The Good Place: 4.04 Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy
Enjoyable as it has been, season four of The Good Place hasn't really lived up to the hype. This week however, the show finally got into the swing of things. Now that the gang have managed to get the sum of the new humans, it is gives the season more of a chance to grow in other ways. This week, it all centres around The Bad Place's deceptions and sabotage. The cloaked figure heading towards the neighbourhood at the end of last episode turns out to be Glenn, the demon who Shaun is always belittling. He comes with a warning; Michael isn't Michael. This leads to an episode of questioned friendships and chaos, and I loved it.
The way Glenn's honest attempt at helping almost destroys the gang from the inside was fascinating to watch. Michael's white lies that he told to save the others heartache come back to haunt him and Eleanor's role as the leader is once again fully realised. Where, in season three, everyone would have looked to Michael for guidance, they stand firmly with Eleanor this episode. While Eleanor isn't right to doubt Michael, this cohesion makes me hopeful that the experiment is going to end well. Part of me suspects that The Judging is judging how the gang of original humans improve over the experiment just as much as she is judging how the new humans develop.
One thing that this episode did make me realise is that I miss Chidi being a part of the gang. He is still there and he and Eleanor have occasional touching moments, but its not the same. I understand that this is probably the point, giving Chidi less screen time has the effect of making the audience miss him just as much as Eleanor does. But it's still sad; he is such a fun character who gives and amazing dynamic to the cast. I miss his anxiousness.
However, this episode made me a little wary of his and Eleanor's time together. While Eleanor seems to have thought about the possibility of Chidi getting back together with Simone, no one has though about the possibility the Chidi will fall in love with Eleanor, even though he thinks she is God. It would be intriguing - and hilarious - if this were the route that the show went down. How would someone as uncertain as Chidi even begin to wrap his head around being okay with being in love with God?
After Eleanor's reassuring talk with Chidi, came a twist I can't say I didn't suspect, but loved either way. Having a Bad Janet be the plant and not Vicky in a Michael suit - especially the way that Jason figured it out - was such a cool way to end the story of the episode. The subtle ways in which Bad Janet has been sabotaging the group in the past two episodes, did strike me as odd at times, but I just put it down to Janet being stressed about keeping the neighbourhood afloat. To have that snapped into perspective, put her actions into a whole new light.
I wasn't expecting the events of this episode to unfold they way they did, which is probably why I was so happy with it. The fourth season could easily have been a rehash of the first, which would have been fun, but no where near as good as the roller coaster the seems to be coming our way. I am looking forward to the surprises that are in store for us over the next few weeks, even if the ending will likely be bitter sweet.