Thursday, January 9, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Good Place' - Chidi Formulates an Idea for the Afterlife as Janet Distracts the Judge in 'You've Changed, Man'

NBC's The Good Place - Episode 4.10 "You've Changed, Man"

The group works to negotiate an afterlife plan with Shawn and the judge.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of NBC's The Good Place.

"You've Changed, Man" was written by Matt Murray and directed by Rebecca Asher

Reforming the afterlife system has long been the chief goal for Eleanor and Team Cockroach. And now, they have only minutes to put together a plan to convince the judge to save all humanity. She thinks it would be easier to start over completely. There may be no hope for humanity as it currently exists. The best case scenario is seemingly starting over and hoping for the best with what evolves from that initial start. Janet tries to persuade her that that could create an even worse civilization. However, that's the risk that comes from this assessment. Everyone is making the argument that big, systemic change is necessary. That can be incredibly daunting and risk unraveling too much that has brought pleasure to the various people now making the big, life-changing decisions. Chidi has newfound clarity and confidence after experiencing every rebooted version of his life. He can uniformly say that he loves Eleanor. He can cite the most crucial philosophical examples in the hopes of creating a better system. And yet, the team still has to convince everyone to agree on a strategy. That too seems like an equally daunting task because of the personalities involved. The representatives from the Good Place are willing to do just about anything. They are very accommodating in that way. That makes them basically irrelevant in this entire situation. Instead, the team just has to convince both the judge and Shawn. They are the obstacles standing in their way. At times, Judge Gen is easy to manipulate because she too delights in the details of humanity. She can be distracted by Janet conjuring Timothy Olyphant up. That is a delightful cameo here. But it also comes from a lot of effort trying to convince her to save humanity. She has seemingly made up her mind and is furious at the people who keep questioning her judgment. She has served in this role since the creation of the universe. She may not preside over many cases. However, her verdicts need to be respected and followed. She has issued her ruling and people are still fighting her. They believe they can still persuade her to their side. To their credit, there is absolutely enough reason to keep that hope alive. With Shawn, it seems like he is purely motivated by his own selfish interests. The team is more than willing to sacrifice themselves if a few million people are kept from being tortured for all eternity. That isn't good enough for him though. And yet, he too fears the end. This has all been a struggle for power. He has enjoyed battling wits with Michael. A demon has brought this threat to the way the system has been managed for billions of years. Shawn is furious while also acknowledging that it is an amusing change from the routine he had grown accustomed to over the years. There may always be the fear that the demons could quickly grow bored by the new system Team Cockroach presents here. However, it allows everyone to keep playing the game for a little while longer. That is refreshing and Shawn has to be willing to admit that in order to move forward to ensure that things are still somewhat pleasant for everyone involved. He wants to torture. But he mostly wants to have fun. This solution allows him to do that even though it comes with the risk of losing out on souls who will move on to the Good Place if they pass these tests. At one point in time, that was a sacrifice he wasn't willing to make. In fact, it's the suggestion the team first offers him. He declines. That showcases how hard it is to make a compromise even when the stakes are insanely high. The team eventually finds a strategy that works. Now, they just have to figure out how to put it into practice. That's not Chidi's expertise. His brain was necessary to come up with this solution. He gets there because of the support he receives from his friends. That too is invaluable. The hard work isn't over though. Everyone remains strong together. And yet, setting up and controlling these numerous experiments that are tailor made for each specific individual from Earth sounds exhaustive and massive. And yet, it may be the only way to ensure that justice is precisely given to every person who goes on this journey after death. That is a noble goal everyone strives to achieve. They are one step closer to making it a reality. It still seems likely that things will go awry when trying to put it into motion though.