The Good Place – Season 3, Episode 12 (Chidi Sees the Time-Knife)
The job of a penultimate episode is to provide a springboard for the season finale, this episode perfectly did its job.
The episode kicks off with Michael, Janet and the gang making their way to the IHOP – Interdimensional Hole of Pancakes. Michael explains to them that the IHOP is the crossroads of all dimensions, like Grand Central Station of time and space. He also explains to them that they’re meeting The Judge at the IHOP as her powers are limited there, so she can’t retire him on the spot.
When they get to the IHOP, Jason tells Janet he has feelings for her and she agrees to go on a date with him. The Judge augments the gang’s reality so they can concentrate in the meeting. Michael tells The Judge about unintended consequences affecting the points total of humans, but The Judge tells him that humans can always do their research and make a different choice. Jason interjects and tells The Judge that she can’t judge humans as she doesn’t understand the human condition. The Judge agrees and lives on Earth for a little while (although in IHOP time, she’s only gone for a few seconds). When she comes back, after living all over the world, she concedes that Michael was right and that humans are better than their points total suggests.
The Judge brings Shawn in to the meeting to get the Bad Place to weigh in on the situation. The Judge changes the IHOP scenery from a traditional IHOP to a conference room. Shawn tells The Judge that humans are terrible, but Michael counters by asking him why the gang kept improving repeatedly which each reboot. Shawn tells him it was a fluke and points out that Michael never kept track of their points whilst they were in the afterlife. Chidi says that both Michael and Shawn are right – they kept improving in the afterlife because it removed all the variables that made life on Earth hard, but their improvement could have been a fluke, so Chidi suggests repeating the experiment with four other humans. When Shawn asks where they would set up a new neighbourhood, Eleanor suggests the backyard at Mindy’s house, and they all go there.
Whilst at Mindy’s house, The Judge sets ground rules for the experiment: Michael designs the neighbourhood, the Bad Place will choose the four humans (they have to be at the same level of badness as the original group), Michael will not get the files in advance so he does not have forever to plan, but he can change the neighbourhood however he wants along the way. Both Shawn and Michael have some objections, but The Judge feels that means it’s a fair compromise. Janet will make the people that will populate the neighbourhood and The Judge will monitor everything to track their progress and ensure there is no cheating by either side.
Meanwhile, Derek appears, having improved over half a million reboots, similarly to how Janet has improved. Derek and Janet eventually work together to create the people to populate the neighbourhood, which clearly makes Jason jealous. After the meeting and Michael has created the new neighbourhood, Eleanor and Chidi move in together.
The episode ends with Shawn calling Michael to let him know that if the experiment fails, he has hired Vicky to torture the gang whilst wearing a Michael body suit. After the call ends, the file on the first human to be part of the new experiment arrives. Eleanor walks into the office and he has a panic attack, just as the first human, John, wakes up and knocks on his office door.
Overall I felt that this was a solid penultimate episode as a new story arc has been established with the new experiment. Both sides have agreed, the ground rules have been sent and the experiment kicked off in the final moments of the episode, but we are yet to meet the new human, which is the perfect springboard for the finale.
I’m looking forward to seeing the finale, how the season ends, and what will happen as the experiment gets well and truly underway.
-Trevor can be seen flying and heard screaming through the hallway as Michael, Janet and the gang make their way to the IHOP. The Judge literally sent him flying away in the second episode of the season.
-According to Michael, the IHOP now has 10 dimensions.
-The Judge liked Hawaii.
-According to Jason, possession of a non-fried vegetable is a felony in Jacksonville.
-The Judge googled ‘big juicy natural tomatoes’ which led her to a porn site for people with a sunburn fetish.
-Before The Judge brought Shawn into the meeting he was torturing William Shakespeare by describing the plot of the Entourage movie.
-The episode’s title comes from Chidi ending up being miniaturised, flying across the IHOP and witnessing a trillion different realities folding onto each other like thin sheets of metal forming a single blade. Michael tells him it was the time knife and everyone has seen it.
-Derek’s martini glass over the course of the episode is filled with a martini, olives and a singular lemon.