“The Funeral to End All Funerals” | The Good Place
“This is the whole story. No one is beyond rehabilitation. Brent spent a year being an absolute diaper load of a human being, and the points total tells you that. But what that number can’t tell you is who he could have become tomorrow.”
The most unsurprising fact at this very moment is that throughout the final season of The Good Place, there have been far too many great scenes to choose from, and there was no shortage of great scenes in “The Funeral to End All Funerals.” Kristen Bell’s direction of the episode felt incredibly important for Eleanor because there’s not a single scene in the latest episode that didn’t feel like a punch in the gut in all the right ways. How this show manages to make me openly weep every single time is still so astonishing. For instance, Bell’s voice breaking while maintaining stoicism as Eleanor said “wake him up”, all the eulogies and how these merry band of misfits healed one another through the entirety of their journey? “The Funeral to End All Funerals” was a masterful episode, but we’re all still thinking about the scene right? You know the one, the one with all the Janets, another perfect performance by D’Arcy Carden and what it meant for humanity.
There are a few things I’d expected from the final season, but anyone from the evil team turning around and doing something good for the sake of humanity wasn’t one of those things. And perhaps that’s what makes evil Janet’s choice to step up and rally all the other Janets that much more riveting. We’ve yet to discover the key to inspiring the world or how to fix the points system — we aren’t all Chidi Anagonye after all, but persistence is without a single doubt one of the most powerful choices we have as human beings, or in this case, demons, and Michael’s persistence with evil Janet is very proof of its power. Humanity may be flawed and judgement systems might be unfair and ridiculous, but never once has belief in another person, or in this case, not a girl, ever resulted in a negative outcome. It’s belief that’s brought a willingness to persist in the lives of all these people, and it’s belief that continues to bring hope into each of their lives. Our good Janet even illuminates the fact when she mentions how much each of her friends have changed her life when she mentions the hope Eleanor once had when everything else was falling apart.
The end of “Pandemonium” might still be my all-time favorite moment in the show’s history, (I’m sure the finale might change this though.) but the majority of “The Funeral to End All Funerals” could possibly be a close second, for hope continues to be the greatest message the show is ceaselessly putting out. Humanity is flawed and it’ll always be flawed, earth especially if we’re bringing it around to us, but where there’s hope, and even a sprinkle of belief, growth can take place. Where there’s belief, bad Janet could turn around and do something good even while keeping her nonchalant carelessness at bay. And let’s just mention D’Arcy Carden’s performances one more time because it’s always so fascinating to watch her bring different versions of her character to life with such seemingly effortless transitions.
The Good Place has always done an incredible job reminding us of the fact that flaws do not equate to, in today’s vernacular, cancellations. It reminds viewers that humans shouldn’t be written off because of their mistakes, but a single person’s choice to believe in even the possibility of another’s growth could result in monumental changes. Belief is Michael’s persistence to change the Judge’s mind and bad Janet’s growth. Belief is Eleanor knowing without a single doubt that they can no longer do this without Chidi being awake, and belief is knowing that when there’s persistence in numbers, only good things can come when all Janets are involved. They’ve made it this far, and I’m so thrilled to know this show can continue to surprise me. This isn’t the last time I’ll be writing about The Good Place and that makes me ridiculously, mother-forking happy.