TV Reviews

The Good Place recap: There is no answer.

Pressing pause on the main action, The Good Place throws us into Chidi’s unique psyche.

Chapter 48: The Answer

Starring Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy Carden, Manny Jacinto and Ted Danson

It’s the midseason finale of The Good Place – which seems slightly bizarre since there are only 5 episodes left, but American television scheduling will always be baffling on this side of the pond. Regardless, this seems like a brilliant time to look back. When resetting Chidi, Michael takes us on a whirlwind tour of Chidi’s entire lives, from the very beginning.

Throughout the half hour, we see how Chidi’s entire life was obsessed with finding an answer. Firstly, to his parents trying to divorce. Then, when he is in relationships as an adult, constantly seeking the perfect answer to solve things. It is this desire to find the answer that led to his death, as well as his crippling indecision.

In this season, we have also constantly seen Eleanor’s feelings towards Chidi and how she has grown to love him. Here we see the relationship from Chidi’s viewpoint. As the memories catch up with the real time, Chidi questions Michael on whether or not soulmates are real. Michael’s response is delightfully profound. Michael attests that soulmates are not created. There is no perfect person for somebody else, but rather the desire to grow and change and put in the time and work. Michael reveals that it wasn’t Chidi’s strong analytical case that kept his parent’s together, but rather their love for him and their love for each other, which led to them seeking couples’ therapy instead.

In what can only be described as a unique moment of clarity, Chidi summons Janet and gives her a note. When he awakes, Chidi is not panicked or flustered, or crippled with the weight of the decision he is forced to make, like Michael anticipated he would be. Eleanor is eager for him to help them with the answer to fix the afterlife and provide the answer. Chidi responds that there could be hundreds of answers, or perhaps none. Headstrong and sure, Chidi asks for the note back from Janet, which reads, “There is no answer. But Eleanor is the answer.”

Mark’s Maundering Musings

At long last, all of Team Cockroach are back and – crucially – all of them are in the know about all of their lives up until this date. It’s brilliant having Chidi back, especially in a Chidi-centric episode.

Out of all of the gang, Eleanor is the one whose change we can view the most. Half of the changes that Chidi goes through in this episode return when we see his memories given back. Chidi seems to have been lifted of his indecision as a result of his memories, which is utterly delightful, and definitely a step in the right direction.

How is Chidi going to rewrite the afterlife? Also, how are we going to fit in another 5 episodes? I honestly can’t predict what’s around the corner for us, but I am nervous and excited!

Line delivery of the week

Goes to random guest character, one of Chidi’s many soul mates, Esmerelda, played by Kate Berlant:

These trivialities demean me. I must away and tend to my ravens.

(Second place is Chidi’s comment that her relationship with said ravens was sexually charged).

Tahani’s Name-Drop of the Week

Remind me tell you the story of Timothée Chalamet’s bar mitzvah.

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