The Good Place: Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent

“Just act unnatural.”

This is probably my favorite episode of the series, after “Dance Dance Resolution.”

In order to infiltrate Bad Place HQ, the humans adopt disguises. Eleanor is Diana Tremaine, Tahani is Rhonda Mumps, hot dog factory worker, Jason is Jake Jortles of the Molotov cocktail department, and Chidi is very unwillingly forced into the guise of Trent, master torturer. Meanwhile Janet pretends to be Bad Janet. She’s very bad at it.

Michael hides them in a little-used wing of The Museum of Human Misery while he gets them buttons that will allow them to pass through the judge’s portal, but uh-oh, turns out it’s doubling as a party venue for the unveiling of an exhibit commemorating their own torture. The humans are exposed and run for the portal, but the team is one button down. Michael ensures the humans make it through, sacrificing himself in the process. Michael has gone from torture-happy demon to a being that loves his friends enough to sacrifice himself. The character development on this show! I really loved the scene where he gave her his pin and explained that he solved the Trolley Problem, that sacrificing yourself is the answer. Gives me chills.

It doesn’t actually count as an episode of The Good Place unless the audience is taught a valuable lesson about ethics. This week, it’s about mortal particularism, the idea that “certain actions aren’t good or bad… there are no fixed rules that work in every situation… you have to choose your actions based on the particular situation.” The example Eleanor uses, choosing to prioritize your mother’s emergency room visit over a promise to a friend to see a movie, makes much more sense to me than Chidi’s strict Kantian code. The episode showcases Eleanor’s ability to learn, even independent of Chidi. And to think, her favorite book used to be Kendall Jenner’s instagram feed.

Ethical Bits

The billboard at the Bad Place train station reads Pirates of the Caribbean 6: Haunted Crow’s Nest or Something, Who Gives a Crap, Now Playing Everywhere Forever.

Chet is played by Kristen Bell’s real life hubby.

I find it interesting that they’ve started referring to the Bad Place explicitly as hell. I feel that they’ve been very careful not to do that before and I wonder at the change.

The Good Quotes

Tahani: “Is that jewelry? Not that it matters. It’s just some jewelry I don’t have. Can I have it?”

Michael: “…for portals [Janet] counts as a carry-on.”
Janet: “I’m luggage!”

Jason: “I’m telling you, Molotov cocktails work. Any time I had a problem and I threw a Molotov cocktail, BOOM, right away I had a different problem.”

Jason: “Is there a gift shop?”
Michael: “Jason, this is hell. Of course there’s a gift shop.”

Chidi: “How can I say no? Yeah, I know how I would say no. You know, I’d be all like, “No!” But I can’t.”

Shawn: “Well, I was going to try to get the humans back by going through the proper channels. But then I remembered: I’m a naughty bitch.”
Actually iconic.

Four out of four Molotov cocktails

sunbunny

6 comments:

Billie Doux said...

"This is Hell. Of course there's a gift shop." One of my favorite Good Place lines, ever.

Diogo said...

Billie Doux, I was going to say the exact same thing but you beat me to it.

Billie Doux said...

Great minds, Diogo.

Iceman said...

"Remedial Chaos Theory" is still my favorite half-hour of comedy television, but there's no denying "Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent" is utterly brilliant. In its first season, The Good Place was built around a brilliant twist that tied all the antics together. In its second, it burned through plot like there was no tomorrow. In its lackluster third, its plotting basically boiled down to unsatisfying piece-shuffling. Some prefer the first season, but I prefer the second-it just goes all out. The pieces don't feel like they're going in circles like the third season-it feels like those pieces are moving forward. "Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent" is packed with jokes, great character moments, has palpable forward momentum, and in general is one of the highlights of one of the best seasons of comedy tv ever.

Victoria Grossack said...

I did not know that about Chet = Bell's hubby! How nice!

CoramDeo said...

When Michael announced he'd solved the trolley problem, my first thought was 'I never solved the Kobayashi Maru... until now. What do you think of my solution?' I actually got chills.