The Good Place: 4.09 The Answer
This week's episode marks the end of the first section of this season, we now have a break before the final few episodes of The Good Place. This episode starts with The Judge searching and marbleising a horde of Janets to try and find her 'Earth-re-setter'. Meanwhile, Michael goes to wake up Chidi. A snap of some demonic fingers is all it takes, but the majority of the episode is set within that moment, as Chidi's memories of around one thousand years of life and afterlife flood back into him.
Watching Chidi's life unfold was truly delightful. Due to his memory loss, Chidi hasn't been a focus of the season so far, so having an entire episode dedicated to him felt appropriate. It also made me realise that we've never actually been shown that much about Chidi's family. It was quickly established in season one where he was from, and then later his indecisiveness with his friends and his academic life, but this was the first episode that his parents have actually been on screen.
This deviates from all of the other main humans, as their connection to their families, and the fixing there of, have been integral parts of their development throughout the series. Where as Chidi's issues have always stemmed from his relationship with philosophy and how that shaped every facet of his life. So it was enlightening to see how even his issues stem back, in some part, to his relationship with his parents. No child should have to be responsible for fixing their parent's relationship.
This sentiment led me to reflect on how the gang has become each other's family over the course of the show. They have each learned to give their friends what they needed, but never had, in their first lives. For Eleanor it was the ability to feel stable and loved without recoiling into herself or putting up her defenses. For Jason it was a calming influence and people who don't just think he is an idiot. For Tahani it is a group of people who love her for who she is and aren't expecting her to live up to anyone else. And for Chidi, it is the ability to just be, not to over think all the time about each of his actions or, as this episode puts it, to be content in the fact that there isn't always one definitive answer to a problem.
Each of the scene's with Eleanor and Chidi also reminded me of how amazingly cute and heart warming their relationship is. How, time and time again they found each other, and made each other better people because of it. Seeing little bits of the reboots of the original experiment get filled in is always fun, especially the parts that don't focus so much on Eleanor. They give a much wider picture of what happened and how each of the characters have gotten to the points they are now at in the narrative.
This was probably my favourite episode of season four so far. Instead of having a winding, plot twist dropping narrative, it just focused on one thing and did it really well. I was left with a smile on my face and the desire to watch more. Not just because of the dedication that I have built up over the last three seasons, but because I actually had fun watching and want to see what happens next. With the Christmas break, we have seven weeks to wait to see if the gang manage to save humanity. Last week I wasn't sure if the wait would be worth the bother, but now I'm ready to see how it wraps up.