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The Best Episode of The Good Place Is… “Best Self”

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I have a pet peeve.

I can’t stand it when people turn a TV show on to play in the background. It eats away at me that they aren’t putting their full attention to the piece of art on the screen, and are missing jokes or character moments because they’re browsing the internet or doing something awful like playing with their cat.

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                        Example.

My annoyance isn’t fair or justified. Everyone is allowed to enjoy whatever content they want in whatever way they want. No matter how you enjoy something, odds are someone else will enjoy it differently. That can be hard to accept; we tend to want other people to extract the same level of enjoyment out of something as we extract ourselves, and we assume we know the best way to do this.

Like when you take your best friend to your favorite burger place, where they have the best toppings and secret sauce, and your friend gets a plain, topping free, sauceless burger.

“No,” you say as politely as you can mustard, “you have to try the secret sauce. You need to get the whole experience.”

“No thanks,” your friend says, in the least aggressive way possible.

Why did I even bring you here?

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                        Tahani’s face here accurately portrays my emotions.

This is how I feel when someone makes a grocery list while watching TV. This is how I feel almost every time someone watches The Good Place Season 2 Episode 10 “Best Self,” even if they’re paying attention

***Spoilers for The Good Place Below***

 

The Good Place is hilarious. Because it’s funny and charming, it makes a great background show to throw on while you’re dusting your living room.

It has a unique setting and plot as well, which also makes it fantastic viewing for those who like to sit and pay more attention.

But there is a third layer to the series. It’s deep and philosophic and is available to be analyzed and digested by those who want to do so.

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                        Also known as being Chidi.

I want to do so. To my devastation, my friends don’t always want to do so. So I’m going to do it for them!

“Best Self” is the most deeply human episode of television I’ve ever seen. Peel away the clever jokes and gags, and the next layer of the intricate plot, and you get to a core that is all of life packed into 22 minutes.

The episode starts with reformed demon Michael telling our heroes Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason that they are finally all going to head to the real Good Place together. The four humans have one last round of fro-yo together and fantasize about the heaven that awaits them.

Watch The Good Place Best Self Right Here

Once their magic balloon arrives, they have to pass the magic gate that only opens if they’ve become the best version of themselves. Of course, Chidi can’t get on because he isn’t sure that he’s his best self.

Then Michael confesses that he lied, that the magic balloon won’t work even if they all pass the gate, and he has no idea how to get them into the actual Good Place. They’re stuck in the neighborhood, and by morning the Bad Place demons will come and get them, dragging them into an eternal hell of torment and torture. No matter what they have done or what they do now, they’re screwed.

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                          We’ve all had this moment.

That’s life.

Every single living organism on this planet, in this universe, is screwed. No matter what it knows or does, each living thing is going to eventually die, and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about that. In this way, every living thing is equal; no life is better or more valuable than any other life because, in the end, it won’t be life at all.

Most life, though, can’t actually perceive or understand the finality of our dooms, and our ability to do so is what separates us and makes us definitively human. It’s the same reason Michael couldn’t truly understand humans until he understood death in “Existential Crisis.” This ability to understand the finality of life is what allows us to truly live.

The Best Forking Gifts to Buy a “Good Place” Fan 

So that’s what the humans decide to do on their last day. Eleanor orders a ton of alcohol from Janet, and they begin to party. The friends dance, get drunk, talk about their feelings and their fears, and take comfort in the only thing they can take comfort in; each other.

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC

If you just watch this episode as another chapter in a story about a crazy afterlife that houses demons who have holiday weekend Ikea as an entire department of torture, it’s honestly a little boring. Very little happens, as basically the cast just hangs out in a single location for 22 minutes, making it a bottle episode. It’s fine, but it’s no “Dance, Dance, Resolution,” with its insane 300 mph pace, or “Michael’s Gambit” with an incredible twist.

Analyze a little deeper, though, and you’ll find an episode of television that perfectly encapsulates human existence.

The unrealistic hope they display at the start as they fantasize about the perfect Good Place, the heartbreak Eleanor feels when Chidi dreams about meeting his soulmate, the pain Michael experiences when he disappoints his friends after revealing he lied to them about getting into the Good Place; the range of emotions captured by these characters in such a short time reminds you of the rollercoaster that is human emotion.

The humanity doesn’t end there. The silly jabs at each other during their toasts are funny character jokes, but also a display of how we cope with our own and each others’ faults. They’re a display of love between people who have shared the trials of (after)life together. There is a comfort we feel when someone truly knows us well enough to point out the specifics of our personalities, and what is human life but trying to create that kind of bond with others?

And then there is Michael’s Human Starter Kit. Made an honorary human, the demon Michael gratefully opens his gift and pulls out car keys, band-aids, a stress ball, and a Dr. Oz diet book; all “garbage that [he has] no real use for.”

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                        Who doesn’t love never using their stress balls?

And yet he does find a use for them. By assigning meaning to the objects as they pertain to people and as they relate to him as a gift from his friends, Michael finds value in something meaningless. “Welcome to being human,” Eleanor tells him.

The episode immediately shifts to the friends doing the same thing, as they create meaning in their last day by dancing and having fun with each other. They take what’s left of their lives and they live it. Tomorrow they will be doomed forever, but for now, they are free. Free to laugh, free to cry, free to feel, and free to dance.

In the end, after discussing what their personal Bad Place will be (a nice contrast to the start of the episode where they discuss their Good Place), the friends decide to do the most human thing of all.

“Attempt something futile, with a ton of unearned confidence, and fail spectacularly.”

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                        Go us.

We cannot win. We can’t escape our own doom, and we can’t create some transcendent meaning to our lives. All of our attempts at it will fail, but my goodness, we are going to keep trying.

“Best Self” packs in so much about human existence and reminds us that even if we don’t have a larger purpose, we’re responsible for creating the meaning in our lives, and we do so through each other. We can’t stop the end from coming, but we can make the time we have left worth something to us and the people around us. We can find meaning in the void.

“In a way, the Good Place was inside the Bad Place all along.”

My Good Place is shutting the lights off and over analyzing everything I see on screen, but everyone’s Good Place is different, and no one’s way is right. So if you want to do the dishes while watching TV, go for it. Have it on while you vacuum the floor, put together the furniture you got over the holiday weekend at Ikea, and cook up a plain, topping free, sauceless burger. It doesn’t matter, we’re all doomed anyway, so watch TV, and live, in whatever way makes you feel alive.

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC

Be your “Best Self” and watch here!


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Netflix

Who Will Die On ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4B?

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Who Dies on Stranger Things Season 4B?

Stranger Things Season 4 was quite a bloodbath, but we haven’t seen anything yet.

While Vecna claimed a handful of victims in the first eight episodes of the season, none of them were part of the core cast. 

That’s all about to change come Season 4B, which does not go easy on our Hawkins best and brightest. 

The final two episodes — both feature-length in duration, clocking in at over two hours a piece — have been teased by Joseph Quinn (Eddie Munson) as absolute “carnage.”

Noah Schnapp (Will Byers) has been doing the press rounds and hinting at a major character death, and truthfully, all signs point to Steve Harrington. 

Think about it: His death would have the largest emotional impact. He’s a fan favorite, he’s the “dad” of the group often taking on the protector role and keeping the kids safe when their parents are literally nowhere to be found, he’s an overall good guy, and he has so much momentum and chemistry with Nancy right now, it’s insane.

Per Insider, Joe Keery’s character wasn’t supposed to survive the first season in the Duffer Brother’s original plan, but they simply couldn’t let him go. 

And it’s exactly why his death would destroy a whole fandom, crumbling them at the core. It’s a death that will hit both fans and characters equally as hard. Some might argue that Steve is the glue that holds it all together, never taking himself too seriously but also going boldly right into the danger zone.

Matt Duffer didn’t exactly confirm that Steve would be the big death of the season, but he also didn’t deny it either.

“If he’s going to die, it’s not going to be from the bat bite,” Matt told Variety, which is almost reassuring. He did acknowledge everyone is “worried about Steve,” so maybe his death is too obvious.

If we’re all prepared for it, it won’t be as effective, right?

Who Dies on Stranger Things Season 4B?

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Eduardo Franco as Argyle, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, and Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

In that case, could it be Nancy Wheeler? At the end of season 4, Nancy is stuck in the Upside Down in a trance as Vecna explains his origin story to her. It’s unclear why he chose to be honest with Nancy, but that’s a good journalist for you — getting the story even when it could cost her her life.

Of course, Steve is in the Upside Down with Nancy, so I don’t think she’ll die there just yet. There’s no way he’d leave her behind without bringing her to safety. But if Nancy is already connected to Vecna, that means she’s running out of time and unless she can find a foothold in the real world to keep her safe a la Max’s “Running Up That Hill,” she might just be his next victim.

Other possibilities:

Dr. Benner or Dr. Owens — Both of them care for Eleven and want to help restore her powers so that she can defeat this evil once and for all. But the FBI is coming for them, and they don’t take kindly to betrayal. I can see them sacrificing themselves to help Eleven escape for the greater good. Owens would be slightly more upsetting because Brenner might just deserve it.

Eddie — Eddie is a fan favorite, and if look at the show’s track record of killing off the lovable, new guy, well, it doesn’t bode well for the newcomer. He’s already been to the Upside Down, and based on the teaser, we know he returns there for some epic guitar solo. Maybe that’s his triumphant moment before death?

Jonathan — The only way that Nancy and Steve could work is if Jonathan is out of the picture. And while it’s cruel to kill him off for the sake of another relationship, there’s also not much that Jonathan is actually contributing to the storyline anymore aside from getting high with his friend Argyle. His death, however, would shake the core group as he’s Will’s brother and rock.  

Eleven — It’s unlikely that the series would risk killing their biggest asset, but she is gearing up for her biggest battle yet. It’s going to take everything that she has. Some might say, you don’t make it out alive after using up all that power. And Eleven loves her friends deeply, so we know she would sacrifice everything for them.

Who Dies on Stranger Things Season 4B?

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Tom Wlaschiha as Dmitrti, Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman, Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, and David Harbour as Jim Hopper in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Joyce, Murray, Dmitri, and Hopper are in a dangerous situation in Russia, but considering that they’ve managed to survive a plane crash, Siberia, imprisonment, and a Demogorgon, I have full faith in them! 

Who do you think is going to die on Stranger Things Season 4B?


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Only Murders in the Building

Only Murders in the Building Season 2 – Who is the Killer? We’re Logging Every Clue on the Murder Board

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Who Is the Killer on 'Only Murders in the Building' Season 2?

Only Murders in the Building season 2 carries the torch of the first season, putting a unique spin on the murder mystery genre.

The killer, who is most likely also the person framing Mabel, Charles, and Oliver (who are all persons of interest) likely won’t be revealed until the final episode, but we’re creating an online murder board to keep track of all suspects and possible clues hinting at this person’s identity.

Join us — and the characters who attempt to solve the whodunnit on their podcast via new weekly episodes that air every Tuesday on Hulu– as we theorize who is responsible for the latest murder at the Arconia!

*Cue the theme song*

 

Victim: Bunny Folger

Her Last Words: 14 and Savage

Cause of Death: 8 stabs wounds

Murder Weapon: A knife (not a knitting needle) that has yet to be located

Place of Death: Mabel’s apartment

 

Possible Suspects

 

Alice Banks

Played by Cara Delevigne, Alice slides into Mabel’s DM’s shortly after she lands the front page of the tabloids as “Bloody Mabel.” The art artist collective owner invites Mabel to a gallery opening in an attempt to cozy up to her and get her to open up. Maybe she just sees past Mabel’s flaws, but considering the whole mystery hinges on a missing painting by the artist Rose Cooper (who also died a mysterious death), we simply cannot rule it out. Maybe she wants the painting… maybe she wants Mabel. Honestly, maybe Rose was Alice’s mom who was murdered by Charles’ dad, her lover, and Alice is trying to get revenge on him by getting close to Mabel. Also, Alice Banks doesn’t sound like it would be her real name, so she’s suspect #1 for now.

 

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer is playing an exaggerated version of herself who just moved into Sting’s former penthouse. She’s a fan of the podcast — almost to an obsessive point — who wants the rights to it so she can turn it into a streaming service series and channel her inner Jan. You need a murder mystery in order to have a successful podcast… and then a show, I’m just saying. Plus, I have to believe that there’s a reason the series included her character! 

 

Uma Heller

I’m sorry to do this to you Uma, but there’s no one that knew Bunny better than her best friend. She not only knew about the painting, but she knew its worth. Maybe jealousy got the best of her?

 

Nina Lin

We don’t know much about Nina other than the fact that she’s the New Board President. Howard says she has wanted the gig for a long time, which gives her motive. And he also warned the trio not to be fooled by her “maternal glow,” comparing her vibe to Rosemary’s Baby instead.

 

Leonora Folger

Killing your own daughter is certainly cruel, but crazier things have happened. Leonora wasn’t really phased by her daughter’s passing, but she was very interested in finding her painting. She even came with the original bill of sale in order to retrieve her prized possession. Yes, she’s technically blind and can’t cut a piece of cheese to save her life, but it could’ve all been an act. And there’s also the whole affair with Charles’ father that she casually mentioned after informing Charles that she knew exactly who he was this whole time. She clearly knows way more than she’s leading on. 

 

Cinda Canning

If she’s devious enough to blatantly steal a podcast, she’s not above murder. A murder suspect has to benefit from the crime, and Cinda sure does! By giving the Arconia another murder victim, she deepens the mystery and secures herself a compelling season.

 

Ursula

I don’t ever want to think badly of Ursula, but she was really suspicious when angrily throwing out a random box of documents and looking around to make sure there weren’t any witnesses. What’s she trying to hide? This couldn’t have been a routine dump.

 

Rose Cooper

Yes, she supposedly went missing in the ’50s and is believed to be dead, but no one ever found a body. There could be so many unknown twists and turns about her identity that we have yet to discover. What’s her true connection to all of this? Or is Rose Cooper actually Leonora?

 

Oscar

Mabel’s sort-of ex. What happened to him? Why are they moments away from the friend zone? Are we to just believe the streamer couldn’t get him back this season, or is there another reason he’s staying away… I don’t know, maybe like framing your girlfriend and her friends for murder?

 

READ ALSO:

Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Premiere Review – Bloody Mabel

Only Murders in the Building Review – Framed (2×02)


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Stranger Things

‘Stranger Things’ TikTok Theory About Vecna and Ms. Kelly Will Blow Your Mind

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'Stranger Things' TikTok Theory About Vecna and Ms. Kelly Will Blow Your Mind

Stranger Things Season 4A was a lot. 

Each episode was a full-length movie, every character was busier than ever, and a new big bad started making the residents of Hawkins his lunchtime snack. So, naturally, there were also a lot of theories swirling around on the internet. 

One that caught our attention links Ms. Kelly (Regina Ting Chen) and Vecna in a way that might blow your mind. 

This might be a good time to point out that if you haven’t finished binge-watching S4 (but you should because we’re only a handful of days away from the 4B premiere of on July 1), you should probably close out right now because — SPOILERS AHEAD

Both Vecna and Ms. Kelly are brand new characters this season, though, one is much more menacing than the other. Or so we thought…

Vecna makes a bold move in the first episode by making Chrissy the cheerleader his first victim. The poor girl can’t escape the mindscape that she’s trapped in, and when Vecna takes hold, she levitates to the ceiling as her joints snap like little pretzel sticks. It’s disturbing on many levels — just ask key witness Eddie Munson, that is if you can find him in the void between our world and the Upside Down. 

Vecna’s second kill is Nancy’s nerdy journalist friend Fred, who, at first glance, has absolutely no connection to Chrissy.

Again, or so we thought. 

Vecna then sets his sights on Max. Some might think it’s because Chrissy, Fred, and Max all spent a significant amount of time at the trailer park where Vecna could’ve taken hold, but if that theory were to hold true, everyone else would also be in Vecna’s crosshairs. 

So, why these three?

As Max establishes, they are all patients of the Hawkins high school counselor, Ms. Kelly.

'Stranger Things' TikTok Theory About Vecna and Ms. Kelly Will Blow Your Mind

Credit: Netflix

It gets even more disturbing when you realize that Vecna pretty much feeds off of their traumas, using their fears against them to weaken and break them.

That in itself is enough to make you wonder if the sweet and helpful school counselor might be up to something more sinister, but then, 

While Ms. Kelly seems innocent enough, there’s another significant clue that might seal the deal on this theory — Ms. Kelly wears a necklace with a clock and a key pendant. Who else has a thing for grandfather clocks? Vecna! 

 TikTok’s Midwest Marvel Guy’s theory (watch it HERE) points out that there’s a lot of clock symbolism when it comes to Ms. Kelly, including a mini grandfather clock in her office and even clock ticking sounds when Max is around the guidance counselor.

You can also explore this Reddit theory for more insight! 

Some believe that it’s possible Ms. Kelly is the grown-up version of Alice Creel, Henry Creel’s sister, which tracks since Henry, Vecna, and 001 are one in the same. Yes, Alice supposedly died the night of Henry’s attack in the Creel House, but he survived, so it’s possible that she did as well. 

However, I’m more inclined to think that Henry/Vecna crossed paths with Ms. Kelly when she was his guidance counselor (even for a short time) and somehow mind controlled her into essentially becoming his foot soldier for all these years. After all, he needs to have some kind of hold on the mortal world, right?

The only plot hole in this theory is that Lucas’ basketball friend, Patrick, also becomes Vecna’s victim, but as far as we know, he is not a patient of Ms. Kelly’s. We don’t know for a certain that he isn’t, though, so the theory could still hold true!

With the final two installments of the season arriving Fourth of July weekend (with episode 8’s runtime of 1 hour of 20 minutes, while the ninth and final episode clocks in at 2 hours and 20 minutes), there are plenty of theories floating around. One even suggests that somehow, Henry/Vecna/001 is Eleven’s biological dad.

I guess we’ll have to wait to see it all fall into place. There will surely be plenty of surprises as actor Joseph Quinn (Eddie) teases that fans should expect “absolute carnage.”

Do you have any fun theories about Stranger Things Season 4?

And check out TikTok’s Midwest Marvel Guy break down the theory right HERE


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