DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Good Place episode “You’ve Changed, Man” contains more spoilers than the number of Bad Janets in existence. They’re especially adept at sticking spiders up people’s bums, you dink. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Soul Squad! After a lengthy and torturous hiatus, The Good Place has blessed us with another stellar episode. Chidi sported a flashy pair of pink roller skates. Tahani name-dropped a handful of times. Eleanor was horny, as per usual. Jason regaled us with Floridian anecdotes. Michael faced off against Shawn. Janet attempted to divert the Judge from her war path by crafting Timothy Olyphant out of thin air. Hey Janet…I’m gonna need one of those too. Pretty please?
Alright, ready to delve into “You’ve Changed, Man?” Let’s get to it, messy benches.
We open with the Judge (Maya Rudolph) and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) roaming through the void of a Neutral Janet. The Judge is still in search of her “Cancel-Earth-Clicker-Thingy,” while our Janet is attempting to persuade the former to forgo her mission to decimate Earth. However, the Judge believes that humanity is forked and beyond redemption. She still can’t find the clicker, so she returns to her chambers and marbleizes the Neutral Janet.
Meanwhile, Chidi (William Jackson Harper) is back with his restored memories, plus recollections of the 800+ timelines he’s lived in. Chidi even saw the Time-Knife, much to Michael’s (Ted Danson) delight. Our favorite indecisive professor now has a newly instilled sense of confidence. He professes his love for Eleanor (Kristen Bell), and she does the same. How cute are these benches? Pretty forking cute, if you ask me.
Later, Chidi pulls the gang aside for an ethics lesson. Jason (Manny Jacinto) adorably misses the point, while Tahani (Jameela Jamil) utilizes the moment to name-drop in an anecdote. Chidi reveals that the points system is cruelly condemning humans to eternal hellfire for living “mediocre” lives. Their punishment is worse than their crimes. Now is their chance to revise said points system.
Next, we see the Judge and Janet are inside a Bad Janet’s void. There’s a billboard for Pirates of the Caribbean 12. Not gonna lie – that made me cackle big time. Continuing that franchise is my vision of living in hell too. Anyway, the Judge fails to pinpoint her precious clicker thingy. Thus, the aforementioned Bad Janet is marbleized.
Later, our Soul Squad finds the actual Good Place committee enjoying frozen yogurt in the neighborhood Janet cultivated. Eleanor and co. reveal that they have a plan, and they’re going to need the committee’s assistance. Naturally, the committee agrees to help with unnatural gusto.
Next, the Soul Squad meets with Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) in Eleanor’s office to discuss said plan. They reveal their idea to create a new “Medium Place,” where mediocre folk like Mindy St. Claire can live out a “meh” eternity. Tahani informs Shawn that those who fall below the Medium Place threshold will be the Bad Place’s playthings. Still plenty of human bums ripe for spider implants. Initially, Shawn appears to agree to their terms, but instead he pulls a fast one on our group.
Meanwhile, the Judge and Janet are inside Disco Janet’s void. Fortunately for our Soul Squad, the Judge once again fails to find her “Cancel Earth” clicker. After Disco Janet is marbleized, we see that our Janet is the last one standing. Uh oh.
Then, Eleanor concocts a last-ditch effort to bring Shawn to their side. The clock is ticking, and soon the Judge will locate her clicker and send Earth back to the Stone Age. Eleanor offers the group up to Shawn. If he agrees to a newly constructed Medium Place, then the Soul Squad is his for eternal torture. Micheal also throws himself into the mix, citing that he’ll always stay with his humans. Why am I cutting onions while watching TV? Shawn finally acquiesces.
Later, the Soul Squad reunites with Janet and they take a trip inside her void. They, along with Shawn, ambush the Judge by baiting her with the clicker’s location. Janet even constructs Timothy Olyphant a la Justified for her viewing pleasure. What a creative way to sweeten the pot. They present their case to the Judge with the cultivation of a new Medium Place, for one. Secondly, they reveal that Shawn and Michael will work in tandem to craft a series of morality tests for humans entering the afterlife. They will complete said tests to determine where they’ll spend their eternity. Eleanor reveals that if they fail the first time, their memories will be wiped and they’ll restart the test until they get it right.
Now, should they fail several times over, they’ll be sent to the Bad Place. However, humans deserve a shot at redemption. People are capable of immense change if they’re granted the chance to do so. Therein lies the beating heart of The Good Place. Overall, this plan is reasonably sound. But Shawn passes…again. Thus the Judge is back on the war path.
Later, Michael confronts Shawn. The latter reveals his reticence to see Michael fail. He’s shocked that our favorite reformed demon daddy doesn’t have a backup plan in the works. Shawn has taken great pleasure in squaring off against Michael and the Soul Squad. If they lose, then Shawn have to resign to an eternity of boredom. Shawn’s speech about growing lax over torturing people and considering a different path as a teacher had me in stitches. Michael urges Shawn to help him craft these new tests. The Bad Place demons will still have jobs – they’ll at least play fake residents in a neighborhood, for starters. Finally, Shawn agrees to help out…for real this time. Success!
Next, Michael and Shawn materialize in the Judge’s chambers. The Judge returns with her trusty clicker in hand. Thankfully, Michael prevents her from enacting mass destruction by revealing Shawn’s support of the new plan. Yay! The Earth is saved! Michael and our crew turn to Chidi for the next step and our confident ideas man is, well, just the ideas man, you guys. This confident new Chidi is really doing it for me, benches.
Now, we only have four episodes left, my messy benches. Four motherforking episodes left…ever! Methinks they’ll focus on crafting the new points system and revised Medium Place over the course of the remaining episodes. Episodic MVP was Rudolph because…Maya Rudolph. She had me in stitches, and Jackson as Shawn never fails to crack me up. Everyone was pitch perfect in this episode. Olyphant was also a welcome addition, and his random insertion into the grand plan reveal was hysterical.
Do you think Shawn will adhere to the plan, or will he double-cross our protagonists? Can Chidi retain his new sense of confidence, especially in pink roller skates? Will the Judge ever get her Ally McBeal reboot? Join me next week as I continue to recap The Good Place, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Good Place airs Thursdays at 8:30pm on your NBC affiliate.
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