The Good Place: Don't Let the Good Life Pass You By
November 15, 2018 5:32 PM - Season 3, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Michael and Janet take an important journey. Eleanor ponders whether she should share a secret.
posted by numaner (190 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
"I don't want just any wasp nostrils. I want *those* wasp nostrils."

What an UNBELIEVABLY GREAT fight sequence. I was on the edge of my seat, clutching my chest in delight, the whole time.

What an episode.
posted by merriment at 6:01 PM on November 15, 2018 [23 favorites]


I’m so glad they’re not staying at Doug’s house. That guy is a weirdo.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:24 PM on November 15, 2018 [9 favorites]


I can't wait to watch this again and pay attention to the background of the bar scene. How long were those demons there before I noticed?

I caught one commercial for this episode that spoiled the Doug Forcett reveal. Yes, I already knew that's where they were headed, but I would have liked to not know it was Michael McKean for a little bit. And I loved the homage to Desmond's LOST Introduction with Doug.

I was on the edge of my seat, clutching my chest in delight, the whole time.

I was briefly terrified that Janet did fall through to the Bad Place, and I loved her low-key delight at having her powers back. So if going to Janet's void kills the Soul Squad on Earth, are we done on Earth?

I am not okay with waiting two weeks for a new episode and that being the last one before our month-long holiday break!
posted by gladly at 6:50 PM on November 15, 2018 [9 favorites]


<3 <3 Janet and her fighting skills <3 <3
posted by rewil at 7:07 PM on November 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


What a weird episode, y'all.

nthing the "holy smokes, Janet!!"-sentiment here already.

Team Void, I'm here for it!
posted by bigendian at 7:18 PM on November 15, 2018 [1 favorite]




HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS I'M SO HORNY FOR JANET
posted by palomar at 7:23 PM on November 15, 2018 [24 favorites]


okay now that I've got that out of my system...

first up, the opening scenes at doug's house -- homage to the season 2 premiere of lost? no? just me? anyway, i'm so jet-lagged i can't even regrender my chorf.

also, from the way chidi was like, "y'know, i never thought about it before but yeah, we are kinda bombajon," i feel like maybe eleanor's feelings are at least a little reciprocated...
posted by palomar at 7:29 PM on November 15, 2018 [15 favorites]


oh gladly, yay, you picked up the lost vibe as well!
posted by palomar at 7:35 PM on November 15, 2018


animal gravestones:

Rosa Parks Prudence Tick
TICK
2007

Franklin Delano Raccoon
RACCOON
2007

Abraham Lincoln Einstein Mandela
GOOSE
2015

Martin Luther Gandhi Tyler Moore
SNAIL
2018
posted by numaner at 7:54 PM on November 15, 2018 [16 favorites]


reporters named Scoop!

I love how starstruck Michael and Janet are

"one man's waste is another man's water! and both men are me!"
[later]
"drink regular water that wasn't inside you!"

The Puking Moose Saloon

"All he consumes are lentils and radishes."
"No Janet, he also consumes his own wastes, so everything's fine!"

"I got 1000 points! Oh that's the other rule, you make up your own points."
[Chidi puts ball directly in pocket] "I got 5 million points?"
"Daaamn how'd you get so good at this so fast??"

"I remember the term 'happiness pump', that's mostly because Eleanor and Jason made a bunch of dirty jokes about it."

Of course there's snail first aid

So Doug Forcett already figured out it's called "The Good Place"??

"I love seeing people's faces, it's the best part of my job"

"SCREW THIS LET'S FIGHT!"

"12 years of fencing! En garde!" [thwack] "Obviously I would never do that in competition, that'll be a 3/10ths deduction!"

"300 points! Best score ever!"

JANET IS INDEED A STRAIGHT UP HOTTIE RIGHT NOW

that was a pretty awesomely bonkers fight!

"uh you know Michael, you're confused, evidence isn't a good thing that you want, it's a bad thing that you have to destroy or you go to jail."

whaaaaat they're going to the voiiiid!
posted by numaner at 8:23 PM on November 15, 2018 [21 favorites]


Are all those other demons and Bad Place Janet stuck on earth now? Either Michael pocketed the key to the hacked door and it’s now in Janet’s Void, or it’s in Sean’s pocket presumably for Gen to pick up when he comes out by the doorman.

Michael should be assuming Doug is going to the Bad Place, since he’s motivated by the points system.
posted by mikepop at 8:28 PM on November 15, 2018 [12 favorites]


I think Michael is assuming Doug only believes in the points system but doesn't know for sure. But I do think Michael should realize that regardless Doug has corrupt motivations. He might just be too starstruck to realize it.
posted by numaner at 8:32 PM on November 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


And I loved the homage to Desmond's LOST Introduction with Doug.

I've never seen Lost, but I went and looked up this introduction. It's there, but the nods are either not very many or very subtle.

It actually reminds me initially of Dexter's opening credits.
posted by numaner at 8:33 PM on November 15, 2018


On a recent episode of the podcast, they made a passing reference to a "bottle episode" that was somehow more extreme than your average bottle episode and perhaps had never been done on television before, which makes me think that next episode is just going to be 21 minutes of team cockroach talking with each other in a monochromatic emptiness, which I would be down for.
posted by Rinku at 8:53 PM on November 15, 2018 [35 favorites]


During the opening I was like "oh, please let that be Michael McKeean" and then it happened, dreams do come true. The moment where they got Michael McKeean to line his head up and smile just like young Doug Forcett was eerie as hell.

Love how they don't tell you until three seconds before the episode ends that there's a cliffhanger, and that they've decided to reset the show's premise again. The Soulsquad only got three episodes, and we didn't even get to learn about Chidi's family. :( Great job setting up narrative expectations that are then subverted.

Shawn's statement about Doug Forcett winding up in the bad place suggests to me that the whole thing is rigged and unwinnable and the higher ups in the bad place know it.
posted by skewed at 8:54 PM on November 15, 2018 [24 favorites]


I've never seen Lost, but I went and looked up this introduction. It's there, but the nods are either not very many or very subtle.

well both scenes feature a man going through his daily routine, shot mostly from behind to keep his face out of view (despite him being a brand new character), in the moments before something world changing occurs to him, set to a cass elliot song. it's not a shot for shot recreation but it's certainly an homage.
posted by JimBennett at 9:06 PM on November 15, 2018 [25 favorites]


Bad news -- I've been going to the gym. A lot.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:07 PM on November 15, 2018 [19 favorites]


Jan-jitsu
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:26 PM on November 15, 2018 [9 favorites]


Do either of you know anything about snail first aid?
posted by Gary at 12:34 AM on November 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I wonder if the arbitrary point system of Jacksonville-Style Pool is meant to parallel the arbitrary point system of the afterlife?
posted by Aznable at 2:52 AM on November 16, 2018 [73 favorites]


The ending of this episode was so ::squeeeeeeeeaaaargh!::
posted by Faintdreams at 2:54 AM on November 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Eleanor's eternal horniness is too relatable. I say this as a man who paused the season finale of American Horror Story to take a bunch of screenshots of Emma Roberts in a like, really cute outfit and post them to his Twitter, and then watched this and couldn't get over Vicky just...standing there. In that flannel shirt? My gosh. And then there was Janet, and then there was Bad Janet! who totally reminds me of my old girlfriend Jessie, you know the type, she's so wrong for you? But she's also so right for --

*deep breath*

...Wait. Are they all DEAD again??
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:46 AM on November 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Loved that Janet's "bing" is back.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:33 AM on November 16, 2018 [10 favorites]


Bad news -- I've been going to the gym. A lot.

I was so happy to see Gym Demon standing behind the bar. That gag will never get old.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:41 AM on November 16, 2018 [15 favorites]


I love that this show has a male character whose sole purpose is to say he's been going to the gym a lot, followed by shirt removal.

I also loved that Chidi was completely on board with he and Eleanor being bombajon even though he didn't know what that was.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:01 AM on November 16, 2018 [23 favorites]


But why didn't buff Chidi use his buffness to fight gym demon? All in order for Eleanor to help him? Or was he internally debating whether it was OK to fight back?

(Yes to both?)
posted by wellred at 7:06 AM on November 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Janet's love for Jason is so beautiful.
posted by k8t at 7:37 AM on November 16, 2018 [16 favorites]


Podcast confirms that the cold opening is an homage to Lost.
posted by k8t at 7:40 AM on November 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


Sepinwall: If the rhythms of Eleanor’s speech to Shawn about Michael seemed familiar, it’s because the whole thing was a loving tribute to a gag from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy delivers a similar speech about Marcus Brody.
posted by rewil at 9:22 PM on November 15 [7 favorites +] [!]


I was literally coming here to say "Does anyone here speak English?" and wait for those sweet, sweet favorites.

(At least I'm as savvy as a paid media critic, anyway....)
posted by tzikeh at 7:53 AM on November 16, 2018 [8 favorites]


Podcast deconstructs the fight scene, natch.
posted by k8t at 8:28 AM on November 16, 2018


Bombajon

i can't even regrender my chorf

Michael McKean

Janet kicking arse
posted by harriet vane at 8:29 AM on November 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


So either of you know anything about snail first aid?
Ye -noooo.

Also loved Jason's correction about evidence being a bad thing and his "how did you make that so quickly?" Molotov cocktail.

And Tahani's delighted certainty that Eleanor was coming to her for advice on her grating speaking voice, followed by actually reasonable advice on her actual problem.
posted by the primroses were over at 8:42 AM on November 16, 2018 [12 favorites]


I wonder if the arbitrary point system of Jacksonville-Style Pool is meant to parallel the arbitrary point system of the afterlife?

Aznable, I was thinking the same thing! Also, I'm certain that last week's WRONG WAY sign in the parking garage was meant as foreshadowing on steroids. Doug Forcett's anal points focused life is a disaster and I can not wait to meet The Accountant and hear the explanation for the whole forked up idea of points. What if The Accountant is an angry, frustrated entity that got fed up with Humans demanding their be "a meaning" to everything and just instituted the most extreme regime of points accrual he/she could fathom knowing it was all bullshirt from the beginning? Just like Jacksonville Pool . . . .

Also, Jujitsu Janet is Peak Janet.
posted by pjsky at 8:48 AM on November 16, 2018 [8 favorites]


Bombajon

Was delighted to see in the credits that's the actor's real name! Bambadjan Bamba.
posted by ellieBOA at 9:35 AM on November 16, 2018 [20 favorites]


“...the show where everything is made up and the points don’t matter.”

I’m banking on an afterlife meta-points system where admittance to The Good Place is done by random selection thus allowing every belief system an equal chance of success without contamination of prior knowledge.

Or, perhaps, that everyone has been going to the bad place because it’s simpler to administrate and we are all, in fact, living in the darkest trump line. Err, timeline. Yeah. After all - billions of humans and no one’s needed a judgement from Hydro-Jen since Mindy?

Crystal ball gazing aside - this was seriously the most enjoyable thing I’ve watched in a very long time. This episode is just so perfectly done. Truly exquisite. Be back later - gonna go watch it again.
posted by mce at 9:51 AM on November 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


Oooh ooh OOOOH!

I also see that Michael McKeean is going to be Shadwell in the forthcoming Good Omens adaptation. Lovely.
posted by mce at 9:58 AM on November 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


If anyone is interested in micro-spoilers, the titles of the next set of episodes can be found here. Looks like we get four more, spread between now and February, to close out the season.
posted by tzikeh at 10:00 AM on November 16, 2018


Reminder that we don't discuss spoilers in these threads, but those titles sure are interesting - especially the title of the finale.

Where would we go to discuss spoilers? Nowhere on MetaFilter, I presume.
posted by tzikeh at 10:03 AM on November 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the arbitrary point system of Jacksonville-Style Pool is meant to parallel the arbitrary point system of the afterlife?

I was thinking Calvinball myself.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:09 AM on November 16, 2018 [7 favorites]




May I add that, as a Calgarian for some twenty-odd years, how delightful it is to see my town and province featured on the show using the same weirdly skewed reference system they used for Arizona, Australia and Jacksonville?
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:15 AM on November 16, 2018 [10 favorites]


William Jackson Harper teaching Ted Danson how to floss.

Joined midway through by Kristen and D'Arcy, offering support.

(For the Olds who are wondering why anyone would want to watch someone show someone else how to clean their teeth--"the floss" is a dance move.)
posted by tzikeh at 10:18 AM on November 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


Bora Horza Gobuchul: while I don;t live in the province anymore I was born there and spent all of my k-12 in Central Alberta. I too got a little kick out of ‘in kind’ representation. Besides - there’s probably a market for a Puking Moose Saloon in K-Country.

Plus it’s nearly 400km to edmonton which, in 8 hour days, would take about 10 days to walk for a 3 week turnaround.
posted by mce at 10:39 AM on November 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Where would we go to discuss spoilers? Nowhere on MetaFilter, I presume.

Someone could always start a full-season S3 thread and title it 'spoilers/speculations/predictions' if they wanted.

Really enjoyed this episode -- the big bar brawl was legitimately suspenseful; because the show has been so fearless at burning through storylines, it felt entirely possible that any or all of the characters could get put through the door to the real Bad Place. (I mean, a little part of my mind figured that going to the full-on two-headed-bear/wasp-nostril/butthole-spider populated Bad Place would just be too much for the show's SFX budget to handle for multiple episodes, but it seemed entirely possible that at least one of them would get taken by the demons and then the rest of the Soul Squad would be spending the next episode trying to find a way to rescue them.)
posted by oh yeah! at 11:02 AM on November 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Bambadjan Bamba gave a great interview about a year ago about being an undocumented immigrant, by the way. I sort of think I'd like everyone involved in this show in real life.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:11 AM on November 16, 2018 [18 favorites]


I recall from one of Micheal's presentations near or at the beginning of season 1 that a person could get six or seven good points for eating a sandwich. So there's no excuse for Doug's diet.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:11 AM on November 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


OK, I checked, a sandwich is actually +1.04.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:14 AM on November 16, 2018 [9 favorites]


Checking to make sure actual point total for eating a sandwich is not six or seven good points as previously surmised but in fact only +1.04 = 8.72 good points.
posted by pjsky at 11:22 AM on November 16, 2018 [8 favorites]


Michael should be assuming Doug is going to the Bad Place, since he’s motivated by the points system.

I wonder if there's a loophole for "thinks he knows, but doesn't know for sure," but overall I agree with what's below...

"Shawn's statement about Doug Forcett winding up in the bad place suggests to me that the whole thing is rigged and unwinnable and the higher ups in the bad place know it."

I think AV Club agrees. Nobody gets into the Good Place because there is no Good Place and it doesn't matter what you do and the points don't matter when it comes to that topic. Gandhi, Jesus, whoever, they all go to hell and get the buttspiders.

This whole episode was a masterpiece in how living to be 100% good and perfect really, really sucks, especially if you have to let yourself be abused and be happy about it in order to make other people happy--which is what you do when you serve and help people. God forbid the man drink water that isn't his own pee. *

* And on a related note, the podcast Oh No Ross and Carrie, which investigates weird shit, had the hosts drink their own pee and discovered that gives you whopping diarrhea. Though I cannot speak to how that works with filtered pee, since astronauts do that sort of thing in space and so far no astronaut memoirs I've read mention that effect--which would be terrible in space anyway.

So I guess in the end I'm not surprised that even Doug is going to hell (though really, he's already there except minus the butthole spiders) because even that guy can't be perfect enough.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:42 AM on November 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Does Doug's obsession with getting into the Good Place disqualify his good deeds because they're not for the sake of the deeds, but to save him from the Bad Place? I'd be pretty worried about that.

(whoops we're covering that already sorry)
posted by wellred at 11:46 AM on November 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


check out episode writer Andrew Law's and Jameela Jamil's instagram stories for more behind the scene stuff! also the harness that William Jackson Harper had to wear for stunts. and more Ted Danson and WJH flossing.
posted by numaner at 1:24 PM on November 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I'm pretty sure the punchline is there's no Good Place. But what's interesting is that Michael doesn't know that, and what's really interesting is that Janet doesn't know that, even though Janet was specifically created to assist people in the real Good Place. Is there a big cosmic warehouse of never-used Janets that are just there for show? Was there a real Good Place at some point, and it got shut down?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:28 PM on November 16, 2018 [11 favorites]


Nobody gets into the Good Place because there is no Good Place and it doesn't matter what you do and the points don't matter when it comes to that topic.

I thought it was confirmed that The Medium Place was real though? We've also been told Lincoln is in the Good Place (and Mozart and Jimmy Hendrix, if podcast opening credits are canon). The points being arbitrary seems more likely, and would tie into the pool game as mentioned above. We've met the judge and she doesn't seem very detail oriented.

It also explains why the Soul Squad's approach to saving souls is completely haphazard. Chidi didn't make it into the good place for being indecisive, but Pillboi is ok now because he skips out on one three factory robberies? He's still the same Pillboi when they leave him. It would make sense that Michael actually has no idea how anyone qualifies for the Good Place.
posted by Gary at 1:38 PM on November 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


William Jackson Harper teaching Ted Danson how to floss.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:10 PM on November 16 [4 favorites −] [!]


Wow, that "Wrong Way" sign in the back is doing a lot of heavy lifting.

Absolutely loved this episode! Excellent from beginning to end. I love the way the show continually subverts itself, and how it finds time for both meaningful discussion of philosophy and well-choreographed bar brawls. (Question for podcast listeners: How much of that was D'Arcy Carden doing her own fighting?)

I don't remember if Eleanor has previously been horny for Janet, but I do remember Eleanor calling Janet "Busty Alexa" in Season 1, which is no end of hilarious.

I read a couple of reviews (AV Club, Sepinwall) and was shocked that neither of them connected the Jacksonville Rules point system to the Good Place point system!
posted by ejs at 1:38 PM on November 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


I think there's a real Good Place, but it's actually terrible and dull because it's populated by self-abnegating non-people like Doug. They never learned to live and enjoy life, so they aren't able to experience real pleasure and joy in the afterlife. Yet another sign that the existing system is stupid and unfair and wrong and Team Cockroach will lead to it being completely upended.

So, ultimately, Michael really IS a sort of investigative journalist, looking into the truth behind the Earth-to-Good Place/Bad Place pipeline and discovering all its flaws. Michael Scoop, indeed.
posted by Superplin at 1:41 PM on November 16, 2018 [8 favorites]


Question for podcast listeners: How much of that was D'Arcy Carden doing her own fighting?

Most of it was Caitlin Deschelle, who was Gal Gadot's stunt double for Wonder Woman.
posted by Gary at 1:42 PM on November 16, 2018 [18 favorites]


this wasn't my favorite episode (throwaway jokes rarely improve from being developed into a significant part of the canon, and I was entirely nonplussed by the bar fight) but even a meh episode of TGP can destroy me by having Ted Danson deliver a perfectly-timed line about drinking piss
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:53 PM on November 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


I take it as canonically true that The Good Place exists and that some people have made the cut (e.g., Lincoln), but I figure it's a chimera, anyone who actually gets into TGP eventually leaves or finds existence there to be torture because they are separated from everyone they have ever cared about or loved, and they know those people are being tortured in The Bad Place. Since the people who make it to TGP seem likely to have highly developed ethical and empathic capacities, they are likely to find even the eternal torture of people they don't personally care about or love to be distressing.

I know this is not exactly Doug Forcett levels of insight here, people in these threads have suggested as much a number of times. I am just thinking now how interesting it is that this show, which has gone out of its way to address so many issues of philosophy and theodicy, has so far neglected to directly address the question of how pleasant can heaven be when you know there are so many people burning in hell. The fact that Chidi hasn't been worried sick over this since the moment he learned about TBP suggests to me that they don't want to talk about this idea, presumably because they are saving it for later. And for a show which has relied so heavily on examining the question of "what do we owe to each other", I can't imagine any answer that doesn't involve anyone worthy of making it to TGP being willing to risk everything to stand up for the people in TBP.

I can't wait for the series finale episode capsure: "Shawn and Vicky finalize their plot. Eleanor and the gang repudiate the morality of traditional Christian eschatology."
posted by skewed at 2:45 PM on November 16, 2018 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I'm pretty sure the punchline is there's no Good Place.

I could get on that train if it weren't for Mindy and her Medium Place, as well as that we know for a fact that there are Good Place Janets and Bad Place Janets -- and we saw a representative of The Good Place in the same video as Trevor, where they both addressed Mindy. So, if there truly isn't a Good Place, then someone or something has gone to elaborate lengths to make sure that even the demons believe that there is one, and I can't imagine what their motivation would be for that. You'd think if there were no Good Place, the demons would love that, because it meant they got *everyone* in the end.
posted by tzikeh at 2:46 PM on November 16, 2018 [9 favorites]


Was the mention of Yahoo Answers maybe the writers throwing in a My Brother My Brother and Me reference? Let’s do a Yahoo
posted by mathowie at 4:55 PM on November 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


I wondered the same thing!
posted by dipping_sauce at 5:04 PM on November 16, 2018


Doug isn't scoring any points because even if he's only guessing and doesn't know how the afterlife works, his motivation is corrupted.
posted by dry white toast at 5:06 PM on November 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also, Tahani going directly to elocution lessons was a hilarious My Fair Lady/Pygmalion reference.
posted by mathowie at 5:07 PM on November 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


OK last comment: Janet saying “all he consumes are lentils and radishes” was that supposed to imply Doug is dreadfully farty?
posted by mathowie at 5:12 PM on November 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


mathowie: Janet saying “all he consumes are lentils and radishes” was that supposed to imply Doug is dreadfully farty?

Are radishes fart-inducing? I know about beans/lentils, but...? I mean, it could be. I just took it as part and parcel of the "This dude is living a miserable life" message.
posted by tzikeh at 5:18 PM on November 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Or that said miserable life included a breakfast of waste-tea and, from the trimmings, 1 solitary raw radish.

I can imagine that a glass of water at Doug’s house may well be rather piquant.
posted by mce at 5:46 PM on November 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


"12 years of fencing! En garde!" [thwack] "Obviously I would never do that in competition, that'll be a 3/10ths deduction!"

The strike would have been valid in sabre, though not the two-handed grip.

Was delighted to see in the credits that's the actor's real name! Bambadjan Bamba.

I can only assume that his character originally had some other name but that when his name popped up on the audition sheet the writers were like, "No, never mind, Bambadjan is way better. Let's hire him and rename the character."

On the subject of Doug Forcett's life and the opening scene, it also struck me how much his life resembled Mindy's. Living alone in a cabin, gardening. Both had sudden revelations that completely changed their fate. Etc. Though they're more like mirror versions of one another, Mindy only thinks of herself while Doug only thinks of others.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:51 PM on November 16, 2018 [27 favorites]


Also, an alternate take on why Doug is going to the bad place:

The point system tracks the total happiness you put into the world, not just the happiness you produce for others. Doug made himself miserable more than he made others happy. That was the 8% Doug got wrong when he had his revelation.

That would, of course, be a fantastically cruel and impossible standard, but of course in this episode we have a literal demon explicitly saying -- as most of us have been all along -- that the point system is a fantastically cruel and impossible standard.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:24 PM on November 16, 2018 [19 favorites]


I enjoyed the Vox review of this episode - lots of smart analysis of season 3 so far.
posted by simonw at 7:00 PM on November 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


*whispers* I don't think there's a Bad Place either.

I mean, not full-on butthole spiders Bad Place. I think it's all The Afterlife, like Earth, with bureaucracy and different continents and locations, some with more appeal than others. I mean, the worst thing I think we've seen is the random cocooning Shawn inflicts on his staff and judging by all the Instagram ads for weighted blankets the algorithm (oh so mistakenly - just the phrase "weighted blankets" makes me cringe) throws at me, I think some people demons are probably into that sort of thing (that thing being cocoons not weighted blankets).

Anyway. You get to the Medium Place by train. If there's no Good Place, I don't think there's a Bad Place either. I think it's all a giant celestial government conspiracy.
posted by annathea at 7:23 PM on November 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


*whispers* I don't think there's a Bad Place either.

We've had numerous instances of demons talking among themselves, without any human witnesses, about what they have done and continue to do to humans in The Bad Place. When they argued with Michael about how they liked the regular kind of torture they were used to inflicting (burning people, breaking limbs, penis flattening, etc.), when we saw them socializing at the Bad Place party and all of the Core Four had to come up with torture stuff as cover stories, when Shawn tells Michael about the butthole spiders -- there's just too much evidence supporting the existence of The Bad Place.
posted by tzikeh at 7:41 PM on November 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


I'm impressed that they've gone beyond (or at least, to the top of the class) Philosophy 101 and gone into a second year ethics specific class and touching on second and third order consequences.

But the show is breaking down for me because of the way it's presented. The 'Trolley Problem' almost broke the barrier, but starting to explore the next logical step kind of broke the show's paradigm for me with it's switch to Michael learning about ethics.

Mortal human ethics (as opposed to morality) should be known to him, especially since it could be exploited for a 'better' Bad Place experience.

The Chidi character also doesn't do anything positive for the popular understanding of what a philosopher/ ethicist actually do.

But I love this show for the characters and I want to be Eleanor.
posted by porpoise at 8:25 PM on November 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Are radishes fart-inducing? I know about beans/lentils, but...?

Radishes are members of the brassica (mustard) family, which also includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. They contain a fair amount of fiber, which is broken down in the colon by microoganisms that release gas, as well as a particularly farty kind of sugar called raffinose.

I am here to provide facts about radishes
posted by purpleclover at 9:00 PM on November 16, 2018 [52 favorites]


I always thought radishes were more associated with burps.
posted by mikepop at 9:16 PM on November 16, 2018


I liked that my dislike of Peter Singer was reinforced in the episode and confirmed in the podcast. Go to hell you ableist bastard
posted by Space Coyote at 9:51 PM on November 16, 2018 [10 favorites]


Mortal human ethics (as opposed to morality) should be known to him, especially since it could be exploited for a 'better' Bad Place experience.

See, I don't think he did. Like Eleanor realized in season 2, ethics didn't really bother demons because they were basically immortal, so they didn't have to understand what it was like to try to be the best you can be before you die. His torture scenarios exploited emotions and anxieties of the four humans, without really relying on philosophy.

The Chidi character also doesn't do anything positive for the popular understanding of what a philosopher/ ethicist actually do.

I mean, he was teaching it quite well until a demon from the afterlife broke him and then he was trying to get other people into heaven and now he got sucked into an endless void. He barely has time to crusade for philosophers.
posted by numaner at 10:54 PM on November 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


Michael McKean has a good Canadian accent. It's the subtle enunciation of 'water' (and not exaggerating 'houuuuuse' like 90% of Americans would). He sounds just like an Edmontonian-now-in-Toronto I know. Color me surprised to learn he was born in NYC.
posted by basalganglia at 3:37 AM on November 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


Shawn's statement about Doug Forcett winding up in the bad place suggests to me that the whole thing is rigged and unwinnable and the higher ups in the bad place know it.

You might be right... but my assumption about Shawn's statement is that Doug is going to have a personal epiphany after hearing Michael's parting words about drinking clean water etc., and because of Michael's visit, turn his life around completely and start being a bastard who kicks over children's bicycles and smashes snails on purpose.

(Michael, perhaps because of his demonic nature, can be very influential. Witness his changing Eleanor's and Chidi's lives just by appearing as a bartender/librarian and giving them a moments' advice.)

So the Good Place, in my theory, is real, and is full of incredibly boring Doug-types, but Doug himself doesn't make it there.
posted by mmoncur at 3:43 AM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


At first I was thinking there is no Good Place. But, maybe there's really not a Bad Place. By that, I mean there's not a Bad Place with permanent residents. More Purgatory and less Hell. Maybe even with a bit of C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce thrown in.

And with a touch of Buddhism: live through your lives, improve your karma over the millenia. Spend some time as a living being, die and spend some time in Hell, maybe some time in Heaven, then back to being a living creature again. Wash, rinse, repeat, and finally break the cycle and achieve nirvana. I'm thinking all souls eventually get this chance.

That, to me, would really fit the spirit of the show. And that even demons are part of this cycle, and don't remain demons forever. The alternative--that hell is permanent and people are sent to suffer eternally for circumstances they cannot control--is almost too terrible to contemplate.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 4:05 AM on November 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


This is the question that I think the show really needs to answer: Can a demon, having obtained "the knowledge of Good and Evil" decide that they want to be better than that, and eventually redeem themselves? Can a demon become a free soul? if they work hard enough? Why, or why not? What kind of God would allow humans the opportunity but not offer the same to the demons? If an angel can fall, why cannot a demon ascend?


(asking for a friend)
(totally not a demon)
posted by some loser at 6:18 AM on November 17, 2018 [20 favorites]


Since the people who make it to TGP seem likely to have highly developed ethical and empathic capacities, they are likely to find even the eternal torture of people they don't personally care about or love to be distressing. This is precisely what caused 12-year-old me to determine that even if hell was real, no one could possibly be there or else God was not actually that great. My views weren't especially popular with some of the teachers at my Catholic school.

I thought they mentioned Doug way back when Michael was explaining The Good Place - didn't they say one man had accidentally guessed correctly about the points system? I think that person is Doug.

Janet is very generous, sharing her void.
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:12 AM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


"I mean, why let the guy keep saying mean stuff, right?"
posted by JDHarper at 7:44 AM on November 17, 2018 [7 favorites]


I can’t believe they just killed them off like that! This show!! Of course to Janet life/death is semantics but to everyone else it’s Chidi’s “what?!?”

Side note - No information about Chidi’s parents? Really? After 3 seasons??”

I liked Doug’s character. He seemed genuinely sweet, and even if his motivations were still ultimately selfish he wasn’t cold and calculating about it... he was trying to live his philosophy as best he could, with a good heart. Kind of child like.

Disagree about the good Canadian accent. As a Canuck if I notice the accent (hoouse) then it’s not great. It was better but still not right.

I’m a Buddhist so totally biased but I’d think the best person would be a real Buddhist monk - sincere motivation for others but they Eoukd have limits on their actions if proving unskillfull, it does not help others to be a doormat, wisdom in our actions is emphasized. They’re the ultimate of being dedicated to a goal and also having abandoned any attachment to ataining it. So, excellent motivation with good actions.

Loved Michael kicking Sean into the portal right in the middle of his daemon bad guy monologue. He’s right nobody wants to hear that :P
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:59 AM on November 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I'm pretty sure the punchline is there's no Good Place.

I could get on that train if it weren't for Mindy and her Medium Place, as well as that we know for a fact that there are Good Place Janets and Bad Place Janets -- and we saw a representative of The Good Place in the same video as Trevor, where they both addressed Mindy.


I'm no longer sure there's a Medium Place either. Even when they explained what a Medium Place was, Trevor the demon basically explained how they took everything the Good Place provided and made it bad. It's pretty clear that Mindy doesn't listen to the terrible music, read the terrible books, or watch the terrible movies. Though she's only figured out how to make the latter two into porn so far. I'm not even sure they needed to make all of those things that terrible, since she's utterly miserable without cocaine. Anyplace where she's still addicted and without cocaine is the Bad Place for her.

In the first season a lot of us went pretty far thinking it was the Good Place, despite evidence to the contrary, and I wonder if we're doing the same thing with the Medium Place.
posted by Margalo Epps at 12:11 PM on November 17, 2018 [4 favorites]


Hopping in to echo disappointment re: Chidi's missing history. I can't help but feel a little cheated. Maybe more than a little. I want to know what kind of place (beyond the anxiety) his indecision is coming from! I want to know more about his family!

At the same time, I can't help but wonder if we'll find out more about Chidi in Janet's void. The void is both infinite possibility and nothing, which is probably brain-breaking for someone who has massive anxiety about forks in the road and choice. On the other hand, Janet's void is probably going to feel familiar to him since his mind already runs at a million miles an hour, and if so, I want to see why. It seems like an ideal backdrop for delving into his past.

Seriously crossing my fingers and hoping they're handling him that way. Chidi's reaction of going from zero to existential crisis chili a while back warrants more exploration.
posted by Ashen at 1:19 PM on November 17, 2018 [4 favorites]


> I’m a Buddhist so totally biased but I’d think the best person would be a real Buddhist monk - sincere motivation for others but they Eoukd have limits on their actions if proving unskillfull, it does not help others to be a doormat, wisdom in our actions is emphasized. They’re the ultimate of being dedicated to a goal and also having abandoned any attachment to ataining it. So, excellent motivation with good actions.

This is a history of philosophy deep cut that I don't expect them to get into, but:
  1. I'd like to see them bust out some Hume, and,
  2. I'd like to see them doing a compare-and-contrast between a legit buddhist and a legit humean
(this very funny comic strip explains why it's worthwhile to juxtapose Buddha and Hume).
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:24 PM on November 17, 2018 [7 favorites]


More directly, I'm ready to see someone on the show wrestling with the terror of real nonexistence, since nonexistence, rather than butthole spiders and nostril wasps, seems to be the fate to which us television-watchers out here are consigned. That's when it'll be time for the show to introduce us to things like the buddhist concept of Śūnyatā and/or Humean ideas about the nonexistence of the self.

Frankly, some time spent in Janet's void might be the perfect occasion for the show to introduce this level of philosophical sophistication. Especially since, thanks to Jeremy Bearimy, they might end up spending, subjectively, a very long time indeed there.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:29 PM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder if they were ever on Earth in the first place, given that Shawn and friends were able to reach it with relative ease.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:22 PM on November 17, 2018


"Chidi's What" is my new band name.
posted by rhizome at 4:54 PM on November 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


Behind-the-scenes footage of Janet training for a fight, and there's more in the thread.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:15 PM on November 17, 2018 [10 favorites]


Like up thread I also noticed that a lot of the diction shares a lot in common with My Brother My Brother and Me. I notice that a lot on this show like when Chidi called Eleanor horny, that’s a kind of a modren sense of horny that I don’t think people used to throw around exactly like that before esp on network tv. It makes me wonder if it’s just all in the zeitgeist. I also noticed that the way Michael said “the limits of scotch tape” it struck me as a very “Comedy 2018” way of saying that that Ted Danson wouldn’t have used in 1988.
posted by bleep at 5:48 PM on November 17, 2018


That Peter Singer book in the opening presages so much. I'm so pleased to see the critique of that strain of utilitarianism in The Good Place!
posted by brainwane at 7:07 PM on November 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


When they first showed the Singer book I grew very worried. Pleased to see the show countering it
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:22 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I’m starting to feel the “no good place” vibe... and no bad place. Like, for all the talk we never see the bad place. Did they ever show a butthole spider? It’s all hearsay. We saw demons off work, and pineapple pizza... that’s it. Similarly the good place is not a place but is a state of mind. That’s why the title of this episode is so awesome.

Buddha/Hume —> that comic was cute, should I split hairs? It wasn’t the self does not exist so deny pleasure, he said to reach the enlightened experience of the self not existing we need to abandon our attachment to pleasure (not the experience of pleasure but our burning need for it), and also anger of course.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:23 PM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


If any Good Place writers are reading this, I believe in the Bad Place, I don't need to see any butthole spiders kthxbye
posted by Pronoiac at 11:06 PM on November 17, 2018 [7 favorites]


.
posted by edeezy at 11:54 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I loved the homage to Desmond's LOST Introduction with Doug.

I just got a new roommate who persuaded me, after all these years, to finally watch LOST with her. So I just saw that episode for the first time earlier this week!
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:58 PM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


I always thought radishes were more associated with burps.

A fart is basically a burp that stayed longer than it was supposed to and is trying to sneak out the back door.

....I had a really interesting epiphany about what the series finale may be, that addresses the whole Good Place/Bad Place existence question and "how the points work" question. Go with me:
There is no Good Place or Bad Place, in the sense that they are eternal states. Nor is there a "points system" that influences things for real. Instead - the whole thing is an artificial construct thrown at us in the afterlife as a test scenario to go through before REINCARNATION. When we die, we are thrown into an in-The-Good-Place-by-accident scenario like Eleanor, with some randomly selected folks who also died at the same time, and we all play out this exact quest - and eventually come to the conclusion that "wait, this whole points system is bullshit, we should behave ethically in the world for its own sake independently of whether it gets us points" or something. And we are not reincarnated until we figure that out. And how long it takes for us to figure that out is what dictates our next reincarnated state.

AND - one of those states-of-reincarnation potentially could land you in the afterlife, where you could end up being a demon like Vicky or a butt spider. Or you could end up like Michael, a Demon with the capacity for change.

I admit that this draws heavily from the Tibetan Book Of The Dead, but hey.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:53 AM on November 18, 2018 [9 favorites]


"In the last analysis, it is our conception of death which decides our answers to all the questions life puts to us." ~ Dag Hammarskjold

I think ... there's no Good Place and there's no Bad Place, there is only This Place and we better figure out how to exist here and now in peace and harmony because it's all we are ever going to have or know. I think the end of the show will be Eleanor waking up in the hospital after being knocked unconscious by the runaway grocery carts, surrounded by her friends and she's going to tell them everything she experienced, all the weirdness and wonderfulness. They will gently laugh at her and she'll look at Michael, Tahani, Jason, Chidi and Janet and say -- ". But it wasn't a dream -- it was a place. And you -- and you -- and you -- and you were there."

And then her primary care physician, Dr. Jeremy Beriamy, will chuckle and say, "I'm so glad you're feeling better. Now .... Do you have health insurance?"
posted by pjsky at 6:48 AM on November 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


Chidi at the end- "Did you say we're all gonna die?"

Yeah, so what happens if they die (again?) while they're on earth? Would they not be in the same position they're in?
posted by bearette at 7:36 AM on November 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am here to provide facts about radishes
Thank you, Janet.

Highlights of this ep for me:
-Ted Danson's spit take when Michael heard the source of his water
-Jason's elite molotov-cocktail-building skills
-Fight scene Janet (and bad Janet in the background, not helping at all)
posted by TwoStride at 7:49 AM on November 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Jason's elite molotov-cocktail-building skills

These demons were so quick to disarm him compared to the demons who didn’t know Jason. It makes me wonder how many of the 800+ reboots had a Molotov cocktail thrown.
posted by Gary at 8:36 AM on November 18, 2018 [30 favorites]


I was musing about the lessons we learned from Doug Forcett.

One is that existing solely for others destroys a person's integrity. You can't truly be whole when you are completely at the mercy of everyone (and everything) else's demands. That may be why Doug ends up in the Bad Place, if Shawn was telling the truth.

Another, related point is that Doug doesn't have any meaningful connections, which the show has repeatedly demonstrated are central to real humanity and goodness. Doug has weak ties to every living creature, but no strong-tie relationships, probably due in equal parts to the aforementioned lack of self, and being spread so thin by all those highly tenuous links to every living creature (and radish).

I think these aspects are going to be pivotal to the show's philosophy as we move forward. If you literally care equally about everything except yourself, and don’t cultivate “the friends you make along the way,” you can’t truly be a force for good in the world.
posted by Superplin at 9:28 AM on November 18, 2018 [11 favorites]


I agree. Doug's isolation from humanity may be key. Presuming any of this makes sense. Chidi was damned basically because his indecisiveness got on people's nerves and messed up his relationships...he lowered the quality of others' lives. And yet. He didn't do anything with malice -- far from it. In the same way, Doug isn't really contributing anything positive to the world...he's just removed himself from it, where he can't do any harm, but he also can't do anyone any good.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:57 AM on November 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


I was also struck by Janet’s glorious decisiveness during the fight scene and when the other demons came in. She was like, well, I can see we’re out of options except one, so we better just go for it, even though I don’t know if it’ll work, but I have to try to keep them safe. It really contrasts with Chidi’s whole deal and casts it as a kind of cowardice, which I didn’t think about before.
posted by bleep at 10:09 AM on November 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


Like it seems like Doug and Chidi both go to the bad place because they let fear drive their decisions without even realizing it. I am still anxiously waiting for this show to come out and say Buddhism. You’re talking about Buddhism.
posted by bleep at 10:17 AM on November 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


I mean, the worst thing I think we've seen is the random cocooning Shawn inflicts on his staff and judging by all the Instagram ads for weighted blankets the algorithm [...] throws at me, I think some people demons are probably into that sort of thing (that thing being cocoons not weighted blankets).

Judging from the way Vicky, upon uncocoonment, continues the sentence she was speaking when she was cocooned, it seems like being in the cocoon is a state of stasis, and therefore neither torturous nor enjoyable.

Or who knows, maybe Vicky spent the whole time in a state of unspeakable agony but determined to finish her sentence as soon as she was released. Anything’s possible.
posted by ejs at 11:31 AM on November 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


It can't be that bad, Shawn does it to himself.
posted by trig at 12:31 PM on November 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


It just very gooey in there.
posted by Superplin at 12:44 PM on November 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


My current theory: next epsiode, they explore Janet's boundless void (ew), complications ensue, but this lets Eleanor and Chidi work out their relationship. The episode after that, they get to meet the Accountants (called it) right as the Accountants are adding up Team Cockroach's revised totals. It turns out that their altruistic behaviour - doing good despite knowing that they are damned - has gotten them into the Good Place... except for Chidi. The season ends the same way the others have, with Eleanor setting off to "find Chidi."
posted by Paragon at 1:44 PM on November 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Judging from the way Vicky, upon uncocoonment, continues the sentence she was speaking when she was cocooned, it seems like being in the cocoon is a state of stasis, and therefore neither torturous nor enjoyable.

On the other hand, at least one of the cocooned demons in Shawn's war room could still communicate, so there may be different flavors of cocoon, from the hard-stasis version used for keeping people from making more problems to the very-gooey version used as more of a punitive measure.
posted by Etrigan at 1:52 PM on November 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


which makes me think that next episode is just going to be 21 minutes of team cockroach talking with each other in a monochromatic emptiness

But surely her void isn't empty -- think about the millions or trillions of Derek prototypes in there before Janet got him right. There's a Derek but with nine heads and inside out, a Derek who's a weresnail, a Derek with a penis where his windchimes should be, etc.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:54 PM on November 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


But surely her void isn't empty -- think about the millions or trillions of Derek prototypes in there before Janet got him right. There's a Derek but with nine heads and inside out, a Derek who's a weresnail, a Derek with a penis where his windchimes should be, etc.

Oh God the next episode is going to be overflowing with Jason Mantzoukases everywhere, isn't it.
posted by tzikeh at 5:47 PM on November 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


I was thinking that we'd be subjected to Derek, but we don't know what happened to him after the Bad Place raid on Mindy's. I think Derek could bing himself back to the void, right?

The podcast discussion of the fight choreography was wonderful, especially Marc Evan Jackson having a fanboy moment with the stunt coordinator. On top of Jackson telling us that he married his vet in the last podcast, he might be a perfect person.
posted by gladly at 6:43 PM on November 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


The plural is Jasons-Mantzoukas.
posted by Etrigan at 7:51 PM on November 18, 2018 [18 favorites]


Mantzoukodes?

This episode was delightful, and I love that their showdown with the demons was a bar fight. An inter-dimensional bar fight. Absolutely perfect.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:36 PM on November 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Jameela Jamil @jameelajamil: "FUN FACT: I legit PULLED A MUSCLE in MY ARSE during the fight scene where Janet is fighting that demon and I’m just crouching down behind the pool table watching her... LEGIT had a limp for a day..."
posted by BungaDunga at 8:41 PM on November 18, 2018 [9 favorites]




I can't wait to watch this again and pay attention to the background of the bar scene. How long were those demons there before I noticed?

I just did this. There's no obvious hints I saw, all the people in the background up to the fight weren't in the fight. The camera was framed at places where the demons were not really sitting though, and that could've been deliberate, but I didn't even see like a leg on a stool here or a slice of back there that were any of the demons. There was a pretty good shot of Chidi near the pinball that would've revealed the Chris Baker demon who you see later standing at it, but nope.
posted by numaner at 9:15 PM on November 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


one thought I had while rewatching: Janet is supposed to know everything there is to know about Earth up until the moment they left the afterlife, correct? Like she knew the lottery numbers and that one guy's whole life. But she didn't seem to know that Doug Forcett lives the way he does. Was she just humoring Michael? She seemed genuinely surprised at what they discovered. One thing I could see though is that her statements of surprised are actually statements of emphasis; like "he only eats radishes and lentils??" is actually "he only eats radishes and lentils [like I tried to tell you]!" And the revelation for her is Doug's motivation, because she doesn't know how people feel unless they say it or something occurs. But she could also have seen that he was reading that utilitarianism book, or maybe have stated his intentions outright while high.

I wonder if this is just a plot hole or there's an explanation
posted by numaner at 9:20 PM on November 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


-Fight scene Janet (and bad Janet in the background, not helping at all)

bad Janet didn't come in until after they defeated all the demons in the first wave including Shawn. she was with the second group that made Good Janet realize they have to escape to her void

Yeah, so what happens if they die (again?) while they're on earth? Would they not be in the same position they're in?

I assume they're still supposed to go to the Bad Place. Also interesting that they didn't leave anything behind in this death, corpse-wise. Even if you get vaporized with a future energy weapon you still have tiny bits of particles of you floating around.
posted by numaner at 9:27 PM on November 18, 2018


Janet is supposed to know everything there is to know about Earth up until the moment they left the afterlife, correct? Like she knew the lottery numbers and that one guy's whole life. But she didn't seem to know that Doug Forcett lives the way he does.

This thought occurred to me a day after watching the episode and I immediately put it out of my mind because just thinking it was probably costing me Good Place points.

(Bonus conspiracy theory that I don't believe: Janet did know all about Doug but needed Michael to see it for himself for unspecified future purposes.)
posted by ejs at 9:43 PM on November 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


It kind of bothers me that a being who sees in nine dimensions could walk into an ambush inside a three dimensional structure but even more than that it bothers me to realize that I'm exactly the sort of person who thinks about such things.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:08 PM on November 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


They lost a lot of their powers when they came to Earth, they were effectively humans. I guess that could also explain that Janet doesn't have all of her memory easily recalled and didn't remember stuff about Doug Forcett. Glad she kept the fighting skills though.
posted by numaner at 1:04 AM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


And even if she knew all that stuff about Doug then she must also have known that Michael is on his own spiritual journey and needed to see it and talk to Doug himself. And like she has a lot of knowledge but what’s happened in the past but I don’t think she has up to the second info about everything currently happening everywhere. So the demons basically just snuck up on them.

One thing I really like about this show is that Janet IS a deux-ex-machina but she always uses her immense skills in a way that contributes without overpowering the others. She’s really gentle with them.
posted by bleep at 1:19 AM on November 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


I would have preferred to hear Janet give a eulogy for the snail than Michael.
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:38 AM on November 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


Ooh! Because of course she's known him all his life! Yes, that would be perfect, if somewhat long.

"...and then in late February, he moved six inches to the west, looking for shelter from the wind, and I am happy to say that he found it. A real trooper! March was a different story, however..."
posted by Mogur at 6:57 AM on November 19, 2018 [18 favorites]


Because of course she's known him all his life!

Only if the snail were more than a year old, though, right? Hadn't her knowledge stopped accumulating a while back?
posted by Etrigan at 7:06 AM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


But she didn't seem to know that Doug Forcett lives the way he does.

I may be misremembering, but didn't she get an odd look on her face at one point when Michael gushed about Doug Forcett?

And anyway, she might not have realized how horrible his life was even if she'd known all the details. It may well look more impressive on a macro scale, when you're not confronted with the little shitty kid on the bike.
posted by Etrigan at 7:09 AM on November 19, 2018 [9 favorites]


If Janet's void isn't a shrine to Jason in daisy dukes, I'm gonna eat an entire cake.
posted by nicodine at 9:11 AM on November 19, 2018 [11 favorites]


If Janet's void isn't a shrine to Jason in daisy dukes, I'm gonna eat an entire cake.

That sounds like a win-win to me.
posted by Margalo Epps at 11:29 AM on November 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


I would have preferred to hear Janet give a eulogy for the snail than Michael.

They were still under cover as journalists, though.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:32 AM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


I really love Janet’s ability to quietly run everything from behind the scenes, but her preference for letting others make their own decisions / her unwillingness or inability to step into a command role has often put Team Cockroach in mortal danger. I hope either we get some revelations about her having always been more in control than she lets on, or else some character development wherein she finds it within herself to take the lead instead of just playing support.

Okay but really all of this is just to say that I just realized what my crossover dream ship is:

Janet.

and.

Daenerys Targaryen.

(But what about Jason? you ask. And what about Jon Snow? Friends, I think that problem solves itself...)
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:47 AM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh God the next episode is going to be overflowing with Jason Mantzoukases everywhere, isn't it.

MAXIMUM DEREK.
posted by lunasol at 12:33 PM on November 19, 2018 [20 favorites]


(But what about Jason? you ask. And what about Jon Snow? Friends, I think that problem solves itself...)

Aw dip, people used to tell me I knew nothing all the time back on Earth! We have so much in common homie!
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:37 PM on November 19, 2018 [22 favorites]


So, did Michael just happen to be carrying that old portrait of Doug with him when he was banished to Earth? Has he been carrying that with him the whole show?
posted by ckape at 3:02 PM on November 19, 2018


Maybe Janet knew the path the photo took on earth and was able to direct Michael to the exact junk box in the precise yard sale it ended up in. Then Michael paid fifty cents for it.
posted by Monochrome at 3:20 PM on November 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


I’m so glad the writers of this show are writing it and not us.
posted by bleep at 3:28 PM on November 19, 2018 [17 favorites]


Janet asserting herself as a leader would be completely out of sync with her raison d’etre which is to be a helper. We don’t need any additional writing to explain why she continues to be what she was created to be.
posted by bleep at 3:34 PM on November 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


If every episode was “And then the all powerful super-being steps in and tells everyone what to do” that would be an awful show and a different show and this thread would be about us complaining about that.
posted by bleep at 3:36 PM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Entertainment isn’t a video game we’re watching where the players’ objective is to win the most story gold as quickly and efficiently as possible.
posted by bleep at 4:33 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Finally sorry but we’ve actually been in the Bad Place, the characters had to sneak through it to get to Gen. how could it not exist?
posted by bleep at 4:53 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Technically, we only saw the "backstage" areas of The Bad Place, not the parts where the actual torture of human souls was happening.

The show already used its Shyamalan Twist on the first season finale, though, so I doubt any theory that involves the show pulling another "Psych! We tricked you!" reveal is going to turn out to be correct.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:09 PM on November 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Janet asserting herself as a leader would be completely out of sync with her raison d’etre which is to be a helper. We don’t need any additional writing to explain why she continues to be what she was created to be.

Well, Janet fell in love with Jason and created Derek. She does stuff that is not her raison d'etre. "This female character who knows more than everyone else shouldn't take leadership because it's not her nature" is not a position I really want to explore further. Also, she started the fight and she decided to bring everyone to her void. So I would say she has already started leading.
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:09 PM on November 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


I really love Janet’s ability to quietly run everything from behind the scenes, but her preference for letting others make their own decisions / her unwillingness or inability to step into a command role has often put Team Cockroach in mortal danger.

Hm, that sounds a little like...



...God, maybe?
posted by Squeak Attack at 8:35 PM on November 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Paul Kreuger proposes a spin-off show
…about Doug Forcett, Doug Shellstrop, and Donkey Doug called

ALL DOUGS GO TO HEAVEN
Stephen Cox: They're good Dougs Brent
posted by mbrubeck at 9:19 PM on November 19, 2018 [33 favorites]


in my headcanon, Janet is not god. but she will be.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:59 PM on November 19, 2018


(but also I’m on the record as hoping that someone refers to Janet as God just so she can cheerily announce “Not a god!” and let us stop speculating)
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:00 PM on November 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Here's my tribute to Janet's "Screw this! Let's fight" moment.
posted by mikepop at 5:50 AM on November 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


I was thinking that we'd be subjected to Derek, but we don't know what happened to him after the Bad Place raid on Mindy's. I think Derek could bing himself back to the void, right?

The last we saw of Derek was him being put in a giant piece of luggage to be tucked away somewhere in the boundless void.

So I'm thinking Jason stumbles across it and opens it.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:38 AM on November 20, 2018


No, they got him out of the luggage to deliver him to Mindy after he drove the cocaine train out of Dodge. We heard the raid, but don't know whether the Bad Place demons sent to nab Team Cockroach left him there or took him off to be tortured, or whether he blinked himself into the boundless void.
posted by Superplin at 7:47 AM on November 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


I had a busy weekend and didn't see this until today, and a frind had chatted me with an interesting iea about Janet as LaPlace's Demon, knowing everything there is about earth down to the finest detail but still unable to predict what people will do, thus disproving determinism.

I told him that I hadn't seen it yet but because I was a jackass I said that she seemed more like an analog to Maxwell's Demon to me. Then at the climax of the episode she and Michael are quickly opening and closing doors to kick the people of her choosing forcefully through them!

I was right! About the dumbest thing! I am pretty Bambadjan!
posted by Navelgazer at 8:29 AM on November 20, 2018 [11 favorites]


Tahani's fencing was probably at least as big of a criticism of the good place points system as Jacksonville-style pool was.
posted by ckape at 8:54 AM on November 20, 2018 [18 favorites]


The secret origin of Jeremy Bearimy, explained at last!
posted by tobascodagama at 3:25 PM on November 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


"Your pee-pee king, Doug Forcett" is perhaps my favorite Marc Evan Jackson line read ever.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:24 PM on November 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


If Janet's a god, which god is she? All-knowing, pretty handy in a fight, and has the ability to make women (or at least Eleanor) fancy her. I'll start the bidding with Odin.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 6:53 AM on November 21, 2018


She can't be Odin, she has two eyes.

[Not eyes.]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:34 AM on November 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


has the ability to make women (or at least Eleanor) fancy her

Pretty darn sure you could get Eleanor horny for an ice-cream scoop of instant mashed potatoes without any divine power.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:02 AM on November 21, 2018 [10 favorites]


As in you wouldn't need divine power to do that, not as in potatoes which lack divine power.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:02 AM on November 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


I shall not put up with this arrant nonsense of a theology which posits un-divine potatoes.
posted by Etrigan at 11:57 AM on November 21, 2018 [10 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder if they were ever on Earth in the first place, given that Shawn and friends were able to reach it with relative ease.

It took them a year to build their portal.

Or more than a year, or less, or no time, or all the time ever, wibbly-wobbly-Jeremy-Bearimy.
posted by tzikeh at 8:16 PM on November 21, 2018 [7 favorites]


Does Doug Forcett live in Ron Swanson's cabin?
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:48 PM on November 23, 2018


Ron would never own property in Canada.
posted by Superplin at 4:10 PM on November 23, 2018 [19 favorites]


These demons were so quick to disarm him compared to the demons who didn’t know Jason. It makes me wonder how many of the 800+ reboots had a Molotov cocktail thrown.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the scouting report is out on Jason: Dude's go-to is molotov cocktails. Plus speed when prepping them. Douse quickly.
posted by dry white toast at 9:10 PM on November 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


For anyone experiencing sadness at the absence of new Mark Evan Jackson content as we head into another Good Place/Good Place Podcast-less week, and who isn't already a Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast listener, they've put out a really good standalone 'from the vault' episode - The Boat Show. (Warning, you will probably have the song "Love Ain't No Billy Goat" in your head for the foreseeable future, I know I do.)
posted by oh yeah! at 7:47 AM on November 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Doug Forcett's inability to understand that he would be able to do much more good locally in the next three weeks than he would do by walking to Edmonton to make his snail donations suggests that either that 8% he failed to grasp was very important or that the math is generally stupid. It also seems like something a utilitarian happiness pump would pick up on. Come on, Doug Forcett! You could do more good by being nicer to yourself.

Also, if you weren't particularly jazzed by the fight scene and hope that the show steers clear of them in the future, you are seen.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:10 AM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the fight scene was a fun surprise of the type that becomes less fun the more it's replicated. I trust the writers on this one to understand that, though.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:47 AM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Doug Forcett's inability to understand that he would be able to do much more good locally in the next three weeks than he would do by walking to Edmonton to make his snail donations suggests that either that 8% he failed to grasp was very important or that the math is generally stupid.

He doesn't seem to know the actual numbers, or possibly even the actions that score points. Even if you assume that vegetarianism is better than omnivorism, why are radishes and lentils better for his point total (he said one of them was already growing there, but only one) than planting apple seeds, or zucchini? Does he kill weeds? If drinking rainwater is actually bad for his point total, then we're pretty much back to the idea that literally everyone who has ever lived is in the Bad Place, which I personally would be really pissed off at given the existence of the Medium Place -- if Mindy St. Claire is the only person who ever escaped the Bad Place, then she is the best person who ever lived. That doesn't seem correct, even if Mike Schur is writing the world.

Imagine you were playing football and knew 92 percent of the rules, and scoring was the other 8 percent. You know that you want to get the ball over that way, and that getting it through the uprights is good as well, but that's it. So, do you lose points if you lose yards? Does an interception lose you points? Is it better to kick the ball through the uprights as soon as you're in range, or is it better to keep throwing for the end zone? For that matter, do you get more points if you run the ball in rather than throw it in?

Now I'm imagining a version of Doug Forcett who had somehow gotten so stoned that he actually knew the numbers and actions, and had spent his whole life walking the edge -- donates to charity for +105.7 points, then pees on his neighbor's front door for -84.3, and knows damn well that he's up 21.4 points on the day, so he can also steal the neighbor's newspaper while he's at it and he's still safe.
posted by Etrigan at 12:03 PM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I love the show, but the fight scene was crap. I get that the actors thought it was great and so forth but that was a very boring, slow fight scene with very little power behind any of the actual fighting.
posted by tzikeh at 12:09 PM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


All of the businesses in the show have jokey pun names, Chidi has a boot brother, Jason is ridiculously dumb, taxis in Florida are monster trucks, Eleanor reads a magazine called “Celebrity Baby Plastic Surgery Disasters” in the first episode. I don't think realism is exactly what they're going for. That fight scene isn't supposed to be Tony Jaa fighting his way up the stairs in a single take. It's a sitcom, any realistic fight scene is going to be too violent for a family show.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:08 PM on November 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


It's a sitcom, any realistic fight scene is going to be too violent for a family show.

Correct. Which is why the fight scene was crap, and they shouldn't have had it.
posted by tzikeh at 1:22 PM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


If drinking rainwater is actually bad for his point total, then we're pretty much back to the idea that literally everyone who has ever lived is in the Bad Place, which I personally would be really pissed off at given the existence of the Medium Place -- if Mindy St. Claire is the only person who ever escaped the Bad Place, then she is the best person who ever lived. That doesn't seem correct, even if Mike Schur is writing the world.

I'm coming around to the previously-proposed theory that the Medium Place may actually be another neighborhood in the Bad Place. I strongly suspect that, if true, this will be a retcon, but I'm not counting it out.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:31 PM on November 26, 2018


It could also be a call-out to original sin.
posted by rhizome at 1:37 PM on November 26, 2018


There's three reasons I can see that might be keeping Doug Forcett from getting in the Good Place:
- None of his point credits actually count, since he is explicitly living his life to gain points to the Good Place
- He is too focused on avoiding point deductions that it is keeping him from making any serious point gains
- The system is rigged so much that you would have to do something spectacularly good, like freeing all the slaves in the US or successfully founding the largest relief aid charity in the world, to get in.
posted by ckape at 2:07 PM on November 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


There's a phone game I play where the AI is clearly programmed to maximize its points every turn, instead of saving certain cards in hopes of an appropriate opportunity. As a result, it doesn't usually do well. I think Doug Forcett is the same, kind of -- he's terrified of getting the (presumably tiny) deduction for "thought about donating to a charity but didn't" that he misses the opportunity to be an actually good person.

Even so, I'm also in the camp that Shawn is hinting the entire system is rigged in some way as opposed to "oh, that idiot is doing it wrong," though I think that is also true.
posted by Rinku at 6:08 PM on November 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Sean’s exact words were: “The Bad Place is going to get all of them eventually. These four, their loved ones… even your precious pee-pee king, Doug Forcett.”
posted by mbrubeck at 9:23 PM on November 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Even so, I'm also in the camp that Shawn is hinting the entire system is rigged in some way as opposed to "oh, that idiot is doing it wrong," though I think that is also true.

Doug Forcett may be losing because he's not playing the game well, but for that to be the whole reason would be incredibly legalistic for a show that tends to focus on broad plot points and big incidents, not little twists. Despite the point system, the main cast has all been damned for their broad traits, not specific point totals. (Their bad actions reveal their traits.) Michael encouraged Doug to take a break because he'd done so much, not because he's doing it wrong. Damning Doug for small things would not keep with the show.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:41 PM on November 26, 2018


I feel like Chidi's combination of a broad knowledge of moral frameworks and extreme anxiety about choosing incorrectly would completely break Doug Forcett if he were exposed to it, Doug's already on the edge when he's convinced he knows the rules, but if he started questioning himself, oh man.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:01 PM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


And conversely, Doug might break Chidi - Doug's got it mostly figured out, I don't even know how Chidi would react to being so close yet so far away from an actual factual right answer to morality.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:04 PM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


There's three reasons I can see that might be keeping Doug Forcett from getting in the Good Place:
- None of his point credits actually count, since he is explicitly living his life to gain points to the Good Place


SPOILER ALERT FOR PODCAST BE FOREWARNED IF THIS BOTHERS YOU

Sounds like according to the podcast, as long as Doug doesn't know for sure, he is still fair game for this or at least hasn't been auto-doomed like the Soul Squad has been.

- He is too focused on avoiding point deductions that it is keeping him from making any serious point gains

I dunno, I think all of his eco-friendly shit and donating to charity every time he kills a snail could be doing point gains.

- The system is rigged so much that you would have to do something spectacularly good, like freeing all the slaves in the US or successfully founding the largest relief aid charity in the world, to get in.

I vote with "the system is rigged and even Abraham Lincoln and all the saints are in the Bad Place."
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:01 PM on November 26, 2018


precious pee-pee king

I would steal this for a sock puppet account if I didn't think it would constantly be grossing me out a little.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:00 AM on November 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


Season 4 is confirmed!
posted by rewil at 1:54 PM on December 4, 2018 [10 favorites]


Yay!!!!
posted by ellieBOA at 2:08 PM on December 4, 2018


More good news: Golden Globe nominations for the show and for Kristen Bell!
posted by gladly at 6:02 AM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


William Jackson Harper was robbed.
posted by Etrigan at 7:16 AM on December 6, 2018 [6 favorites]


Agreed.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:04 AM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


Looking at some of the past GG noms they appear to be generally weighted toward established actors. Maybe that's a natural side-effect of the business of Hollywood and who gets roles, but the GG peeps do choose what they pay attention to.
posted by rhizome at 12:36 PM on December 6, 2018


The usual snark on the GG is that the Hollywood Foreign Press doesn't really matter and everyone knows it; the HFPA just want to hang out with a bunch of celebrities and host a fun awards show.
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:51 PM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


(that said, they are small enough to be swayed into some interesting directions a la crazy ex-girlfriend and can bring attention to undervalued people and shows! I hope the good place wins and more people start watching it)
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:53 PM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


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