The Good Place: 3.11 Chidi Sees The Time Knife
I have to hand it to the writers of The Good Place; they've managed to reinvent the wheel again and succeeded- yet again- in making me excited to find out what happens next. Going back to the premise of the first season, with four new humans in a fake 'good place is an ingenious twist that sets up season four. I presume. With one more episode of season three left, it might be completely different situation after next week's season finale.
The crux of the hilariously named Chico Sees The Time Knife was a meeting between Michael and the gang with Maya Rudolph's scene-stealing Judge to prove that it was impossible for humanity to get into the good place by today's standards. The intergalactic ihop was a fantastic creation where reality could be warped and you could flit from one dimension to another. The slug creature on Tahini was a hilarious creation but it was the sight of a tiny Chidi zipping around the room as he was doing between dimensions (and encountered the traumatic time knife) that provided the episode's biggest laughs.
I loved the idea of the Judge experiencing the hardship and disturbing nature of the world in a series of crazy adventure that lasted just a few moments for the rest of the characters. The Good Place regularly mixes the fantastical with sci-fi concepts in a sitcom package and this episode was on fine form throughout. Her experiences were enough to convince her to sit down with Michael and seek a solution.
The return of Marc Evan Jackson's demon Shawn, the anthesisist of Ted Danson's Michael, made for a fun (though not totally unexpected) twist as the Judge asked him to pick the four new 'test humans' for Michael's new good place - in the medium place (allowing for the return of Mindy St Claire and Derek too). His droll villainy is always fun to watch and his threat to destroy Michael with a fake Michael of his own is sure to add plenty of drama as this new test reaches its end.
The creation of the new good place, with all its yogurt shops and the team's original homes, is a great full circle moment that goes back to the moments where The Good Place was at its very best. While the experimentation on Earth provided some good development in the first half of season three, it wasn't until the team travelled with Miichael and Janet into the afterlife that the series felt on top form again and this new development is a masterful move to regain some of that old magic while also moving the plot along. Also, how funny and disturbing was it to see Janet literally pooping out new people to populate this good place?
Of course it won't all be clear sailing. Between Shawn's machinations and Michael suffering an anxiety attack the moment he he was ready to greet his first new human, the penultimate episode of season three saw the whole project doomed to fail before it had even started. I'd like to think that next week's finale will be a hilarious set up for season four. But given The Good Place's ability to continuously shake things up, anything could happen.