The Good Place’s “A Chip Driver Mystery” not only manages to move the plot forward – with John finally in on Jason’s secret, and absolutely everyone, from Simone to Chidi, and even Tahani, ready to call Brent out on his bullshit; but also reinforces the same message this show has always been very good at sending, while taking it one step farther.
Yes, you can be better. Everyone can. But this isn’t – shouldn’t be the kind of lofty goal that you sort of just, aim for in general. It should be an enforceable daily thing, where you pay attention to your words, to your actions, and actively choose to be better.
Even if that means letting Bad Janet go.
And yes, I recognize that since this is a show, Michael’s decision to let Bad Janet go will probably have some repercussions in the plot going forward, that this small act of kindness will prove decisive. And I also recognize how utterly unrealistic that all seems. Small acts of kindness don’t save the universe, do they?
But sometimes they do.
Sometimes what for you might seem small and insignificant, might mean to world to others. History is full of decisions like that, small choices that affected the world, for better, or worse. And knowing that, we still, so often, decide to put aside kindness and just …be self-centered.
It isn’t even being mean. That’s a choice too. So many of us are just …caught up in our own problems, too busy to think about how we can help others, how we can do better. And that’s something that this episode does a good job of reflecting on, just as it does an amazing job at showing why kindness is a much different ballgame for minorities.
Yes, kindness is a choice, but it’s an easy one for those with privilege. It becomes much harder when that kindness can mean being taken advantage of, or disrespected. What for you is kindness, for some people can be seen as weakness, because the truth of the matter is that not everyone is actually good.
No, I’m not even reaching when I say you can get all this from just watching “A Chip Driver Mystery.” The Good Place has never been a subtle show, but it’s also always been the kind of TV that can entertain you when you’re not thinking too much about it, and it can blow you away when you’re looking for the little clues.
And that’s why when it leaves us, in a few months, it will leave a void in the TV landscape, but it will also have set a new blueprint for the type of TV we should all aspire to consume: diverse, moral and committed to sending the right message, without compromising humor.
Imagine that, it is possible.
We’re almost at the halfway point. Seven more episodes to go. I’ve wavered between being happy I get to review this show’s final season, and being sad the show is ending, but after this episode, I’m going to take a moment to be thankful. Thankful that I get to experience it and think about it, and hopefully, be better because of it.
Even if just because overexposure to Brent will do that to anyone.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of “A Chip Driver Mystery”? Share with us in the comments below!
The Good Place airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.