As I was perusing Caught In Southie the other day, I saw an awesome piece written by Maureen called “This Is Not Will Hunting’s South Boston” and I couldn’t help but think, what would the Wikipedia “Plot Synopsis” of “Good Will Hunting 2020” look like?
Twenty-year-old Will Hunting of South Boston is a self-taught genius, though he has a menial job glueing plastic googly eyes to floor cleaning robots at MIT and spends his free time drinking White Claws and vaping with his friends Chuckie, Billy, and Morgan.
As a challenge for his graduate students, Professor Gerald Lambeau posts a difficult epidemiological problem on a Facebook Message Board. Will solves the problem anonymously under username WickdSmrt69, stunning both the students and Lambeau alike.
Hoping to test the unknown genius, Lambeau posts a Stephen Hawking meme and an even more difficult problem. While solving it, Will’s antivirus software detects spyware and he attempts to delete his account but Lambeau eventually buckles and just asks Mark Zuckerberg for favor and Zuck traces Will’s IP address to his location for his friend.
At a twice shutdown outdoor bar, Will meets Skylar, a British woman about to graduate from Harvard. She is trapped in America due to a travel ban and plans on attending medical school at Stanford when California opens up again.
The following day, Will and his friends fight a Southie dance crew who used to bully Will as a child. Will is promptly arrested after he insults a responding police officer by pulling the Punisher patch off of the officer’s bullet proof vest – all while a large group of protesters yell loudly while filming the arrest and posting to social media.
Lambeau watches a live stream of Will’s defending himself during his court appearance. He arranges for Will to avoid jail time if he agrees to help find a for cure COVID-19 under Lambeau’s supervision plus participating in therapy sessions via Better Help.com. Will tentatively agrees, although he mocks his therapists and uses ridiculous and inappropriate zoom backgrounds.
In desperation, Lambeau calls on Dr. Sean Maguire, his college roommate, who now teaches psychology on SNHU Online. Unlike other online therapists, Sean actually challenges Will’s defense mechanisms and demands take down the “Four Seasons Total Landscaping” background.
During the first session, Sean threatens Will after he insults his wife – who left him shortly after coming out as pansexual – and Will begins to open up.
Will is particularly struck by Sean’s story of how he met his wife by giving up his ticket to Game 2 of the historic 2004 World Series, after falling in love over a quote in a EHarmony bio.
Sean does not regret his decision, even though his wife eventually ended up going on male hormones. This encourages Will to build a relationship with Skylar, though he lies to her about his past Adderall addiction. Will is also reluctant to introduce her to his friends or show her his expensive all white yuppie neighborhood. Will also challenges Sean to take an objective look at his own life, since Sean cannot move on from his wife’s decision to uncouple.
Lambeau sets up several online job interviews for Will, but Will scorns them by sending his anti masker and QAnon believing friend Chuckie as his “chief negotiator”, who turns down a position at Microsoft on behalf of Will, with a scathing critique of Bill Gates’s desire to inject 5G microchips into the world’s population.
Skylar asks Will to move into an AirBnB in California with her, but he refuses and tells her he is sad because he feels like his parents spent too much time on their phones and that his father had verbally abused him once.
Will breaks up with Skylar via text and later storms out on Lambeau, dismissing the vaccine research they have been doing. Sean points out that Will is so adept at anticipating future failure in his interpersonal relationships that he deliberately sabotages them in order to avoid emotional pain, and then says it again with his mask off so people can understand him.
Chuckie likewise challenges Will over his resistance to taking any of the jobs he interviews for, telling Will he owes it to his friends to make the most of opportunities they will never have – even if it means leaving one day without looking back. He also tells Will that the best part of his day is the brief moment when he searches for Will’s location on Snapchat, thinking maybe Will has moved on to something greater.
Will enters a Zoom call and there is a heated argument over his potential happening between Sean and Lambeau. After Will unmutes, Sean and Will share and find out that they were both victims of verbal abuse. Sean helps Will to see that he is a victim of his own PTSD and to accept that it is not his fault, causing him to break down in tears before exiting the call.
Will accepts one of the job offers arranged by Lambeau. Having helped Will overcome his problems, Sean reconciles with Lambeau and decides to take a staycation. Will’s friends present him with a rebuilt electric scooter for his 21st birthday. Later, Chuckie Facetimes Will only to find that he is not there, much to his happiness.
Will sends Sean a text telling him to tell Lambeau that he had to go “see about a she/her” – revealing he passed on the job offer and instead is taking a ride share to California to reunite with Skylar and work for Google.