The Good Place: Mondays, Am I Right?
January 16, 2020 7:37 PM - Season 4, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Michael runs some tests and Chidi gets some good advice from Jason.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (58 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Did anyone catch the names of potential initial candidates on the board? I think I saw Rene Descartes and Frederick Douglass, but didn't pause to see the others. Was expecing at least a few good jokes there.
posted by pykrete jungle at 8:16 PM on January 16


Mr. Rogers was on the board. That one data point proved that the point system was borked if even HE didn't get into the Good Place. The rest from what I can recall were a bunch of civil rights activists, philosophizers, doctors/nurses, and the Buddha.

And no Doug Forcett.
posted by mephisjo at 8:27 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]


I declare it cannon that Janet’s a “Schitt’s Creek” fan.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:40 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad we got to see Vicky one last time (not to mention Kamilah and Tahani's parents). Everything about that was golden. If she's all back together from her goo state, I wonder if this means we'll get to see Glenn too. But I fear that might be hoping for too much, now that they've taken off in their beautiful balloon.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 10:06 PM on January 16 [4 favorites]


“We’re not using Chainsaw Bears anymore...” This show.

Saw a panda bear in line towards the end, Jason never did get the chance to steal its powers!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:10 PM on January 16 [5 favorites]


Did anyone catch the names of potential initial candidates on the board?
I noticed names like Abe Lincoln and Harriet Tubman near the top of the board, so I was trying to see what non-Americans were there. Pretty sure Nelson Mandela was on it. Then I got distracted by Eleanor's quest to find gay presidents and the mention of her latest bi crush, Frida Kahlo.
posted by NorthernLite at 10:28 PM on January 16


1.28 Jeremy Bearimy later....
posted by tzikeh at 10:32 PM on January 16 [8 favorites]


My prediction - they're bored as hell in the Good Place and they all come back to help run the neighborhoods, giving up TGP as a goal forever. A very Candide ending.

Though something's up with Michael. I'm afraid I'm gonna end up crying over his character in the end.
posted by tzikeh at 10:33 PM on January 16 [11 favorites]




Glad they got Sugihara on there! Would love to see Stanislav Petrov too.

Anyway. Mondays, am I right?
posted by sugar and confetti at 3:00 AM on January 17 [5 favorites]


*Jason* is getting smarter.

This makes me worried.
posted by Faintdreams at 3:28 AM on January 17 [8 favorites]


I have a feeling that leaving the neighborhood will end up being bad news. I was extremely happy to see [heart emojis] Vicky [heart emojis] again *siiiiiiigh*, don't get me wrong, but I think Michael's misgivings were more than just a feeling of being outshined. Vicky is great at torturing people, but is she really into redemption? I don't think so, and I think a very strong argument could be made that endless torture could make a soul much, much worse. Vicky may be a little too good at this.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:54 AM on January 17 [7 favorites]


I love how Vicky is so good at torture, and so bad at acting.

Also I don't think I have ever been so invested in Chidi and Eleanor being together as I am now. They're fun together, but he works with Simone too and I believe there are other people she'd be great with. But now I want them to be for real because they know each other so completely.

Also also: Michael went on about pushing a rock up a hill in a way that makes it sound like he's afraid of what happens next if he doesn't. It makes me think of the Camus thing about how we must imagine that Sisyphus was happy. But I don't know how to interpret that.
posted by harriet vane at 5:20 AM on January 17 [4 favorites]


I can't believe how let down I was when Michael was like, oh look, you get to go to the Good Place, let's go! It happened so FAST!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:03 AM on January 17 [5 favorites]


If we're listing characters we want to see in the last two episodes, I have a list: Gym Demon, Mindy, Derek, Glenn
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:07 AM on January 17 [5 favorites]


I'd love to have Nicole Byer back, myself!
posted by sugar and confetti at 8:12 AM on January 17 [6 favorites]


There's no way they're staying in the Good Place, right?! The folks we know from the actual Good Place are terrible (Nicole Byer's delightful mail lady excepted), and no one's been admitted in 500 years. It has to be so boring, so stale, so disappointing. Think of the decor at the mailroom - it was a grandma house! Not a fit for our crew. Just like Michael learning how to make an aphorism, the real Good Place was inside us all along! I've no doubt they return to help run the new afterlife as a team.

I've missed Mindy SO much - this is all taking place in her neighborhood, but she's been curiously absent. Perhaps because the actress is on a different show?

Michael backing out of the room before Vicky could fight her way into West Side Story choreography made me howl with laughter.
posted by missmary6 at 8:15 AM on January 17 [4 favorites]


I think going to the Good Place is actually going to be the final test. It was too pat to be for real - their arcs have been about earning their redemption, and I can't imagine that not coming up one final time.

Michael's crisis seemed almost contrived to introduce The Myth of Sisyphus. This show doesn't embrace the absurd, though. It's not a straightforward application, because Michael can succeed in his tasks. Pushing the rock gains meaning through the possibility of success with lasting impact and actual consequences. Being tested over and over, and rebooted each time, is reminiscent of Sisyphus, but the possibility of reward changes the scenario. I wonder if bringing this philosophical idea in now is setting something up that will pay off later, when there isn't very much later left in the show.
posted by cosmic owl at 8:16 AM on January 17 [8 favorites]


There are more on the board later:
Oskar Schindler
Anna Maria van Schurman
Derek Parfit
Mr. Rogers
Erasmus
Rosa Parks
Ida B. Wells
Alexander Fleming
Eleanor Roosevelt
Frederick Douglass
Louis Pasteur
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Then there's a section in the top right that's never fully shown but it has
Squi[the rest obscured--maybe Squidward or Squiggy given who comes next]
Gleek from Da Super Friends
Maybe the official instagram will show us the whole thing at some point
posted by lampoil at 8:37 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I think going to the Good Place is actually going to be the final test.

This is exactly what I was thinking.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:21 AM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Thank you Aznable and lampoil for the test subject collections!

And it made me SO HAPPY to see Ambedkar on that list. More people should know about Ambedkar!

Glad to learn about more people who did very good things. Toyohiko Kagawa has a great quote:
"I read in a book that a man called Christ went about doing good. It is very disconcerting to me that I am so easily satisfied with just going about."
I cried as Michael talked about how he had defined himself by the rock-pushing. I could relate a lot.
posted by brainwane at 10:47 AM on January 17 [4 favorites]


What is the book Jason read that told him about the Montagues and Capulets? Perhaps a novelization of the Baz Luhrmann film?

And Michael's struggles teaching the Bad Place architects probably echo past conversations Michael Schur has had with writers or network executives on his shows, right?
posted by brainwane at 10:49 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I can't believe how let down I was when Michael was like, oh look, you get to go to the Good Place, let's go! It happened so FAST!

That’s kind of how the whole episode hit me. Really rushed. Oddly, too fast. There seemed to be whole leaps made with no explanation made. The most glaring one was when the team was told they were going to the Good Place, Michael explained that the Judge decided saving humanity earned them some leeway.

That’s a *huge* development to not even have a quick Judge cameo to announce. Either the show is in “we only have three episodes to cram twelve episodes of script into” mode, or, yeah, things are not as they appear.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:50 AM on January 17 [8 favorites]


The bit on the podcast where they list all of the Janets that D'Arcy Carden plays was really good.

Some great shots of the art department's work from Tiya Sircar. Posters | Banner and merch
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:17 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Vicky is life and light. Her bad acting is so good.

And yeah, I believe team cockroach will no longer settle for an eternity of contentment in the Good Place but rather will find a way to keep helping other people, forever.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:49 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


[heart emojis] Vicky [heart emojis] again *siiiiiiigh*

Ah, I see you're a man of culture as well.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:47 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Possible endings:

-They go back to earth to be reincarnated as people-who-nudge-towards-goodness
-They dissolve into Nirvana together
-Janet is revealed as God and the whole thing, every bit, was the afterlife test for them and now the REAL afterlife begins, and it is indescribable but "really cool"
-No fucking idea

I mean, the whole problem with Heaven is that it either becomes boring eventually or you avoid that by losing your individuality and becoming one with everything. We really can't imagine an eternity that wouldn't disappoint us. Christians get around this with "well it's indescribable to your human brain but you'll love it!"
posted by emjaybee at 2:02 PM on January 17 [10 favorites]


I've wondered for quite some time if Janet wasn't really a/the god. Maybe it's a supreme being who's anonymous like that show about CEOs who worked at a fast-food counter.

I also wonder if there isn't going to be some big final twist regarding Michael.

Speaking of which, the bit with Michael's bad acting was unbelievable, since this is the same "person" who pulled the first big twist off for an entire season. (Or would you justify that as him having improved, no longer capable of being deceptive.")

I felt like the last 2 seasons have been more uneven. And in this episode, the abrupt ending might've been a deliberate, cliffhanger that didn't quite work. I'm sure they're not just going to heaven to live happily ever after.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:26 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Speaking of which, the bit with Michael's bad acting was unbelievable, since this is the same "person" who pulled the first big twist off for an entire season.

Vicky's acting has also not been so shabby in the rest of the show.
posted by geegollygosh at 3:47 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Still digesting this episode, which felt rushed when I watched it this morning, but perhaps when this season is taken in binge form later it will feel different...

Anyway, just wanted to mention that the penultimate episode title is Patty, and the finale is Whenever You’re Ready (and the episode description on Google is, “Various conversations occur, between various groups of people“, which delights me to no end).

Wasn’t Donna Shellstrop’s stepdaughter’s name Patty?
posted by palomar at 6:32 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Bisexual awareness week on the Good Place!

This week's episode was funnier than a lot of this season. And Vicky is always the most welcome, I'm going to miss her.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:21 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I think that this is certainly another test for Team Cockroach, and Michael is in on it. Which means that - for the best of reasons! - he's manipulating the humans again. I think that the heartbreaking final words of the show will be Eleanor telling Michael, "I love you, man, and I want you to be happy - but we can't be friends, because I can never trust you."

Which, actually, seems like a pretty fair ending for Michael. Yes, he's reformed - but he still did a lot of awful, awful shit for a very long time. He probably doesn't deserve an entirely happy ending.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 8:47 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Siddhartha Gautama is the Buddha you guys
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:59 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Man if this all turns out to be Eleanor's test... I dunno.

I think they might maybe reincarnate like Bodhisattvas to guide people.
posted by gryftir at 10:09 PM on January 17


Gleek from Da Super Friends

Between this and “Crisis On Infinite Earths”, Gleek is having quite a week.
posted by Servo5678 at 11:27 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Between the Vicki totebags, senior staff Bad Place pins, and copies of Chip Driver novels, NBC is really losing in the merchandise game. Where is my novelization of Six Feet Under Par: A Chip Driver Mystery?

Really hoping we see other recent test subjects before the end. What's up with Jon, Simone, and Brent? And the people we left back on earth, like Chidi's boot brother?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:29 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


the finale is Whenever You’re Ready (and the episode description on Google is, “Various conversations occur, between various groups of people“, which delights me to no end).

Sounds like Neutral Janet wrote that episode description! She says something very similar on some of the The Good Place The Podcast intros.
posted by phatkitten at 5:18 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


Nota Bene: If you search YouTube for "chainsaw bear," and your search history is anything like mine, you do not get Good Place clips, but rather videos of people carving bears out of wood with chainsaws.

I can provide no guarantees for your search results on other, more adult-oriented video sites.
posted by pykrete jungle at 8:47 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


Smaller, more relatable chainsaw bear was SUCH a good joke.

They've done the neutral episode description thing before: the description of the last episode of season 3 was "Various events occur in a specific order."
posted by simonw at 10:04 AM on January 18 [9 favorites]


I don't think they will reincarnate like Bodhisattvas to guide people but it's seriously great to watch a fun/light show where that is a plausible speculation for the end of series!

Also, I can't get the phrase "normal, cylindrical, penis" out of my head. I would watch a show that had the writers from this one if that was all I knew about it.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 12:24 PM on January 18 [3 favorites]


Understated descriptions for momentous TV episodes are a fun thing. Steven Universe had an episode description that said "Pearl loses her phone." (YEAH. That episode.)
posted by sugar and confetti at 4:18 PM on January 18 [3 favorites]


oh, good, there's no "bad place" anymore! instead, when you die, you go to a kind of combination endless nonvoluntary group therapy (run by sublimated sadists with access to all your secrets) and audit process where you can't leave the program until you're an Operating Thetan
congratulations, they reinvented hell
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:05 PM on January 18 [10 favorites]


the finale is Whenever You’re Ready

That sounds like something someone would say to someone who decides they don't want to go to the Good Place, or stay in the Good Place, but would rather spend eternity helping others learn and grow. That the Good Place will always be there, waiting for them... whenever they're ready.

(Narrator: They were never ready.)
posted by tzikeh at 7:07 PM on January 18 [7 favorites]


You people are all in denial about the obvious fact that the last episode is going to be every single cast member sequentially having sex with James Buchanan.
posted by escabeche at 11:13 AM on January 19 [11 favorites]


If the good people, or the good-enough people, get to the Good Place on their first or second go-round, while bad people keep reincarnating and going over and over again, with maybe marginal improvement, eventually doesn't the earth end up populated mostly by bad people?

Has this already happened????!?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:39 PM on January 19 [10 favorites]


Actually, it is just one final soul reincarnating into all people across all times.
posted by applesurf at 4:36 PM on January 19 [3 favorites]


You people are all in denial about the obvious fact that the last episode is going to be every single cast member sequentially having sex with James Buchanan.

Just for that you deserve all the bees with teeth and butt-spiders
posted by sugar and confetti at 10:02 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


I like this show so much I don’t mind the forced metaphors and too fast transitions at the end. It feels like they’re trying to do the best with the time constraints they’re under. Ideally it wouldn’t be like this, and it’s unfortunate, but I just love this show so forking much.
posted by Owowthathurts at 5:48 AM on January 20


If the Good Place is some stereotypical paradise with no challenges, no purpose, no way to test yourself or grow, then I think they'll figure out pretty quickly that running the Medium Place is where they really want to be. Using endless resources to creatively design scenarios customized to help people realize and overcome their flaws? That's a whole lot more interesting than any glimpses we've seen of the actual Good Place.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:59 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


This episode demonstrated to me that the reason I've been lukewarm on the last several episodes is that they haven't had nearly enough Chidi reactions. Chidi reacting is, I now realize, my favorite thing about this series.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:38 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Another question: is it possible to get kicked out of the Good Place?

Asking for a friend who is definitely not Satan
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:55 AM on January 21


I went to draw the smaller, more relatable Chainsaw Bear last night, and only in freezing the brief moment they are on screen did I notice that the chainsaws were gold/gold-plated. Obviously these are their fancy formal dress chainsaws, for use at fancy parties such as the one in the simulation. No opportunity for detail is wasted in this show!
posted by mikepop at 8:35 AM on January 21 [13 favorites]


Asking for a friend who is definitely not Satan

I think know them - goes by Lou?
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:36 AM on January 21


If the good people, or the good-enough people, get to the Good Place on their first or second go-round, while bad people keep reincarnating and going over and over again, with maybe marginal improvement, eventually doesn't the earth end up populated mostly by bad people?

If I'm not mistaken, the bad people aren't being sent back to Earth, they're running through their Medium Place situations over and over again until they get sentenced to either the Good or Bad Place. So don't worry, when a bad person dies, they're gone baby gone.
posted by ejs at 9:17 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]


the finale is Whenever You’re Ready (and the episode description on Google is, “Various conversations occur, between various groups of people“, which delights me to no end).

Sounds like Neutral Janet wrote that episode description! She says something very similar on some of the The Good Place The Podcast intros.


It is also a callback to the full description of the Season 3 finale (ep 13, "Pandemonium") before it aired: "Various events occur, in a certain specific order".
posted by solotoro at 7:33 AM on January 23


Oh, also -

Actually, it is just one final soul reincarnating into all people across all times.

The Egg, by Andy Weir
posted by solotoro at 7:39 AM on January 23 [5 favorites]


You people are all in denial about the obvious fact that the last episode is going to be every single cast member sequentially having sex with James Buchanan.

I assume it's "sequentially" because they need to justify the 90-minute runtime.
posted by MrBadExample at 10:24 PM on January 29


Actually, it is just one final soul reincarnating into all people across all times.

That's what all you zombies think
posted by phearlez at 10:00 AM on February 3


« Older Supernatural: The Trap...   |  Everything's Gonna Be Okay: Se... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster