‘The Good Place’: A ‘Chillaxing’ Chidi Causes Complications (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Good Place Season 4 Episode 3, “Chillaxing.”]
Who would Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) be without all his various anxieties, indecisions and stomachaches?
That’s a question The Good Place hasn’t pondered much throughout the past three seasons, instead focusing on Chidi’s inability to decide on everything from what color hat he should wear to whether or not he should be with Eleanor (Kristen Bell). So it’s a surprise, in this episode, when Eleanor asks Chidi about why Brent hasn’t been attending his ethics class and he responds with calmness rather than concern. Chidi should be concerned about Brent, right? The Chidi we know is always worried about something, right?
In “Chillaxing,” The Good Place sees Chidi at his happiest—and Eleanor, as she must make semi-demonic decisions for the good of humanity—questioning her motives and nearing her breaking point.
A Perilous Promise
As it turns out, Chidi might be a bigger problem than the group thought. They don’t know the new, “chillaxed” version of him, who isn’t being tortured and is now living his best life. But right now, they don’t need “chillaxed” Chidi: They need philosopher Chidi, and it’s up to Eleanor to figure out how to restore him.
Eleanor’s plan to get Chidi back to his stomachache-y self is to mirror her own first days in Chidi’s life, but with Jason (Manny Jacinto), who will reveal to Chidi that he doesn’t belong in the neighborhood. She brings “Jianyu” to Chidi’s apartment and makes him promise to help the “monk” no matter what. “A promise from a strict Kantian like yourself,” she says, “is just about the most ironclad agreement in the universe.”
And just like that, one week later, Chidi’s back to being a ball of nerves wearing glasses. When Eleanor and Michael (Ted Danson) stop by his place, they ask him to attend a luau to help Jianyu/Jason acclimate to the neighborhood, and Chidi accepts the invitation. Jason and Eleanor chat at the event, and he lets her know it’s going well—but she might want to lay off. Eleanor says they should keep going until Chidi’s taking “a whole bottle” of Tums every day. Yikes!
Your Heart’s Truest Desire
The torture only escalates when, at the luau, Jason reveals his heart’s “truest desire” by throwing a rock into a pit (just like the “favorite dish” event at the restaurant in Season 1). It erupts into a motorcycle with Pamela Anderson’s, um… well, I think we all know what parts of Pamela Anderson Jason would have airbrushed on a motorcycle. A terrified Chidi, in order to keep his promise, must claim the bike.
That same terrified Chidi wanders into Eleanor and Michael’s office later that evening and says, after making a feeble attempt to explain the situation, that he feels like he’s being punished. All of Eleanor’s enthusiasm evaporates, and she starts crying in front of him. Michael handles the situation well—he gets Chidi to shove his troubles on the motorcycle and evaporates it, thus “fixing” the problem.
If You Spot It, You Got It
Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) hypothesizes John’s bitterness on Earth was because he wasn’t included in any celebrity social circles, so she makes an effort to include him in a heavenly “spa day.” That certainly cheers him up, but he doesn’t take her advice to join Chidi’s ethics class.
At the luau, Tahani tries to go on the offensive. She corners John and tells him his blog hurt people, and that he can try to be better here. At that, John scoffs. He reminds Tahani that while she gallivanted across the globe, he was living in the real world and working 16 hours a day, alone, to build his site. “You’re the one with issues, sweetheart,” he says. “If you spot it, you got it.”
Later, Tahani realizes he’s right. They both have very similar issues. She goes to tell him that, and he does something surprising: He apologizes, and it seems a real friendship might form.
On the Right Track?
As the episode ends, Chidi agrees to help Jason learn ethics. It seems everything might finally be on the right track, considering the progress they’ve made with the humans… but ironically, tracks might be their downfall. A mysterious hooded figure is traveling toward the neighborhood via the train tracks. Who? Why? How? It seems safe to assume it’s nothing good.
The Good Place, Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC