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S04.E09: The Answer

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That was beautiful. I am in tears. Chidi asking Jason and Tahani about confidence made up for the fact that he was frozen during their funerals.

"We're not not a book club group" made my heart go pitter-pat. But Chidi reacting to Eleanor's kiss with "I have a soul mate" was also very sweet. 

Edited by SomeTameGazelle · Reason: wrong word
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2 minutes ago, BobH said:

Wow.  That was something. All the acting awards to WJH next year or no justice.
 

I know this is an extreme proposition, but if we can get the NFL to declare bankruptcy in the next six days, can we get the next episode next week instead of waiting until January?

Bite your tongue. Jason would be devastated.

I finally get my Chidi and Eleanor back. That is all.

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7 minutes ago, Quilt Fairy said:

I appreciate character backstories, but I would have preferred an episode that moved the story forward.  There are so few episodes left. 

Same. This just felt like treading water to get us to the break, to get us to the back four episodes to wrap everything up.

I get that the Prisoner Janet episode paid off last ep, but I would have preferred folding that into the Janet rescue episode somehow, killing the Brent the Douche Writes a Book plot, this airing last week, and SOMETHING happening before the break.
All that being said, I almost wept at Chidi FINALLY joining the group. It's about damn time, and it was lovely.

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Quote

Chidi: "Hey, so ... for the past 300 years, have I been suuuuper annoying?"
Everyone: "Oh, well, no, I wouldn't say extremely..."
Jason: "YES."

LOL. I didn't catch that the first time I watched.

Edited by jmonique
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That was lovely - I made inaudible sounds when Chidi read the note. It was the story of how he’ll save the world - the foreshadowing with his dad’s “someday he’ll solve the world’s largest problems” was a smidge much, but there were great moments with the crew that contrasted well with his experiences on Earth.  

I too would have struggled when presented with the possibility of Janet answering any question - I would’ve tried to do 3 profound questions before succumbing to asking how my favourite show is supposed to end or what happened to my high school boyfriend. 

Great little touches - kudos on Beignet and the Jets as a donut store name, and the return of the red cowboy boots. 

I’m very curious how Chidi translates his experience into the non-answer solution. Boo holiday break! 

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I loved this so much. There was so much to take in that I’m not sure where to focus. I loved all the call backs like the red boots and the fork stuck in the garbage disposal. 

This is the only show I can think of that can make an episode that on the surface does not advance the plot at all and still feel vital. What it says of life and relationships is just so beautiful and valuable.

I can’t wait to listen to the podcast and find out how many of the scenes were filmed ahead of time and what they recreated. I’m 95% sure the scene where Eleanor kisses Chidi was in the video at the end of season 3 but that it was filmed without sound. I love that they recreated it. Those little details are part what make this series so special. 

I desperately want to see what happens next but I don’t want it to end. At the same time I’m so excited to see the ending so that I can rewatch it all over again. 

Edited by Dani
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I had chills as Chidi opened the fold on his note to reveal the ultimate answer. 

As someone said above, that (and this episode) was absolutely lovely. 

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Why am I getting teary-eyed at this entire episode? DAMMIT SHOW!

 

But in all honesty, this was great! I know it didn't move the episode forward in the obvious sense, but it really was a treat to get to spend time with Chidi and fall in love with him all over again

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That episode was so good. I don't care that it didn't advance the present day plot - we got to learn all about Chidi. That episode deserves all the awards. However, I have a feeling all of us will be saying that about the final 4 episodes, too.

Who played the nest-sleeping knife wielding soulmate? That wasn't Megan Amram, right? For half a second I was like "wait is that Megan Amram?" but I don't know

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No matter what this show does, I always end up loving it. I'm glad that Chidi finally got brought back into the group. I loved the flashbacks of the good advice he got from Tahani and even JASON of all people. The note he wrote to himself was so sweet and perfect and summed up all that he had learned in his previous afterlives.

Beignet and the Jets totally cracked me up!

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Well, this episode certainly made up for Chidi being a bit sidelined for the majority of the season so far!

It goes without saying that I pretty much have nothing but the highest praise for every single cast member here, but this episode really highlights the amazingness of William Jackson Harper and why he deserves nothing but more success, once this show finally ends.  Gold star to whoever it was in the casting department that saw he was the perfect Chidi.  He killed it as always and in a just world, he would be getting Emmy consideration next year (then again, the show itself finally got a Best Comedy nod, so maybe the voters are finally catching on?)

Loved all of the flashbacks both old and new, and seeing more of the wackiness that had transpired during some of Michael's failed experiments.  I loved that at one point, Chidi and Tahani were "soulmates", like how it was revealed that Eleanor and Tahani had been one as well in another version of Michael's "Good Place."  I have to imagine he had paired everyone off at one point or another.  Oh, Michael!

But my favorite part was seeing how every relationship had effected Chidi in a positive way, and helped him grow for the better.  Obviously, his relationship with Eleanor is clearly the strongest one here, but I like how they showed that Tahani, Jason, Janet, and Michael have all helped him down the line at one point or another, and it will hopefully be what is needed for him to help save the human race!

While it was Harper's time to shine of course, I thought both Kristen Bell and Ted Danson actually had some excellent moments as well, where they didn't even say anything, but just showed how Eleanor and Michael reacted to what Chidi was saying.  No one is giving it less than 100% here, to say the least.

I feel like every television writer should listen to Michael's speech about what a real soulmate actually is and entails.  That might helpfully quell some of the obnoxious, unrealistic romances that happens on lesser shows.

Excellent episode.  The holiday break is going to be brutal, but at the same time, I don't want it to end!

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9 hours ago, La Dee Da said:

That was lovely - I made inaudible sounds when Chidi read the note. It was the story of how he’ll save the world - the foreshadowing with his dad’s “someday he’ll solve the world’s largest problems” was a smidge much, but there were great moments with the crew that contrasted well with his experiences on Earth.  

Heavy-handed, yes, but do you know I somehow managed to miss it? I was so entranced by the backstory--this is the kind of home Chidi came from, these are the good parents who inadvertently exacerbated his anxious tendencies by doing/saying these things-- that I forgot to connect it to the over-arching storyline and why Chidi is needed RIGHT NOW.

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Excellent news: William Jackson Harper is one of the guests on The Good Place: The Podcast episode that dropped this morning. Just started listening!

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6 hours ago, bros402 said:

That episode was so good. I don't care that it didn't advance the present day plot - we got to learn all about Chidi. That episode deserves all the awards. However, I have a feeling all of us will be saying that about the final 4 episodes, too.

Who played the nest-sleeping knife wielding soulmate? That wasn't Megan Amram, right? For half a second I was like "wait is that Megan Amram?" but I don't know

I adored Esmeralda. It was Kate Berlant, not Megan Amram.

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Of all the things there were to love in this episode, one of my personal favorites was Michael's explanation to Chidi of what he believes soulmates to truly be. That was so sweet and honest.

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When the episode started, I was annoyed because I thought this was going to be a "recap" episode to catch Chidi up on events.

What we got instead was new information about events in Chidi's life that added depth, not only to Chidi's back story, but to the overall Good Place universe. My annoyed state lasted minutes and instead there was this beautiful heart-felt appreciation for this show. I was so happy for Eleanor at the end because she finally got Chidi back after everything she went through this year.

I've started listening to the Podcast episode for this show episode and noticed two things:

  1. William Jackson Harper's vocal inflections and emphasis on certain words embodies Chidi's anxiety in the most clever and subtle way. 
  2. There are a ton of callbacks and Easter eggs in this episode. I haven't been able to locate an article with them in it yet, but if I do, I'll post it here.
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OK  I loved this episode, and I am delighted to have Chidi back front and center.

But.

My son is giving 5 to 1 odds that it's Jason who will save humanity.  And I am not betting against that one.  Jason, for all that no one ever called him smart, clearly has the highest emotional IQ of Team Cockroach.  Remember how Janet described him at his "funeral" as basically a big old ball of sweetness and light, able to see her for her real value as an individual.  And when Eleanor was telling Michael to wake up Chidi so he could save them all, Jason leaped forward, saying "I'll do it!" Jason for the win!

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So did Chidi ever end up getting that dog?  I can't remember if he ever talked about his childhood dog.

My shipper heart was pleased with this episode overall, but I am left with an uncomfortable question.  Eleanor and Chidi are my OTP, I love Jason and Janet, but what about Tahani?  I don't necessarily need Tahani with a romantic partner, but with the way the show is going she is all alone.  

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19 minutes ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

So did Chidi ever end up getting that dog?  I can't remember if he ever talked about his childhood dog.

My shipper heart was pleased with this episode overall, but I am left with an uncomfortable question.  Eleanor and Chidi are my OTP, I love Jason and Janet, but what about Tahani?  I don't necessarily need Tahani with a romantic partner, but with the way the show is going she is all alone.  

I don't know if it was his childhood dog, but Chidi did have a dog at one point. The dog was never named because Chidi couldn't pick a name. When the dog ran away, the sign said "answers to long pauses". 

A few episodes ago, I started to wonder if Tahani would end up with John. They have similar weaknesses, but together they seem to have made each other better.

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21 minutes ago, albinerhawk said:

A few episodes ago, I started to wonder if Tahani would end up with John. They have similar weaknesses, but together they seem to have made each other better.

I don't think she's his type.

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11 minutes ago, Rinaldo said:

Is a person without a romantic partner "all alone"? The show seems to be dramatizing the value of a circle of friends who help and support each other. That matters more to me than getting everyone neatly paired off.

I would agree if the show wasn't already pairing off the other characters.  What will Tahani be doing while Eleanor and Chidi sneak off to bounce some quarters off of his ash, or when Jason and Janet are off doing whatever it is that they do?  This wouldn't bother me as much if Jason/Janet wasn't so important to the plot.  That pairing throws everything off for me and leaves Tahani dangling.   I actually don't want Tahani's plot to be an endgame romantic relationship.  I do like some of the stuff the show has been doing with Tahani this season.  I like that the show is committed to having Tahani embody the soft "feminine" skills which are greatly needed but are often overlooked.  We saw this again last night with her discussion with Chidi.  She has a knack for pairing up disparate pairs of individuals like Drake and RBG which means she has a keen understanding of human nature.  I want more for Tahani.

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40 minutes ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

I would agree if the show wasn't already pairing off the other characters.  What will Tahani be doing while Eleanor and Chidi sneak off to bounce some quarters off of his ash, or when Jason and Janet are off doing whatever it is that they do?  This wouldn't bother me as much if Jason/Janet wasn't so important to the plot.  That pairing throws everything off for me and leaves Tahani dangling.   I actually don't want Tahani's plot to be an endgame romantic relationship.  I do like some of the stuff the show has been doing with Tahani this season.  I like that the show is committed to having Tahani embody the soft "feminine" skills which are greatly needed but are often overlooked.  We saw this again last night with her discussion with Chidi.  She has a knack for pairing up disparate pairs of individuals like Drake and RBG which means she has a keen understanding of human nature.  I want more for Tahani.

What would "more" look like to you, out of curiosity?

Personally, I'm fine with some characters being paired off and others - or even just one of the main characters - not being paired off. And I think there are a lot of things Tahani could be doing while the couples are doing their things - hang out with other friends, take a walk, read a book, bake bread, throw an awesome party. Spending time by herself - or with others - isn't necessarily something that isn't worthwhile or fulfilling.

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12 hours ago, possibilities said:

When I saw Chidi's note, I realized that the missing element in Judge Gen's judging was love. She doesn't CARE about the Earth. She just has rules to follow. It's all logic, no heart. How will Chidi introduce love into the equation? How will he make THAT case, to a bureaucratic system?

I can see where Gen is coming from. At my prior job, I was an administrative law judge. The job was to apply the facts to the law, which involved sometimes ruling against a party that had a sad and sometimes even tragic story. You can feel bad for the person, but you're still supposed to rule according to the law. The only difference is that I did feel bad for some of the people.

I didn't know going in if I wanted to see an entire episode devoted to Chidi. But this was great. And touching. Loved seeing young Chidi and Chidi's advisor's reactions to his 3,700 page thesis.

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3 hours ago, albinerhawk said:

A few episodes ago, I started to wonder if Tahani would end up with John. They have similar weaknesses, but together they seem to have made each other better.

John doesn't deserve Tahani as a romantic partner. Although he improved somewhat and she still has flaws, overall I think she is a much better, kinder person than he is. 

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Far be it from me to pigeon-hole anyone, but regarding Tahani ending up with John: He's been pretty well established as gay, yes? 

I wouldn't be surprised if the show ends on a note that gives us the idea that Tahani will find her soulmate, but doesn't lead us directly to that person. Tahani's lesson and growth has always been about finding her own way, and not relying on others for her self-worth, after all... (even though I'm in that camp that found her and Jason a far better match than him and Janet). I think this episode also helped to further the idea that Tahani's strength is in bringing people together and looking out for others. 

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3 hours ago, Rinaldo said:

Is a person without a romantic partner "all alone"? The show seems to be dramatizing the value of a circle of friends who help and support each other. That matters more to me than getting everyone neatly paired off.

Tahani was often depicted as being desperate to connect to Jason in season 1. She wants companionship as much as the others. Remember, in the 1 year on Earth experiment she was the one to actually get engaged to someone. The show just doesn't bother to give her romantic options most of the time, that doesn't mean there is some sort of virtue in her being alone.

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Until last night I was pretty sure that something other than what I was seeing was happening, But after that one, I'm now pretty sure that the story is a lot more straightforward than I had assumed. 

But as soon as I say that, I'm also pretty sure we're going to end up with everyone alive back on Earth.  Maybe Canada, maybe not, but alive with futures unwritten. 

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5 hours ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

So did Chidi ever end up getting that dog?  I can't remember if he ever talked about his childhood dog.

He did. He mentioned it in the flashback where Michael showed Eleanor how she fell in love with Chidi. One of the two puppies he was torn between looked just like his childhood dog. 

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59 minutes ago, Dani said:

He did. He mentioned it in the flashback where Michael showed Eleanor how she fell in love with Chidi. One of the two puppies he was torn between looked just like his childhood dog. 

Thanks.  I chuckled when I saw the lower right half of his chalkboard with "reasons why I need a dog" and then he was successful in keeping his parents together.   I was wondering if he was also successful in getting that dog.  I would love to see a short of little Chidi doing that lecture. 

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Two little things that have put a lump in my throat all three times I've watched the episode. First, after Michael and Chidi's heart-to-heart, the way WJH's voice breaks just a little when he says "And what a time to learn." Heartbreakingly good delivery there. Second, when he summons Janet and she shows up, a little more subdued than normal, and when the camera switches back to her as Chidi hands her the note, D'Arcy Carden's eyes look like she's been crying. OOF. This episode was so good even in the really heartwrenching moments!

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