- "We've tried this. Humans are very reticent to torture each other. Even getting them to do simple things like pulling out each other's teeth is like... I can't think of the right analogy. "
- —Shawn to Michael
Shawn is an Immortal Being who is Michael's superior in The Bad Place.
Not much is known about Shawn's existence prior to Michael becoming an Architect. It is assumed that Shawn was Michael's mentor due to comments made in Chapter 25: The Burrito, and that Michael and Shawn were very close (although Michael assumes that this was not the case, as he thinks Shawn never cared about him, although Shawn seems to disagree).
Shawn first appeared when he was called to Neighborhood 12358W to judge on whether Eleanor and Jason should be banished to The Bad Place. He introduced himself as “The Almighty Judge on High of All Beings Living and Dead for All Eternity”. He is depicted as wholly emotionless and would encase himself in a cocoon upon hearing human emotion to as to preserve his impartiality.
After Eleanor realised the true nature of her neighbourhood, this judge character is shown to be a sham intended to preserve the illusion of "The Good Place". He is instead the direct superior to Michael in the Bad Place's bureaucracy with a similar interest in torturing humans. His name however is Shawn, and the stern and humourless personality of his judge character closely matches that of his real self.
When Michael was pitching his new neighborhood idea, Shawn was one of the Immortal Beings deciding whether or not they would allow it. He stated that they had in fact tried getting humans to torture each before but found it very difficult. Nevertheless he agreed to allow Michael to try and even played along in his first run attempt. After the first attempt failed he allowed Michael to try again but if he failed Michael wouldn't get a third attempt and would face retirement.
For a long time, Shawn was unaware that Michael had rebooted his neighborhood over 800 times, believing from Michael's falsified reports that the second run was an enormous success.
Eventually, Michael's false reports lead to both Shawn and Michael getting promotions, whereupon the original neighborhood is wound up.
Michael then visited Shawn in the Bad Place while attempting to steal Senior Staff Pins to transport the four humans to the Judge so that they would be able to go through the portal. Shawn discovered, upon hearing via Bad Janet's walkie-talkie mode that Derek was in the Medium Place, that Michael had been lying to him. The four humans escaped to the Neutral Zone via portal and Shawn caught Michael. He brought Michael to his office and a Bad Janet revealed that Janet had been marbleized. They took Michael to an unmarked room to lock him there for eternity with only a stack of New Yorker Magazines for entertainment before Bad Janet revealed that she was actually Janet and had marbleized a Good Janet (which she was capable of, presumably, due to her having been rebooted so many times). She attacked Shawn and left him in the room as she and Michael escaped.
Shawn then set up a task force to trace the humans' improvement, because their progress would interfere with his ability to torture people. Due to Michael's repeated ventures to Earth, he was able to use a backdoor and send Trevor down to Earth to split up the humans; Michael and Janet were able to stop Trevor temporarily, and Gen eventually flung Trevor into a void which the bridge to the Door overlooked.
Due to Michael and Janet taking the only key to the portal to Earth while fleeing there, preventing anyone in the afterlife from following them, Shawn's threat against the humans was neutralized for a while. However, he was able to construct his own portal to Earth with the help of Vicky and Glenn, and successfully confronted the humans with the help of other demons, including Bambadjan and Chris Baker. However, Michael sent all of them through to the Doorman, and tied up Shawn. Shawn stated that nobody the humans had helped would get into the Good Place, including Doug Forcett. Janet kicked him into the Door while he was mid sentence.
It is assumed that the Judge punished Shawn and the other demons for illegally venturing to Earth.
Powers & Abilities Edit
- Cocoon encasement: Shawn at will is able to encase himself or others in a green slime covered cocoon which even other Immortal Beings like Vicky cannot escape.
Being an Immortal Being same as Michael only in a higher position of authority, it is very likely that Shawn has all the same powers that Michael possesses with the exception that he most likely cannot alter in any way, a Bad Place neighborhood that he himself did not have a hand in creating.