REVIEW: The Good Place S3E6 – A Fractured Inheritance

Last week on The Good Place, Jason saved his friend’s soul and Eleanor learned her mom was still alive. Michael and Eleanor head to Tarantula Springs, Nevada to save Eleanor’s mother’s soul from the Bad Place. More realistically, Eleanor wants to confront her mother about faking her death. Michael tells her of the circumstances that caused her mom to do such a thing. Donna Shellstrop, played again by Leslie Grossman (who is 9 years older than Kristen Bell according to Wikipedia), is with a nice respectable architect named Dave and is acting as stepmother to his daughter Patricia. Eleanor is determined to find a sign that Donna, or Diana Tremaine as she’s known now, hasn’t truly changed despite all evidence to the contrary. Diana is running for PTA secretary and wins by a significant majority. Eleanor is still skeptical, leading Michael to ask why she wouldn’t accept the change. Eleanor confesses that she can’t because then it means that Donna could have been a good mother all along, but wasn’t motivated to do so for Eleanor. Ultimately, Eleanor discovers a wad of cash Donna has stored away in case she has to bail, but Eleanor knows it’s just a desperate cling to her old life, not wanting to fully accept that she’s happy and loves her life and family.

Tahani goes to Budapest with Chidi, Jason, and Janet to save her sister Kamilah. They visit an art museum where Kamilah has a new exhibit, which is her making omelets for…a reason. Tahani apologizes for their rift, which is not accepted, to Tahani’s chagrin. Chidi attempts to bridge the gap by talking to Kamilah himself, but instead is as taken with her as everyone else when she “makes his fears hers” (spoiler alert: it doesn’t last long). Tahani takes an axe to Kamilah’s table, leading to Tahani and Chidi (for some reason) to be handcuffed in the museum. While staring at Kamilah’s paintings, Tahani states that they’re all not up to her previous standard. Her parents wouldn’t be proud of them nor of Kamilah having a wing of the museum dedicated to her. She comes to the realization that the rift was all because of their parents, and that all of the paintings were about them. The two sisters reconcile, with Kamilah citing Tahani in a new piece titled “A Fractured Inheritance.” We see that the competitive nature between the two hasn’t fully vanished, though.

On the ride back from Nevada, Eleanor laments that even though her mom is redeemed, it doesn’t change the damage she did to Eleanor. It was the reason why she couldn’t fully get close to another human, let alone fall in love. Michael drops another bombshell that in one of the reboots, Eleanor and Chidi fell in love and weren’t hesitant to say so.

Last week I stated my hope that Chidi doesn’t go with Eleanor to Nevada and I got my wish. Better yet, for me, is how Chidi was involved in the Tahani story, which I believe is the first time they shared any significant scenes since season 1. This episode wasn’t a super funny one, though it did have its moments, but intentionally so. It was an exploration of Eleanor and Tahani’s characters and how affected they were by their respective parents. Both reconciliations this week were very well done, and not unrealistic. In the episode’s tag it’s very obvious that the road back to Chidi and Eleanor has begun.

Highlights:

Jason immediately identifying a painting of circles as boobs and side boobs.

Michael and Dave bonding over architecture.

Michael’s attempts to be “normal” in front of Dave.

Jason and Janet in the museum.

William Jackson Harper’s delivery of “All my fears are mine again.”

Donna’s new identity of Diana Tremaine being the same fake name that Eleanor used.