The Good Place: Leap to Faith
January 4, 2018 6:06 PM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

A promotion means it's time for the Good Place experiment to end, or is it? Also, Mindy gets a thank you present.

Also in this episode:
  • I know it sounds crazy, but if it weren't crazy they wouldn't call it a leap of faith; they would call it a sit of doubting
  • What cops? Where do you think we are?
  • Humans make a lot of mistakes when they're horny
  • One of us is a manipulative demon who is an expert at making other people miserable. And the other one is me.
posted by zachlipton (68 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I chuckled plenty throughout the episode but Jason's line about the cops gave me that kind of explosive braying laughter.

I really really love this show.
posted by komara at 6:13 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


I particularly liked Bad Janet the DJ.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:36 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


Michael's relief at seeing the four of them after the train leaves was amazing. Ted Danson is the best.
posted by minsies at 6:46 PM on January 4 [24 favorites]


His face was unclear for what seemed like forever- he is an AMAZING actor.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:58 PM on January 4 [13 favorites]


Something something Vicky something something.

Yay, Mindy! I am so happy for her!
posted by rewil at 7:01 PM on January 4 [13 favorites]




Could anybody read the motto on the podium?
I tried, but couldn't make it out.
posted by cheshyre at 7:07 PM on January 4


Irrisiones infidelium convivia • eius formido?

Something along those lines anyway.

Banquet for ridiculing nonbelievers, something something Vicky something?
posted by rewil at 7:20 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


So Michael looked slightly sad at the end when the gang is saying they've gotten everything they ever wanted, so I assume they're about to learn that Michael can't go to the Good Place with them, if that's the next part of their plan.

I'm sort-of curious to start finding out about the real Good Place because I think we've seen hints this is a very Manichean universe where God and the Devil (or whatever you want to call them) are evenly balanced ... otherwise we might have expected some Good Place intervention by now, now that the gang is improving morally.

Also you can tell a there are definitely people on the writing staff who've spent way too long hanging around philosophers and theologians, I couldn't stop giggling at Chidi and Michael being pedantic about the leap into faith, I've been in that conversation a dozen times!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:32 PM on January 4 [16 favorites]


Chidi's joy over Michael remembering it was leap INTO faith! And drunk-on-magnets Janet! I thought it was impossible for me to be any more delighted by Janet, but I was wrong.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 7:45 PM on January 4 [14 favorites]


The humans escaped — that's nice
Michael hasn't betrayed them and managed to duck blame while implicating Vicki — that's good, sure
Janet's freed — well I certainly didn't want her to stay locked up
Mindy got her cocaine — YES!
posted by ckape at 9:10 PM on January 4 [17 favorites]


I loved tahani yelling at them to get her odd expressions from context, funny episode overall and I'm glad it's back.
posted by Carillon at 9:23 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


We were right in the discussion of the previous episode: Sean's "Shut the door, have a seat" was a direct reference to the Mad Men episode with the same title. The new workplace is dead, it's been bought out by the bad guys. Long live the scrappy new workplace that we're starting on our own, with no real roadmap but lots of gumption. Plenty of staffing changes and promotions in the process.
posted by Superplin at 9:36 PM on January 4 [12 favorites]


I hope this isn't the last we see of Mindy. She's going to run out of that cocaine prettttty quick.
posted by Rinku at 11:15 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Magnet-drunk Janet ftw.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:07 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed this episode -- nothing I like more than a good Detective Explains The Mystery scene -- but I felt somehow unsatisfied. It was clear Michael hadn't REALLY defected; I caught some of the clues; I even figured out that he said was, in fact, "something something Janet something". (It was obvious that they would send Derek with cocaine, but that was funny.)

I am curious where they are planning to go with this -- how long before Sean figures that they aren't with Mindy, why won't he expect Michael to show up at the office making more neighbourhoods? Is Vicky stuck in that slime thing permanently?


There was also no need for the "shriek like a birthday girl" comment thanks. And are clogs with wedge heels back in? Or are bad shoes a bad place torture?
posted by jeather at 6:07 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Obviously I meant "something something Vicky something".
posted by jeather at 6:27 AM on January 5


Anyone else feel like the ultimate endgame of this show is going to be team cockroach striking out on their own and establishing an actual serious medium place? Like, the whole good place/bad place dynamic seems awfully simple for a show with such a nuanced view of morality, and with Michael's experience designing neighbourhoods/Janet's godlike powers they could definitely pull it off...
posted by Berreggnog at 7:53 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


We got to see the giraffes again!

It was incredible to me to see Eleanor suggest trusting Michael. Amazing growth. And I am awed that the roast worked as:

* a satire of/commentary on real-world roasts, and an example of such roasts
* a spectacle for Bad Place demons to genuinely enjoy
* a set of cruelly funny observations about the four humans' flaws and sore points. ("But enough about your sister.")
* a set of clues for the humans to figure out so they could escape

The single line I enjoyed most in this episode might be Jason's solemn "this is getting out of hand and I think we should call the cops" or Vicky's "what the here?"
posted by brainwane at 9:17 AM on January 5 [26 favorites]


(Also! Many people gave each other The Good Place fanfic in the most recent Yuletide Treasure exchange. I haven't read all of it yet. If you enjoy Mindy St. Claire, you might like this fanfic. And if you like Chidi, you might like this one.)
posted by brainwane at 9:22 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


I caught some of the clues

How many out of the 1,200?
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:41 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Oh, 7 or 8 hundred, I lost track.

I've been trying to catch all the graffiti. I saw "Rest in eternal misery suckas" but I can't tell what's on the hashtag behind Tahani.
posted by jeather at 10:36 AM on January 5


otherwise we might have expected some Good Place intervention by now, now that the gang is improving morally

As much as this fake Good Place was an experiment, I don't think the real Good Place is unaware of what's going on. Back in the Michael & Janet episode, Michael can't believe how easy it was to obtain a Good Place Janet. He chalks it up to Good Place people being trusting idiots, but I think they knew about his plan and let him take a Janet so they in turn could see what happened with the idea that it might end up somehow undermining the Bad Place.

If the criteria for getting into the Good Place are as rigorous as presented, I don't think a human just becoming more ethical is enough to get them in. However, they might want to study the humans (hopefully without the dissecting brains part) and certainly a demon who has turned any sort of good would be of interest.

What's good for the show is that they can just keep making up rules as needed. So as we found out, they can draw up extradition papers for the Medium Place - good thing they didn't escape to there!

I do feel it's a bit of a plot hole that Sean can't detect that this isn't reboot two. As mentioned in a previous episode, all the reboots have taken up decades of real time (eighty years maybe?) but if he's looking at reports there won't be eighty years of torture recorded. I'm sure they can hand-wave this away with some sort of demon time-perception something or other.

(This also comes up in the previous episode where Janet and Eleanor are talking on the beach, and Janet tells Eleanor a guy she once made out with is "still" working at the same place when in reality he's probably been dead for some time.)

Note that Hulu is listing this episode as an "extended cut" and all of last season's episodes have been updated with extended cut versions as well. I watched the last two episodes last night (because the new episode is not available until 5am the next day) and there were quite a few bits I didn't recall from the regular cut.
posted by mikepop at 10:51 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


if he's looking at reports there won't be eighty years of torture recorded

I put it to you, sir, that literal demons, beings of ultimate evil and deceit dedicated to torturing people for eternity, are probably not above writing fake reports for their bosses.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:34 PM on January 5 [18 favorites]


"What the here?!"

I'm sure they can hand-wave this away with some sort of demon time-perception something or other.


Jason keeps talking about sports, and I think, Is anyone even playing American football anymore? Is Jacksonville even there anymore?

I particularly liked Bad Janet the DJ.
And that Xmas song that does belong in the Bad Place.
posted by NorthernLite at 2:36 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


This show changes it up so well so often. Wowza.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:53 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


One of the bits of graffiti at the end was “*someone* call your mother,” but I didn’t catch who it said.
posted by thebrokedown at 4:26 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I liked that they had ashtrays on the table at the roast. Nice touch.

I did not watch with closed captioning - but, I thought Vicki said
"What the hair" and I submit, that even if she didn't, "What the hair" is funnier. Kind of like, how words with a K are just inherently funnier. YMMV
posted by pjsky at 4:46 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure she said "What the here?" Cuz they're in hell.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:31 PM on January 5 [19 favorites]


One of the bits of graffiti at the end was “*someone* call your mother,” but I didn’t catch who it said.

I thought it said "For a good time call your mother," which is about as risqué as that joke can get through the filters.
posted by tzikeh at 5:36 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Also perfect use of Derek and Jason Mantzoukas: appear, say "Derek" a few times in various cadences perfectly communicating meaning, disappear. A little Mantzoukas goes a long way, and while I assumed he'd be back, I'm glad it was for a short two scenes.
posted by tzikeh at 5:39 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


"Maximum Derek!"
posted by JDHarper at 5:43 PM on January 5 [32 favorites]


YAY, I'm so glad Mindy got her cocaine!

"Humans make a lot of mistakes when they're horny."

I'm starting to wonder if Jason is for real. He's just so much. But then "No we don't! We just need some defense and some offense and some rule changes..." makes me laugh.

"Maximum Derek."

So glad The Good Place is back!
posted by wiskunde at 6:32 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


mikepop: Note that Hulu is listing this episode as an "extended cut" and all of last season's episodes have been updated with extended cut versions as well. I watched the last two episodes last night (because the new episode is not available until 5am the next day) and there were quite a few bits I didn't recall from the regular cut.

Wow --good catch! I just started rewatching from the earliest they still have up ("Existential Crisis") and the first two minutes is nearly one full minute of stuff that was cut for time. I know what I'm doing for the rest of the night.
posted by tzikeh at 6:58 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


A tidbit from yesterdays's AV Club interview with Jameela Jamil:

The A.V. Club: Interviews were a big part of your old TV jobs—is it interesting to be the one answering questions now?

Jameela Jamil: It’s so weird. And I sympathize now so much more with the people I used to interview, because thinking of anything on the spot, I realize how much your mind goes blank over the simplest things. Also, I’m not in control anymore, which I hate. Kristen Bell was, I think, my first ever interview. So now to be working with her is so weird.

AVC: Did you bring that up after you’d both been cast on The Good Place?

JJ: I did. Of course, she did not remember me, because it was years and years ago, and she gets interviewed by a million people, but the good thing is that I remember how nice she was to me back then. Had she been an asshole, that would’ve been very awkward.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:12 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


So Michael looked slightly sad at the end when the gang is saying they've gotten everything they ever wanted, so I assume they're about to learn that Michael can't go to the Good Place with them, if that's the next part of their plan.

I wonder if them being able to go to the real good place was just a straight-up lie, and Michael has no idea whatsoever about what to do next.
posted by jcreigh at 10:50 PM on January 5 [14 favorites]


I wonder if them being able to go to the real good place was just a straight-up lie, and Michael has no idea whatsoever about what to do next.

I was really thinking that myself.
posted by mordax at 11:34 PM on January 5


Pretty sure she said "What the here?" Cuz they're in hell.
posted by paper chromatographologist


O.o ... O.O ... \O/ CUZ THEY'RE IN HELL!!!! >.<>
I feel like such a dumbfork.

Thank you, chromatographologist.
How did I not get that?!? Oi.
posted by pjsky at 7:01 AM on January 6 [7 favorites]


My favorite lines:
  • "Some people called you names, like 'the Thomas Edison of incompetence,' or 'that dick.'... As a result of our success..." (And of course "our" was said with no trace of irony whatsoever.)
  • "Humans make a lot of mistakes when they're horny."
  • "I consider you one of my closest—" "Not now, dude."
  • "It's a party! Relax! Rip a cat in half!"
  • "You're not a demon, you're a jerk."
  • "Maximum Derek."

posted by infinitewindow at 5:04 PM on January 6 [9 favorites]


The Bad Place and The Good Place seem to be tremendously legalistic and have extradition treaties with each other?

Mindy St. Clair was a hot shot lawyer in her living life?

Hm.

(Also: In response to the idea that there is some sort of larger, inscrutable plan at work - Derek is a very "medium place" version of a sex robot. "You get your own sex robot... but his genitals are wind-chimes." "I can work with that.")
posted by absalom at 5:49 PM on January 6 [22 favorites]


jeather: And are clogs with wedge heels back in? Or are bad shoes a bad place torture?

They're in if you're Kristen Bell at five-foot-one and you're playing in a two-shot with Ted Danson at six-foot-three.
posted by tzikeh at 11:56 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: So Michael looked slightly sad at the end when the gang is saying they've gotten everything they ever wanted, so I assume they're about to learn that Michael can't go to the Good Place with them, if that's the next part of their plan.

I thought it was a callback to the fact that earlier that day, he'd received his promotion, which he said to Shawn was "everything (he) ever wanted," and having to contend with the fact that it's not anymore, because Ethics (and because Team Cockroach).
posted by tzikeh at 12:03 AM on January 7 [10 favorites]


Of course, now they're all in there together with no Bad Placers to bounce off, and they've got to be spontaneously Good with no conflict at all. I suspect they're about to move on from Kierkegaard to Sartre.

And the Buddha might have something to say about the ultimate usefulness of getting "everything you've ever wanted".

And I do suspect levels of meta-mindforkery above what we've seen so far.
posted by Grangousier at 3:21 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


They're in if you're Kristen Bell at five-foot-one and you're playing in a two-shot with Ted Danson at six-foot-three.

As it happens, I have checked, and there are other shoes with heels. (Though it's always Janet who feels exceptionally tall to me, even though apparently Tahani is taller, and yes, Danson is the tallest.)

But really I am curious about why those specific shoes. They seem so very dated.
posted by jeather at 6:12 AM on January 7




Interesting. I've noticed, especially, that Tahani changes footwear (but not clothing) between some scenes. But the choice of footwear doesn't necessarily correspond to the surface (heels outside in the grass, wedges indoors).

Janet is usually in heels, except for the repeated "reboot" scenes on the beach; she wears flats in every iteration.

So <shrug>? Maybe its mostly practical (beach, camera framing)?
posted by porpoise at 10:23 AM on January 7


Jason Mendoza is at today's Jaguars game

Oh, please, please, please let this make it into next season.
posted by gladly at 10:51 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


As mentioned in a previous episode, all the reboots have taken up decades of real time (eighty years maybe?)

According to this interview:
About how much time passed in season one before Michael wiped everyone’s memories? And given that only a week had passed in Version 802, how different are these versions of the characters from the ones we got to know last season? Should we assume that there is no Eleanor/Chidi/Tahani love triangle at the moment, for instance?

We figured that the events of S1 took somewhere around four months of “time.” (Michael then reboots them 801 more times, the longest lasting 11 months and the shortest being 8 seconds…we calculated that the median length was probably in that 4-month range, so the total length of all of the reboots is somewhere around 250-300 years.) ...
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:13 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


The hashtag behind Tahani on the train platform is #MTGPBA, make the Good Place bad again, which is *kisses fingers Italian chef style.*
posted by missmary6 at 6:22 PM on January 7 [32 favorites]


"Humans make a lot of mistakes when they're horny."

You know, on that exact point --- my spidey sense is tingling a bit. Because Sean's line immediately preceding that one from Michael was something like "having Tahani fall in love with Jason," citing that as one of Michael's masterstrokes in the 2.0 Version of the neighborhood.

But Tahani falling in love with Jason is something that happens in v. 803 or whatever it is that's it supposed to be at right now, where the humans are in on the fact that it's the Bad Place. That is, in Neighborhood v1, Tahani was paired with a "soulmate" Jianyu, and tormented by the fact that she didn't love him, then found out he was Jason, rejected him, and developed a crush on Chidi. In Neighborhood v2.0, Tahani was paired with her short soulmate, and didn't seem to have much interaction with Jason and/or Jianyu.

So what's in those reports that Michael is preparing for Sean? There's a couple options --
1) I'm making a mountain out of a molehill and this line of dialog means nothing, or simply refers to the original Jianyu/Tahani ship.
2) Michael's reports to Sean on the ongoing sitch in the Neighborhood are fake but include some grain of "truth" --- that is, he's mentioning the real relationship Jason and Tahani have developed, but claiming it's all part of his torture plan somehow
3) Michael's reports to Sean reflect the real situation in the neighborhood, and that situation is part of his torture plan --- the humans becoming aware of the fact that they're in the bad place and having to run double lives while hiding all their true emotions is truly a form of emotional torment and Michael's plan is in fact working


Maybe we can split the difference -- Michael' been telling Sean, "Look, okay, they know it's the Bad Place, that part didn't work, but the emotional torment they're going through is still massive, so let me keep it going for a bit." In the meantime, he really has been learning to care for the crew. The first part wouldn't even be a lie, really, at least according to the Bad Place director's lights --- I've gone on about this before, but this whole afterlife seems premised on this idea of stasis --- whatever made you happy in life will make you happy eternally, whatever made you unhappy will make you unhappy, because you can't change, and your desires can't change. The idea of Earth Tahani having to make a go of it with Earth Jason would seem a form of torture, from the old Tahani's perspective. The only way they work is if Tahani stops caring about status enough for Jason's sweet nature to win her over.

Wheels within wheels. But this show's got four more episodes or so this season, so we need four more epic twists. A Michael betrayal or quasi-betrayal after an entire episode premised on "the gang learns to trust Michael" would certainly fit the bill. Ted Danson's queasy expression when Eleanor showers praise on him at the train station suggests to me there's something more to come there.
posted by Diablevert at 8:48 PM on January 7


On the clog situation and as a clog fan, I’m pretty sure they’re these, so they’re about as “cool” as clogs get, I suppose.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 9:24 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


My favorite line was from Sean: “Normally I would love hearing a man tell a woman that she’s crazy, but I can’t.”
posted by jeweled accumulation at 9:25 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


So that made me think about demons (hellworkers? Michael said "demons" is a little racist.) and gender (is Shawn saying that he is hearing a hellworker-pretending-to-be-a-man insult a hellworker-pretending-to-be-a-woman? that he considers Michael a man and Vicky a woman?), which made me think about their bodies.

The hellworkers are using human bodies and wearing them when they have to, and often find them itchy and weird.

But when we see flashbacks to Michael, Shawn, and other architects and so on, planning out this neighborhood, they are mostly wearing those human bodies. (By contrast, Todd, who walks in and is told the conference room is booked, is not wearing a human body.)

Why were they wearing human bodies right then if they didn't have to?
posted by brainwane at 5:12 AM on January 8


In an earlier episode, it was explained that they’re encouraged to wear the human bodies all the time, so as to design better ways to (physically) torture them.
posted by Superplin at 7:37 AM on January 8


Ohhhhhhhh. Thanks, Superplin, I forgot.
posted by brainwane at 7:57 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]




Ted fucking Danson man... I just can't stop thinking about his facial expression right after the second train pulls away revealing Team Cochroach. It was so self-consciously neutral for those few beats longer than it needed to be, so you know there's a thought process leading to the emotional outburst that follows. But what is it? and what does it mean for what's to come for our band of bortles? GAH!
Finally what fine acting chops to telegraph "i'm deciding what to telegraph" in a complex facial position like that. Ted, Ted Ted.
This show has me wrapped around it's little finger and I'm not really complaining. Just hooked in an exquisite torture of obsession and anticipation.

and D'Arcy Carden is teasing that things are going to go even more crazy bananas in this interview.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 3:50 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


and as even more exquisite torture, I have to live with my misuse of it's. I hope that's not too many negative points to outweigh my relentless favoriting up of anything the @nbcthegoodplace puts down.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 6:02 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


We were right in the discussion of the previous episode: Sean's "Shut the door, have a seat" was a direct reference to the Mad Men episode with the same title.

Ordinary level tv writing: The writers employ one of a stock set of tropes to telegraph what is about to foreshadow what is about to happen.
Advanced level tv writing: The foreshadowing is cryptic. Smart-arsed viewers can pick it up, discuss it an gloat when they are proved correct.
Ninja level tv writing: The cryptic foreshadowing has a pay-off of about 30 seconds before the plot takes yet another unexpected twist.

This is is what makes TGP episode by episode analyis great fun to follow on Fanfare in catchup mode.
posted by rongorongo at 11:12 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


Mindy St. Clair was a hot shot lawyer in her living life?

I've been wondering if the gang is going to use Mindy to negotiate entry into The Good Place.
posted by rhizome at 8:35 PM on January 19 [3 favorites]


So for anyone catching up, or who has dry sockets in their recent activity:
According to The Good Place The Pod Cast, the shot pulling up towards Ted Danson's face when his real true friends are revealed to be okay was done, as a reshoot, upon request by the editor, Eric Kissack. He recognized that the dwell on that moment should be focused entirely on Micheal, and his inherent arc, needing all the directed attention and tension that Ted fucking Danson could supply.
Also, in this most recent podcast, it was revealed that there is a magic panda larking about in the neighborhood destruction party backgrounds. Find it, use her powers.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:47 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Found one!
posted by Cold Lurkey at 4:50 PM on September 12


I went to Universal Studios today and they have the back lot dressed for filming The Good Place. I have now seen the yogurt shop and places like "All The Books" IRL!
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:22 PM on September 12 [8 favorites]


Yes, mathowie visited Universal Studios and took pictures and I was happy to see Yogurt Yoghurt Yogurté!
posted by Pronoiac at 12:14 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else have a moment of "wait, but how can the Neighborhood be there, Janet deleted it all back to the void" disorientation at the sight of the Universal Studios pictures?
posted by oh yeah! at 4:47 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


YES, YES I DID.
Seriously, I was surprised it was still there and they hadn't repainted/redecorated that, which makes me wonder if SPOILERS? they aren't totally destroying the Neighborhood forever.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:00 PM on September 15


(Also: In response to the idea that there is some sort of larger, inscrutable plan at work - Derek is a very "medium place" version of a sex robot. "You get your own sex robot... but his genitals are wind-chimes." "I can work with that.")

I know, I loved how that worked out!

Also, I immediately caught Michael's clue to Jason about Derek Bortles and told my partner about it. I don't follow or care about sports at all, so she asked me how I knew that. My response was, "Jason only said his name about ten million times." Which, of course, made the scene where Michael says almost exactly the same thing at least ten million times funnier to us.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:19 AM on September 26 [1 favorite]


I realize the shoe questions were asked almost a year ago, but anyway.. They address this briefly on one of the podcast episodes, saying that in addition to being tormented by having to live to live in the supposed "Real Eleanor's" house, "Fake Eleanor" is stuck with shoes, clothing, etc. that would be more appropriate for "Real Eleanor" and that this is another minor part of her torture.
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:06 AM on October 21 [1 favorite]


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