Thursday, November 15, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Good Place' - Michael and Janet Visit Their Idol in Canada in 'Don't Let the Good Life Pass You By'

NBC's The Good Place - Episode 3.09 "Don't Let the Good Life Pass You By"

Michael and Janet take an important journey. Eleanor ponders whether she should share a secret.

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.

"Don't Let the Good Life Pass You By" was written by Andrew Law and directed by Dean Holland

In the very first episode of the entire series, Michael mentioned the celebrity of Doug Forcett. He has long been revered because he is the closest a human has gotten to describing how the afterlife actually functions. And now, Michael and Janet travel to Canada to visit Doug in the hopes that he can be the perfect symbol for how to live an ethical life on Earth. They know that his life was forever changed because of that day he got high and saw a vision of the afterlife. He is now living a life in complete service to others. He understands the point system of the afterlife and will do whatever it takes to ensure that he doesn't wind up getting tortured in the Bad Place. Michael and Janet are so happy to see him. Of course, the longer they stay in this life the more they realize that Doug isn't happy at all. He's actually a doormat who is so beholden to the other people in his life because he is so desperate to make them happy. He is so worried about the afterlife that he doesn't have a happy life on Earth. It's tragic in a way. It shows the perils of meeting your heroes. Michael always believed that things would work out for Doug. He hasn't died and entered the afterlife yet. Shawn and the demons are fully expecting to torture him alongside all of the other humans they've come to Earth to track down. Michael doesn't see how that's possible. He knows that the Soul Squad is doomed the moment that they return to the afterlife. He is also concerned about the life Doug is choosing to live out of fear of what could happen in the next life. But he also sees Doug as the only person who can be safe in the belief that he is heading to the Good Place. If he isn't destined for that fate, then there may be a severe problem with the point system. It's an issue that should be raised with the accountants who tally up everyone's total scores. Doug doesn't deserve to be tortured for all of eternity. And yet, that may be the fate that's awaiting him because his motivation could be tainted. He is only trying to make everyone happy because he knows that there will be consequences to his actions after he dies. As such, his point total could be stuck at the same level it was when he was a teenager who got high. That vision is both a blessing and a curse it turns out. He may have the same fate as the rest of the Soul Squad. He just isn't operating with the clarity that that is what's going to happen to him. The Soul Squad is aware that they are damned. But they still have hope that they can have some kind of love and hope in their lives too. Eleanor does confess her true feelings to Chidi. She doesn't keep that a secret from him for too long. In fact, her brief memories of the afterlife allow her to recognize Shaun and the other demons when they storm the bar they are at. Sure, the demons have come prepared. They know how to disarm Jason's molotov cocktail. And yet, they are no match for Janet. It's absolutely hilarious to watch as Janet just starts this fight in order to defeat these demons. She and Michael send them through the door to hopefully face significant punishment from the Judge. And yet, there are simply too many demons for the Soul Squad to ever feel safe on Earth again. That means they may be returning to the afterlife now. First, it's a pitstop in Janet's void. She feels comfortable enough taking the humans and Michael there. And yet, that could only create a new set of problems for the characters because they may not have changed anyone's lives on Earth in any significant way. However, it may be more beneficial to have them in the afterlife trying to dismantle the system that judges humans in the first place. That's where the more radical change possibly lies.