The Good Place: The Funeral to End All Funerals

“Wake him up!”

With those three desperate words we realize all of humanity rests on a man who once spent twenty-two minutes choosing between different shades of hats. I thought we were doomed last week, I haven’t changed my mind.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. We begin this episode right where we left off: the test just ended and Michael goes through the portal to the Judge’s chambers to find out the Judge’s verdict, no humans allowed. Left in an empty “Good Place” with nothing left to do but drink tequila and agonize over the ruling, Tahani suggests they all have their perfect funerals. So they do.

It was very reminiscent of the Parks and Rec episode (another Mike Schur show) where the characters throw each other the bachelor parties they missed, albeit this one was a lot more morbid. Still, they all say wonderful things about each other in their own perfect funeral sites. Tahani throws hers in the cabin of a Gulfstream G550 jet, Jason’s is at the deep end of a pool (it's Jacksonville tradition to hold funerals at the deceased’s place of birth), and Eleanor has hers at someone else’s bar. It’s all fun and games until Eleanor struggles to explain her love for Chidi in a few words. Before she can figure it out, they’re beckoned to the Judge’s chambers to hear the verdict.

During the festivities Michael was trying to make the case for humanity. The Judge summons the results and it turns out Chidi, Simone, and John all changed for the better during the experiment. Unfortunately, Brent became slightly worse (who didn’t see that coming?). Before the Judge can declare the experiment a failure, Michael shows her that they also improved the lives of four humans while on Earth: Pillboy, Kamilah, Donna and Donna’s step-daughter) through emotional support. External help can make people better without any fancy afterlife magic. Which brings me back to the four funerals.

Not only did these eight-ish people improve or show the potential of improving, Team Cockroach became better people, too. We all knew that, that was what led Team Cockroach to try the experiment. But the four funerals highlights the reason Team Cockroach changed so much: emotional support. During the funerals, not only did the cockroaches show their support through their words, they also showed this through their actions. Tahani wore sweatpants for the first time and didn’t even lament her misfortune. Just last episode Jason made two coherent analogies, Chidi made the choice to sacrifice himself without hesitation in the previous season finale, Eleanor not only joined a team but essentially became team leader, and Tahani told Janet not to tell her what Moby said about her at her original funeral (in fact, I think Tahani may have made zero references to celebrity friends this entire episode). And all that change came from the simple act of being there for one another.

This eternal support even extends to not-a-girls. Bad Janet not only read the manifesto (and wiped her ash with it) but took it to heart, too. She switched sides and banded all the Janets with her (they have their own group chat now). When the Judge rules in favor of Team Cockroach but decides to cancel all of Earth in response, the Janets are there to play keep-away with the Earth-destroying-button while Team Cockroach figures out what to do. Eleanor demands they wake Chidi up. Michael is right, putting all of humanity in the hands of such an indecisive person under an insane time-crunch is a risky move. But Eleanor’s also right, she finally musters the ability to explain her love for Chidi and shows that if anyone can figure out how to design the afterlife so that humans can improve and eventually join the Good Place it would be Chidi, someone who’s always understood the importance of being there for people. Here’s to hoping he succeeds in being there for humanity, or else I guess we’re all done for.

Bits and Pieces

-- Kristen Bell directed this episode, so props to her.

-- I could be completely off here but I wonder if the idea to cancel humanity because it’s “a mess” and complicated is a dig at cancel culture and throwing out the people deemed problematic? Because otherwise the Judge’s plan is just stupid. Without intervention the new Earth would likely develop in the same way, ending up in the same place that doesn’t align with the point system and afterlife design the Judge thinks would be too complicated to mess with. You’d think an all-knowing judge would see that.

-- Also, Jason’s Nintendo is huge! Is that what Nintendos look like now?

-- Major The Good Place mystery solved: Chidi’s so jacked because he once heard exercise relieves anxiety and has been doing pushups nonstop ever since.

-- The experiment test results: Simone became 12% better and 43% more flexible in judgments of people, Chidi became 26% better and 38% more confident, John became 44% better (really?), and Brent became -1% better but swung way up with 10 seconds left.

-- Also, thanks to the cockroaches Pillboy dedicated himself to caring for the elderly, Kamilah started a scholarship in Tahani’s name, and Donna did homework with her step-daughter every night (although her step-daughter taught Donna multiplication).

-- Bad Janet doesn’t have to poop, she chooses to.

Jason: “You know what they say in Florida, if you don’t like this funeral just wait a minute!”

Michael: “That’s the number of friends in Friends! Are you going to sit there and say that every single Friend belongs in Hell?” Apparently they all do, except maybe Phoebe.

Eleanor’s kind words for Jason’s funeral: “Statham forever. Amen.”

Four out of four funerals to end all funerals. (Is it a cop-out to use the episode title? I'm doing it anyway.)

4 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Ariel, I'd go with four out of four funerals, too. :) Definitely a great episode. And of *course* the fate of the world would rest on Chidi. I wouldn't have guessed they would do that, but it makes absolutely perfect sense.

sunbunny said...

I have faith in Chidi. Last season, he'd improved SO much, I think with all his memories back he'll be able to do it. I believe! We got some good Tahani/Eleanor stuff this episode but how much Eleanor loves Chidi? ELEANOR?! I mean they've all improved so much I'm so proud of all of them.

I thought it was really telling that Jason confessed his mother died of cancer and then made a joke about it and then was like "watch me do a handstand!" He's had an objectively TERRIBLE life but he's still a beam of optimism and kindness. He's an idiot, but he's really an amazing person.

PFC Hudson said...

Yes Nintendo's are that size now

The Switch with two controlles attached on the sides was what was shown in Jason's hand

Lamounier said...

I loved that Michael thinks Phoebe is the Friend who deserves to go to the good place. Of course she is. :)