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Recap / The Good Place S 4 E 08 "The Funeral to End All Funerals"

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"This is it, your honor. This is the whole story. No one is beyond rehabilitation."
Michael

While Michael attends the Judge's ruling on the experiment, along with Shawn and the Good Place committee, the humans and Janet (who were not permitted to attend) decide to take their minds off the stress by throwing themselves mock funerals and commemorate each other and their friendship.

The review of the experiment results begins. The humans' scores reveal that Simone, John, and Chidi all became better people, but Brent actually became worse over the last year. Michael nonetheless argues that Brent had redeemed himself from a much lower score with his last-minute apology, showing that he really wasn't beyond redemption. He also pulls up the scores of Kamilah, Donna, and Pillboi, who all improved their lives drastically after the Soul Squad's intervention.

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After a brief deliberation, the humans and Janet are brought into the courtroom as the Judge announces her verdict. She has decided the Soul Squad is right and declares the experiment a success. While everyone (except Shawn) is initially delighted, they are all horrified when the Judge declares Earth is cancelled and will restart existence, wiping out all humans in the process. Michael tries to get her to consider another option, Shawn refuses to help rather than admit defeat, and the Good Place Committee is as ineffectual as ever. Before the Judge can activate the device that will reboot existence, Janet steals it and hides it in her void. She's then joined by the newly reformed Bad Janet, who reveals she's passed the manifesto to all the other Janets in the afterlife. A stream of Good, Bad, Neutral, and Disco Janets enter the courtroom, ready to help hide the device in their voids. Gen coldly declares she will get the device back and marbleize every Janet in the room. With Gen distracted, Eleanor tells Michael to restore Chidi's memories, figuring he is the only person who can come up with a solution.

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Tropes in this episode include:

  • All for Nothing: It seems as though all making Gen realize that humanity is too complicated for the points system has done is convince her to wipe out everything in existence and start over.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: The Soul Squad, with an unconscious Chidi in tow, hold their own funerals, since they obviously died and never got to mourn their premature deaths.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Subverted. Jason says his mother died of "the big C", which was what he called a crocodile outside his house, before admitting he was joking and she did die of cancer.
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: Gen sorting through her purse goes "lip gloss, lip gloss, thing that ends all the wars, Justified season 2..."
  • Brick Joke: In the first episode of the season, Michael mentions one incarnation of Janet called Disco Janet. Here, during the climax when the army of Janets show up, one shows up brightly dressed, curly-haired and on rollerskates doing a disco dance.
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  • Buffy Speak: Having not given it a proper name (either because she forgets it or just doesn't care), Gen constantly refers to her Doomsday Device as a thingy (including "human wiper outer thingy" and "Earth rebooter thingy").
  • The Cavalry: An army of various Janets come in at the end to buy the heroes some time.
  • Cessation of Existence: This is what Gen's existence-rebooting Doomsday Device will do to all humans, living and dead alike.
  • Character Development:
    • When checking the humans' scores, they find that they all did indeed become better than when they started... except Brent, who became 1% worse. However, his last-second apology did bring his score back up to that amount when it was much lower before.
    • When Gen is unimpressed with the humans' point scores, Michael reveals to her how much those who the gang helped as "The Soul Squad" improved, with Kamilah opening a scholarship under Tahani's name for girls to go to college, Donna continuing to be a good stepmother to Patricia, and Pillboi fully dedicating his time to looking after the elderly.
    • Bad Janet apparently did some soul searching after reading Michael's manifesto. She realized that humans can be bad but life is not black and white and wiping everyone out is too extreme a solution.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
  • Didn't Think This Through: When the gang objects to Gen obliterating the universe, she asks them what they thought was going to happen if she decided they were right about the points... and then they realize that they really didn't think about what the solution to the broken points system would be due to Janet and Michael accidentally making the Soul Squad afterlife fugitives. They were hoping that Gen would reform the points system itself at least, with Michael awkwardly suggesting that maybe they should give humans three points for eating apples instead of two.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: All the Janets in the afterlife stand up to Gen, who could easily vaporize demons by snapping her fingers. She's thrown off only because there are so many of them.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The Judge is completely nonchalant about the fact that she'll be wiping out all of existence and erasing billions of souls in the process.
  • Doomsday Device:
    • Gen plans to use one to wipe out all of existence itself and start over with a clean new slate... until Janet sends it into her void. It looks like a garage door opener.
    • There's also an inversion. While looking for the device in her purse, Gen takes out one that apparently ends all wars.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Gen, upon conceding that the points system isn't working, still fails to realize that the points system itself is the problem. Instead, she decides Earth is hopelessly flawed, and decides to wipe it out entirely.
  • Due to the Dead: Janet reveals that the Soul Squad's families and friends had their ways of grieving.
    • Showing that she has forgiven her sister for their rivalry, Kamilah started a scholarship in Tahani's name for girls like them.
    • Pillboi graffiti tagged a Red Lobster in honor of Jason's memory.
  • Escalating Punchline: Eleanor eulogizing Tahani:
    She taught me lots of stuff. Like bras shouldn't be painful. And you don't buy bras at Home Depot. And they don't sell bras at Home Depot. What the hell are you wearing? For the record, it was a men’s back support harness, and it worked in a pinch.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Bad Janet doesn't want the apocalypse to happen, because she thinks the system is messed up and it's unfair to wipe everyone out.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The Good Place Committee, as usual, is horrified by how Gen wants to wipe out humanity. Shame that they can't be more active about it.
  • Evil Is Petty: Shawn would rather rub Michael's simultaneous loss and victory in his face and let Gen stay the course rather than admit he was wrong, do an Enemy Mine, and beg Gen to reconsider wiping out the universe.
  • Extreme Doormat: The Good Place Committee's idea of negotiation is to give up all possible leverage and let Shawn have all the power.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Jason says that the first stage of grief in Jacksonville is graffiti. The podcast reveals that the other stages of grief are ATV race, tattoo fight, prank-call the morgue, and graffiti the morgue.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Invoked, the humans throw themselves decidedly un-serious funerals, with inappropriate venues, outfits, and speeches.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Eleanor wakes up Chidi and prepares to come clean with him about everything in the hopes of convincing Gen otherwise. It may risk their former relationship, especially since Chidi will remember that Eleanor tortured him, but worlds are at stake and Eleanor is willing to make that sacrifice.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Bad Janet circulated Michael's Manifesto to every other Janet in the universe and a militia's worth showing up at Gen's courtroom to help hide her Doomsday Device.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Soul Squad's experiment, along with other factors (like the humans on Earth that the Soul Squad helped), leads to Gen's verdict that the points system is in fact forked up, giving the Soul Squad the victory they wanted. The Soul Squad immediately stop celebrating when Gen concludes that the solution to this is to restart humanity altogether.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Shawn reveals that he knows how to pronounce Zendaya, and then immediately acts embarrassed about it.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Played with. While Brent got 1% worse during the experiment, his last-second Heel Realization gave him exponential growth that otherwise would have been a lot worse, and Michael explains that there's no telling how much he might change for the better by tomorrow.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Bad Janet was moved by the manifesto Michael gave to her before releasing her, and is now convinced that humans do deserve better, and gathers all of the other Janets to help her stall Gen.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Janets are all willing to have Gen marbleize them one by one while searching for the Doomsday Device to buy the gang time to come up with a better solution to the outdated points system.
  • Honor Before Reason: The Good Place Committee once again falls victim to this, taking the time to stress over the most ethical way to write a letter pleading to Gen not to wipe out the entire universe.
  • Hope Spot: The gang ends up convincing Gen that the point system is indeed flawed, and her solution to the problem is... to wipe all of humanity out and start from scratch.
  • Ignored Epiphany: The whole point of redoing the experiment was to see if humans could improve themselves and each other without worldly issues and the general pressures of everyday life compromising their morality. It succeeded on that front with everyone except Brent, and even he improved at the last minute. Instead of changing the points system, Gen took it to mean that humans in their current form should be wiped out because Earth is too complicated to be fairly judged by the system.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": How the gang and the Good Place Committee react when Gen reveals how she plans to resolve the botched point system.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: The Janets hide the doomsday device among themselves. Gen coldly says she'll marbelize all of them.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: Chidi's not dead, but unconscious. This doesn't stop the other humans from toting his body around to all their fake funerals, which include setting him on a pool float and lawn chair (in a mailman outfit).
  • Orphaned Punchline: Michael instinctively shouts "Bounces off me and sticks to you" at Shawn when he merely says his name, thinking that Shawn was about to insult him. This becomes something of a Running Gag throughout the episode, both Michael and Shawn using some variant of "You're Glue" as a Subverted Punchline.
    Gen: I don't think any of you is using that right...
  • Product Placement: Rather shamelessly used at the start of the episode. Everyone else is asking whether they passed the test and saved humanity, but Jason just asks if anyone found his Nintendo, then holds up a Nintendo Switch.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Eleanor speech at the end of the episode telling Michael that they need Chidi finishes with "Wake. Him. Up."
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Gen initially acts this way during the proceedings. She rightfully points out that three humans making only marginal progress isn't really a valid reason to revamp how things are done, but also acknowledges that Michael's counterargument is legit, namely that the original four humans also got better during the original experiment, as did their families and friends during their time as The Soul Squad, and that although Brent generally got worse throughout the experiment, he did improve right at the end. She also allows the humans to attend the announcement of the verdict in their favor... or at least what she thinks is in their favor.
  • Restart the World: Gen's solution to the broken point system. She reasons that the new society that evolves won't be too complicated for the points system.
  • Shout-Out: Michael compares Eleanor, Tahani, Chidi, Jason, Simone and John to the cast of Friends. This later becomes a Dissimile when he clarifies that Ross, Rachel, Monica, Joey and Chandler are definitely bad friends, but Phoebe shouldn't be deserving of eternal damnation just because of them.
  • Skewed Priorities: In addition to the matter of reworking the points system, Gen tries to sneak in a petition to reboot Ally McBeal.
  • Spanner in the Works: Brent was the only person in the experiment who got a negative point percentage, which showed Gen that humans are fundamentally flawed.
  • Strongly Worded Letter: Faced with the imminent erasure and rebooting of humanity, the Good Place Committee sit down to write one of these. Then they decide "stern" is too confrontational, and the guy writing it stops and resigns on the spot.
  • Take That!: When Michael asks Matt to show the progress Kamilah, Donna, and Pillboi had made since Team Cockroach influenced them positively, Shawn states that he should also cite three random living people to make his case, citing Elizabeth Holmes, Henry Kissinger and PewDiePie.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Brent ends up being the nail in the coffin that proves to the Judge that humans don't improve significantly in the afterlife.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Anti-Villain example: While Gen's logic is cold, she says that if there is something fundamentally wrong with the system then it may be best to start over from scratch and learn from past mistakes.
    • Michael agrees with Shawn that Brent was a terrible human being who did get worse rather than better in the new experiment.
  • Wham Line: Gen gets one just after her ruling:
    Gen: Now, in terms of how we handle this moving forward, obviously, Earth is cancelled. [..] All humans on Earth and in the afterlife will be extinguished, and we will start the entire human race over from scratch.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: After a close call, Michael wins the case and prove definitively that a static point-system is unfit for the dynamic human race. What does the Judge decide to do about it? Restart the World, wipe out all of humanity - both on Earth and in the afterlife - and start over from scratch.
  • Your Mom: When the Good Place committee says they're willing to meet Shawn halfway, he comes back with "I met your mom halfway last night."

 
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Michael wins his case.

After a close call, Michael wins the case and prove definitively that a static point-system is unfit for the dynamic human race. What does the Judge decide to do about it? Restart the World, wipe out all of humanity - both on Earth and in the afterlife - and start over from scratch.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (6 votes)

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Main / WonTheWarLostThePeace

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Main / WonTheWarLostThePeace

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