Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Good Place 1.09: “…Someone Like Me as a Member”

“I truly believe the Good Place is where you belong. You’re part of our team.”
- Michael

So, we have reached the fall finale. When last we left our gang, the folks from the Bad Place have come to collect our Eleanor and Michael isn’t letting them take her. But now they’ve revealed that they have the “good” Eleanor, too and I suspect now that she is around, Chidi may be drawn to her. Well, before we even get to Chidi and the other Eleanor, we learn quite a bit of interesting facts about the two women. They shared more than just a name in life. They both died at the exact same time in the same parking lot being hit by the same truck. The Eleanor who has been in the Bad Place stepped in to try and save our Eleanor. And apparently the Architects don’t know what people look like on Earth, they are just little red dots on a map. So I guess it makes perfect sense how the two Eleanors were swapped to the wrong places.

Micheal is going to try and fight to keep our Eleanor in the Good Place, but that means negotiating with Trevor and his Bad Place crew. I’ll be honest; I don’t know why Trevor even has a crew. I guess to be foils for our characters but they are all pretty terrible. They’re basically annoying hipster types and I just want to smack them all upside the head. Michael’s first attempt at negotiating fails miserably. Because he’s never experienced negative emotions and had to deal with bad people, he thinks offering something wholesome like a unicorn as a trade for our Eleanor will work. Trevor pretty much traumatizes Michael with what he’ll do to said unicorn so Michael goes to Tahani for help.

Meanwhile, our Eleanor is seriously getting jealous as she watches Chidi and the other Eleanor connect instantly. I mean, they are technically soulmates so that would make sense that they are connected and just seem to get each other and fit perfectly. The other Eleanor loves the house and even reveals there’s a button the ledge that creates stairs to get into the bedroom. The other Eleanor describes all the terrible things she was subjected to in the Bad Place and Chidi suggests they get something to eat and so the pair of them, along with our Eleanor and Trevor end up at the Good Plate. Trevor is making the experience as unpleasant as possible cause he’s just a huge dick like that and wants Eleanor to see what it’s like where she’s going. But it only serves to make our Eleanor more irritated. We do learn that her parents split when she was 8 and in flashbacks we see that she’s never been a team player. In high school she basically announced to everyone that didn’t want to join any of their groups because they were all lame. Then as she got older, she just became contrary for the hell of it, until she ended up at the job she was at when she died. The other Eleanor was an orphan whose adoptive parents died at age 4.

Elsewhere, Michael thinks hosting a party at Tahani’s place is a good idea. He thinks that giving the crew from the Bad Place some nice food and drink will placate them and then they will respect them. Yeah, that’s pretty much the opposite of what happens. The crew walks all over Michael. They make him dance uncomfortably and then they do some weird karaoke (it isn’t even that because they are just lip synching to horrible historical speeches). But eventually, the crew passes out from a combination of too much alcohol and snorting the concept of time. Eleanor has a chance at that point to give Michael a pep talk. He needs to remember that he is smart and that he needs to take charge to make them listen to him.

As Chidi and the other Eleanor go off to explore the neighborhood, our Eleanor remains at the restaurant and starts drinking heavily with Trevor. At that point she seems to agree to go with him back to the Bad Place (even though Michael has said he wants her to stay and so does Chidi). The next morning she wakes up in the bath tub with a massive hang over. Apparently the bad crew made Janet turn off the hangover filter. She’s still recovering from her reboot and has to ask Jason for assistance on what a jalapeno popper is. He gets excited that he’s able to help and even gives her a hug.

The next round of negotiations is about to begin and Chidi promises to stand by our Eleanor. After all they are friends and a team. I think it’s important that he’s not abandoning her now that his real soul mate is there. I still think Chidi can be kind of annoying in his super ethical persona but he was mostly toned down this episode. When Trevor shares that Eleanor agreed to go back to the Bad Place she stands up for herself and tells him that she isn’t the same person as she was when she was living (or when she died). Thanks to the people in the Good Place, she’s becoming better and she wants to be like them. She wants to stay. And Michael actually grows a pair and tells Trevor he’s going to give the Bad Place crew nothing. They are keeping our Eleanor and if she doesn’t make the cut, then the Bad Place can have her but until then they are leaving without either Eleanor. Michael was pretty impressive in that scene I have to admit.

And because we couldn’t end the fall finale without a twist and cliffhanger, Jason is eating some junk food and about to slip into his bud hole when he finds Tahani sitting in it. She realizes now that he isn’t who he said he was and that she sees now that he’s been lying to her the whole time. She’s going to figure out who he is and what he’s doing there as ominous music plays. Something tells me the gang from the Bad Place may be making a return trip sooner than they thought.

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