The Good Place: Help Is Other People

Tahani: “Okay, in the words of Princess Kate after we came back from our shopping trip in Ibiza, ‘there’s a lot to unpack here.’”

Looks like we’re all forked.

We’ve got seven episodes left and the experiment’s come to a close and it didn’t end on a high note. On a show that broke its entire plot at the end of the first season it really shouldn’t be surprising that the experiment ended so soon, but it did really feel out of left field. The fact that there are still so many episodes to go cannot be good for the fate of humanity. Unless the rest of the season just involves watching Team Cockroach eat endless shrampis, throw gala after gala, and become a Jacksonville Jaguar in The Good Place? No, that’s probably a no.

Team Cockroach thought they’d be able to wrap up the experiment nicely but the new humans (mostly Simone) managed to fork that up. Turns out Simone was recording data on “The Good Place” the whole time and realized something’s up. Now the humans are realizing so much of what they’ve been told is bullshirt. There’s no way a relentless gossip columnist would make it to heaven, Brent is not nearly great enough to move up to “The Best Place,” and it makes no sense that Chidi would be the only one in the neighborhood to be told he has a soulmate. And yet every character (except Simone) spends the entire episode trying to remain in denial as long as possible. Until the end.

Team Cockroach tries to remain in denial that they’ve beat the experiment and saved humanity. I guess I’m a little fuzzy on the rules of the experiment but I feel like none of the humans seemed to make that much progress. Was the point to prove they could make progress at all? Maybe they had that down. But none of that matters because the humans do what they do and complicate things, causing them to blow everything up, twice. They first drop Brent in a hole during Michael’s human magic show (I’m with Eleanor, human magicians suck, especially in a world with real magic). But when Simone and John ditch Brent and Chidi tries and fails at saving Brent, Team Cockroach is forced to blow things up again and pull a season one finale, telling Chidi and Brent they’re in the Bad Place.

I think one of the problems I’m having this season is that I just don’t care about the new humans nearly as much as I do Team Cockroach. Maybe it’s because I don’t know them as well (they haven’t benefited from their very own flashbacks), maybe it’s because they haven’t seemed to have really grown as characters, maybe it’s because they’re just duds, but it makes it harder to become as invested in the storylines beyond just general concern for how they affect humanity and Team Cockroach. They’ve all been kind of floating right above the threshold of real, almost like they were experiments themselves. At least until the last few minutes of the episode when Brent finally started choking out an apology. Benjamin Koldyke did a good job of infusing his struggle over a real apology with a history we never got to see. He made the whole thing very vulnerable. So maybe the new humans never made such great progress as Team Cockroach and spent so much time in denial and enjoying the fake Good Place even if that fakeness was so obvious, but I think that moment of vulnerability was a lot for Brent (would be a lot for anyone) and I liked that. I guess we’ll see soon if the Judge felt the same.

Bits and Pieces.

-- You know I didn’t even remember John’s name when I was writing this review and had to look him up. I guess that shows how much he mattered to me as a character.

-- Speaking of the characters I likely won’t remember too much, goodbye new humans! Hopefully they won’t all end up in The Bad Place with all of humanity.

-- I forgot Chidi and Simone were a thing again and Chidi thought Simone was his soul mate. Wonder how that’ll all fair out when he gets his memory back.

-- In a moment of discomfort Tahani tells the new humans she’s friends with Sting and Jason told them all he was born in a swimming pool. Fitting.

-- Chidi once again thinks he’s in Hell because of almond milk. Gotta love consistency.

-- I guess Janet’s probably violently eating her Janet babies for processing power about now.

Eleanor: “New plan: … we do nothing. We hope our early successes make up for the embarrassing mess we’ve become. Like Facebook, or America.”

Jason, on the day everything was chocolate: “That day was awesome! I had a Reese’s peanut butter cup. The whole thing was chocolate!”

Tahani: “That was two good analogies in a row. I’m now worried he’s a demon in a Jason suit.”

Three out of four human magic tricks badly performed by magical demons.

2 comments:

Victoria Grossack said...

Just want to comment on the title, which is a play on the phrase "Hell is other people." That's the most famous line from Jean-Paul Sartre's play "The Die Is Cast." Or, in the original: l'enfer, c'est les autres from Sartre's Les jeux sont faits. The quote is especially apt as the play is about souls who are dealing with the afterlife.

Billie Doux said...

Victoria, you're our title whisperer. :)