The Good Place: The Answer

“Hi there, Chidi.”

This one’s for the shippers.

Full disclosure: I’ve been Team Teleanor since Tahani booped Eleanor in the first episode, but somewhere in season three my love for Eleanor and Chidi as a couple began to eclipse my desire to see Eleanor and Tahani get together. They just fit in a way that’s rare and special. It’s painfully cheesy but that quote “In a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you” literally fits the situation. Time and time again Chidi and Eleanor fell together. I mean…how does that not touch your heart?

Last week we were left with Eleanor’s plea to Michael to wake Chidi up because only he can come up with a solution to save the world. This week sees Michael wake up Chidi, amid a thousand flashbacks. Also, sadly, Jason spills his drink. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t suspect that somehow the drink spilling would be important, like it would short out Chidi somehow and lead to disaster and chaos. But it didn’t.

The flashbacks start with baby Chidi (pause for awwwws) overhearing his parents fight and setting to work on a presentation on why they shouldn’t get a divorce. His presentation works, leaving Chidi with an unsustainable notion that there is an Answer to everything. I’ve never overly related to Chidi, but as a recovering perfectionist with serious anxiety issues, I totally understood him in this episode. The first example, where Chidi has to choose a desk, speaks to his issues perfectly. There has to be a perfect spot, a spot to sit that invites no problems, that has no negative consequences. Of course, it’s just a place to sit, as a mentally healthy person would point out. But Chidi is unable to see that. Reactions have consequences and he’s gotten to the point where he believes even actions a mentally healthy person would consider irrelevant have consequences. Hence Chidi being unable to pick a muffin in season three. Hence his ongoing almond milk issues. He’s so wrapped up in being responsible for everything, he can’t enjoy his life at all. Or at least, he couldn’t enjoy life on Earth.

My favorite flashback was to Chidi at the end of last season. The cool, calm, and collected Chidi that had been shaped by the timeline to truly be the best version of himself. He has a heart to heart with Michael and realizes that there is no one answer to any question, that life is created by our choices everyday and not by finding one thing (or one person) that will magically fix everything. He writes a note and hands it to Janet, echoing Eleanor’s pivotal “Find Chidi” note from the end of season one. It reads, “There is no Answer. But Eleanor is the Answer.”

Together, Team Cockroach will find the solution to keep humanity from being purged from existence (or they won’t, which would be… depressing). Hundreds of years have moulded Tahani, Jason, Eleanor, Chidi, Janet, and Michael into an unstoppable force. This episode showed that, to the extent that soulmates exist, Chidi and Eleanor are soulmates, but I would go one further. I’d say the whole team are soulmates. And I believe in them. Even Jason.

One complaint that’s more about the season so far than this episode: I don’t like how the accumulation of all the team’s reboots is being handled, offscreen and like it’s not important. That’s hundreds of years of character development we didn’t get to see being casually handed out to our humans. At least here it was addressed, with Chidi asking if he’s been a pain for the past few centuries, but I think giving out past memories for Jason, Tahani, and Eleanor should have merited its own episode at the very least.

Ethical Bits and Pieces

Callbacks include: Michael’s M’n’M Peep chili comment, infant Chidi getting a stomachache when confronted with a decision, Chidi dropping a literal fork in a garbage disposal, Chidi’s gigantic, horrific thesis, Chidi wearing those AWFUL cowboy boots, Jason and Janet’s wedding.

The Good Quotes

Jason: “Here’s the thing with stuff. You can look at a problem from every angle, and drive yourself crazy, but sometimes, you just gotta huck a Molotov cocktail at a drone and see what happens.”

Esmerelda: “These trivialities demean me. I must away and tend to my ravens.”

Michael: “You sure you want to do this?”
Chidi: “I finally make up my mind about one damn thing and you try to talk me out of it?”

Chidi: “Turns out life isn’t a puzzle that can just be solved one time and… and it’s done. You wake up every day and you solve it again."
Michael: “Terribly inefficient.”
Chidi: “What a time to learn.”

Four out of four answers, I think the best of the season so far

sunbunny

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

That note made me cry. It was perfect.

William Russell said...

I don't get emotional at much anymore. I've seen a lot of tv(I'm old) and not much gets me in the feels but this choked me up, a lot. Very cool.

Also, my daughter assures me my use of 'feels' was used correctly.

Victoria Grossack said...

The note was wonderful - we have "the" answer! It's also a mirror of the first reset, when Eleanor wrote a note to herself and gave it to Janet: Find Chidi.