The Good Place: What We Owe to Each Other
October 13, 2016 6:19 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Eleanor helps Michael with his investigation. Chidi runs interference for Jianyu on his date with Tahani.
posted by Small Dollar (16 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm starting to think that Chidi is the actual Architect.
posted by Etrigan at 6:28 PM on October 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

So, after sleeping on it, here's my evidence for Chidi as Architect:

We haven't seen any flashbacks to his time on Earth, have we? Even when Michael was talking to him about his life?

If the Good Place is a test-slash-training ground for people to get better, then why shouldn't it be a test-slash-training ground for Michael to get better? Frankly, he's crap so far, and if things are as bad as they seem, why hasn't one of the other Architects stepped in?

Further, if the T/TG theory is right, as far as we've seen, Chidi didn't really do anything "wrong" in his previous life. He was just boring. And all he's done in the Good Place so far is help Eleanor and Jianyu.

(Also, Monica's apartment was rent-controlled and she was illegally subletting it from her grandmother, who lived in Florida now. That was right there in the text, Mr. Higher Being.)
posted by Etrigan at 8:35 AM on October 14, 2016 [12 favorites]

I doubt it. It also definitely looked like they were setting things up to imply that Chidi and Tahani are soulmates. But at this point it is almost obvious that everything in the Good Place can't be fully taken at face value.
posted by bove at 9:39 AM on October 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

(Also, Monica's apartment was rent-controlled and she was illegally subletting it from her grandmother, who lived in Florida now. That was right there in the text, Mr. Higher Being.)

I like that this show about liars in the afterlife that this was Michael not knowing this was the most outrageously unrealistic thing so far.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:09 AM on October 14, 2016 [11 favorites]

Eleanor is the architect.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 12:13 PM on October 14, 2016

Janet is the architect. Notice how she volunteered information that helped Eleanor avoid detection -- she is the agent by which Eleanor is allowed to be the one to out herself.
posted by amtho at 1:03 PM on October 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

So, wait, what, Michael isn't the Architect?!
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:54 PM on October 14, 2016

Michael is the architect of the neighborhood, but maybe Janet is the real Architect (or something like that).
posted by amtho at 6:49 PM on October 14, 2016

Chidi hasn't done anything wrong, but he has some confusing flaws. He has no sense of direction out in the wild, but is otherwise able to find his way around everywhere? He's "boring" and yet he's able to converse with others and make meaningful connections about the things that interest them? I won't buy that he's the architect; he is, however, the person I'd most likely to sit with and eat frozen yogurt. Also, his line about France made me laugh out loud.

I think this is all Eleanor's hospital dream; in the last episode, she'll come back to life and all the major players will be there, a la the end of The Wizard of Oz.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:22 PM on October 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

I love Chidi. Last week, there was that *gasp!* moment when the body language expert/marriage counselor couple said he was hiding something. And that could mean that he's A) hiding Eleanor's secret, poorly, or B) he has some larger secret of his own. That hasn't been addressed yet.

Also, there's a real connection between Chidi and Tahani and I wonder if that will become an issue.

I'm still thinking this is purgatory, a sort of finishing process that everyone must complete. And I don't think there's a hell at all -- everyone good and bad spends some time in a quaint, frozen yogurt intensive environment before the whole lot moves upstairs.

And Michael knows all but is totally bluffing.
posted by mochapickle at 10:30 PM on October 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

I find Chidi really interesting too. I think they are trying to build up a lot of mystery around him. From what we know so far, he was a decent person on earth, but did he actually help people or make the world better? It sounds like he spent most of his life studying ethics but not really interacting in the world in a meaningful way, either on a personal or societal level. I wonder if we'll get to see him grappling with that.

Random thoughts:
- I'm one of those people who can take ridiculous amounts of cartoon violence against people in movies but is gutted about any harm to a dog (I know) so this episode was really stressful for me. Somehow the reveal at the end managed to be funny rather than horrifying.

- I really love the Eleanor flashbacks. She was such a narcissistic sociopath, but she's written so well, and Kristen Bell is so charming, that she is a delight to watch.

- I was extremely tickled by all of Michael's pantomiming of dealing with his "messy" office, including sweeping invisible stress off the chair. That was one of several nods they made to sitcom cliches, but it was my favorite.
posted by lunasol at 12:11 PM on October 15, 2016 [10 favorites]

I don't think Chidi is boring, but I think he sounds like he was a boring writer, and he didn't exactly get out much or have a super exciting life. That's probably where "boring" comes from.

Eleanor has made such vast improvements in a handful of episodes. On the one hand, that seems fast. On the other hand, it's necessary and great to watch.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:59 PM on October 15, 2016

I'm waiting for the reveal that Eleanor is just remembering the wrong life and has actually been Veronica Mars all along. Veronica would 100% belong in The Good Place.

Joking aside, I'm loving this show. The way Danson plays Michael would be over the top if he were playing a different character, but it fits perfectly in context. And Kristen Bell is so great.
posted by dry white toast at 9:23 PM on October 16, 2016

I'm late, as usual, but I really enjoy this show. We watched the pilot on a lark (my wife likes Kristen Bell from Veronica Mars, a show I hated), but I'm glad we did. I found the Veronica Mars character a bit cloying, but Kristen Bell is eminently watchable here, especially in the flashbacks, which, as lunasol said, are delightful even though she's really, really awful. The Chidi character is great. I'm not sold on Etrigan's theory, but the show is better when he's onscreen. I also really enjoy Janet, who is so much smarter than she lets on. Could we get a Janet spinoff?
posted by kevinbelt at 8:53 AM on October 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

The "does not compute" (non monag cis het relationships) was pretty damned lame, despite bone thrown to same sex couples.

I do like Ted Danson's characterization.

I'm convinced that, in the show, there are different Good Places for lots of different ethos(es); a Beer Hall Valhalla certainly exists and a peaceful prosperous farming Valhalla also exists.

This one (Good Place) is for uptight "conservative" American evangelical older people. (and is being disrupted, which is ... interesting).

Where are all the old dead people anyway? Everyone gets reset to their peak (by what criteria)?
posted by porpoise at 7:32 PM on January 7, 2017

lunasol - I have similar "don't hurt the dog!" responses and I also thought the reveal was funny - Jabba the dog - after much stress. (I didn't think they'd do anything too bad to the dog because it doesn't seem that kind of show, but still.)
posted by rmd1023 at 2:30 PM on January 21, 2018

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