As the title of this week’s episode states, it’s all about Janet and Michael.
Janet is broken and Michael needs to fix it before raising any red flags with Vicky or his demon bosses.
Sounds easy enough, especially since there’s a Janet manual stuck somewhere up her nose. Oh, there it is!
Initially, Michael believes Janet is malfunctioning because he lied to her upon their first meeting; she really thought she was going to serve The Good Place. A lie will always eat you up inside.
But Janet deflects that point with some robot logic; if the lie was the main problem, why didn’t she start glitching on Day 1?
As viewers, we know she’s been helping Tahani and Jason with their relationship and that’s where the glitches first occurred.
When Michael watches Janet interact with the couple, he realizes that the LIE is the problem, but it isn’t because he was lying to her, it’s because she’s lying about being excited for Tahani and Jason.
Lying, feeling excited, loving someone – the one thing all these have in common is that they are “human emotions.” Emotions a ROBOT should not be experiencing.
With each reboot – and let’s be honest, there have been at least a thousand if not more – Janet became more and more sophisticated.
And finally, she became almost human, which is glitching with her internal programming.
Who knew Jason, the stupidest guy on the show, would be able to land two hot women. Not only is he “sleeping with Tahani after having sex,” he was also married to Janet in the very first iteration of Michael’s fake “good place.”
While Janet’s memory was wiped, a part of those feelings for Jason stuck around. And now she’s like this scorned ex who is being forced to watch the man she loves move on with his new squeeze. Even worse – she’s being asked to give them ADVICE.
Being practical, Janet determines that the only solution is to kill her. Press the self-destruct button and just get it over with Michael, she tells him.
But he can’t. As he starts reminiscing on their first day together in the Good Place, before the humans arrived, he starts getting all emotional.
At first, I thought the writers were going to have Michael reveal his true feelings for Janet and well, they sort of did. Michael admits that he cannot turn her into a marble and send her into space because she’s his friend.
Let’s dissect this a bit: Michael, a demon, is experiencing a human emotion towards a human-like robot. He feels pain and guilt about killing her because he actually likes and values her. God, that’s more of a man than half of these disgusting for lack of a better word, men, in Hollywood.
The premise of the show was to torture vile human beings, but instead, two very different creatures have embraced their human sides and picked up some emotions in the process. You can’t continue torturing someone when you have guilt, pride and grow attached to others. This will eventually cause issues and possibly unamsk Michael’s plan.
Michael knows he needs to find an alternative solution for this “very big problem” so he turns to the most problematic human he knows: Eleanor.
Upon hearing Janet’s story, she’s convinced she has a solution – dye your hair, listen to some No Doubt, get drunk, go dancing and get yourself a new man. That’s great advice…. for a human. But a robot? Well, let’s just say Janet actually takes Eleanor’s advice to heart and CREATES a human. I mean, how else would she get her hands on another man that wasn’t Michael?
Since it’s her first attempt at “making a human,” he does have a few glitches, but honestly, he seems like a pretty spot on replica of Jason, who earlier in the episode thought they got ROBBED while they were standing right there.
Janet’s ability to create a human gives birth to another string of problems. How advanced is this Janet? Is she a robot that’s about to take over the world? Will she become too big of a problem for Michael to handle? Do the demon bosses not have a mechanic for these Janets?
The Good Place Final Season Sneak Peek: Everything is Fine
All good things must come to an end, yes, even in the Good Place.
NBC’s comedic gem is preparing for its fourth and final season, and it’s bittersweet.
The first preview is more of a montage of the cast preparing to say goodbye, and it’s breaking our hearts despite Manny Jacinto (Jason) assuring us that “everything is fine.”
Tucked away amid a montage is a sneak peek of the final season that includes the creator of the Good Place, Eleanor, showing residents Janet’s impressive abilities.
That girl can do anything.
Eleanor tells Linda, who may or may not be one of the hand-chosen four residents, that she can ask Janet for anything her heart desire. To demonstrate, she asks for a “baby elephant made of pure light that tells you true secrets about the universe.”
And behold – a glowing elephant that reveals that “Shirley Temple killed JFK.”
It’s this kind of sense of humor that we’re going to miss the most about this show.
If you recall, Ted Danson’s Michael was forced to recreate the Good Place in an attempt to prove that humans are judged unfairly.
His goal was to show that humans can change for the better, and while the Bad Place agreed to his little experiment, their one condition was that they choose the four new participants. The intention was to make it as difficult for the Good Place to succeed in proving their point to the judge.
The first arrival was Chidi’s ex-girlfriend, Simone, which caused Eleanor (Kristen Bell) to wipe her boyfriend’s memory so that he wouldn’t ruin the experiment. Catch up on all previous reviews HERE!
Will he fall in love with Simone again or will he be drawn to Eleanor proving that true love exists?
Watch the first look below:
The Good Place Season 4 is set to premiere on Thursday, September 26, 2019.
The Secret of The Good Place’s Biggest Twist
The Good Place – Pandemonium (3×12)
Eleanor returns to the spotlight in the season finale after a few weeks of giving the most active role to Michael. It’s a clever way to bring Eleanor back to the forefront, having Michael rendered incapable of doing his job by fear. The plot point also pulls double duty by finishing off another arc for Michael.
Michael started the season hustling down to Earth to tinker with the humans. Later he tried to play the “snowplow” in their lives and incessantly tried to maintain the type of control he had in his neighborhood. Now here we are at the end of season three and he has willingly stepped into the background, ceasing control to someone more fit for the current situation.
Season three (the back half especially) pushed Michael to the forefront. He was the only character capable of truly moving the plot forward, but now with the new neighborhood built and his arc seemingly complete, we return to Eleanor.
I think this is a good move for the show. This year meandered a bit in places and lacked the singular focus of the past seasons. There were three distinct phases to the season, first the brain experiment, then the quest to improve other people, and finally the last ditch attempt to change the system. I definitely felt the back half of the season was stronger than the first, but I do feel the show needs to refocus itself in the upcoming fourth season, and placing Eleanor back at the forefront is a good start.
As an episode, though, tonight was quieter and more reserved than previous season finales. It didn’t actually feel too much like a finale to me personally, as this is the first time we will be continuing a story from a previous season instead of starting with a fresh timeline. This isn’t a knock, not every season finale has to be explosive of course, but it does highlight a point I made last week about emotional stakes.
I predicted Eleanor becoming the architect and Simone being one of the new residents, as many fans probably did. What I didn’t predict was Chidi requesting his memory be wiped. This greatly upped what I discussed last week – the emotional stakes.
This makes sense on a plot level and devastates the characters on an emotional one. Michael providing Chidi and Eleanor a look at their memories – ones they don’t even still have – was touching and ironic. It felt a little bit like the show was trying to sell me on their romance, but it still provided a nice showing of Michael’s affection for them. It’s not as if I don’t buy the chemistry between the two; I do. I just don’t feel we got to see their love develop over this season. Fortunately, because of the history of the show, there is more weight to their romance than is provided just by season three, which consequentially provides the proper weight for the tragedy of Chidi losing his memories of Eleanor.
It’s a heartbreaking idea. One lover forgets and the other doesn’t? Brutal. How is Eleanor going to handle this? As interested as I am to see where the experiment goes, I am much more invested in Eleanor and the rest of the gang interacting with the memory wiped Chidi. The emotional stakes provide a strong storyline moving forward.
And yet I have to admit that emotional stakes are not everything, and a series does need to follow through on its plot. The plot went almost nowhere tonight, only telling us the kinds of people the Bad Place has picked for the experiment, which lead us into Chidi’s memory wipe. As I said, not every season finale has to be Earth-shattering, but I do feel like a little momentum was lost with such an introspective episode. The final scene of Eleanor and Janet played like a teaching moment, and while Janet’s response to Eleanor’s question about love is touching, I hope the show has more on its mind for the endgame.
Season three felt like a bridge season. Shawn mentions chess in this episode and it’s an apt callout considering how much of this season was moving pieces into place. This will be fine with me if these moves lead to a spectacular fourth. It’ll be a long wait to find out!
- Disclaimer: My television flashed a flash flood warning to me during the entire sequence Eleanor introduces herself to John, so I missed all of that. I’ll rewatch tomorrow and see if the missed info affects my views on the episode!
- I thought John was a good start to the residents! He made me laugh and will play very well off everyone, and I hope I can see him in a conversation with Jason immediately in season four.
- Tahani has improved so much as a person. Her improvement highlights the tragedy of Chidi’s reset even more.
- We all knew Simone was coming back, right? I’m glad that wasn’t the big twist of the episode.
- Janet doesn’t have all the answers. But she is a friend.
- I love the score to The Good Place, but I really wish this season had mixed up the music with some new cues or stingers. A lot of shows get repetitive with their music going into a third season and it’s a small gripe I have with season three.
I love this show. It was tough for me to review this episode, though, because it was mostly a large set up for what will follow, and a lot of my opinion on this one will depend on how effectively season four capitalizes on what was presented here. The emotional stakes are higher than ever, as are the physical ones with humanity hanging in the balance. Hopefully those two things combined can bring out the best in the series.
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