21 votes

The Good Place - S04E13-14 "Whenever You're Ready" FINAL

It's been an honor and a privilege to make these threads for you all. Take it sleazy.

19 comments

  1. [4]
    moocow1452
    Link
    Well, it was pretty much what it said on the tin. It was the last ride with our human cast, and the start of a new chapter for Michael. As I see it, all of our characters become one with the...

    Well, it was pretty much what it said on the tin. It was the last ride with our human cast, and the start of a new chapter for Michael. As I see it, all of our characters become one with the universe in some form or fashion, Michael as a human, Janet as a sort of Charon, Tahani as an Architect, and the rest as the amalgamated interest of goodness that strikes every once in a while. I was consistently teary eyed, and any impressions I got from it are going to be impacted by it being the end. It was what it was and I was content.

    13 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yeah, that was about as good an ending as one could hope for, IMO. I teared up quite a bit throughout too. What a truly wonderful show, and bittersweet but thoroughly satisfying ending! p.s. At...

      Yeah, that was about as good an ending as one could hope for, IMO. I teared up quite a bit throughout too. What a truly wonderful show, and bittersweet but thoroughly satisfying ending!

      p.s. At some point I would love to discuss the ideas behind the concept of the perfected afterlife they envisioned. I honestly can't think of a better one myself, but I am curious what others think about it and if they see any major shortcomings to it.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        mundane_and_naive
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I also think their idea for the afterlife is the most merciful there is, so I suppose the only problem left is the execution. As it stands, whether the system works or not relies heavily on the...

        I also think their idea for the afterlife is the most merciful there is, so I suppose the only problem left is the execution.

        As it stands, whether the system works or not relies heavily on the design of the final test. If in the old system, it's so hard to be a good person that most people got negative points, what's to say in this new system, it wouldn't also be the case that most people fail and never be able to pass no matter how many times they're reborn?

        Their answer is a hint system that manifests as little voices in their heads. However, if being good is just too hard, it could so happen that most people would get reborn so many times that they got hints for practically every decisions in their lives, effectively removing their agency. This could theoretically happen, as the show establishes earlier that life becomes more and more complicated over time, which lead to making good decisions also becoming harder over time.

        So eventually, the Good Place would face a dilemma. Either accepting the reality that every human would require nothing short of a complete cheat sheet to pass, or lowering the benchmark for entering the Good Place. Both seem like steps downward for the moral quality in the afterlife.

        3 votes
        1. moocow1452
          Link Parent
          I disagree. I interpreted it less of a hint system and more of a reincarnation or a memory reminding you how you could better handle yourself during a given situation. Assuming people have an...

          I disagree. I interpreted it less of a hint system and more of a reincarnation or a memory reminding you how you could better handle yourself during a given situation. Assuming people have an instinct towards alturism, this would exercise and strengthen it. And Brent is free to shoot himself in the foot tens of thousands of times, and if he could autopilot his way to goodness, he probably would.

          4 votes
  2. Autoxidation
    Link
    This was a very fitting end for the series. Touching, thoughtful, and didn't leave me thinking they really missed much. An excellent end to an excellent show.

    This was a very fitting end for the series. Touching, thoughtful, and didn't leave me thinking they really missed much. An excellent end to an excellent show.

    8 votes
  3. rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link
    I thought it was a nice ending from a story point of view, although I'm still kind of waffling on it philosophically. I feel like the "in the Good Place" arc could have also been one episode...

    I thought it was a nice ending from a story point of view, although I'm still kind of waffling on it philosophically. I feel like the "in the Good Place" arc could have also been one episode longer, but overall I liked it and it got to me a couple times, especially Jason. "Take it sleazy" was great.

    I think my favourite ending was Chidi's - he starts his life plagued by problems with decision-making, and ends his existence decisively. Of those that we see going through the door, he is the only one to not sit on the bench. He just walks casually through with his hands in his pockets.

    I also like that the end is in a forest. I think there are very few places where the relationship between life and death and decay and life again is so openly evident.

    7 votes
  4. [3]
    moonbathers
    Link
    I'm satisfied with that ending. What got me tearing up wasn't them going through the door but all the characters spending time with the people who were important to them. It just makes me so happy...

    I'm satisfied with that ending. What got me tearing up wasn't them going through the door but all the characters spending time with the people who were important to them. It just makes me so happy that everything turned out alright even though we all knew it would. I love that Jason ended up doing the monk thing, I love that Eleanor acknowledged she needed to let Chidi go. I was kinda hoping Michael would get spit out into the future.

    Wasn't Jason called Mr. Music earlier on and not DJ Music, or am I remembering it wrong?

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      TheJorro
      Link Parent
      Yup, his DJ name is "Mr Music the DJ" but it's shortened to "DJ Music" on his merch. In S1E04, around 11:40, he introduces himself while putting on a hat that says "DJ Music".

      Yup, his DJ name is "Mr Music the DJ" but it's shortened to "DJ Music" on his merch. In S1E04, around 11:40, he introduces himself while putting on a hat that says "DJ Music".

      5 votes
  5. Douglas
    Link
    This show's ending marks the first time a comedy has hit me with an existential aftershock. The only other things that do that for me are typically sadder things like SOMA, The Last of Us, No...

    This show's ending marks the first time a comedy has hit me with an existential aftershock.

    The only other things that do that for me are typically sadder things like SOMA, The Last of Us, No Country for Old Men, Annihilation-- but for a comedy to do it was just... wow. What a smart, wonderful, delightfully charming yet insidiously dark series. I loved it. I'm gonna need a bit to let it marinate, but I think this could easily take the #1 spot for my favorite show of all time.

    3 votes
  6. [7]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    The Good Place ends up touching on a lot of transhumanistic themes, bearing an odd resemblance to Greg Egan's Permutation City. I like that. edit1: I just learned that was the series finale. You...

    The Good Place ends up touching on a lot of transhumanistic themes, bearing an odd resemblance to Greg Egan's Permutation City.

    I like that.

    edit1: I just learned that was the series finale. You know what? This was not some cryptic science fiction novel, but rather a fantasy/romcom with interesting philosophical overtones. I demand emotional satisfaction. Not cool. Not cool at all.
    edit2: it also kinda glorified suicide, but whatever...
    edit3: and resolved the dilemma of identity by dissolving identify itself. Not very enticing, to be honest.

    2 votes
    1. [7]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [6]
        mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Even supposing that the motivations that you ascribe to real-world suicides are true in every case, the concept remains entirely compatible with the act of going through the portal. Suicide's...

        Even supposing that the motivations that you ascribe to real-world suicides are true in every case, the concept remains entirely compatible with the act of going through the portal.

        Suicide's motivation is usually some kind of dissatisfaction with identity/existence with the goal of escaping it. Beautiful or not, calm or not, going through the door is equivalent to suicide, which means that it is suicide. And The Good Place glorified it.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. mrbig
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            It is certainly not as problematic as 13 Reasons. But it is still depicting suicide as something that ranges from harmless from positive.

            It is certainly not as problematic as 13 Reasons. But it is still depicting suicide as something that ranges from harmless from positive.

            1 vote
        2. [4]
          psi
          Link Parent
          But that's pretty much exactly opposite of the door's purpose, right? People aren't walking through the door because they're dissatisfied with existing; they're walking through the door precisely...

          Suicide's motivation is usually some kind of dissatisfaction with identity/existence with the goal of escaping it. Beautiful or not, calm or not, going through the door is equivalent to suicide, which means that it is suicide. And The Good Place glorified it.

          But that's pretty much exactly opposite of the door's purpose, right? People aren't walking through the door because they're dissatisfied with existing; they're walking through the door precisely because they're satisfied.

          I agree with /u/sinyavitsa's assessment that the show's insistence that "death gives meaning to life" was a bit of a cop-out. Nevertheless, faced with eternity, it's perfectly conceivable that people might want to quit existing eventually, if not for any reason but sheer boredom. It's certainly debatable as to whether you should call that suicide, but the context here matters: infinity fundamentally changes the dynamics, especially the morality of the matter.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            mrbig
            Link Parent
            Quoting myself from Reddit:

            Quoting myself from Reddit:

            Let's say I ate 4 pounds of the beast stake one can imagine. This gave me a lot of pleasure up until now. I'm completely full and satisfied. If I keep eating, I won't feel pleasure at all. On the contrary: it can literally hurt. The sentence "I satisfied my appetite, and therefore would like to stop eating" would have the same value as "I anticipate that continuing to eat will cause me distress, and therefore would like to stop eating". (...) I can easily translate one sentence to the other, therefore what the show framed as a positive is nothing more than the negation of a negative.

            In other words, they were not just calmly and poetically contemplating a beautiful transformation, they were also reacting to the emptiness and absurdity of existence. Just like on many suicides.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              psi
              Link Parent
              Sure, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are foils, so in some sense it doesn't make sense to talk about the one without talking about the other. That said, if you were to ask if the mindset of...

              Sure, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are foils, so in some sense it doesn't make sense to talk about the one without talking about the other. That said, if you were to ask if the mindset of someone walking through the door out of a sense of completeness is tantamount to someone killing themselves out of desperation, people would crook their heads and look at you funny. Intuitively, the two situations are different. To wit, the difference is their mindsets (being in a good place vs being in a bad place).

              But that kinda sidesteps the underlying issue here, which is whether the depiction of "suicide" in the Good Place is actually problematic. Plenty of people find assisted suicide in certain circumstances to be ethical, so it would seem rather extreme to suggest that any depiction of suicide is inherently problematic, for example. The question becomes, therefore, where do you draw the line? Or alternatively, to what degree is this particular depiction problematic?

              2 votes
              1. mrbig
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Sure. That is not something I'm terribly concerned about, I just wanted to point out that it does present suicide in a very positive light and this ought to be acknowledged.

                But that kinda sidesteps the underlying issue here, which is whether the depiction of "suicide" in the Good Place is actually problematic

                Sure. That is not something I'm terribly concerned about, I just wanted to point out that it does present suicide in a very positive light and this ought to be acknowledged.

                2 votes