REVIEW: The Good Place S3E5 – The Ballad of Donkey Doug

Last week on The Good Place, the Soul Squad was formed with an ambitious mission statement to save people who are headed on a path to the bad place. The group splits up in two this week. Jason, Tahani, and Michael head to Jacksonville, Florida to save Jason’s father, while the remaining three stay in Australia.

Jason, Tahani, and Michael arrive in Jacksonville via Randy “Macho Man” Savage International Airport. Tahani laments that Jason never mentions his father, to which he replies, “I talk about Donkey Doug all the time.” Yes, the Donkey Doug we’ve heard about the last two seasons is Jason’s father. That actually explains quite a bit. We meet Donkey Doug, who may be a worse version of Jason somehow.

THE GOOD PLACE — “The Ballad of Donkey Doug” Episode 306 — Pictured: (l-r) Jameela Jamil as Tahani, Ted Danson as Michael — (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

The squad tries to help Donkey Doug get his electrician’s license but he just wants to shill and market his new invention: a combo body spray and energy drink. The squad deems him a lost cause upon learning that he plans to rob three factories, one more than Jason is comfortable with. Instead they focus on saving Jason’s best friend Pillboi. The squad stops Pillboi from assisting with the robbery with a highly sophisticated and complex argument. They simply tell him not to go. Jason confronts Donkey Doug at the factory when the cops show up. Donkey Doug tells Jason to escape while he shows himself to the police, knowing he isn’t the best father, though he still may consider himself in the top 5. Donkey Doug seemingly surrenders to the police, but instead runs away with a scream of “BORTLES!” Jason tells Pillboi that Michael and Tahani are actual undercover NASA agents and that they need him to continue to work at the retirement home and leave crime behind. The two friends depart after their overly long handshake, unable to stop the tears.

Chidi, having requested a sabbatical to help the Soul Squad, is instead fired and seeks to break up with Simone, something he deems necessary after learning the truth last week. Eleanor and Janet help him via a virtual reality simulation. There’s a montage of scenarios including Eleanor pretending to be Simone to mess with him, one where Eleanor breaks up for him but instead finds herself attracted to Simone, and one where Chidi decides the best way to break up with her is by proposing. Sidenote: I think it’s officially canon that Eleanor is bisexual. Ultimately, Chidi breaks up with Simone and she accepts it, even saying that Chidi has become a bit odd and thinks it’s for the best.

Later, the entire squad is in Budapest to help Tahani with her sister. Eleanor congratulates Jason on getting some closure with his father, something she wishes she could have done before her parents passed away. Michael then reveals that Eleanor’s mother faked her death, which infuriates Eleanor.

As I mentioned, Donkey Doug being Jason’s father really makes so much sense. It was nice to see the two get a bit of closure to their relationship, as well seeing how Jason has (minimally) changed. I understand the necessity of writing Simone out, but it’s too bad. The character really fit in to the show. I hope we see her again. Next week seems to indicate another split of the group. I hope that Chidi doesn’t go with Eleanor and instead stays with Tahani and whomever else in Budapest. It’ll be good to have a shakeup of sorts.

Highlights:

Janet making her own “bing” sounds since she doesn’t have her powers.

Tahani fully supporting Jason. Those two have really grown as a pair regardless of how you view their status.

Seeing a Jacksonville taxi be a monster truck that crushes other smaller taxis.

Michael’s utter joy and wonder at seeing the monster truck.