REVIEW: The Good Place S3E8 – Don’t Let The Good Place Pass You By

In the pilot episode of The Good Place, Michael introduced Eleanor and the audience to the character of Doug Forcett, someone who correctly predicted how the point system works to get in either the Good or Bad Place. After two seasons and some episodes we’re finally introduced to him.

In an opening that is purposefully an exact copy of Desmond’s introduction from season 2 of Lost, we’re immediately shown Doug in the current day. Doug, played by the great Michael McKean, is having a routine morning when a knock at the door brings in Michael and Janet into the episode. Posing as two reporters for a newspaper, Michael and Janet Scoop, looking to do a human interest story on Doug, they’re seeking how to bring the mission of the Soul Squad to the next level.

However, what they find is a man so obsessed with going to the Good Place that he’s willing to sacrifice any real happiness. He only eats organic food (lentils and radishes), drinks his urine that is recycled through a filtration system, and is excruciatingly kind to animals including a snail. He doesn’t name them because they may already have a name. He grows radishes because the garden was already there and it would be mean to move them. There are several more examples, including being a willing servant to a teenage douche, all with the singular purpose of getting into the Good Place. Doug refuses to partake in any selfish activity, correctly noting that there’s an accountant accumulating his points. Janet brings up the happiness pump, a criticism of Utilitarianism, that states that pure selflessness is at one’s own detriment and happiness. When Doug forgets Michael’s name he does several “bad” things that cause him to have a nervous breakdown, including killing a snail. He eventually walks to Edmonton to donate to a snail charity.

The four humans are at a local Calgary bar where they’re all exhausted from all the travel, especially Chidi. Jason helps him unwind by teaching him Jacksonville style pool, where no sticks are used, you can use any ball with your hands, and award yourself any point quantity you want. Chidi takes to it immediately, and is better at it than Jason, awarding himself 5 million points to Jason’s 1000. It’s one of the few times we’ve seen Chidi unwind and relax completely.

Eleanor confesses to Tahani what she saw last episode with her and Chidi’s relationship. She’s at a loss of what to do but Tahani, under the belief that she and Eleanor were always best friends in any reboot, points out that Eleanor wouldn’t bring it up unless she was in love with Chidi in the here and now. Eleanor thanks Tahani for the good advice and says she made a hot centaur.

In the meantime numerous demons, including my favorites Bambadjan and VICKI, infiltrate the bar. Eleanor suggests leaving, but Jason very, very quickly puts together a Molotov cocktail and almost sets the bar on fire with his trademark battle cry, but the demons prevent this when Shawn walks in. He waits for Michael who eventually returns to the bar. After some trash talking, Janet gets bored and immediately starts a bar fight with the demons. Unsurprisingly Janet, who knows everything, kicks everyone’s ass. In the midst of this Eleanor confesses what she saw to Chidi (and knocks Vicki out without hesitation) and that she may be in love with him here as well. Shawn and Michael open and close a bunch of doors to the afterlife, which conveniently gives Janet her powers back, and all the demons are sent back to the afterlife. Shawn suggests that Doug isn’t meant for the Good Place and also has a hunch on something that we don’t hear because Michael pushes him through a door.

Michael states that he’s realized that the point system may be flawed and needs to talk to the accountant with Janet. He wants the four humans to stay in Calgary but they’re intercepted by other demons. Janet suggests hiding out in her void; she isn’t sure if they’ll survive but going into the void will definitely end their lives on Earth, essentially killing their mortal selves.

This episode packed a lot into 21 minutes. It’s taken two years but finally the flaw in the point system has been pointed out on camera. Many have pointed out just how flawed the concept was from season 1, so it’s nice to have that acknowledgment. In the humans we saw two pairings that haven’t been given much over the course of the show in Eleanor & Tahani and Jason & Chidi, particularly the latter. Chidi has perhaps never been so relaxed and un-rigid. Jason’s game has no rules or structure and Chidi’s willingness to play exhibited a real growth in character for him. More of that please.

I enjoyed seeing all the demons, including VICKI (can you tell she’s my favorite?), but they were all used very briefly and had very little lines. I did laugh at Chris still being obsessed with going to the gym.

Highlights: Everything.

We’re now going on a two to three week hiatus because of Thanksgiving and other stupid reasons.