Hello there, fellow Good Place Geeks, and welcome to episode 3 of the Goodcast!
Hello there, fellow Good Place Geeks, and welcome to episode 3 of the Goodcast! We're Vivian and Shifra, and we're here to tell you all about Chapter 50 of the Good Place on NBC, titled "Mondays, Am I Right?" If you're new to the show, be sure to check out episode 1, where we give you a recap of all the seasons so far, and if you didn't catch chapter 49, head over to episode 2 for our summary and analysis. As always, there will be some spoilers. If you're fine with that, sit back and relax!
The Bad Place demons haven’t tortured in weeks, and they're invited to a special meeting, where Michael announces that he and Shawn are planning to work together and redesign the Bad Place. Instead of physical torture, humans take psychological tests targeted toward their worst traits on Earth until they pass with a full score and proceed to the Good Place. As Michael walks them through this new mode of psychological torture with Tahani as a sample subject, Vicky shows up on the scene and instantly succeeds at replicating the experiment that Michael envisions. Plagued by his own insecurity and distrust for Vicky, he kicks her off the team. However, Janet and Michael convince him that even though Vicky might be too good at helping him achieve his current goal, he'll still have a purpose afterward. Michael convinces Vicky to rejoin the team by staging her fake takeover of the project, ultimately giving her full creative control.
Then comes my favorite part of the entire episode: Vicky and Michael stage a coup with laughably bad acting so that Michael can give the project to Vicky without suspicion. Vicky almost leads Michael into a West Side Story dance battle, but Michael runs out of the room and cuts off the scene because he's too embarrassed. The bad acting works, because the other architects are convinced, but I'm still very sad that we didn't get to see the dance battle.
Meanwhile, Eleanor and Chidi start reading the files of everyone in the universe to find the first 1,000 people suitable for the project, but they become insecure of whether they're really "good" enough for each other. Eleanor fears Chidi will disapprove of her selfish actions on Earth, but Chidi reassures her that he loves her and appreciates her growth, especially in the conditions that she grew up in. However, Chidi becomes insecure that Eleanor might eventually get bored of him.
And then is my favorite part of the episode, where Jason tricks Chidi into giving himself advice. When Chidi reveals to Jason that he feels he and Eleanor are too different for her to truly enjoy his company for eternity, Jason pretends to be hurt by the idea that he might be too boring for Janet. Chidi later finds Jason and comforts him. In the words of Chidi, "The relationship you've built is wonderful. She knows you and loves you, and that's all that matters." Within seconds, Jason bursts into laughter and explains that Chidi already knew the truth about his relationship with Eleanor; he just needs to tell himself what he just told Jason. Personally, I live for the moments when Jason's wisdom shines through— it's a delightful complement to his usual gags.
At the end of the episode, the squad is seen 1.28 Jeremy Bearimy's into the future, where their new system is off to a great start. Then, Michael tells the four that they've made it to the Good Place by saving all of humanity, and they ride off in a golden hot air balloon.
At the risk of being sappy for a second, I think this episode showed us two very important things. First, everybody goes through periods of not feeling good enough, like when Michael doesn't want his project to succeed so quickly because he fears that he'll lose his purpose, or when Chidi and Eleanor each don't believe they're good enough for the other. But ultimately, we all matter and are loved! Second, like the gang of humans proved with their ascent in the hot air balloon, we really can become better even if we start out with flaws. So if you're trying to break a bad habit, use this episode as motivation that it's entirely possible to help others and, no matter the stumbles along the way, truly become a better person :)
What's great about the Good Place is that despite it being a genuinely entertaining show at the surface level, the writing is also packed with really interesting ideological commentary. There's an overarching message of emphasizing self-love and self improvement, but I also appreciated the small detail that Tahani adds in at the beginning of the episode when explaining the new system to the Bad Place demons. While they initially resist change, claiming that "that's the way it's always been done," Tahani quickly explains that it's hardly a proper excuse. In her words, "'It's the way it's always been done' is an excuse that's been used for hundreds of years to justify racism and misogyny."
Unconfident Chidi came back for a second and it was slightly scary — maybe that's a tactic the writers will use going forward. Everything seems perfect right now, with the humans getting into the Good Place, but maybe they want to worry us by having each character's flaws creep back in here and there.The characters have certainly grown, but it's totally realistic for someone to slip back into an old habit, and it shouldn't be taken as a sign of weakness.
I think there's been a lot of character development in this episode, with Michael and Chidi, but also Vicky and Shawn from the Bad Place. They seem to be fully on board with the new plan, and I'm honestly surprised at the few objections that they've brought up. It's very uncharacteristic of Shawn to simply sit back and watch people move into the good place. Can we trust him in these final episodes? Can we trust Vicky? Can we trust the regular demons? I mean, the new system has already come to fruition, but it seemed like a rather quick switch to me. What do you predict going into the last few episodes, Shifra? Is it neatly wrapping up, or should we still be on edge? I mean, they're in the Good Place already.
On a lighter note, this episode was filled with lots of adorable references to everyday human life. Is there going to be a hilariously bad pop song parody in every episode? Last week we had Judge Gen's "Erase the Earth" and this week we were graced with Janet's "Simply the Test! Better than all the rest!" I don't have guesses as to what next week's song will be but I hope we see it. Also, when Janet is trying to convince Michael of his self-worth, she admits that she was trying to learn something once and had to ask Alexa. I think I would much rather have a Janet than an Alexa, if I could choose. Me too. Vicky also talked about going to ice-cold yoga, in an apparent nod to the trend of hot yoga.
They also stuck in a great reference to the classic "A few seconds later" or "A few decades later" Spongebob transition that's now become a pop culture meme. I really loved the Good Place's spin on the addition of "1.28 Jeremy Bearimy's later" as a transition into the future!
And now, drumroll please *cue Vivian drumroll* it's time for the tweet segment of the Goodcast! Before ending for the week, we want to grace you with a couple of our favorite tweets about Thursday's episode. Number one is from user @lilyphanstuff, who said, "People need to stop being mean to Jason.. He reads some books! Hop off! Best character ever!" I agree — our favorite Floridian proved that he knows his Romeo and Juliet! Only Jason Mendoza could slip in a reference to the Montagues and Capulets in such a funny way. And number two is from @thegoodplacenbc itself, concerning chainsaw bears, which the Bad Place architects seem to be obsessed with as a torture device, despite Michael's insistence that they don't worked. Along with a gif of Tahani coming face-to-face with one, they wrote, "So a chainsaw bear walks into a party…" Absurd torture tactics make for good joke material.
So, despite what seemed like hundreds of diversions along the way, it looks like we'll finally see the REAL Good Place next week. Until then, we can only hope that there's some good stuff in store for all of us. On that note, we're signing off. Be sure to follow @mbhssco on Twitter and keep up with at at scoop.mbhs.edu to catch the next installment of the Goodcast! Thanks for listening.
Vivian Li. Hi! I love all things journalism, art, and the environment. When I'm not working on an article, I enjoy browsing fashion, baking, running, and reading. I'm a huge health nut and I love researching new recipes. At Blair, I'm on the debate and DECA team … More »
Shifra Dayak. Hi, I'm Shifra! If I'm not writing articles or doing homework, I'm probably making music, browsing through dog pictures, eating Thai food, or napping. More »