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The Good Place: Most Improved Player

“There is no award for most improved player, Chidi.”
“Well, maybe there should be.”

Possibly my least favorite episode of the season.

It starts out promising enough, with a mirror image of the series premiere, and definitely finishes strong with the discovery of a second Eleanor Shellstrop. I mean what??!?! But unfortunately the middle is taken up largely by a series of flashbacks to the dress bitch saga. They go on far too long and only serve to prove something we already knew: Eleanor was trash on Earth. It’s actually made worse because Michael keeps interrupting to say “Wait there’s more?” which both points out how long the story is and actually elongates the story. Now. I don’t know if I feel this way because I’ve watched and rewatched the season so many times or if it’s genuinely not funny. I’d love to hear from some first time watchers in the comments.

Aside from the flashbacks, we get some character progression. Tahani is furious that Eleanor lied to her and is hurt, seriously doubting if the bond she shared with Eleanor was real or just a fabrication. Her pride is wounded as well, because she never picked up on Eleanor’s less than Good Place material side. The end of the episode sees her getting over herself enough to (somewhat grudgingly?) farewell Eleanor with Jason (who, remember, she still thinks is Jianyu) in tow.

Chidi really grabs the reigns of the whole situation when he, possibly taking a cue from Eleanor, confesses that he’s been helping her all along and declares that she is becoming a better person and shouldn’t be shuffled off to the Bad Place. It’s by far the most decisive we’ve seen Chidi. And his face when Eleanor referenced Kant in their discussion over what he should or should not tell Michael was beyond precious. Anyone shipping them?

Humor-wise, we rely mostly on Janet, who is still rebooting, and her cacti confusion. I love how the number of cacti rises offscreen so every time we reenter Michael’s office, there are more. The cactus bit gets a little wearing if you’ve seen it enough times, however. There was also a strong introduction to Trevor and his crew of demons. Trevor’s a big fan of Eleanor’s, a sexual harasser, and a die-hard fan of The Bachelor. We learned during Michael’s quiz that those emotionally invested in The Bachelor are in for the Bad Place. And of course any man who tells a woman she should smile more has to be a demon. I love that sexual harassment was listed as a major crime by Michael along with murder and arson. Take that, toxic masculinity! TGP said Time’s Up!

With the train stopped, hopefully that means Trevor is going to be staying a while. Adam Scott playing the polar opposite of Ben Wyatt is amusing as hell (no pun intended).

Ethical Bits

How did Trevor know that Chidi was trying to improve Eleanor before Michael did? Continuity error?

The Good Quotes

Michael: “Janet, if you hand me a cactus, I swear I will lose my mind.”

two and a half out of four dress bitch shirts


1 comment:

  1. Hilarious with the cacti situation but I do agree this wasn't a great episode.


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