humans was bound to carry some severe consequences. The humans all got chances at new lives. They survived the initial accidents that killed them. They all got together again. And yet, it's Michael and Janet believing they need to reset the timeline once more that leads to the complete implosion of this experiment. It ensures that Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason are no longer in the dark about what's going on. However, the show isn't quick to return to the afterlife either. Michael and Janet opened the cosmic door. They don't step through it though. Instead, they are caught by the humans and have to explain how all of this was possible in the first place. Questions about the logistics of time in the afterlife have been apparent since the beginning of the show. And now, Michael delivers some answers in ways that just confuse everyone involved. Of course, that confusion is part of the joke as well. Chidi is able to go along with all of this until the dot over the i in Jeremy Bearimy breaks him. That seems to make no sense when it comes to an understanding of time. It may have made it easy for Michael to reset the timeline in the first place on Earth. However, it only reveals that time is happening both in the past and in the future in the afterlife. That's trippy and has the potential to be too didactic and mystifying. However, it's because it's so ridiculous that it works. In fact, it sends Chidi on quite a journey. One where he is completely broken as a man. He no longer shows any kind of careful consideration. Michael explains that the point totals for the four humans are now stuck at where they currently are because their motivation has been tainted. As such, they are doomed to return to the Bad Place. But again, they have freedom to do whatever they want. Having this information forces such fascinating reactions from everyone involved. Chidi is once again wrestling with the fact that all of his philosophical ideals are useless in this situation. Instead, he can only understand a nihilistic view of the world. As such, he is walking around knowing that nothing matters. It's quite funny and hilarious to watch. The series has been building to this moment. It chooses to capture it in the most absurd and satisfying way possible. Chidi would never wander aimlessly around without a shit on. But he does so here. The same goes to the rest of the humans as well. Tahani and Jason go on a journey together where they donate millions of dollars to the Sydney Opera House and the poor citizens on the street. It's a story that leads to them getting married because Jason's life would be changed immensely by the vast fortune that Tahani has. They do so completely forgetting about Larry. That has to sting considering he always sees himself as a repulsive monster that no one could love. That's a solid punchline at the end of this episode. But Eleanor once again has the most important journey. She wants to revert back to her selfish ways knowing that she'll see everyone again in the Bad Place. However, she still feels the compulsion to actually step up and do the right thing. As such, that motivates the next phase of the show's premise. These four humans, Michael and Janet may be destined to stay in the Bad Place. But that doesn't mean their time left on Earth should be wasted. They may be doomed but they can bring salvation to so many people who deserve entry into the Good Place. That's so aspirational. It seems like Larry and Simone will be the first people they assist on this journey solely because they are the new characters the season has set up with meaningful relationships with the gang. This is a solid idea that Eleanor has. But putting it into practice is bound to lead to some amusing complications as well.