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S04.E08: The Funeral to End All Funerals

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I think several long standing storylines have been leading to this exact moment.  

1.  Bad Janet to the rescue.   It happened at the exact right time.  "Oh no its not just me."   And all the Janets show up to stimey  The Judges plan to just end Earth because it is easier then fixing the point system.

2.  Chidi the most indecisive man in the world has 45 minutes and 800 lives in his head to build a better and more humane point system.  

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"Maybe the book that Michael gave her when he freed her is "Chekov's" book and will play an important role in how things end." I am so excited that I actually called this 2 episodes ago! (I tried to carry the quote over from that thread but it didn't work, so I had to retype it here--you will have to take my word for it that I actually did write that in the Chip Driver episode, LOL.)

Anyway, this was an unexpected twist that has renewed my interest in this season.

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I know it’s all a moot point now, but I’m troubled by Brent’s performance. I imagine that he behaved fairly similarly to how he did on earth. The only possible explanation I can come up with is that Michael and Eleanor negated all his good points by corrupting his motivation with the best place.

I apologize if they did explain this. My husband who doesn’t follow the show was watching and I kept having to explain what the fork was happening. I normally watch my shows later on Hulu, but this is the show I don’t like waiting for.

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I hate these predictable, formulaic shows. /s 😉

That's some incredible twisting. I'm disappointing that the Good Place folks are so unwilling to be helpful, but then again it would undermine the protagonists a lot if they did.

1 minute ago, albinerhawk said:

I know it’s all a moot point now, but I’m troubled by Brent’s performance. I imagine that he behaved fairly similarly to how he did on earth. The only possible explanation I can come up with is that Michael and Eleanor negated all his good points by corrupting his motivation with the best place.

Here's how I see it. On Earth Brent earned mostly negative points. The longer he lived, the more negative he got. So in the experiment he also continued to earn negative points. His total got worse, not his minute-by-minute rate. Until at the end when his turnaround was good enough to just about erase a year of his negative actions.

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3 minutes ago, albinerhawk said:

I apologize if they did explain this. 

The only real mention of Brent was that he had a huge bounce of improvement in the last minute, which really just served as a springboard for Michael to talk about how people are capable of improvement, when surrounded by other good, decent people.

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The twist! Of course the twist. Reboot the world. It was so amazing and hilarious up to and including the ridiculous song about missing everyone. Plus Disco Janet! She was everything I ever wanted. 

But the heart of the story was those funerals. The love and affection and ridiculousness. Janet explaining why she loves Jason. Eleanor and Tahani's friendship on display. It was amazing. 

I changed my mind. Forget the pitcher of margaritas from last week, I need the bottle of tequila to face the end of this show.

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I’m confused at the Janet void plot point. 
There are many many Janets that didn’t show up there. And why can’t they unmarbelize them after Jen goes into the voids. (And pass it around to Janets she might have already seen)

Also, excluding Disco Janet, I only saw three outfits- plaid, purple, or blue vest. 

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I knew that manifesto that Michael gave Bad Janet was going to come back in some way! I didn’t expect the multitude of Janets, though. I love disco Janet and the one who mostly sends gifs of otters in the Janet group chat. I swear there’s something wrong if D’Arcy Carden doesn’t get an Emmy for this role. 

I can’t say I disagree with Judge Gen wanting to cancel Earth and start from scratch, however, given, well...everything. Just humans though; other species haven’t done anything wrong. 

All the different funerals were very them. I got a good laugh at Eleanor’s “Dead AF” shirt and the “Ya dead” banner. Unconscious Chidi just floating in the pool on an inflatable duck took me out. 

I love how much faith Eleanor has in Chidi, and her holding his hand when they thought they were about to be wiped out was sweet and sad at the same time. I can’t wait for Chidi to get all his memories back. It’s going to be a lot for him to process while also attempting to save humanity in under an hour. 

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Chekhovs book makes its appearance! I so hoped that Michael's book of ethics would convinced Bad Janet to switch sides, but I didnt think that every Janet would join them! So awesome! Even disco Janet! 

The big twist was the biggest moment, but the episode was filled with very sweet and well earned emotional moments, especially the funerals they had for each other. "Here lies Eleanor, in a place where she spent most of her life. By a bar, in a house she wasnt invited to." They were hilarious but also so sweet, like Eleanor and Tahani saying that they were best friends, and Janet saying that Jason was the first person to actually see her as more than what she can do for people (which ties into the Janet's taking a stand!) was so romantic and adorable. 

I also love that they were Weekend at Bernie's-ing Chidi so he could be a part of the funerals as well, and Eleanor holding his hand when they thought that the world was about to be destroyed. 

Michael gave some of his best most heartfelt speeches, even if things didnt quite end the way he wanted, despite actually winning. I especially love that they brought back the plot from last season about the cockroaches trying to help their friends and family become better people, and that helped to make Michael's point about humans capacity for goodness and positive change. They didnt need some big dramatic magical set up to make people better, they just needed to reach out to them, and show them honestly and compassion. "People improve when they get external love and support" and "everyone is capable of rehabilitation." are kind of the basic thesis of the show, and I think that the people on Earth getting better show that even better than the new Good Place humans. The world is complicated and people are flawed, but most people are capable of kindness, so we should show kindness to others. 

Without being pushovers like the Good Place angels, of course. I wonder if this will all lead to them creating a kind of Purgatory style Medium Place, but for more people, with an emphasis on self improvement and growth. 

Eleanor's Dead AF shirt killed me. Pun totally intended. 

"Just kidding, it was cancer. Watch me do an underwater handstand!" 

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Well, I don't think we can worry that this season is moving too slowly anymore!  My head is still spinning, but in a good way.  For me, this was by far the best episode of the season.  

The episode raised a lot of questions, though.  How big a component of the show's universe is Earth?  It seems like there's a large infrastructure specifically designed around human afterlife, but the Judge seemed very casual about tearing it all down.  Are there a gazillion inhabited planets, each with its own afterlife infrastructure?  What would happen to all the demons if there aren't any humans around?  Shawn seems completely unconcerned by this.  Are the demons going to shifted to terrorize some other group?  And I know demons live a long time, but do they ever die?  And if so, what happens to them?  Do they have their own Good Place/Bad Place?

Edited by mikem
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2 hours ago, albinerhawk said:

I know it’s all a moot point now, but I’m troubled by Brent’s performance. I imagine that he behaved fairly similarly to how he did on earth. The only possible explanation I can come up with is that Michael and Eleanor negated all his good points by corrupting his motivation with the best place.

2 hours ago, Amarsir said:

Here's how I see it. On Earth Brent earned mostly negative points. The longer he lived, the more negative he got. So in the experiment he also continued to earn negative points. His total got worse, not his minute-by-minute rate. Until at the end when his turnaround was good enough to just about erase a year of his negative actions.

2 hours ago, jmonique said:

The only real mention of Brent was that he had a huge bounce of improvement in the last minute, which really just served as a springboard for Michael to talk about how people are capable of improvement, when surrounded by other good, decent people.

One of the first things Brent says is that he assumed he was going to the Good Place, but he wasn't certain. That speck of doubt he had on Earth was probably the thing that kept him from being totally monstrous. Then he hears that he's in the Good Place and it validates his awfulness. Then he hears that there is a Best Place and he doubles down on being an ass. He's a massively delusional narcissist so only obvious negative reinforcement was ever going to work on him.

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This kind of episode is exactly why I love this show. I simultaneously can’t wait for next week and want to re-watch the previous episodes.

The twist about winning being as bad as losing was perfect in that I didn’t see it coming but I feel like I should have. 

Loved that they threw in a line to explain why Chidi is so ripped and it made perfect sense. Loved that Eleanor was immediately focused on getting Chidi back. The funerals were perfect. 

20 hours ago, albinerhawk said:

I know it’s all a moot point now, but I’m troubled by Brent’s performance. I imagine that he behaved fairly similarly to how he did on earth. The only possible explanation I can come up with is that Michael and Eleanor negated all his good points by corrupting his motivation with the best place.

A corrupt motivation probably played a part but I think Brent was probably worse than he was on Earth. Society tends to hold people like Brent in check to a degree and during the experiment those external limitations were removed. He was effectively given a genie and unlimited wishes in Janet. On top of that he didn’t have to work giving more time for all of his worst traits to be amplified. 

Edited by Dani
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35 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Gen caused some gates to come down, barring more Janets from entering the courtroom.

Right, so Gen needs to search all the Janets, not just the Janets in the room. I think Chidi will have a few spare hours to make up his mind. 

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1 hour ago, Dani said:

A corrupt motivation probably played a part but I think Brent was probably worse than he was on Earth. Society tends to hold people like Brent in check to a degree and during the experiment those external limitations were removed. He was effectively given a genie and unlimited wishes in Janet. On top of that he didn’t have to work giving more time for all of he’s worst traits to be amplified. 

Interesting points. I did want to note that I thought that the whole point of the Chip Driver Mystery was to show that he was improving in small almost imperceptible ways.

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That episode was so good holy fork

Two words: DISCO JANET

Two more words: YA DEAD

That whole episode was good from the first second to the last. I need next week now

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Well, damn!  Things sure look like they're going get crazy soon!

But before that, I thought the squad's (including an unconscious Chidi) "funerals" for one another was great, and fit each character perfectly.  I also liked how it focused on the various pairings and friendships, and it was nice seeing them get their dues again (especially the friendship between Eleanor/Tahani: even if it included the problematic lusting from Eleanor's end!)  And, of course, plenty of hilarious moments like Eleanor having Tahani wear sweatpants to her funeral, Jason thinking Tahani's accent is a speech impediment and, of course, all of the Jacksonville references!

And then there is the whole fate of the human race thing!  The results are a bit mixed as apparently Simone, Chidi, and even John improved enough on their points, but Brent still fell short by 1%, although it is worth nothing that his final moments spiked big time.  Still, Michael is able to convince The Judge that it is enough and he finally wins!  Ted Danson's reaction was subtle, but fantastic in that big.

But, of course, nothing it what it seems, and instead of simply trying to fix the point system, The Judge pretty much wants to wipe out the entire human race and start over again (the old Noah's Ark gambit, huh?!), so now the entire human species is in trouble.

Thankfully, they have an ally in the form of.... Bad Janet?!  Yep, apparently Michael's book/conversation worked somehow and now there is a whole army of Janets here to stall The Judge, until the squad can think of their next step.  And it will involve waking up Chidi and having him try and figure it out.  I so can't wait to have him be back to form and interacting with the cast again!

I thought Kristen Bell did an excellent job directing wise.

I know I say it a lot, but damn, Marc Evan Jackson can make any line golden.  Shawn knowing the proper way to say Zendeya's name really tickled me for some reason.

Great episode and I can't wait to see how this all plays out.

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8 hours ago, Cerulean said:

Also, excluding Disco Janet, I only saw three outfits- plaid, purple, or blue vest. 

There was a beige Janet in or near the front row--she was the neutral Janet who spoke in a monotone in a previous episode, and her lack of facial expression was noticeable here. But there was so much going on that I didn't have time to see if there were any other Janet outfits/types in this scene.  

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Since the next episode is titled

Spoiler

The Answer. I am pretty sure Chidi will be able to come up with the perfect solution, but not before we have to watch him reunite with Eleanor in some super sappy way that they play off as comical by Eleanor saying some lines about Chidi's relationship with Simone during the experiment. Then the remaining 4 episodes are about implementing the system, reforming the bad place, dealing with the  complications that come up and wrapping up the storylines of the 4 humans + Michael.

Edited by Harvey
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9 hours ago, Linny said:

I adored this so much I can't do much right now except flail about how perfect every detail was. Eleanor calling Tahani her best friend! Jason doing cannonballs (going out of the world as he came in it)! Tahani in sweatpants for the very first (and probably last) time! "We're glue." "I don't think any of you is using that right." Eleanor gripping Chidi's hand at the threat of annihilation! Bad Janet coming through and joining the fight to save humanity! DISCO JANET!

I wish Tahani was holding a bag of Cheetos in those sweatpants.  Or a giant bowl of shrimp and a Churro Dog.

Of course Gen was going to Noah's-Ark-ify the planet.  Humans, as flawed as we are, Are very complicated and bad people can (unknowingly) do good things and good people can also do really bad things.  Always interesting to see how people and beings try to create a perfect world in supernatural/sci-fi shows.

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Between the Weekend At Bernie-ing of Chidi and Bad Janet’s ‘I don’t have to poop. I choose to’, I have been laughing out loud all morning.

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Random notice...I love that the judges love of Timothy Olyphant continues with her pulling season 2 of Justified out of her purse. That man doesn’t get enough notice for the snack that he is. (And Justified is amazing.)

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Loved this episode and can't wait to rewatch!  Did anyone else notice Chidi's hands moving during the end scene when Eleanor was arguing that he needs to be woken up and have his memories restored?  I loved the "Weekend at Bernies" with Chidi but now I wonder if him being around his friends while they were eulogizing each other and reminiscing reached his soul and he's already a bit conscious.  Like when someone is in a coma but still can hear and react but just can't communicate to others.  Anyhoop - I'm just so excited for the rest of the season!

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I've realized something that bothers me with this show. It's not a big thing, but it bugs. Characters seem to do a lot of talking to the air, like making a speech but not TO anyone, just looking off. I noticed it in season two when everyone went to the Bad Place, KB does a lot of it in that episode. I saw a lot of it in this episode too.

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11 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Gen caused some gates to come down, barring more Janets from entering the courtroom.

In the podcast they mention that the gates were secured with "The Club", which if you are of a certain age you might remember as this thing you locked across the steering wheel of your car to prevent it being stolen. 

13 hours ago, Cerulean said:

There are many many Janets that didn’t show up there. And why can’t they unmarbelize them after Jen goes into the voids. (And pass it around to Janets she might have already seen)

Can Janets be unmarble-ized?  It always sounded like a pretty final end to me. 

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15 minutes ago, Quilt Fairy said:

In the podcast they mention that the gates were secured with "The Club", which if you are of a certain age you might remember as this thing you locked across the steering wheel of your car to prevent it being stolen. 

Can Janets be unmarble-ized?  It always sounded like a pretty final end to me. 

"Our" Janet was marbleized and reconstituted in the Bad Place when she was kidnapped. 

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11 hours ago, Cerulean said:

Right, so Gen needs to search all the Janets, not just the Janets in the room. I think Chidi will have a few spare hours to make up his mind. 

Maybe not. She's searching for the Earth-human killing thingy so it's likely that it's in the void of one of the Janets in the room.

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16 hours ago, albinerhawk said:

I know it’s all a moot point now, but I’m troubled by Brent’s performance. I imagine that he behaved fairly similarly to how he did on earth. The only possible explanation I can come up with is that Michael and Eleanor negated all his good points by corrupting his motivation with the best place.

I apologize if they did explain this. My husband who doesn’t follow the show was watching and I kept having to explain what the fork was happening. I normally watch my shows later on Hulu, but this is the show I don’t like waiting for.

The way I figured it was that Brent was bad on Earth, but he was restricted by what he could actually do.  In The Good Place, he was no longer restricted.  He could write and publish a ridiculous book, he could ask for and receive a crazy decked out SUV, he could do whatever he wanted and get whatever he wanted - that made him a worse person than he had been on Earth.  Until the end.

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7 minutes ago, GenieinTX said:

The way I figured it was that Brent was bad on Earth, but he was restricted by what he could actually do.  In The Good Place, he was no longer restricted.  He could write and publish a ridiculous book, he could ask for and receive a crazy decked out SUV, he could do whatever he wanted and get whatever he wanted - that made him a worse person than he had been on Earth.  Until the end.

See that’s the thing.   It depends on your definition of “bad”.   Brent is an entitled rich white guy who probably had his family pay his way into college.   He’s probably never had to actually “work” for anything in his life.   Even his friends were bought and paid for but at the same time never actually getting any of that Outside positive reinforcement that Michael was talking about.   So it must have been one bad place of a shock to be cast in with a group of people who werent impressed with his privileged upbringing.

I think he was genuinely shocked and hurt that no one liked his book or that he wasn’t just sent to the Best Place.

All this doesn’t make him a bad guy.   

Edited by Chaos Theory
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OK, I like Michael's point that "bad" people can be redeemed if they are influenced by "good" people.  But I can't figure out how to factor that in to deciding who gets into the good place vs. bad place.  First, if someone is always "bad", doesn't this sort of make this not really their fault, because they just didn't have "good" people around them to influence them?  Second, if you're giving "bad" people the opportunity to become "good" after they're dead, then the current problem will just be flipped - no one will ever go to the "bad place", because you would have to give everyone a chance to become "good".  So does this mean the infinite expansion of the Medium Place?  Good people automatically go to the Good Place (assuming that after the points system is reworked, people will actually qualify), Bad people go to the Medium Place, with the possibility of being advanced to the Good Place.  But at what point are they deemed irredeemable, especially when time is infinite?  Does anyone get sent to the Bad Place? 

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1 minute ago, chaifan said:

OK, I like Michael's point that "bad" people can be redeemed if they are influenced by "good" people.  But I can't figure out how to factor that in to deciding who gets into the good place vs. bad place.  First, if someone is always "bad", doesn't this sort of make this not really their fault, because they just didn't have "good" people around them to influence them?  Second, if you're giving "bad" people the opportunity to become "good" after they're dead, then the current problem will just be flipped - no one will ever go to the "bad place", because you would have to give everyone a chance to become "good".  So does this mean the infinite expansion of the Medium Place?  Good people automatically go to the Good Place (assuming that after the points system is reworked, people will actually qualify), Bad people go to the Medium Place, with the possibility of being advanced to the Good Place.  But at what point are they deemed irredeemable, especially when time is infinite?  Does anyone get sent to the Bad Place? 

I think you're making an argument for purgatory. 

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36 minutes ago, albinerhawk said:

I think you're making an argument for purgatory. 

Well, that sort of how it falls out (Middle Place = Purgatory), but I'm not making the argument for it.  I'm just pointing out that the current problem is that no one ever qualifies for the Good Place.  With the "possibility of redemption" theory, the problem reverses - no one will ever get sent to the Bad Place. 

Also, what would a fully populated Middle Place look like?  The current one is very Mindy specific.  Warm beer sucks for her, but what if you like warm beer?  Then it's your Good Place.  So either everyone is isolated to their own Middle Place, or it becomes the Average Place, which for some people is probably the Good Enough place.  oooh, and that's the spin off we've all be waiting for!  The Good Enough Place! 

Edited by chaifan
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19 hours ago, shantown said:

Why did I get such an “O Captain, my Captain” feeling from all the Janets coming in and standing together?!

YES! That's exactly what I thought.

Also, my love of The Good Place grows with each new Janet😎

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"People improve when they get external love and support. How can we hold it against them when they don't?" I would just like to say this is one of my favourite lines from the whole show so far.

LOVED this episode. That felt like the show I love, moreso than earlier this season. Especially loved the little bit between Janet and less-bad-now Janet, with the "I'm so proud of you" - "I don't care" exchange. Less-bad-now Janet totally did care! That little pause and head wiggle said so.

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2 hours ago, chaifan said:

Well, that sort of how it falls out (Middle Place = Purgatory), but I'm not making the argument for it.  I'm just pointing out that the current problem is that no one ever qualifies for the Good Place.  With the "possibility of redemption" theory, the problem reverses - no one will ever get sent to the Bad Place. 

Also, what would a fully populated Middle Place look like?  The current one is very Mindy specific.  Warm beer sucks for her, but what if you like warm beer?  Then it's your Good Place.  So either everyone is isolated to their own Middle Place, or it becomes the Average Place, which for some people is probably the Good Enough place.  oooh, and that's the spin off we've all be waiting for!  The Good Enough Place! 

The Medium Place is not really purgatory because in the show it's static.   No one moves from the Medium Place to the real Good Place.  The Catholic concept of purgatory is that it is a temporary place where souls go to after death to purify themselves before being good enough to get into heaven.  How long a soul stays there varies, but eventually everyone will move on unlike Mindy.  

Within the show, people would still end up in the Bad Place.  Some are never going to do the work necessary.   Some are always going to be unrepentant assholes.   I don't see Brent ever trying to become a better person if he knew he was in purgatory.   Or if he did, it would take centuries before he could get over his disbelief and start trying.

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3 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

So it must have been one bad place of a shock to be cast in with a group of people who werent impressed with his privileged upbringing.

As with basically every entitled person encountering a dose of reality from social media in the 2010s, I think the time has long, long, long passed anyone being able to claim ignorance as an excuse.

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4 hours ago, chaifan said:

I'm just pointing out that the current problem is that no one ever qualifies for the Good Place.  With the "possibility of redemption" theory, the problem reverses - no one will ever get sent to the Bad Place. 

Not qualifying for the Good Place wouldn't be a problem if the only alternative were not the Bad Place -- the real Bad Place, not Michael's experimental No Exit neighbourhood where the worst thing that happens is to your feelings. A Bad Place with demons actually torturing you for eternity.

1 hour ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

The Medium Place is not really purgatory because in the show it's static.   No one moves from the Medium Place to the real Good Place.

And no one has ever totted up the value of points accrued in the afterlife until this experiment.

Judge Gen's ruling that humans were somehow the problem with the system was bizarre and shocking. I was entertained but can't make logical sense of it. Her intent was to obliterate all humans both living and dead, correct? So on the one hand stopping the torture of everyone in the Bad Place would I guess be good, but then I am at a loss to understand the rest of it.

I enjoyed this episode a lot regardless -- and I think the return of the focus to the core team had a lot to do with it -- but there was one thing that felt unnecessarily clunky and out of place to me: the point that John had not called anyone else the "c-word" but had used it against himself or something. First of all I spent too much time trying to recall if we had ever heard the c-word filtered (I don't think so; I recall one of the writers talking about a cut joke about Kant that depended on the sounds being similar) and if not whether it is not supposed to have been filtered, but if so why Judge Gen used c-word instead of the filtered version. It just felt jarringly more unpleasant than The Good Place typical tone.

Edited by SomeTameGazelle · Reason: spleling

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