Thursday, January 16, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Good Place' - Eleanor and Chidi Worry About Their Future as Michael Gives Away Control in 'Mondays, Am I Right?'

NBC's The Good Place - Episode 4.11 "Mondays, Am I Right?"

Michael runs some tests and Chidi gets some good advice from Jason.

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.

"Mondays, Am I Right?" was written by Jen Statsky and directed by Rebecca Asher

Team Cockroach has uprooted the entire afterlife system. They have created a new idea for how to judge the morality of a person. Now, they are tasked with implementing it. A large portion of that effort happens offscreen. The main characters may not even be the ones who oversee the program for very long. They understand just how arduous and important it can all be. They have lived it together for so long. And yet, that may not be where their personal journeys are taking them. They felt the importance of saving the entire human race. That has been their motivation for a long time. And now, they have succeeded. Eleanor, Chidi and Jason are deciding which human souls will be the first to be tested in the new system. Meanwhile, Michael, Janet and Tahani are training Bad Place architects for how to create the simulations that will test the humans. Those are their tasks here. However, it quickly becomes about their own personal assessments and what life will come for them after all of this is over. The last few episodes have been reflective on the end of this specific journey. Everyone knows that this battle of wits and survival is coming to an end. They could only reasonably delay it for so long. It has all come with the promise of salvation and happiness in the Good Place. That was never a guarantee though. The humans still believe they have to pass their own individual tests in order to prove that the system works and they can move on to the next stage of the afterlife. They are bracing for more torture themselves. That's not a fate that actually befalls them though. Instead, the judge immediately grants them access to the Good Place because of their work in saving the entire system and the souls from Earth. That has created enough points for all four of them to enter the Good Place based on their total scores. That is a miraculous conclusion for all of them. It means there is a success story at the very start of this new experiment. It may take awhile for it to get up and running. Michael has to train a lot of bad habits out of the Bad Place architects. But he also has to be willing to give up control as well. That's something he is reluctant to do because he has always been in a position of authority. He has felt a sense of structure and control over his life. He doesn't know what he has if he isn't trying to save the world or lead up this new system. He has to trust that it can work without him needing to painstakingly oversee every single aspect. That means he also has to be willing to trust Vicky. He came to an understanding with Shawn in the previous episode. That once seemed impossible. It allows all of them to keep this game going for a little while longer. And yet, Shawn quickly fades away because Michael is in charge now. He sets up the perimeters for the new test to torture human souls. Vicky just happens to be better at explaining it to her fellow demons. She knows how to get into the fine details of the true anxieties that each individual feels deep within them. It can't just be generic torture. There would be no signs of growth from that. She seemingly pulls off the impossible as well. She turns the Bad Place around because she had the time to reflect on what she wanted. Again, that is the focus of this episode. Eleanor and Chidi suddenly fear that they will quickly become bored by one another and grow resentful upon spending all of eternity side by side. They have to be willing and open into accepting that right now. Embracing that sense of vulnerability comes with the certainty that they can overcome any obstacle thrown in their way. And by the end of this journey, Team Cockroach is heading to the Good Place. Their journeys are coming to an end. What happens next is a scary prospect especially because they have been living a certain reality for a long time. However, that fear shouldn't stop them from moving forward. That acceptance is also crucial for who they are destined to become. They save the afterlife. And now, they may get the chance to relax in peace with their own personal versions of heaven, which may quickly fill up given the work they did to ensure more people could live in the Good Place.