TV Reviews

The Good Place recap: Suspicious Minds

A visit from the Bad Place sows the seeds of distrust in Eleanor’s mind.

Chapter 43: Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy

Starring Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy Carden, Manny Jacinto and Ted Danson

We don’t have to wait long for answers over who it was travelling towards the Good Place. After a disastrous game of magic pictionary, Glenn from the Bad Place appears at the train station, with news: Michael is not Michael, but rather Vicky disguised as Michael. Or so he claims.

Originally, Eleanor believes Michael over Glenn, believing that this subterfuge is related to the problems that they have been having with the experiment. She decides to play along with the ruse in an attempt to expose the true game that the Bad Place is playing. Glenn’s proof isn’t very conclusive, as his pictures of Vicky in a Michael suit could just be Michael in the first place. Glenn claims that he was responsible for making the Michael suit, though he has no idea what it is to be used for, other than for goading Michael at the end of last season.

Michael reveals that he was called by the Bad Place, but lied about, completely shattering Eleanor’s trust in him over his lies. Eleanor starts to believe that Michael’s strange behaviour might be behind their lack of success, such as his desire to have a slumber party instead of working after the disastrous pictionary incident. When questioning Michael, he reveals that his breakdown was real and that he lied to Eleanor about pretending. With his web of lies continuing to unfold, the dwindling remnants of Eleanor’s faith dissipate.

Glenn reveals that the switch with Michael must have been when Chris – the demon who posed as Linda – was put back on the train to the Bad Place, as he then saw Shawn and Chris celebrating a sabotage when they returned. Eleanor believes that Michael’s dismissing of the weirdness of Linda breaking so quickly is indicative that he is Vicky, so they insist that Michael remove his suit, as either he will be Vicky underneath or whatever demon Michael actually is.

Michael, however, refuses to take his own suit off, saying that the rest will never think of him the same way again. Apparently, he’s a six thousand foot tall fire squid with tentacles, teeth, fire, a long neck, smell and a lot of juice (so much juice).

Janet has perfected a lie detector for demons. When they use it on Glenn, he explodes all over Mindy’s living room. Michael reveals that Glenn isn’t actually dead, but will rather reform over the coming months and go back through the entire cycle of demon growth, which apparently goes like this: “larva, slug monster, spooky little girl, teenage boy, giant ball of tongues, social media CEO, and then finally, demon”. Eleanor does not think that Glenn’s demise is a solution, as she is still faced with not trusting Michael.

While out on a walk, she encounters Chidi, who is freaking out over the pictionary incident in which he accidentally created a deformed horse due to his picture. Eleanor uses her knowledge of Chidi to get him to eat and make him feel much better. When she returns, she indicates that she needs to call the judge to reset the experiment, with different humans and Chidi back on their side, as she is unable to trust Michael and that will ruin the entire experiment.

Michael says that he is going to blow himself up, to get himself out of the picture, as having Chidi as the subject is the best way of being successful. Before he is able to, however, Jason interrupts. He puts Mindy and Derek’s magic sex cuffs on Janet, revealing that she is actually Bad Janet. Jason knew because when he called her “girl”, Janet did not respond with “not a girl”. He realised when Michael said there was nothing he could say to convince Eleanor that he was truly Michael, which reminded Jason that there is something Janet could say to convince him that she was truly herself, and she didn’t say it. Apparently, Bad Janet marbleised the real Janet when Chris was being returned to the Bad Place.

Tahani points out that this explains the spate of bad luck they have had, such as her suggestions with John, as well as breaking up with Jason and generally being out of character (as noted by me for a couple of episodes, you are welcome). According to Bad Janet, Janet is in the Bad Place being tortured.

Jason and Michael head off to the Bad Place to rescue Janet, while Tahani and Eleanor stay behind to continue the experiment.

Mark’s Maundering Musings

Well, we called it! Janet wasn’t actually Janet the whole time! This is great news, and makes complete sense, considering the sheer amount of snark that she has been mustering up these past few weeks. Also, the concept of Janet being overwhelmed by running an entire village seems strange, considering that’s what she was doing in the original Good Place in Season 1.

Jason being pivotal in this realisation is also adorable. The fact that he noticed something so simple in Janet’s demeanour that may not otherwise have been picked up is majestic, and his very earnest and sincere “not a girl” at the end is so sweet.

Michael was similarly vulnerable in this episode, again demonstrating just how much his friends mean to them, not wanting them to view him differently.

I am sincerely hoping that they get Janet back soon. I’m with Tahani: I can’t bear the thought of her being tortured in the Bad Place.

Brent is also still the worst, managing to be racist and sexist in the space of the whole minute he is in the episode. He is also apparently constantly harassing Janet, asking to discuss her career, though he has stopped saying “Daddy likey”. So there’s that.

Line delivery of the week

I know how you feel, dog. I was yelled at my whole life. People were always like, “You didn’t pay for that.” and “How do you plead?” “He’s flatlining. Clear!”

Jason

Michael: Argh! I’m very upset about this development!

Eleanor: I’m serious, man. This is happening.

Michael: Oh. I’m very upset about this development.

Eleanor: What goes best with pig urine?

Jason: Coconut rum.

Jason: I know what to do. It’s like what that guy who blew up said…Shawn’s a bully. And sometimes the only thing a bully understands is a punch in the mouth. I’m gonna go down there, I’m gonna punch him in the mouth and I’m gonna get Janet back.

Eleanor: Sounds like somebody has a plan.

Jason: Dope. Uh, where is he? What’s the plan?

Michael: Let’s go get our girl.

Jason: Not a girl.

Tahani’s Name-Drop of the Week

Well, he could be our friend. Or he might be a lying trickster who just looks like our friend. The classic Mary Kate Olsen.

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