'The Good Place': Can the new system for the afterlife redeem both demons and human souls?

Michael pioneered a new way of torturing humans and inadvertently found a way to redeem them as well as himself


                            'The Good Place': Can the new system for the afterlife redeem both demons and human souls?
Ted Danson as Michael (NBC)

What do demons live for? Besides the torture, obviously, one of the most consistent running jokes on 'The Good Place' is just how much demons enjoy being the absolute worst. They appear to not have many ambitions beyond that. Michael (Ted Danson), however, was rather unique among the demonkind for trying out something new.

Doing so, however, changed Michael for the better. Over the course of the show, Michael has learned the true value of a human soul and has fought for their redemption. Will the new system do the same for the other demons in the Bad Place?

The demons of the Bad Place are simple people. They gleefully apply horrendous pain to their human charges, and have even adapted to humanity's more mundane nightmares, like "performative wokeness". But, as Michael points out, there's no creativity, or challenge to their work. Demons just skip straight to a human's worst fears and make them as real and as painful as possible.

Even Shaun (Mark Evan Jackson), who may just be the worst demon in all of the Bad Place, admits to finding it tedious until Michael and Team Cockroach started mixing things up. 

As Vicky (Tiya Sircar) illustrates, the new system requires a lot more thought and creativity. It requires demons to really get to know the people they're torturing and not just find inventive new ways to make souls feel pain, but find a way to make that pain teach humans something new.

It requires not only the schadenfreude that demons are known for, but a certain amount of compassion as well. The end goal, after all, is the redemption of humans. Suddenly, the demons of the Bad Place have a purpose — they are working towards something, instead of performing an endlessly repetitive task that only increases over time.

With no one having gotten into the Good Place for over a century, the number of souls that demons have to torture have only been increasing. Without the new system in place, the demons' workload would only have increased infinitely, until the end of humanity itself. The Bad Place can now start sending souls up to the Good Place, and just maybe, like Michael is about to do, take a well-earned vacation to the Good Place themselves.

The next episode of 'The Good Place' airs on January 22, on NBC.

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