The Good Place: The Burrito
January 25, 2018 6:06 PM - Season 2, Episode 11 - Subscribe

The gang endure personalized tests to assess their moral development, and a judgement is rendered.

Also in this episode:
  • "We've certainly seen weirder things than an all-knowing burrito"
  • Jason: "We all need to be able to cheat off Chidi. Oh that's why your name is Chidi; I get it now"
  • "Which is short for hydrogen, which is the only thing that was in existence at the time I was born"
  • "A lot of those details I just took directly from Stephen King novels and episodes of Pretty Little Liars"
  • "Fair is the stupidest word humans ever invented, except for 'staycation'"
  • "All you'll have for entertainment is that giant stack of New Yorker magazines"
  • "Contractualist, Kantian, what would Superman do, what would Rihanna do?"
posted by zachlipton (128 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Am I the only one who jumped up when "Chidi" said "forget about ethics?" I didn't quite jump to "Fake Chidi," but I knew right then that something was terribly wrong.
posted by zachlipton at 6:07 PM on January 25, 2018 [11 favorites]


As far as Good Place twists go, Bad Janet actually being Good Janet in disguise is pretty tame, but I still didn’t see it coming and cheered when it was revealed.

One more episode. This is gonna be a rough wait for season 3. I can feel it.
posted by Aznable at 6:39 PM on January 25, 2018 [20 favorites]


I had fake Chidi in my mind from the first -- no good test would cover both of them -- and I was sure when he started saying why it made sense to go. I was shocked as hell about bad good Janet though.
posted by jeather at 6:40 PM on January 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


Good "Bad" Janet was a fantastic twist, especially after how terrible Janet was at being bad.

Maya Rudolph was wonderful too: my favorite bit was her explaining how good "envy" was as a seasoning with her mouth full of burrito.

I will miss seeing Manny Jacinto in his very dapper suit.
posted by gladly at 7:07 PM on January 25, 2018 [10 favorites]


I don't usually laugh out loud at a TV show. But the Chidi hat test killed, and the clock reveal made it perfect.
I was laughing out loud for five minutes.
posted by Marky at 7:41 PM on January 25, 2018 [14 favorites]


*glumly eyes stack of unread magazines in the corner*
posted by ckape at 9:30 PM on January 25, 2018 [22 favorites]


They went out of their way to show that it was pretty much impossible for Bad Janet to act good, and then later showed that Good Janet could very convincingly act bad. Interesting implications there.

Damn, I just realized this is episode 12 so next season is the finale, I thought this was episode 11. No good. At least it's already been renewed for season 3.
posted by skewed at 9:49 PM on January 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Maybe if this show goes on long enough they could get everyone from Idiocracy to guest-star. I bet Terry Crews would be easy to get!
posted by zompus at 9:50 PM on January 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


One thing I've really liked about this season is the brisk pace, lots of stuff has happened, and rather than drawing things out it seems like they leave us wanting to spend more time in scenes. It would take The Walking Dead about 843 episodes to get this much done.
posted by skewed at 10:05 PM on January 25, 2018 [17 favorites]


I have to sing the MST3k song to myself every so often when I consider the implications of a theology in which being indecisive or self-absorbed are sins worthy of eternal anguish and torment.
posted by Justinian at 11:34 PM on January 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


"I did what I had to do"
"Oh you had to junk your jeans?"
* low five *

"Ya basic. * hand wave * That's a human insult, it's devastating. You're devastated right now."
posted by numaner at 11:56 PM on January 25, 2018 [47 favorites]


Sight gag/line of the show for me:

Fergie (Duchess of York)
&
Fergie (Black Eyed Peas)

"Focus, there'll be Fergies-a-plenty in The Good Place!"
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 1:22 AM on January 26, 2018 [30 favorites]


Watching this show has taught me a few things about classic philosophers. Knowing about Kant and his ideas about lying made this SMBC comic more enjoyable for sure.
posted by gryftir at 5:11 AM on January 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


Didn't see Fake Chidi coming. Didn't see the Good Janet reveal coming, either. I'm BASIC. Great episode.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:27 AM on January 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I did not twig to fake Chidi but got fake Bad Janet juuuuuuust a moment before the reveal. I did think it was odd that they would marble Janet offscreen after how much effort they’ve put in having her develop and upgrade. Of course this is a show that could easily reset with a new Janet but it felt like a wasted opportunity.

Eleanor showed real growth, not for the first time but probably the most significant. Not only was she the only one to pass her test, but she wouldn’t even let the rest feel bad by giving them that knowledge. Huge strides.

This was my first live episode, having devoured the entire series Saturday. I only had a day to wait for this one, now a week for the next and who knows how many months until the next season. Waaaaaait a second. This is the Bad Place.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:03 AM on January 26, 2018 [25 favorites]


The never-ending stack of New Yorker magazines, oh dear lord. It made me realize that, were I sent to the Medium Place, they'd probably provide me with, like, the collected work of Jane Austen including everything she would have written had she lived longer, BUT on every other page is a New Yorker cartoon.

But I'm sure I'd be in the Bad Place, where New Yorker cartoons would replace not just books but all works of art and culture.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 7:17 AM on January 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


LOVED THE PLL SHOUTOUT
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:36 AM on January 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


YES NOW WHERE ARE THE DANCES FULL OF MAZES
posted by yellowbinder at 7:38 AM on January 26, 2018


*glumly eyes stack of unread magazines in the corner*

And they just... keep... coming.
posted by tzikeh at 7:45 AM on January 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


Did not see the Bad Janet twist coming!

I kind of question Eleanor passing her test. She didn't decide it was immoral to abandon Team Cockroach, which would have been a pass - she figured out the test and that Chidi wasn't Chidi. So she struggled with the idea of abandoning them, but chose not to because she figured out the decision was the test itself - and not because it was morally wrong to leave without them.

I think Tahani should have passed her test - even though she did "confront" her parents, ultimately she accepted that she was never going to please them, wished them well in their lives, and moved on with hers. That is the correct way to do it!

Ultimately Chidi did make a decision - which is a huge improvement, but I understand that he fails since it took 82 minutes to pick a hat. And of course Jason failed. But he meditated to calm down! he wanted the Titans to win because it was important to his friends!
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 7:48 AM on January 26, 2018 [29 favorites]


I think that's the point, though-- they're all markedly better than they were, but not Good to the extent that the Good Place apparently demands. Which is forked up.
posted by nonasuch at 7:53 AM on January 26, 2018 [16 favorites]


(ooh also did you notice the judge's line about how she hasn't had a case in like 30 years? Bet the last one was Mindy.)
posted by nonasuch at 7:53 AM on January 26, 2018 [37 favorites]


As soon as Chidi said "forget about ethics" I knew it was fake!Chidi, but I 100% was nowhere near Bad Janet being Good Janet in disguise (as mentioned above because of how bad Good Janet was at being Bad Janet last week). I figured Team Cockroach or even just Michael would find a way to unmarble her. Her reveal, and Michael's joy at her reveal, was my favorite moment. It really did sit nicely atop "the reason is friends!", so well done.

Chidi's test was the most-perfectly-suited-to-the-character one. (I would have chosen gray with his outfit.)

I wouldn't ever go so far to say the episode felt like filler (it didn't), but the show has been running at such breakneck speed for so many episodes in a row that this one felt... less energetic? Which isn't a crime, but is still a bit of a let-down pacing-wise.

I'm so sad that there's only one more in the season--and really where the hell do they go from here?

And... did Good Janet KILL Shawn? I think that would disqualify her from being known as Good Janet anymore.
posted by tzikeh at 7:57 AM on January 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


But I'm sure I'd be in the Bad Place, where New Yorker cartoons would replace not just books but all works of art and culture.

"Christ, what an ash-hole."
posted by tzikeh at 7:59 AM on January 26, 2018 [20 favorites]


As soon as "Bad Janet" showed the marbleized "Good Janet" my head immediately went to "Bad Janet" is really Good Janet who finally learned to fake being bad. Was hoping the reveal was going to be more humorous than "Bad Janet" kicking Shawn's ass, but it worked, too.

"Maybe the burrito is the judge" needs to be a t-shirt immediately.

.....................................
...did Good Janet KILL Shawn? I think that would disqualify her from being known as Good Janet anymore.

I think it takes more than a butt-kicking to kill a demon. She merely incapacitated him. He'll no doubt be back, if someone thinks to look in the room.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:04 AM on January 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


He'll no doubt be back, if someone thinks to look in the room.

_If_ someone looks.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:22 AM on January 26, 2018


skewed: They went out of their way to show that it was pretty much impossible for Bad Janet to act good, and then later showed that Good Janet could very convincingly act bad. Interesting implications there.

I think it fits with the measure of the nigh-impossible-to-achieve goodness required to get into this universe's "good place;" it's a squillion times easier to learn to act "bad" than to learn to act "good."
posted by tzikeh at 8:27 AM on January 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


Didn't see Fake Chidi coming. Didn't see the Good Janet reveal coming, either. I'm BASIC. Great episode.

Same here.
posted by jcreigh at 8:30 AM on January 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


nonasuch: (ooh also did you notice the judge's line about how she hasn't had a case in like 30 years? Bet the last one was Mindy.)

I don't think so. When we first meet Shawn in season one, he opens the case about the Core Four by naming it "case zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-three." We know that Michael's "Good Place" ran for several hundred years. If we assume Shawn, Michael, and Gen use the term "years" in the same way humans do, then Mindy's case has to have been several hundred years ago. Even though she died in the 1980s. (Obviously time runs differently in Good Places and Bad Places as compared to Earth.)

When we first hear about The Medium Place, we're told (I believe) that nothing like it had happened before and they had to set up a decision-making system to solve it.

An interviewer asked Michael Schur about there having been two cases previous to the Core Four case, and Schur confirmed that Mindy was Case #1 and that they left themselves a window with The Core Four being Case #3 for potential plot developments regarding Case #2 somewhere later in the series.
posted by tzikeh at 8:43 AM on January 26, 2018 [14 favorites]


"Maybe the burrito is the judge" needs to be a t-shirt immediately.

During the cold open, I honestly thought we were getting a 30-minute bottle episode of Team Cockroach arguing with a burrito, and I was fully onboard.
posted by bassooner at 8:47 AM on January 26, 2018 [63 favorites]


I kind of question Eleanor passing her test. She didn't decide it was immoral to abandon Team Cockroach, which would have been a pass - she figured out the test and that Chidi wasn't Chidi. So she struggled with the idea of abandoning them, but chose not to because she figured out the decision was the test itself - and not because it was morally wrong to leave without them.

But maybe what Eleanor needed to demonstrate was NOT merely that she was ethically good but that she was less self-centered than previously. She knew another person well enough and was listening attentively enough to Fake Chidi to figure out that that wasn't how he would behave. Her issue wasn't just not doing the ethical thing, it was massive self-absorption. Remember in the first season when her gift to him was saying "Senegal" because she literally hadn't paid attention to anything he'd said about himself previously? Actually knowing who someone is as a person is a massive, massive amount of growth for her.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:56 AM on January 26, 2018 [54 favorites]


Yeah, Eleanor is kicking ass in terms of personal growth, and the biggest moment comes *after* her test was ostensibly over, when she cut off the judge before she told the others she had passed. And she did that because she cares about how it would harm her friends to know that they were holding her back. That's legitimately touching. At this point, she values her relationships, even when they are not an instrumental good. This is a huge jump in her ethical standards, compare to her behavior on Earth with regard to the happy hour group, or her work group, when other people were useful only as a means to get what she wanted.

Also Michael really opens up a can of worms in his conversation with Sean, questioning the fundamental legitimacy of eternal torture and punishment when faced with the understandings that humans (and maybe other sentient beings!) can grow and learn and become better.

The show is I think very aware of the moral horror that its notion of the afterlife has created, and they are very deliberately and effectively exploring that. So everyone who is concerned that Chidi is in hell because he is indecisive and/or has anxiety can relax I think.
posted by skewed at 9:28 AM on January 26, 2018 [31 favorites]


wait is this maybe the first time ever any Janet have harmed someone out of their own volition?
posted by numaner at 9:53 AM on January 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


But maybe what Eleanor needed to demonstrate was NOT merely that she was ethically good but that she was less self-centered than previously. She knew another person well enough and was listening attentively enough to Fake Chidi to figure out that that wasn't how he would behave. Her issue wasn't just not doing the ethical thing, it was massive self-absorption. Remember in the first season when her gift to him was saying "Senegal" because she literally hadn't paid attention to anything he'd said about himself previously? Actually knowing who someone is as a person is a massive, massive amount of growth for her.

Yeah, I loved the part near the end where Eleanor says "I don't know who this joker is, but he's not Chidi Anagonye." The way she just casually tosses off his last name (whereas before she could never come close to remembering it) was a bit that I loved and really shows the thought the writers/actors have put into the show.
posted by Balna Watya at 10:05 AM on January 26, 2018 [20 favorites]


So everyone who is concerned that Chidi is in hell because he is indecisive and/or has anxiety can relax I think.

Lol no they can’t
posted by schadenfrau at 10:18 AM on January 26, 2018 [67 favorites]


But maybe what Eleanor needed to demonstrate was NOT merely that she was ethically good but that she was less self-centered than previously.

The way she just casually tosses off his last name

That's true - I was thinking of the ethical decision and not that Eleanor actually cared about her friends. But then why wouldn't the test be "find the real Chidi" in a room for a Chidi's or "what is Chidi's last name" instead of focusing on the moral quandary of leaving Tahani and Jason behind
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 10:34 AM on January 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I don't usually laugh out loud at a TV show. But the Chidi hat test killed, and the clock reveal made it perfect.

I pulled a rib muscle and it really hurts to laugh right now, so when Chidi had to choose between the two hats, it was really unfortunate that I couldn't stop laughing about it.
posted by drezdn at 11:11 AM on January 26, 2018


Chidi's bad place will simply be never knowing if he chose the "right" hat.
posted by mikepop at 11:12 AM on January 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


I'm a bit confused about how time works here, both because Gen's mention of 30 years lines up with Shawn saying 30 years last season, and also because last episode Chet was talking about the Girls Gone Wild guy as if he wasn't there yet.

I think the thing about Eleanor's test is that it doesn't particularly matter why she chose to stay with her friends, only that she did so. Just like it doesn't particularly matter that Tahani's actions during her test were more about closure with her parents than they were narcissism. Not exactly fair, but that's a stupid word anyway.

As far as Janet acting convincingly bad, I assume that other Good Janets who haven't been rebooted hundreds of times couldn't have pulled that off.
posted by ckape at 11:19 AM on January 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I busted a gut when the new New Yorker plopped on top of the stack. They perfectly encapsulated the feeling in a visual gag!

I do have to confess, I suspected the Good/Bad Janet switch when I saw her in the office, but it was just a hunch, and her bad actions seemed to be genuine, so I ignored it. I loved all the tests, and Maya Rudolph is a delight.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 11:22 AM on January 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I didn't twig to Fake Chidi -- when he was giving the last monologue, I was like, "wait, something's wrong with Chidi" but I thought maybe he was cracking under the strain. I did pick up on Good Janet in disguise in her first scene, though; something about the delivery of the lines maybe? I'm not sure, but I saw that one coming a long way away and I was like, "Man, usually their reveals are more surprising!" so I'm glad that it was surprising for a lot of other people.

Jen short for Hydrogen killed me.

I may have shouted at my screen, "Tahani, no!" when she went to open the door with her parents.

I missed some of the lines because Mini McGee was watching with me and couldn't stop laughing several times, especially at everything by Good/Bad Janet.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:22 AM on January 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


This episode about killed me. I love that judge, and would watch a whole show of her.

So everyone who is concerned that Chidi is in hell because he is indecisive and/or has anxiety can relax I think.

I've never been concerned about that because the way I see it, Chidi's problem isn't the anxiety, it's that he embraces that anxiety as a moral good instead of recognizing the harm that it does to both himself and the people around him.

Like... he means well, but he is, in his way, as self-absorbed as Tahani is. If she belongs there, I'm okay with him being there too.
posted by mordax at 11:23 AM on January 26, 2018 [22 favorites]


Yes re: Chidi and his anxiety/inability to act or make a choice. We're told in the show that he's in the Bad Place because he caused misery for others his entire life through his chronically epic inability to move forward with any choice. Not "you're in the Bad Place because you had anxiety."
posted by tzikeh at 11:27 AM on January 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Chidi's bad place will simply be never knowing if he chose the "right" hat.

Gen told him it didn't matter what hat he chose; all that mattered was that it took him 88 minutes to choose a hat.
posted by tzikeh at 11:29 AM on January 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Yes, but you know he is still wondering.
posted by mikepop at 11:44 AM on January 26, 2018 [14 favorites]


Utterly hilarious episode. Maya had so many good lines. And her mannerisms reminded me a lot of Good Janet, which rings true since they basically come from the same realm.

I understood immediately that "Bad Janet" was actually Good Janet. It was an unusually obvious plot device for how Michael was going to get out of the Bad Place.

I appreciate that you had to dig a bit to understand why the tests were appropriate for each person. It wasn't about about their actions, it was about fundamental aspects of each of their personalities that hindered their ability to have a positive impact on the world around them. It was profound to me that Tahani's parents were still talking about her sister when they were supposed to be talking about her.

Also, it really stands out that Eleanor gets along really well with just about everyone she encounters in the show, given that she spent her whole life closing herself off to people.

"Prince Harry and Prince William and Prince"
"This feels like a really weird thing to be saying to an all-knowing supernatural being, but you have burrito sauce on your face."
posted by dry white toast at 12:15 PM on January 26, 2018 [11 favorites]


the way I see it, Chidi's problem isn't the anxiety, it's that he embraces that anxiety as a moral good instead of recognizing the harm that it does to both himself and the people around him.


Also, he allows the fact that people look to him for direction about moral behaviour to substitute for actually acting morally, when it really doesn't.

I love this show.
posted by dry white toast at 12:20 PM on January 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


In the wide world of choice making, making no choice is often more wrong than making the wrong choice.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:48 PM on January 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


I was really hoping for Amy Poehler or Millie Bobbie Brown as the Judge, but Maya Rudolph was perfection. "Rooms full of people talking about you" was a brilliant test for Tahani! I was a bit disappointed that Chidi's test was only deciding between 2 hats. (He obviously should have chosen the GRAY one! What was he thinking??) I expected Chidi to get the Trolley Problem again. But the most important moment of the episode (besides Eleanor passing her test) I think was Michael pointing out to Shawn that the Humans were supposed to torture each other, but instead HELPED each other. ... Will The Bad Place have to take in to consideration that even objectively Bad People are redeemable?
posted by pjsky at 12:48 PM on January 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Didn't each human really torture her or himself?
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:51 PM on January 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was expecting to love this episode more than I did, and be more psyched about Mystery Judge. Not to dog on Maya, but all the hype was making me expect Oprah. But Maya was fun. I think Eleanor's sniffing out fake Chidi was the best part, though.

I think after 802 reboots, this Janet is supposed to be the smartest of the Janets, so she could do stuff like faking, I guess.

I think that's the point, though-- they're all markedly better than they were, but not Good to the extent that the Good Place apparently demands. Which is forked up.

True. I guess it's a philosophical question--can someone improve after death? Is that allowed? I wonder if that is where they are going?

I'm so sad that there's only one more in the season--and really where the hell do they go from here?

That's what we're all wondering. Go back to Earth? Medium Place? Trial Run For Improving Post Death?
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:15 PM on January 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I appreciate that you had to dig a bit to understand why the tests were appropriate for each person. It wasn't about about their actions, it was about fundamental aspects of each of their personalities that hindered their ability to have a positive impact on the world around them.

Fundamental aspects of their personalties, such as devotion to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:16 PM on January 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


Busy writing ENVY on my hot sauce bottles with a sharpie brb
posted by mochapickle at 1:20 PM on January 26, 2018 [16 favorites]


Why wasn't envy a green sauce?
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:22 PM on January 26, 2018 [40 favorites]


I should send Michael Schur a check for $200 because that 2-minute scene with Tahani's parents felt as cathartic as an hour of therapy.
posted by roger ackroyd at 1:55 PM on January 26, 2018 [20 favorites]


~They went out of their way to show that it was pretty much impossible for Bad Janet to act good, and then later showed that Good Janet could very convincingly act bad. Interesting implications there.

~I think it fits with the measure of the nigh-impossible-to-achieve goodness required to get into this universe's "good place;" it's a squillion times easier to learn to act "bad" than to learn to act "good.


Remember that our Good Janet has been rebooted over 800 times, becoming far more intelligent than any Janet ever (or words to that extent. I forget exactly how Janet described the effects of the reboots) so, being able to learn to act bad is now in her wheelhouse. She just had to take the initiative (which, itself, is a side effect of the reboots.)
posted by Thorzdad at 3:05 PM on January 26, 2018


Janet was able to act bad in ultimate pursuit of doing something good (saving Michael).

But Janet implies that she was choosing to to bad things - deception, beat up on Sean, and - presumably - leaving him in a nondescript room that no-one is ever going to get around to opening again. But ultimately she makes the decision that all the bad that she does is going to be ultimately outweighed by the good that she intends to achieve, so she's still functionally Good Janet while doing bad things.

The wrinkle is that she's ... gambling (?)/calculating that she will be able to achieve her ends to remain net Good. Or maybe she's been Good so long that she can bank on some of her past Goodness?
posted by porpoise at 3:35 PM on January 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I hope that if we see Sean again, he is somehow leveled up as a threat in some very specific way that comes from reading endless New Yorkers for hundreds of years. It would be a very Marc Evan Jackson character kind of development.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:03 PM on January 26, 2018 [27 favorites]


What would be fantastic is if his dialogue is constructed entirely from the captions of New Yorker cartoons...and they never point it out.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:22 PM on January 26, 2018 [19 favorites]


I thought it was interesting how Janet and Michael ended up being able to deal with Sean because he didn't want the scrutiny that would come with Michael's retirement. That opens up some questions about the overall cosmology of the show that could be interesting to explore.

What I'm thinking for Season 3 is that they somehow get to the Good Place and find that it's as dysfunctional and forked up as their original Bad Place was. That something has either gone wrong, or was born rotten in the whole Manichean divide between Good and Bad, and that Michael's intervention (and the cockroach's progress) is the first grit in the system that's revealed the flaw. It would be a cool flip on the story to see them dealing with an equally terrible Good Place, especially one that's likely to be constantly judging them as strivers instead of as legacy-Good.
posted by codacorolla at 5:47 PM on January 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


What if they get to the Good Place, and it's empty?
posted by nonasuch at 7:18 PM on January 26, 2018 [15 favorites]


The season finale is called "Somewhere Else", fwiw.
posted by crossoverman at 7:43 PM on January 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


What if they get to the Good Place, and it's empty?

Don't we know that Abraham Lincoln is there, at least? Or can we not trust a single thing that Michael said first season? I mean, what he said about The Medium Place was true, what he said about Retirement was true, etc.

And is the Good Place made up of neighborhoods, after which he modeled his Bad Place, or is it a single location?
posted by tzikeh at 8:19 PM on January 26, 2018


I was also thinking that "the throne of Heaven sits empty" would be a pretty funny reveal. Kinda hews close to Preacher, though.
posted by codacorolla at 9:26 PM on January 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Just rewatched it, and I just noticed that when Janet and Michael came through, they did not get hit with barf. So that might have answered Chidi's question. But Eleanor came through after him and was clean so maybe it's dodgeable.
posted by numaner at 9:37 PM on January 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


Gen told him it didn't matter what hat he chose; all that mattered was that it took him 88 minutes to choose a hat.

Chidi's hell will be the same thing but without a clock.
posted by rhizome at 10:28 PM on January 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


For me, the judge’s quarters were a nice visual callback to the interstitial “corridor room” in Willy Wonka. Or maybe the room at the end of ‘2001’. There is certain way that connection spaces between the world we know and the one we are about to enter should look.
posted by rongorongo at 3:19 AM on January 27, 2018 [6 favorites]


A little late, but I just realized how Tahani did so well mingling with demons at a party - she's been doing it all her life. First her parents, then the untold thousands of 1-per-centers (and .001-034-centers) at all of those charity functions she hosted.
posted by Mogur at 5:26 AM on January 27, 2018 [33 favorites]


I could have watched an entire episode of Kristen Bell walking through the door into/out of the judges chamber.

I also thought this episode was a little slow compared to the last couple, but when I think back there were a lot of good jokes. This show just has me spoiled - even the slower episodes are stellar tv.

Excited to see what the season finale has in store.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:53 AM on January 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


I really like the idea that the four eventually make it to
The Good Place and discover that it's empty. I'd find that very satisfying. A larger theme of the series does seem to be pointing out how outrageously unfair the concept of heaven and hell is.
posted by simonw at 9:15 AM on January 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


"I'm immortal but [Vietnam by Ken Burns] is looooooong."

This show is possibly the best implementation of worldbuilding-exposition-through-jokes in speculative fiction I've ever seen. Maybe even better than Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and more expansive than other "what if your karass were also your crab bucket" sitcoms Arrested Development and The Fall And Rise of Reginald Perrin.
posted by brainwane at 9:53 AM on January 27, 2018 [12 favorites]


"Ya basic. * hand wave * That's a human insult, it's devastating. You're devastated right now."

I spent a while trying to work out why this is SO amazingly funny to me.

Note that Michael does not look at Shawn or Janet for the actual insult, then looks directly at Shawn for "That's a human insult, it's devastating" and looks him up and down for "You're devastated right now". Ted Danson's excellent physical comedy for the win.

Michael and Janet are always bridge people -- first Michael seems to bridge the Good Place to the humans, then it turns out he's a bridge between the Bad Place and the humans, constantly explaining one to the other. So it's hilarious to me how he reflexively goes into a kind of expository teacher mode. I just insulted you but now I must ensure you understand that.

But also -- insults are performative. They're meant to directly have an effect on the other person's feelings and status. To declare "it's devastating. You're devastated right now" is to conflate descriptive and prescriptive in a way that does not have the intended insulting effect...

And insults work by presupposing a set of value judgments. And Michael is demonstrating in this scene, not just by explicitly telling Shawn about unfairness, but also with this insult, how his values are at odds with Shawn's. He cherishes inventiveness and subtlety and adaptability, all of which the Bad Place power structure has not (as we see in his battle to get and protect his experiment). In Team Cockroach he's found friends who also value those things, which, for an immortal being, must be incredibly refreshing.
posted by brainwane at 10:03 AM on January 27, 2018 [26 favorites]


1) I think they're going to Janet's Boundless Void, where she/they will make their own place.

2) Janet has almost absolute power, and though she can read every ethical work ever created, has she? She hasn't been in their ethics class.

3) Not surprised at the "Bad" Janet is actually Good Janet reveal; very surprised at her violence toward Sean.

4) In this framework, the difference between being a bad person and being a good person boils down to education, intelligence, and conditioning. That has huge implications.
posted by amtho at 10:18 AM on January 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


More and more I have to believe the end of this series is going to involve blowing up the Good Place/Bad Place framework entirely. Either it's ALL a test/learning process, or it's a crappy system they have to take down/make better. Every episode illustrates the injustice of a system that would send you to eternal torment for being not very bright (Jason), or emotionally damaged by your terrible parents (Tahani and Eleanor), or just really neurotic and scared (Chidi).

The role of Michael in all this is a mystery; has he been meaning to blow it all up from the beginning or was he actually bad but seduced by goodness?
posted by emjaybee at 1:31 PM on January 27, 2018 [7 favorites]


Oh yeah, I think so.

Act 1: discover we’re really in the bad place

Act 2: try to get out of the bad place, and into the good place, all while escaping detection!

Act 3: get to the next level (Good Place or not), discover it’s all as bullshitty and unfair as it looks, and somehow Fix It / burn it all down

There’s no way they’re gonna leave all those other mildly bad but ultimately redeemable humans in the Bad Place for all of eternity. That would be a huge bummer, and this show (and all Schur’s shows?) tend to be like...warm fuzzy hearts wrapped in a comedy coating. Which is why I love them.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:06 PM on January 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


Janet has almost absolute power, and though she can read every ethical work ever created, has she? She hasn't been in their ethics class.

She still has to process it all and draw wisdom from it.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:46 PM on January 27, 2018


> blowing up the Good Place/Bad Place framework entirely

I think so too. As far as we know, these four pretty much are the good place now. Can't really imagine a heaven with people who are trying harder or are more charming. The glimpses we've seen of other people deserving to be in the good place (e.g. Vicky in her Good Eleanor guise) were annoyingly performative overachievers really over the top in absurd unreachable goodness--we now know some of that is bad place hijinx intended to make Eleanor feel bad, but I can't really see introducing a good place with more winning humans than Team Cockroach.

When they first landed in the Judge's chambers I thought it was the bad place's conference room--just seems like a different level in the same office building. Guessing the good place, when we see it, will be more of the same, in architecture and mindset: blandly corporate and stuck in its ways.

Also hey Michael now has a Bad-Janet marble with him, right? That seems a dead useful thing to have in your pocket--
posted by miles per flower at 5:29 PM on January 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


My impression at this point is that the Bad Place, and perhaps the Good Place, too, are all about stasis. You're bad, that's it, for all eternity. Or you're good, hurray! Now just enjoy existing, for all eternity.

Mindy, in the Medium Place, also gets eternal mediocrity (until the Cockroaches come along, bringing some disruption and, eventually, a couple of satchels of cocaine and some wind chimes she can work with).

Our heroes, though (including Michael), are about change. That's what's truly revolutionary about them, in this dimension, and why I think they will undoubtedly leave a mark that alters the very nature of the afterlife. They are evolving more in death than they ever did during their natural lives. To paraphrase a character from an entirely different show, they were never so alive until after they were killed.
posted by Superplin at 6:23 PM on January 27, 2018 [11 favorites]


Stick with me here. I've been rolling this around in my head for a while, though I'm obviously moving away from the constructs of classical ethics and focusing on mere humanity. ;-)

In this framework, the difference between being a bad person and being a good person boils down to education, intelligence, and conditioning. That has huge implications.

amtho hit something there. As frustrating (and hysterical) as Jason is, and though he's done things society would rank particularly -- illegally -- bad, he lacks the intelligence to understand why what he does is bad. He's "bad" in the way a small child is bad, with only a rudimentary understanding of why it's bad, and with only the desire to do good. So yeah, what kind of ethical construct damns someone for lacking the cognitive capacity to do any better?

Chidi still lacks confidence to make decisions; his bounty of knowledge makes him as unable to make a clear decision just as Jason's naive idiocy makes it almost impossible for him to refrain from deciding to act (badly). It seems to me that being part of a group improves both Chidi and Jason's situations because other people helping them make decisions ameliorates their problems. Indeed, Jason's "love" for both Janet and Tahani makes him no less clueless, but we see his unselfish kindness far more; Chidi's Mindy-land love of Eleanor gives him a calm certainty he can't otherwise achieve. For the guys, love, even more than the group, per se, is the key.

Granted, they're not getting less bad; I feel like neither of them are really bad to begin with. Jason does bad; and you could say that Chidi being annoying is as much a symptom of everyone else around him being not sympathetic enough; and while tzikeh is right that it's Chidi's inability to move past his anxiety that makes a hell for himself and others, neither Jason nor Chidi could move past (stupidity or crippling anxiety) without the others. Being stupid and being anxious, even to extremes, aren't choices.

We don't know why either one of the guys is broken; we just know they are.

Meanwhile, I can't help but feel that earthbound Tahani and Eleanor are flip sides of the same coins. Neither received love or caring from their parents; Tahani learned to be performatively good but is selfish and a product of her upbringing, doing exactly as she was taught, to focus on all the wrong things. Eleanor is performatively bad to protect herself. Tahani likely made few people miserable, and nothing she did actually made her miserable except her inability to get over her jealousy of her sister. Meanwhile, Eleanor made many people unhappy with her behavior, but that led to making herself miserable, by pushing people away.

Tahani and Eleanor are getting better (Eleanor more than Tahani, obviously, but T really showed her class in the scene with her parents) as a result of the whole Bad Place/Good Place process, not merely because of the existence of the cockroach group.

We don't know who broke the guys, but the gals were clearly broken by their parents, and it's not love, but friendship, that is fixing them. Given that fiction usually makes romantic love the salvation for women, I find this all refreshing.

I know, I'm looking at this psychologically and not ethically.

Also, what if the judge is the burrito?
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 7:58 PM on January 27, 2018 [39 favorites]


We do know there are actual crappy Bad Places from the Adam Scott episode, so the threat still looms. That's why I think there's going to be a hopefully-Mindy led negotiation, and now with the judge we have the perfect setup. Folks I got this figured out.
posted by rhizome at 9:52 PM on January 27, 2018 [2 favorites]



More and more I have to believe the end of this series is going to involve blowing up the Good Place/Bad Place framework entirely. Either it's ALL a test/learning process, or it's a crappy system they have to take down/make better.


I imagine the idea would be that they introduce these ideas of reform to the powers that be in the form of impassioned speeches, but y'know, if Michael the demon/fallen angel ends up leading the souls of Hell, led by our 21st century Four Riders (Selfishness, Indecision, Hypocrisy, and Poor Impulse Control) against the angelic hosts, with all of us cheering the demons along, I'm watching the hell out of that.

I mean, it'd be a total misfit with the tone and heart of the show, but Ted Danson in a nice suit wielding a flaming sword would be the image that network TV deserves.
posted by pykrete jungle at 6:54 AM on January 28, 2018 [26 favorites]


Storming the gates of heaven with a demon army makes Chidi ethically uncomfortable, but he promised he would help so, y'know, categorical imperative AKA the Chidi Anagonye Ride or Die Protocol.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:53 AM on January 28, 2018 [22 favorites]


Putting on my Chidi hat - excuse me, the gray one -

Eleanor's test got me thinking about virtue ethics, which doesn't emphasize good acts vs bad acts (like Kant does) or good results vs bad results (like utilitarianism does), but rather, emphasizes cultivating good character traits. As the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy says, "A virtue ethicist is likely to give you this kind of moral advice: 'Act as a virtuous person would act in your situation.'"

Eleanor passes the test not because she realizes that Chidi is fake!Chidi, but because she has figured out what it means to act like a virtuous person would act in her situation. (If you accept Chidi as a reasonable proxy for a virtuous person!) She has modeled Chidi's morality successfully enough that she is disappointed by fake!Chidi's inability to live up to it. This is why all the subtly off things about Chidi don't faze her at first - until he's all "Eh, it doesn't matter, let's ditch 'em."

Just a theory. But I'm going to die on this hill because it would be SUCH a nice subtle callback to the very first philosophy lesson where Chidi teaches Eleanor about Aristotle - the father of virtue ethics.
posted by Jeanne at 5:12 PM on January 28, 2018 [16 favorites]


Storming the gates of heaven with a demon army makes Chidi ethically uncomfortable

Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and I beheld a rider, who actually was not a rider because there had been both a pale horse and a dark one, and yea, he could not decide...
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:32 AM on January 29, 2018 [22 favorites]


rhizome: Folks I got this figured out.

There are a lot of TV shows I would be comfortable saying this about. The Good Place is not one of them.
posted by tzikeh at 1:05 AM on January 29, 2018 [8 favorites]


There are a lot of TV shows I would be comfortable saying this about. The Good Place is not one of them.
The Good Place writers' room seems to contain a set of people with the remit "Let's make a TV comedy" - in collaboration with another set who want to make a show to illustrate key ethical constructs in philosophy - and a third bunch who are concerned with theological depictions of the afterlife...so my guess is that even they are frequently surprised by the direction of travel. I also imagine they are enjoying themselves.
posted by rongorongo at 1:47 AM on January 29, 2018 [6 favorites]


One thing I've always loved about The Good Place is that its protagonists are kind of like bright, colourful, stylized cartoon characters, only, brought to life in live action on our screens.

But — I realized this episode — I actually find Chidi to be extremely realistic and totally relatable. I think I know what that says about me.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 4:46 AM on January 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


Superplin: My impression at this point is that the Bad Place, and perhaps the Good Place, too, are all about stasis. You're bad, that's it, for all eternity. Or you're good, hurray! Now just enjoy existing, for all eternity.

As I continue mulling the metaphysics, I now have a new theory: the Bad Place is about stasis, but the (real) Good Place is about change. Those who end up in the Bad Place had closed themselves off from truly evolving as living humans, so they are doomed to an eternity of punishment for their rigidity.

Team Cockroach will instead earn their way out of hell by showing both the desire and dedication to change. Self-actualization will be shown to be a process rather than a teleological end.

And Janet, too, will become a Real Girl--or, I guess, a real soul--by embracing change, herself.
posted by Superplin at 11:03 AM on January 29, 2018 [6 favorites]


One thing I've always loved about The Good Place is that its protagonists are kind of like bright, colourful, stylized cartoon characters, only, brought to life in live action on our screens.

I think this is why it reminds me so much of Better Off Ted, I've always found them similar but couldn't really pinpoint why!
posted by jason_steakums at 11:20 AM on January 29, 2018 [6 favorites]


Well that and how a hell slickly marketed as a heaven seems like the ultimate Veridian Dynamics project and I would not be surprised to find out that Veronica Palmer is this show's Satan figure.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:26 AM on January 29, 2018 [10 favorites]


I don't know if this Racked piece on the Good Place costuming has been linked before, but it came to mind after the judge switched them into "comfortable" clothes. Eleanor finally escaped "Real Eleanor's" billowing blouses in this episode.
posted by grandiloquiet at 1:23 PM on January 29, 2018 [18 favorites]


He's "bad" in the way a small child is bad, with only a rudimentary understanding of why it's bad, and with only the desire to do good.

I'm pretty sure he desired to burn up that DJ's boat. Jason being stupid and largely sweet-natured doesn't make him an angel. He was literally willing to lie, cheat, and steal in his quest for fame.

As for Chidi's indecisiveness being a product of illness and therefore morally neutral, I don't think I can quite agree. My college philosophy classes were a long time ago, but IIRC that's existentialism 101 --- not to choose is also a choice. It's an abnegation of responsibility, a withdrawal from participation in society. As Chidi would surely know. He burdens his acquaintances as Bartleby the Scrivener burdens his master. That may be driven by anxiety, but he never attempt to treat that anxiety; he doesn't see it as a problem. It's a solution --- if he got him some Paxil and actually started picking and choosing, he might pick wrong and thereby blot his copybook. So long as he doesn't choose cannot have failed.
In a way, choosing to help Eleanor in the first place was Chidi's real test. It was the first time he took a risk for what he thought was right.
posted by Diablevert at 5:22 PM on January 29, 2018 [14 favorites]


I do think that the warehouse of unused Good Janets is a point in favour of the Actual Good Place being empty, or at least very sparsely populated.

One thing that's been bugging me is the characters names seem quite anagrammatic, but all I can come up with is Eleanor Shellstrop = Real One Hell Sports.
posted by Marticus at 11:52 PM on January 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Yes, the names! Chidi Anagonye has the word "agony" in it! Which seems to be crying out that there's an anagram there, and there are a few that are ok but nothing really compelling. But according to this article Chidi means "god lives" in Igbo, which with a certain inflection on the last name becomes the supremely heavy "God lives in agony" which, eesh.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:26 AM on January 30, 2018 [13 favorites]


We watched again last night and I tried to look for clues that Bad Janet was actually Good Janet. Only one I saw was a brief shot of her face in the background as they were leaving the interrogation room- there's a sweetness you wouldn't see on a Bad Janet. Meanwhile, I should have guessed Chidi was a fake right away- must have been a fun acting job to have to be yourself but NOT yourself.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:03 AM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


"Eleanor" means "the other Aenor" (used to distinguish the original Eleanor, who was named after her mother Aenor) which fits nicely with the Real/Fake Eleanor story.

ELEANOR SHELLSTROP -> REAL HELL TO PERSONS
CHIDI ANAGONYE -> I HAD NICE AGONY
TAHANI AL-JAMIL -> HALT JAIL MANIA
JASON MENDOZA -> JAM AND SNOOZE
posted by mbrubeck at 11:04 AM on January 30, 2018 [21 favorites]


Wow, those mostly come out really well (except Tahani's). Very appropriate. "I had nice agony" and "real hell to persons" indeed!
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:41 PM on January 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Tahani's anagram is because she was an avid fundraiser for Amnesty International. (I have no idea whether this is canon.)
posted by mbrubeck at 2:00 PM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


MINDY ST CLAIRE -> CAN SMILE DIRTY
posted by mbrubeck at 2:41 PM on January 30, 2018 [22 favorites]


jason_steakums: Well that and how a hell slickly marketed as a heaven seems like the ultimate Veridian Dynamics project and I would not be surprised to find out that Veronica Palmer is this show's Satan figure.

Now I am desperately hoping for this Portia De Rossi casting. Genius.
posted by Superplin at 2:49 PM on January 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


While we wait: How ‘The Good Place’ Became an Antihero Antidote - James Poniewozik, NY Times
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:30 AM on February 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


And: The Good Place: how a sitcom made philosophy seem cool - Andrew P Street, The Guardian
Never studied philosophy? No worries! Here’s a beginner’s guide to the concepts that make the gags in The Good Place so, well, good
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:34 AM on February 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


GQ interviews Manny Jacinto
posted by mbrubeck at 11:58 AM on February 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


Two things:

1) If the real endgame is to blow up the whole system and start over, or at the very least radically alter how the whole "gone to your eternal reward" works, I can't see any other outcome, morally/ethically, than every human ever ending up in the Good Place, and a total eradication of Bad Places. Because if you can learn and change after you're dead, then all humans must spend their post-dead existences in constant pursuit of moral and ethical perfection. Even the worst of the worst (and we all have a few names in mind) would have to have the capacity to improve, given all of eternity and someone like Chidi instructing them. For those who believe that evil people must be punished in the afterlife, what worse punishment could someone like that have than to truly comprehend just how evil they were in life, in the context of ethics and morals? They'd absolutely spend (time being relative and all) eons suffering for their evils, but they would do so in the same place everyone else was spending time becoming more moral and more ethical and more understanding of what it means to be human.

I guess I mean, this atheist doesn't believe in hell harder than she doesn't believe in heaven.

Or something. I didn't explain all that well.

2) What if the burrito is the judge?
posted by tzikeh at 1:53 PM on February 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


Oh and something else.

I know we can all see when Eleanor realizes that it's not her Chidi, aside from the "let's throw away ethics" bit--and she says it's that the real Chidi would never abandon his friends. But there's another piece of his speech to her--he takes her hand and asks her if the two of them don't deserve to be happy together. Eleanor's face really changes after that--she smiles, but it's a very sad smile. Because she's in love with him, and he's not in love with her, and so she knows this isn't Chidi, because Eleanor Shellstrop never gets the fairy-tale ending. It's like a knife to the heart. She doesn't say it, but Bell totally sold me on this interpretation.

ACTORS MAKE FACES THAT DO THINGS TO MY EMOTIONS AND IT ISN'T FAIR
posted by tzikeh at 2:07 PM on February 1, 2018 [24 favorites]


What if heaven and hell aren't places in the conventional sense so much as a reflection of one's personal state?
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:23 PM on February 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


See, and then ZeusHumms says what I was trying to say, but my comment had a lot of extraneous words.
posted by tzikeh at 2:29 PM on February 1, 2018


" Because if you can learn and change after you're dead, then all humans must spend their post-dead existences in constant pursuit of moral and ethical perfection. Even the worst of the worst (and we all have a few names in mind) would have to have the capacity to improve, given all of eternity and someone like Chidi instructing them. "

Congratulations on inventing Catholicism!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:36 PM on February 1, 2018 [11 favorites]


Yes, the names! Chidi Anagonye has the word "agony" in it! Which seems to be crying out that there's an anagram there, and there are a few that are ok but nothing really compelling. But according to this article Chidi means "god lives" in Igbo, which with a certain inflection on the last name becomes the supremely heavy "God lives in agony" which, eesh.

For some reason it was this comment that made me realize that if Jason Mendoza had a MeFi account, his username might well be jason_steakums.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:32 AM on February 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


idk, what about BortlesAndJamz
posted by jason_steakums at 12:20 PM on February 2, 2018 [17 favorites]


My college philosophy classes were a long time ago, but IIRC that's existentialism 101 --- not to choose is also a choice.

Funny I thought that was Rush 2112 but I guess I wasn't even in the right hemisphere.
posted by phearlez at 1:16 PM on February 2, 2018


Not 2112 - Freewill from the Permanent Waves album.
posted by InfidelZombie at 1:43 PM on February 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


All Rush emanates from 2112 except for when they had the other drummer.
posted by rhizome at 2:24 PM on February 2, 2018


Fork it. I need six new living things: fish? chickens? cacti! - so I can name them Danson, Bell, Harper, Jamil, Jacinto and Carden.
posted by Thella at 10:05 PM on February 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


And a seventh cacti, Rudolph.
posted by Thella at 10:42 PM on February 2, 2018


Ultimately Chidi did make a decision - which is a huge improvement, but I understand that he fails since it took 82 minutes to pick a hat.

Chidi's failure is his inability to accept that there could be a choice that doesn't matter. And that there could be a moment where "Am I correct?" is not the most important thing to worry about.

Chidi's isn't in hell because he can't make decisions. He's in hell because he cares more about being correct than he cares about other people or anything else that ought to matter more. Even having failed, he seeks consolation asking, "But did I choose the right one?"
posted by straight at 3:34 PM on February 4, 2018 [5 favorites]


I feel that the judgement against Tahani is incorrect. Because she is now genuinely the version of herself that would be content to walk past those doors.
posted by straight at 3:39 PM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think Chidi's test is a bit unfair, because "Pick a hat, and remember, your choice decides whether or not you, and all of your friends, make it into The Good Place or go back to The Bad Place." is not a situation conducive to concluding which hat you choose isn't really important.
posted by ckape at 4:00 PM on February 4, 2018 [6 favorites]


I think his question to the judge about whether he picked the right one demonstrates he still cares more about being right than saving his friends.
posted by straight at 4:08 PM on February 4, 2018


poor chidi, the real test was whether or not it is okay to wear a hat indoors.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:17 PM on February 5, 2018 [10 favorites]


I feel that the judgement against Tahani is incorrect. Because she is now genuinely the version of herself that would be content to walk past those doors.

Ah, but does it matter that she's not that person now that the test is over or does it matter that, during the test, she wasn't?
posted by phearlez at 2:06 PM on February 6, 2018




Er, meant that to go Somewhere Else, oh well.
posted by slipthought at 11:33 AM on September 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and I beheld a rider, who actually was not a rider because there had been both a pale horse and a dark one, and yea, he could not decide...

And verily the rider hath thought about it more and hath concluded that it was unethical to ask a beast to bear him upon its back, thus he attempteth to bear both beasts upon his own back and was thus much aggrieved.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:52 AM on October 1, 2018


The hot sauce is Cholula. Excellent choice.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:16 AM on October 10, 2018 [3 favorites]


He burdens his acquaintances as Bartleby the Scrivener burdens his master

I’m not going to get in a derailley fight about Bartleby on a long-dormant thread, even though, paradoxically, I would prefer to.

”I would prefer not to” is an appropriate (if inconvenient) response to the absurdity and horror of the human condition, and caring for our comrades who would prefer not to isn’t a burden, it’s the most noble and good thing we can do, also no one is anyone’s master.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 3:57 PM on October 15, 2018


What would be fantastic is if his dialogue is constructed entirely from the captions of New Yorker cartoons...and they never point it out.

Christ, what an asshole
posted by blue suede stockings at 6:17 PM on November 11, 2018


In a hugely nerdy moment, I was delighted to see the judge in a Ruth Bader Ginsburg style jabot. Not the dissent collar, but one of the majority opinion ones. Just a nice reference.
posted by bile and syntax at 12:20 PM on December 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


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