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The Good Place Whenever You're Ready Review The Good Place Whenever You're Ready Review

TV Reviews

The Good Place Review – Moving On (4×13)

THE GOOD PLACE -- "Whenever You're Ready" Episode 413/414 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kristen Bell as Eleanor, William Jackson Harper as Chidi, Ted Danson as Michael, D'Arcy Carden as Janet -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

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The Good Place has completed its journey and is ready to go.

No crazy twist. No insane change of status quo. No dressing.

“Whenever You’re Ready” is the final chapter of The Good Place, and evokes the power and emotion that it does precisely because it doesn’t go wild.

The episode focuses in on each character, providing us a glimpse at what was important to them in their lives and what is important to them in their afterlife. From a narrative perspective, this approach allows the show to dive into the characters one last time to give us a perspective on what’s important to them and allows us to feel – just as they feel – when and why they are ready to leave the Good Place.

Jason has his time with Janet, completes the perfect game of Madden with his dad cheering him on, and throws a final party with his dance crew and EDM before heading off.

Tahani creates a positive relationship with her parents and her sister, then throws one final gathering of which she personally created every aspect of, including the furniture and food. A wonderful moment, as instead of tasking others with her every party need, she finally assumes the role of all those smaller jobs she at one point considered below her. Afterwards, Tahani finds a new calling in her afterlife and decides to become an architect.

Chidi witnesses his mother share her love with Eleanor and Eleanor’s mother treat her like a daughter. Yet he decides to stay a little while longer to allow Eleanor all the time with him that she needed.

Each of these stories is told from the focused character’s perspective, instead of as a unit. What gives the episode its sense of cohesion is that all these characters cross paths with each other through choice – Jason brings his friends to his party, Tahani meets up for a final gathering, and Chidi intertwines himself with Eleanor. The episode never feels disjointed despite having a distinct vignette structure.

However, alongside providing us perspective on these characters, this approach also provides perspective on what our lives are like (according to The Good Place). Asides from the dressing of these events being incredible (such as playing Madden on the jumbotron in a football stadium or walking through magic doors to go to Athens), each of these moments are small.

Tahani plays croquet with her family. Chidi walks around his old neighborhood. Jason tries to make Janet dinner.

These are the moments that make our own lives worth living. The connections and reflections we create are what we hold on to, and the ability to experience these moments is a gift. These simple moments are what allow each of these characters to move on from their lives because these are the moments that give them a sense of completeness.

These are the moments that Michael has been aching to experience his entire demon life.

Michael and Eleanor are the last two members of the squad remaining in The Good Place (Janet, of course, is still with them, but she will not be crossing through the doorway at any point, or so it seems). I am thrilled that these two are left together.

Michael and Eleanor are the reasons that everything on The Good Place happened. Eleanor and Chidi may have been the couple, but Eleanor and Michael were the team. Michael obviously started the series with his experiment, and Eleanor pushed it forward by constantly figuring it out.

The two are cut from the same cloth and Michael started his journey to the light side because of his ability to relate to Eleanor. Narratively, these two needed to be our ushers out of the story.

In a beautiful role reversal, Eleanor requests to Judge Gen that Michael be allowed to go to Earth to live out the rest of his life as a human, just as he had pleaded to Gen way back in Season 2’s “Somewhere Else.” Eleanor knows that Michael needs to experience human life to feel that he is complete, as he’s lost his way in the afterlife after running out of problems to solve.

Michael’s desire to be human has been present throughout the series, and the way he laughs at dropping a microwave dinner that is too hot reminds us how lucky we are to just be alive. Life is so full of stupid moments that not only do we take for granted, but ignore or actively get annoyed by.

This can’t be helped, and there are plenty of legitimately annoying occurrences in the world (why do people leave DVD’s in the DVD player?????), but it’s nice to be reminded to take a moment to appreciate those moments because by experiencing these moments, we are alive.

And being alive is special.

Outside of taking a stark stance on how to conduct ourselves as human, The Good Place’s biggest statement is that being alive is special, and being human is special. The series solidifies this point of view in its final episodes by making the claim that death is precisely what makes it special.

“Whenever You’re Ready” does a phenomenal job of showing us exactly why this is. We visibly see the joy drain from Chidi as he opens a menu in Paris and sees that the meal can be literally whatever he wants.

He’s bored. The perfect nature of his extended life has ceased to mean anything more to him. I can feel him wishing that the menu was set and that what he wants isn’t on it.

The restaurant not having what you want to eat is another very human moment, but it can lead to something exciting – a new dish and a new discovery.

When you have eternity, though, that doesn’t matter. There is nothing more to discover because you will eventually discover it all.

This is why death makes living special.

Unfortunately, in real life, we don’t exactly get to choose when we move on. Instead, we’re forced into making the best we can out of a seemingly random amount of time. We also don’t get to create our perfect experiences to fill that time with. We don’t know what happens when we die.

Michael’s time on Earth wouldn’t be human if he knew how the afterlife worked, so Eleanor’s clarification that the system may be different by the time he returns doubles down on death creating value in life. Michael is glad he doesn’t know what will happen because that makes him more human than anything.

A beautiful message, despite its sadness, and a message befitting of The Good Place at its end.

I cannot say I feel the finale was perfect, however (though obviously I think it is amazing).

Eleanor walked through the final door too quickly. I just needed that camera to follow her a little more slowly. It might be a nitpick but I wish I had more time to fully take in the moment that this is it, this is the final time we will see Eleanor Shellstrop.

I also wish there could have been more of a goodbye between Eleanor and Michael, as they did have such a solid connection.

Outside of those gripes – excellent. So many callbacks for the series, incredible expressions of the show’s themes through both show and character, and many wonderful character moments with our six heroes.

Janet was everyone’s ambassador to the original “Good Place,” so her also leading them to their final moments is excellent. Throughout the series, Janet’s growth into almost human made her relatable and someone to care about, but she always remained tethered to the afterlife with her amazing knowledge and powers.

As far as I can tell, she will remain in the Good Place for many Bearimy’s to come, but her time with the humans and Michael will always remain with her. She gets genuinely choked up when her friends leave, so seeing her in their final moments only emphasizes how human she has become. However, Janet is seemingly left in a narrative limbo – we aren’t given clear evidence of exactly what Janet will be doing in the Good Place moving forward, nor what that means to her, which is a missed character beat I wish they hit.

But Jason waiting for her to return, essentially becoming a monk – great writing. An amazing callback with relevance, as Jason only truly became ready to walk through that door when he finally took time to check his impulses and appreciate the world around him.

The Good Place is an amazing series. I stand by my feelings that we should have had an extra episode in the Good Place to build up towards a stronger revelation regarding the exit door, and I definitely feel Season 3’s Earth saga halted the tempo of the series a bit; but overall, The Good Place may just be an all-timer.

I’ve become a better person by watching this series, and I have a better appreciation of life because of it. The finale pointed out moments from the show and moments from my life and said, “Hey! Remember this? Appreciate it.

I’m guessing I’m not the only person who feels this way after watching this show, and I know I won’t be the last.

The twist at the end of season one is what truly hooked me into this show and will forever be its most famous moment, and that twist blasted open the doors to the complexity of humanity and existence.

The show never repeated a move like that, and it didn’t need to. The strength of the story, messages, and characters, as well as the hilarious writing, is what makes it an all-time great series.

“Whenever You’re Ready” is a fantastic end to a fantastic series. The Good Place leaves our screens now, but the ideals it pushed forward will continue to have meaning in our everyday lives, and I’m grateful for the laughs and lessons.

Goodbye, Good Place. Take it sleazy.

Other Musings:

  • Another aspect of the Good Place that encourages residents to feel complete is that everyone there is kind to one another. This is another subtle narrative parallel to the messages that being good and trying to be good brings value to other’s lives.
  • Loved John’s cameo. Wish we could have seen Brent make it to the Good Place to prove that even someone like him could improve. It felt as though he had regressed a bit since his final revelation with Chidi in “Help is Other People,” though I suppose that’s likely from his memory wipe?
  • Michael replaced Doug Forcett’s photo with Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason.
  • The narrative memory of this show is great. Eleanor telling Mindy that she knows she cares for people because Mindy once said, “I’m rooting for you guys” is great continuity and a fantastic character detail that deepens Mindy.
  • When The Good Place announced it was ending after four seasons a lot of people were bummed out, but no good story lasts forever! Four seasons is perfect for this show. It allowed the series to essentially follow a typical three-act structure that makes it feel complete, with season two, three, and four acting as the three main parts with season one as a prologue. Thank you for ending with season four!

And that’s the end of The Good Place.


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Batwoman

Batwoman Review – Ryan Declares War on Black Mask (2×10)

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Batwoman Review Time Off For Good Behavior Season 2 Episode 10

Batwoman’s fight with False Face Society is only getting started. 

And now, it just got personal as they’ve taken one of the only people Ryan Wilder cares about – her on-again, off-again ex-girlfriend Angelique.

Ryan convinced Sophie and the Crows to get Ang transferred after she gave up the names of those responsible for killing Commissioner Forbes. However, no one anticipated that Black Mask would figure out exactly when they were transferring her and take her back.

Obviously, Ryan thinks it’s because Black Mask wants to tie up loose ends, but it’s really because aside from Ocean, who is now MIA, Angelique was the only one who knew the secret recipe to produce Snakebite.

And obviously, Snakebite is what makes FFS go round. 

It was easy for the Black Mask to infiltrate the Crows as they already have someone on the inside.

Dr. Rhyme is a “Snakebite consultant” for the Crows, but we know she’s working with Black Mask and keeping Kate a prisoner.

She was also all too eager to get Commander Kane hooked on the product after he was attacked by one of her men because it discredits the Crows. 

Once word gets out that the Commander is using Snakebite, the Crows’ credibility is shot.

And it goes to show you just how powerful the drug really is. After one hit, Jacob Kane was addicted and wanted to get lost in the “do-over” that the hallucinogenic drug provided. 

I thought that once Alice heard his therapy session with Dr. Rhyme and realize how remorseful he was for not trying harder to find her when she was captured by Cartwright would stir up something in her, but Alice is too far gone. 

As she noted herself, it’s easier to forget than forgive, which is why she wants to find Enigma, who we learned is Dr. Rhyme, so that she can wipe her memories of Kate and start anew.

This drug really is all too popular in Gotham. 

The series didn’t exactly confirm that Roman is Black Mask, but it did allude to Roman Sionis of Janus Cosmetics, which has been my theory since Batwoman Season 2 Episode 9.

Not only is her working alongside Enigma, but he was all too eager to slip the Commander two vials of Snakebite. 

Black Mask told the new Batwoman that he wanted revenge because the previous Batwoman killed his daughter.

Batwoman Review Time Off For Good Behavior Season 2 Episode 10

Credit: The CW

We know Kate’s Batwoman had a no-kill policy, which Luke emphasized, so I wonder if they’re getting close to the Commander to frame him in some way?

Or does he blame Batwoman and the Crows, with the Crows being the ones behind his daughter’s murder, which is why he’s taken hold of Kate?

Agent Pennyworth’s memory-lapse came into clear focus when she teamed up with Alice — yet, another unlikely partnership — to find Enigma. 

It turns out, her search for Kate led her to the root of Kate’s disappearance, but she forgot it soon after. 

And when she confronted Enigma this time around, she had her memories wiped again and was convinced to transfer to Berlin, which obviously didn’t sit well with Sophie.

Sophie always knows something’s up, and the most annoying thing is that she’s always a few steps from figuring out the truth about everything. 

Will she put all the pieces together? After all, everything seems to be connected. 

The Bat team also took on a case involving a new villain named Kilovolt, who targeted the opening of  Jordan Moore’s community center, which Ryan and Mary are helping to spearhead. 

The reason was profit-based, of course. The CEO of Edgewater Prison, Ellis O’Brien, was letting out criminals for one night to target community programs in exchange for early parole. The idea was that shutting down these programs allows kids to continue to fall through the cracks and fill up the prisons thus making them money.

It’s disgusting, of course, but not exactly unheard of. 

Thankfully, Batwoman squeezed out just enough energy to deal with O’Brien while dealing with hunting down the Black Mask and his goons. 

The episode set up some pretty important elements and got us one step closer to finding out exactly what game Dr. Rhyme and Roman are playing. 

Isn’t it crazy how the people you need to take down are always looming in your circle? In this case, they’ve infiltrated the top leader of the Crows without even lifting a finger!

What’s their final game plan? And is Horten Spence the Lois Lane of Gotham?!


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TV Reviews

Good Girls Review – The Banker (4×05)

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Good Girls Review The Banker Season 4 Episode 5

Beth became the banker on Good Girls Season 4 Episode 5. 

And it sent a conflicting message. 

On one hand, she had absolutely no choice after Rio found the tracker and figured that she was either working with the FBI or that they were onto him. 

She once again had to “prove” her allegiance to him in order to stay alive and keep her friends alive. 

However, she ended up enjoying being the banker and felt like it made her important and necessary to the operation. After all, you don’t kill the banker (except when you do and replace them with another banker…).

She enjoyed wielding all the power that came with the gig as evidence by her growing confidence with every single person she visited. 

She even tried the “I’m the banker, bitch,” which is 100% me playing Monopoly. 

But that’s also when she realized how twisted the job was.

Beth realized that she didn’t actually have it in her to do anything about it if someone didn’t pay up like the girl working for her sick mom who claimed she didn’t “have the money.”

Instead, Beth used this new gig Rio entrusted her with to work alongside the FBI. 

When she met up with him, her two FBI buds were right there for the whole conversation and she realized that Rio also has a boss that he answers to. 

There’s a chain of command here that forces Rio to do the things that he does or else it’s his head on the line.

Personally, I find this to be an exciting development. Rio has been sorely underutilized for almost two seasons and it seemed like the writers were just keeping him around because of his popularity with audiences. 

We’d see him in the bar, grabbing his washed cash, and creating a world of hell for Beth, but we never knew much about him. 

By adding this layer, we may actually get to explore Rio’s role in everything – how’d he get into it, what’s his motivation, why does he operate the way he does. 

Beth’s going right to the source, which proves that eliminating Rio actually wouldn’t solve any of her problems. 

At one point, I truly thought that when Mick drove Beth to do her “job,” the hitman would be alive and waiting for Beth. Many fans questioned whether he was actually dead, and it would be quite the twist if Rio spared him and used him against Beth. 

The writers also tried to capitalize on the chemistry between Beth and Rio with the striptease kitchen scene. 

Rio showed Beth the tracker and assumed she was wired up, so she bared it all for him to prove that she was on his side. 

It’s a good thing that this happened when it did because she was actually mic’d up for their previous meeting. And that wouldn’t have gone over very well. 

Rio is perceptive, so in order to fool him, the approach can’t be basic and obvious. 

Even Annie pointed out that tracker gave her “90s pager vibes.” Can’t the FBI get some better tech up in here? 

What did you all think of the stripping down scene? There’s no doubt Manny Montana looked hot in that scene, but did it come across as sexy to you, or was it demoralizing that Beth always has to prove herself or use her body to get what she wants?

Beth’s biggest motivation to risk her life and work with the FBI is obviously to get Dean out of prison, which she did. 

At least she kept that promise!

After getting the FBI dirt of Rio and his boss, Dean walked out a free man. But does that make up for everything else?

Are they suddenly going to be a happily married couple again? There’s no denying that Beth betrayed him once again and lied to his face about it! 

I’m interested to see how Dean will approach the situation. Will he be grateful that she came through for him or will he realize he can’t be with her anymore?

Poor Eric tried his best to save his buddy, but a life of crime is not up his alley. 

Eric’s been a good friend, and while I know plenty have enjoyed his character, it seems like wasted screentime in my opinion. 

The addition of Nancy and Gregg’s baby Dakota was hilarious. Annie would take a baby along and use it as a human shield to keep them safe from gang friend. 

The best part about it was how good Mick was with the little guy. Annie has zero maternal instincts, but Mick knew exactly what to do to get the baby to calm down.

Is anyone else kind of rooting for Mick and Annie? They have great chemistry!

I’ve never been a huge fan of Nancy, and I guess that continues as I wasn’t pleased with how she talked down to Annie. 

Annie may not be a responsible adult, but she tried her best. How could she know which diaper cream was preferred? 

Just imagine how Nancy would have reacted if she knew where Dakota really was for half the day! 

As for Ruby, well, she finally learned what Stan is up to at work and it wasn’t what she thought it was. 

I hate that Ruby veered into “he’s cheating on me” territory. Yes, Stan has been working odd hours, he was caught lying, and he’s tired all the time, but the one thing we know about him is that he’s not a cheater. 

I felt terrible seeing Ruby accuse him of being unfaithful when he’s quite literally in this mess because of her! He’s paying off her debt. Everything he’s doing, he’s doing for his family.

We know this, but let’s re-emphasize that Stan is the man! 

What did you think of the episode? Is Good Girls finally digging in deep?

Let us know in the comments below!


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Walker

Walker Review – A Tornado and the Truth (1×08)

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Walker Review Fine Is a Four Letter Word Season 1 Episode 8

A tornado blew onto Walker and forced many truth’s to bubble up to the surface. 

I guess natural disasters have a way of making everyone confront situation head-on. 

And sadly, not all relationships survived the hour. 

Liam’s relationship with Bret hasn’t been featured too much in the series, but it was still heartbreaking to see him purposefully sabotage things between them in an effort to keep him safe. 

Instead of telling Bret the truth, Liam decided to lie and say that he cheated on him during his trip to Mexico. 

In reality, Liam has been hiding out in his office terrified that the Northside Nation gang is coming after him. What else could he possible think after they blew up his and James’ car for investigating Emily’s death.

By cutting Bret off, Liam ensured that he wouldn’t be used as leverage as he delved further into the case. 

However, he couldn’t keep the truth from Walker any longer. 

Walker’s reaction was much calmer than I expected. He didn’t flip out on Liam or get mad that he and James kept this from him. Instead, he acknowledged how difficult it had to be for Liam to tell the truth. 

But it’s unclear how he’ll handle things moving forward. Cordell is hotheaded, so he’ll likely want to pursue the lead himself and get revenge, especially once he finds out that Geri may be involved!

The news hit him right as Cordell was considering going on his first date since his wife’s death. Maybe it’s for the best that he isn’t quite ready because watching him flirt with Julie was all sorts of uncomfortable. 

Walker, Micki, and Trey ventured out into the dangerous weather to help the locals including Ruby’s grandfather. 

The rescue mission hit a bit of a snag when Micki suffered a panic attack brought on by the intel that Adrianna isn’t her birth mother.

She’s had a bit of trouble processing the truth likely because she bottled it all up inside. Aside from Cordell, she didn’t tell anyone the truth. 

Eventually, she had to face the music and came clean to Trey, who wasn’t pleased with her continuing to keep things from him.

Initially, it didn’t make sense why her first call was to Walker, but once she broke it down, it made sense. 

By telling Trey, Micki had to acknowledge that it was the truth. It made it real, and she wasn’t ready for that. 

Walker Review Fine Is a Four Letter Word Season 1 Episode 8

Walker — “Fine is a Four Letter Word” — Image Number: WLK108b_0600r — Pictured (L-R): Keegan Allen as Liam Walker and Alex Landi as Bret — Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Micki always holds things close to heart, but this is the first step into letting Trey fully in. 

Also, the three of them make such a great team! 

While Trey and Micki figured it out, Stella and Trevor’s perfect high school romance hit a snag when she realized that his father was Clint West. I guess Cordell told her all about Duke’s escapades with Clint, so she immediately connected the dots and realized that Trevor was using her. 

Truthfully, I didn’t expect Stella to find out so soon or in this way, but I’m glad the truth is out there. 

She’s too sweet to get caught up in some vengeful scheme.

And the deeper she got into it with Trevor, the more it would hurt both of them as the feelings between them seem to be real. 

Like Romeo and Juliet, they’re caught up in a love story that’s doomed due to their families.

Trevor was definitely conflicted about the whole situation because even though he wants to do right by his family, he can’t deny that the Walker’s are good people.

Does this mean things are over for good?

Will Stella inform her father about Trevor’s motivations? 

Will Cordell and Clint meet face-to-face? 

Other Musings

  • Bonham and Abeline are finally putting the infidelity behind them and moving forward! At least one couple was salvaged during the storm!
  • Liam told Micki the truth about Emily’s death before he told his brother. Did anyone else find that strange? 
  • Why isn’t James around to help Liam deal with the fallout?
  • Keegan Allen sold me on the role of Toby on Pretty Little Liars (even with all the crazy twists), but I’m just not buying what he’s selling with Liam. I can’t put my finger on why that is, but it just doesn’t work for me!

What did you think of the episode?

Were you hoping for more action or are you enjoying the character development?

What do you think happened to Emily?

Let us know in the comments below! 


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