The Good Place: Derek
November 2, 2017 6:55 PM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Michael struggles to behave ethically and more humanly as the gang address the problem of Janet's new creation.
posted by zachlipton (67 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
The last episode for two months. Forking NFL.

I am excited that Shawn is back and we'll be advancing the main plot next year. The danger of a show about interpersonal drama being used to torture people is that too much interpersonal drama can become a little torturous (though still quite fun) to watch. Janet's "the whole point of me is that I know everything" was a really nice moment though.

Knowing things has become an underlying theme of the show: knowing the state of reality, knowing when you're being tortured, knowing ethical rules, knowing who is/has been in a relationship with whom. Janet has a special place in that as the one who is supposed to know everything, yet there are clearly limits to that knowledge (she never told the gang they were in the Bad Place last season, certainly). I'm curious where that will go now that she's more powerful than ever and seemingly back to normal.

Highlights:

HELP I CAN’T STOP SAYING “JASON” sign

"this horror film about two ex-convicts who try to rob and murder a neglected child"

Janet about Derrick: "his brain is wrong"

"Girl you are a messy bench who loves drama, and I am into it"

In which Jason gets to be the smart one for once: "Why on Earth would I marry you?" "Well, for one thing, we're not on Earth."

"that used to happen a lot at Lynyrd Skynyrd High School, but this time you won't be arrested"

"I hate to be the bearer of bad news" "I think you mean, bad news bear"

Eleanor's olive bar story
posted by zachlipton at 7:42 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


Janet and Derrick popping into the scene in the middle of a heated spat was hilarious.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:14 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Jason Mantzoukas was essentially a Looney Tunes character in this episode and it was great.
posted by dry white toast at 8:20 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


If more men were like Derek, and came equipped with wind chimes instead of penises, this world would be a safer place.
posted by pjsky at 8:21 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


I liked Shawn quoting Mad Men.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:06 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


I liked Shawn quoting Mad Men.

Literally came here to point this out. Genius moment to give the viewers (well, viewers who remember the episode title of the last episode of Season Three of Mad Men) an extra hint that, whatever's about to happen next is going to be a huge game-changer, beyond just the fact that Shawn now knows about all of the versions (that we have to wait two months for ARRRRRAAUGH)

I will say one minor negative thing though - as much as I understand why they run their end credits over their last scene (or in this case, scenes), seeing "Marc Evan Jackson as Shawn" come up over Michael's chat with Eleanor ruined the surprise ending--I knew the second I saw his name that there was going to be one more scene, and I knew what it was going to be.
posted by tzikeh at 9:26 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


dry white toast: Jason Mantzoukas was essentially a Looney Tunes character in this episode and it was great.

zachlipton: HELP I CAN’T STOP SAYING “JASON” sign

Yup -- immediately went to Wile E. Coyote in that moment.
posted by tzikeh at 9:28 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Chidi: I tried to rent socks once.

Eleanor's ideal mate: Stone Cold Steve Austin's head on Tahani's body (or the other way around).
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:04 PM on November 2 [20 favorites]


I find it hard to believe that's the first time Eleanor has broken up a wedding. Maybe just her first time with a legitimate reason.
posted by ckape at 11:14 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


So many good lines in this one! I'd have to rewatch just to collect my favorites. Maybe I will.

I like when Jason is vaguely (literally half-wit, heh) instead of pure-rocks-level-dumb. Maybe it's a result of competition from Derek on the stupidity front.

I think this is the first time anyone's sincerely consulted Chidi to help them resolve an ethical dilemma?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:48 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


So now we know for sure that Derek isn't human, since he doesn't have a soul.

I also saw the "Marc Evan Jackson as Shawn" line in the credits and then had to remind myself that we hadn't seen him in the episode yet. (I got a little confused because he was in a commercial during the show.)

The thing I probably like best about the show is how fast it moves in terms of resolving (and then creating new) issues. It's not quite as quick as Jane the Virgin, but it's the only thing I've watched that's come anywhere close.
posted by minsies at 5:22 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Chidi is the little voice for Michael, and the whole episode was about when it's ethical to kill someone, plus utilitarian dilemmas previously. Michael will likely trade or plan Chidi's death/removal as his idea of a happy solution.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:37 AM on November 3


I could watch Ted Danson's face all day long.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:30 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


I know that two months isn't so far away, but hearing that there's no more Good Place until "the new year" makes it sound really far :(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:30 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Michael will likely trade or plan Chidi's death/removal as his idea of a happy solution.

Or "kill" Shawn, or see if Janet can "kill" Shawn.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:40 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I liked Shawn quoting Mad Men.

Literally came here to point this out. Genius moment to give the viewers (well, viewers who remember the episode title of the last episode of Season Three of Mad Men) an extra hint that, whatever's about to happen next is going to be a huge game-changer, beyond just the fact that Shawn now knows about all of the versions


Wait what?

I could never make it through Mad Men, but I want to know what this meeeeaaaaanns
posted by schadenfrau at 6:44 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Chidi is the little voice for Michael,

What if all our favorite humans are just voices in Michaels head?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:22 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


The title of the last episode of the third season of Mad Men is "Shut the Door. Have a Seat."

It's when the new agency (Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce) is set up before the sale of Sterling Cooper goes through.
posted by minsies at 7:45 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Jason Mantzoukas was essentially a Looney Tunes character in this episode and it was great.

Yeah, I normally find the whole Mantzoukas shtick kinda grating, but it worked really well for his character, and one episode is the perfect length of time for something like this.
posted by Itaxpica at 8:02 AM on November 3 [12 favorites]


Is there a specific reason that it would allude to Mad Men besides having the same words? Like were the actors in it? I've heard the same phrase on plenty of other shows and movies.
posted by numaner at 8:54 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Janet is experiencing emotions.
By experiencing emotions she is torturing herself.
Because she is torturing herself ... Janet is becoming human.
Everybody's forked.
posted by pjsky at 9:22 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


"Oh god, I hear wind chimes. Look away. All of you, look away. Except me, I'm going to keep watching." Eleanor is awesome.

Guys, I hate shipping and shippers, but I am here for Chidi and Eleanor. The moment when they're both surprised not by the person they're watching themselves with but that they declared their love so easily! I'm for it.

Tahani and Jason turning croquet into a game of wanton destruction made me so happy. Why have such a heavy mallet if you don't get to really whack something with it?!
posted by gladly at 10:11 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]


The croquet scene totally reminded me of Bridgerton Pall Mall.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:24 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Merely dewy!

Tugboats!

Stone Cold Steve Austin's head on Tahani's body! (Or the other way around!)

And RIP Derek. Seven hours was a lifetime too much.
posted by mochapickle at 11:34 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]




numaner: Is there a specific reason that it would allude to Mad Men besides having the same words? Like were the actors in it? I've heard the same phrase on plenty of other shows and movies.

It’s probably the most memorable episode title from Mad Men, and is also one of the most memorable moments/plots (I think only “The Wheel” and “The Suitcase” are in the same league). Fans (and critics) were out of their minds after the episode aired, because they had just seen three years of plot chucked aside in a genius plot development. It’s also one of the most game-changing episodes of any series in recent history—so we can only imagine what the outcome will be of Shawn discovering the whole ruse.

So, it’s not just a phrase that has been said on other shows.

(None of the actors on GP were on Mad Men.)
posted by tzikeh at 1:45 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping the Mad Men connections are deliberate with more to come.

The moment where Chidi's trolley first hit the workers gave me the same rush of wickedly perverse delight I had watching Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency.
posted by mochapickle at 2:08 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


My wife has the exact wind chime sound that Jason's junk made as her ring tone. So that was a weird moment for us.
posted by dry white toast at 2:14 PM on November 3 [12 favorites]


Also I think I only just realized that when Eleanor calls Michael a "messy bench" she is actually saying "bitch" and being filtered. For some reason I thought she was being zany.
posted by dry white toast at 2:38 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


The Mad Men reference is genius, because MM was a workplace drama while TGP is a workplace comedy; MM was largely about the tension between stasis and change, which is a central theme of TGP as well; and while "Shut the Door, Have a Seat" was about starting a new operation on the ashes of another, Michael has arguable already done that by throwing in his lot with the humans. So, I think it's a deliberate intertextual reference, and it is delicious.

The next two months are gonna go by so very slowly.
posted by Superplin at 3:14 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Croquet is actually quite a cruel game: the idea is to get your ball through the hoops, yes, but while contriving to place your opponents balls in as inconvenient places as possible. Odd that Tahani doesn't know that. That said, I prefer Jason's version.
posted by Grangousier at 5:58 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I hope we same place again very now.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:03 PM on November 3 [24 favorites]


mbrubeck: I hope we same place again very now

This is seriously my new favorite phrase, and how I will be ending all social encounters from now on.
posted by Superplin at 8:23 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Oh man now I really need to re-watch “Shut The Door, Have A Seat.”
posted by dry white toast at 9:27 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


To be honest, I went into this one with lowered expectations. I was sure Mantzoukas was going to get on my nerves, but he was used well in the episode - and the Wile E. Coyote reference was note-perfect.
posted by jzb at 6:00 AM on November 4


I've been thinking more about Jason's "high school" experience. I think he managed to be gullible enough to believe it was a high school, despite the junk yard locale, lack of buildings, and pedophiles masquerading as teachers. (My daughter thinks a real school really could be bad enough to have no buildings or classes.) Also, Jason isn't usually one for euphemisms -- unless he was told to say those were "dirty magazines" I have to think he was selling used magazines which were legit grubby, whether or not they were porn. (And I have to agree with Tahani, the more I learn about Jason's life, the sadder I get. What's amazing about him is his ability to be happy.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:39 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


Your daughter isn’t that far off. Many high schools across the country are using trailers for classrooms.
posted by tzikeh at 10:10 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking more about Jason's "high school" experience.

His reference to a boat reminded me of Jenna on 30 Rock, who went to high school on a boat in Florida.

I only just realized that when Eleanor calls Michael a "messy bench" she is actually saying "bitch" and being filtered.

Another "Overthinking It" question: They're filtered because swearing isn't allowed in a Good Place. But they're NOT in heaven, so I guess Michael just created that as part of the original fakeout?
posted by NorthernLite at 12:00 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


so I guess Michael just created that as part of the original fakeout?

Best way to sell a lie is to remain as close to the truth as possible, right?

Also I would imagine not being able to swear would really annoy Eleanor, so it’s just one more paper cut.
posted by tzikeh at 12:52 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


Not skin.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:25 PM on November 4 [8 favorites]


Eleanor being attracted to all the other human characters is super interesting since it could work as either an aspect of either a good or bad place. Either way I love how omni-oriented her attraction radar is.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:23 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


I think Eleanor just convinced Michael that he shouldn't continue trying to be good.
posted by Seamus at 10:28 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


oh my god midseason hiatus when does it come back
posted by poffin boffin at 4:06 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


According to the A.V. Club review, the show comes back in January, which would have been my guess, because football ends in January.
posted by tzikeh at 4:58 PM on November 5


Another thing wrong with football.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:13 PM on November 5 [11 favorites]


Eleanor's ideal mate: Stone Cold Steve Austin's head on Tahani's body (or the other way around).

I know I see McElroy references in everything these days, but please tell me I wasn't the only one who went to a Garfield Monstrosity place with that.
posted by kmz at 6:23 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


Tahani reduced to being merely dewy? What kind of nightmare hellscape IS this?

Also, "Wink."
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:13 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


I wonder why it is that Jason is so drawn to marriage? First Janet, now Tahani, and in the flashback to the attempted heist that led to his death, we see Jason tell his BFF that if they get caught, they can just get married so they can’t be forced to incriminate each other.

Interesting that he’s the marrying kind, while the more conventional Chidi is a commitmentphobe.
posted by Superplin at 10:54 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


It makes perfect sense. Jason focuses almost entirely on what feels like the best choice for that moment so marriage feels like the best way to express his affection in the moment he proposes.

Chidi meanwhile can only think about the uncertainties and unknowns of every choice. And making a lifelong commitment (or really for eternity in the afterlife) is full of uncertainties.
posted by dry white toast at 5:04 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


It’s notable to me that Chidi’s personality traits make him much more valued in this six person universe (counting Janet) than he was in life. We have an objective judgement that he was not a good person on earth because of the consequences of his indecision. But here, everybody who is with him defers to him as an arbiter of good and bad. The thing is, unlike the others, it’s hard to say he’s actually growing and becoming a better person. Because within this group dynmamic, he doesn’t need to.
posted by dry white toast at 5:10 AM on November 6 [9 favorites]


I watched this episode again last night, and liked it even more than the first watch. I had missed a lot of Eleanor's internal deliberation throughout the episode on whether to tell Chide about the tape.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:33 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


Sports are supposed to be popular but they essentially ruin everything, especially television. It's the sort of thing that Michael would come up with to torture people.
posted by Grangousier at 6:03 AM on November 6 [7 favorites]


Many high schools across the country are using trailers for classrooms.

We call them portables where I am. I've worked in one before and it really has nothing in common with a boat in a junkyard.
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:25 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


I am deeply sad that I wait until January next year for new episodes.

[[Stupid Concussive Sportsball]]

I might have to rewatch all the episodes from S1 and S2 again, and perhaps this time try to note all the Books that Chidi uses to teach with / from
posted by Faintdreams at 7:42 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


We call them portables where I am. I've worked in one before and it really has nothing in common with a boat in a junkyard.

My buddy taught in a portable and I taught in a classroom in the main building.
My classroom was much more akin to a boat in a junkyard than my friend's portable was!
posted by Seamus at 7:46 AM on November 6


Grangousier: Sports are supposed to be popular but they essentially ruin everything, especially television. It's the sort of thing that Michael would come up with to torture people.

Ah, but the one time Jason figured out that they were in the Bad Place (“JASON figured it out?!?!?! JASON?!?!?!”), wasn’t one of the things that tipped him off was that his “cable subscription” or whatever only got some of the sports channels? So what seems to be torture is getting some sports on tv, but not all sports. The torture is the incompleteness, not the sports.

If I were designing a Bad Place, I’d have every TV show ever available, but they’d all be missing their series finale.

Though, come to think of it, there are a few shows that would benefit from that treatment (Don’t look a terrible me, Battlestar Galactica. Don’t even think about looking at me).
posted by tzikeh at 8:21 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


(Or I’d have every series finale cut off halfway through with a broadcast of Heidi.)
posted by tzikeh at 8:22 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


....Tahani's head on Stone Cold Steve Austin's body (this is a real person???) has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. Thanks, under_petticoat_rule.
posted by inconstant at 8:40 AM on November 6


Stone Cold Steve Austin [very real]
posted by mmascolino at 8:49 AM on November 6


I wonder why it is that Jason is so drawn to marriage?

My Filipino friend says Jason is the most stereotypically filipino character on television so this would be in line with that.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:25 AM on November 6 [4 favorites]


he is also very delightfully Florida Man
posted by poffin boffin at 11:48 AM on November 6 [14 favorites]


I think Eleanor just convinced Michael that he shouldn't continue trying to be good.

I was also thinking that she just gave him the key to make his bad place dream work. You now have three super-humans with possibly conflicting goals:

Shawn - Potentially wants this idea to work out (after all reporting to HIS superior about a fuck-up of this level has to look bad), and might try to get Michael to turn on his new cockroach friends.

Michael - Will have to put his ethics to the test, and make a decision between sacrificing himself to eternal torment, versus turning traitor to his new friends. However, unlike for the past 1,000 years, Michael now potentially knows what works, because he's gone from treating humans with contempt to actually understanding their thought process (through a sort of ethnographic market research).

Janet - Is becoming more human and less of an omniscient slave, and perhaps she can stop a reboot. The 'stolen Janet' thing seems to be one of the most out-of-protocol elements of the show's cosmology, and ESPECIALLY a Janet with free will. Janet is positioned to have godlike knowledge and power, so her having a real will of her own could be bad for the whole system.
posted by codacorolla at 4:02 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


TVLine.com - Good Place set to return on Thursday Jan 4.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:57 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Weird - I was just coming in here to post that Entertainment Weekly says it’s coming back on December 28!

I’m hoping EW is right....
posted by tzikeh at 11:52 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Did the author of that EW article intercept all of Mindy's cocaine? Yowza.
posted by mochapickle at 5:13 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Shared the show with another EDM fan. I need to stop doing that because they really don’t like it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:45 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


I introduced one of my semi-professional house DJ friends to it on Saturday and he wants to go as Acid Cat next halloween.

But us house people aren't exactly fans of EDM.
posted by flaterik at 5:07 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


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