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Editorials

The Secret of The Good Place’s Biggest Twist

The Good Place/NBC Photo by: Justin Lubin

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Spoilers for the first season of The Good Place below

The Good Place/NBC, NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Season one of NBC’s The Good Place won over many fans with its likable characters, unique premise, and impressive use of cliffhangers on a weekly basis. The ability to end each chapter with a stinger that left the audience excitedly anticipating the next installment set The Good Place apart from other sitcoms.

In the last episode of the season, Eleanor drops the biggest reveal so far.

“THIS is the Bad Place.”

The show only gets to bask in its own glory for about ten seconds though, because it immediately upstages itself with an even bigger reveal: Michael is evil.

The Good Place/NBC "Dance Dance Resolution" 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Good Place/NBC Photo by: Colleen Hayes

The cliffhanger endings throughout season one worked, but eventually the novelty of the unexpected wears off. Once it does, all you are left with is the characters. This is why Michael being evil is the most important part of the series’ heel turn.

Michael’s true nature and the “Good Place” being the “Bad Place” would seem to go hand in hand, but that isn’t necessarily true. There could have easily been a version of The Good Place where Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason go about their Good Place lives as they are without any Good Place architect guiding them. There even could have been a version where Michael is ACTUALLY a Good Place architect and is being duped as well. Revealing they are in the Bad Place in these versions would still have been effective; that’s a good reveal! But not a great one.

It’s shocking on a plot level, but it only recontextualizes the plot. Our view of the world changes but our relationship with the show only shifts. Humans are incredibly adaptive. Something is only new for a short while before it becomes accepted as the norm.

This is why the Michael reveal is so important to the sustainability of the twist. Revealing that Michael is evil not only recontextualizes the plot, but the character and all of his relationships. Not only haven’t we been watching what we thought we were watching, we weren’t even watching who we thought we were watching. The audience isn’t just hit with a shock but a betrayal. We rooted for you not to get retired, Michael!!!

The Good Place/NBC "Dance Dance Resolution" 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Good Place/NBC Photo by: Colleen Hayes

That emotional attachment and the resulting personal investment is why The Good Place twist is so transcendent. We never break with our investment of the show. It isn’t so much a question of how did the writers pull this off, but how did Michael pull this off? It forces a compulsion on you to rewatch the first season, just as we all compulsively look back over a lost relationship after a breakup, trying to spot all the red flags that we definitely should have seen the first time.

This also sets up a second season that guarantees something we haven’t seen before – the real Michael. Characters are the gift that keep on giving, because unlike a new setting (or more accurately for The Good Place, our new understanding of the setting), character novelty doesn’t wear off as quickly. There are so many new facets of the show to explore through the real Michael. How will he interact with this world? With our heroes? How much of season one was an act and how much was truthful?

Considering we all know the humans won’t be eternally damned by the end of the series (that would be the subversion of all subversions, and probably not result in too great a story), if the big twist was only that the humans are in the Bad Place then our speculation going forward is limited to “how will they escape?” Revealing Michael’s true nature and goals allows us to not just speculate about the humans’ escape, but to wonder how Michael will fail. And I want to see it! He betrayed me. I want to watch him fail and get what he deserves. We know Michael, even if we didn’t know the real Michael, we are invested in him. That investment in his character carries us much further than any plot point ever could.

The Good Place/NBC -"Dance Dance Resolution" 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Good Place/NBC Photo by: Colleen Hayes

The Good Place has a great plot twist, but it has a phenomenal character twist. Michael being evil is the secret weapon of the season ending cliffhanger and the key to its sustainability. Watching season one for the first time, my mind was shifting gears when Eleanor announced they were in the Bad Place, but my spine chilled and my brain exploded when Michael let out that iconic evil laugh. The series continued with a phenomenal second season, but before its airing many wondered how The Good Place could carry on after blowing up its world so completely. What could carry it forward?

The secret: Through all the twists and turns the show never lost the sight of the fact that it isn’t about what carries it, but who.

Editorials

Grey’s Anatomy – Back in the Saddle (16×02)

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Unfortunately, this week was a lackluster episode for Grey’s. This isn’t surprising considering the season premiere was such a huge event for us all.

Mer’s still on trash pick-up duty, Alex and Richard are still trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy at their new hospital, and Bailey’s back to teaching after Katherine demoted her.

Oh, but hey Jo’s back and better than ever, and she’s a hot commodity! She’s already looking better, and back to her chipper-self with the help of Alex. Already throwing out ultimatums to Bailey and making herself a general surgeon. Good on you Jo! Show them what you’re worth.

While Jo’s rising the ranks, the other interns are fighting to be the next Alex and Meredith. Meredith is now pulling an Izzie and Heather Brooks, helping desperate patients in the parking lot of the hospital.

We love a woman who puts her career at risk to help the less fortunate, and apparently, Andrew does too, “You’re just very very sexy when you’re about to burn your whole life down.”

She successfully pulls the assistance of Schmidt and Avery to diagnose her parole officer’s lymph node cancer. And, she’s working on publishing her findings of the lack of health insurance for the lower class. No matter what, you can’t stop Meredith Grey from working!

Addressing current nationwide issues is Grey’s forte. With the future election on the horizon, the question of healthcare is a huge cause for concern for many of the middle and lower classes. It’ll be interesting to see how the show lays out the foundation of this issue while the democratic debates continue doing the same. Maybe Shonda is a fortune teller and knows the fate of our nation, that would be no surprise.

Meanwhile, Amelia’s struggling with the decision of whether to terminate the pregnancy. She tells Link about the pregnancy and he’s stunned. They both have challenges with their past and fear bringing a child into the world. Link’s fears are too wholesome, and thankfully Jo helped him realize that he would make a great father. The child better have his hair!

It may appear the show enjoys throwing around pregnancy announcements like they do unsuspecting deaths, but this one is different. Though, they better not throw in a plot twist and tell us it’s Owen’s because then we’ll be having a hissy fit. Amelia’s tragedy with Christopher left her with a lot of grief, so we hope this is an easy pregnancy, drama free.

Link’s stable for her, and she deserves stability.

Teddy’s lack of visibility must be attributed to an underlying reason from her portraying actress Kim Raver. Any news? All I can say is I miss Teddy.

The conflict between Tom and Owen is elementary, but Tom has every right to be angry with Owen. Owen just comes in after breaking Teddy’s heart time after time. There can’t be more drama for Owen and Teddy, otherwise, that would just be mean.

Poor Tom trying to assert his dominance as Owen’s boss, and by the end, he’s the one on his knees. Certainly, Owen had the help of the defibrillator to accidentally shock Tom to his knees, ouch.

Tom’s restraining order against Owen is extremely excessive but again warranted. At least he’s not taking his anger out on Teddy.

Richard’s mini sentimental monologue to Alex about why Grey Sloan Memorial is his home is worthy of a final scene voiceover. I felt that one close to my heart.

The separation in hospitals is like a spoof of earlier seasons with the battle against Mercy West. How long is this going to last? I’m not a huge fan of the split storylines.

What do you think is next for the doctors? Will Meredith’s license be taken away? How will Alex and Richard eventually return to the hospital? And is Link really the father of Amelia’s child?

Please leave your thoughts below!

Additional Sidenotes:

  • Damn Maggie, tell us how you really feel. Maggie’s really going downhill since her relationship with Jackson, but it looks like Jackson’s really on the uprise with Vic.
  • #Freedom, iconic and classic.
  • Ranked number one in mortality rate, patient dissatisfaction, and facilities. What a sad result for Alex and Richard.
  • Pretty sure texting a guy to drop a pregnancy announcement is already a thing.
  • “We’d make an amazing kid and I kinda want to meet that kid.”
  • Helm’s old crush on Meredith has manifested into wanting to now become Meredith! “I’m so Meredith Grey.”
  • When did that room become a plant room? Wasn’t it originally just a blank room for relaxation? Either way, I want one!
  • “I’m really sorry to bother you but I think that guy’s dead.”
  • Grey’s Happy Patient Tally continues with a total of 3!

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Editorials

Emergence – Camera Wheelbarrow Tiger Pillow (1×02)

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Emergence Camera Wheelbarrow Tiger Pillow Review

The mystery surrounding Piper thickens on Emergence Season 1 Episode 2 as we try to figure out who she is, where she came from, and who is after her.

There’s a great deal of suspense as Jo, Chris, and even Benny, peel back the layers of the mysterious plane crash and its lone survivor.

But this is one mystery that we’re not going to be able to crack alone.

It ‘s almost better to sit back and enjoy the episode for what it is than try to figure out what’s happening.

The plot remains vague but that’s on purpose — we’ll get all the answers when the time is right.

We could wrack our brains coming up with theories, but what’s that going to do for us?

We know a lot, but we don’t know enough to back up any of our theories.

For Emergence to remain as intriguing throughout the season as it was on Emergence Season 1 Episode 1, it has to keep some of its cards close to the chest.

Read the full TV Fanatic review HERE!

 

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Editorials

Grand Hotel – Art of Darkness (1×11)

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Grand Hotel Art of Darkness Review

Finding the truth about what happened to Sky was a false alarm on Grand Hotel’s “Art of Darkness.”

While we’re all dying to know what happened to Danny’s sister, revealing that she was part of Theresa’s prostitution ring wouldn’t have been a good choice for the series.

The appeal is the mystery of the Riviera Grand, the secrets that are being kept by the hotel’s owners and staff, and of course, what happened to Sky.

If Danny were to find his sister two-episodes before the finale, it would ruin the momentum and give us no reason to watch till the end let alone a second season.

Not to mention it wouldn’t be believable.

Sky’s been described as somewhat of a firecracker. Whatever happened to her was a result of her finding out or knowing too much.

She wouldn’t just allow herself to be pimped out by Theresa all this time.

And though Theresa’s been calling the shots for quite some time, it’s been made very clear that whatever happened to Sky involved Mateo and Santiago.

Now we know that whatever happened to Sky also involved the mysterious room 606 where Caroline and Yoli were hiding their father, Felix, and where Beatriz’s “accident” happened.

Obviously, the word accident is in quotation marks because it’s clear that Beatriz’s death wasn’t caused by a heart attack like we’ve been led to believe.

Considering Yoli said Sky was the only other person who had a key, it’s safe to assume she knew what really happened and threatened to expose the killer.

When Javi found out about the abandoned hotel, it triggered a childhood memory for him. In it, Beatriz snuck him away to the room and begged him not to tell his father about it.

Based on the memory, Beatriz seemed terrified of what Santiago would do.

That is if she’s referring to Santiago as Javi’s father.

Alicia didn’t recall the room at first but while going through the family photo albums, she recalled one time when she was riding her tricycle and she saw both Santiago and Gigi keeping Beatriz a prison.

Again, based on the memory, Beatriz looked terrified.

The most obvious guess is that she was a drug addict and both her husband and her best friend were trying to help her secretly get clean while protecting the children.

Grand Hotel Art of Darkness Review

Credit: ABC/ Grand Hotel

However, Beatriz didn’t look to be high on drugs in Alicia’s memory, which makes the situation all the more curious.

There’s also Gigi’s reaction to finding out Yoli was having an affair with Sky in room 606 before her disappearance.

Panicked, Gigi runs into the room looking for something. What does she think Sky found inside?

And how is this connected to the chat Gigi had with Sky just before she disappeared?

This also begs the question: what is the connection between Beatriz and Sky?

After the cops raided Theresa’s “art show,” Mateo helped her escape through the backdoor.

But proving his loyalty wasn’t his attempt at getting back into her good graces.

Instead, Mateo buttered her up just enough so she’d let him in and then he attempted to kill her realizing he’d never be free of her otherwise.

You saw how Theresa treated Santiago when he tried to pay back the debt in full.

Getting all her money isn’t beneficial — she wants the assets and the access to the Riviera Grand. It was never about money.

The gunshot clearly went off, but we’re not sure who pulled the trigger.

Mateo has presumably killed before, but did he have it in him to kill the woman who saved him?

Did Theresa grab hold of the gun and kill Mateo?

Was it a blank bullet?

I’d like to believe Mateo took care of the problem for everyone, but killing a villain is never that easy.

 

Other Riviera Grand Musings

  • Byron is back and he has Carolina wrapped around his finger… again. It’s highly unlikely that he doesn’t have ulterior motives. What decent and self-respecting man would go back to the woman who cheated on him the night before the wedding?
  • Alicia is realizing that Danny was right about the hotel’s money problems after she confronts her father who admits their indebted to some dangerous people. There’s still undeniable chemistry between Danny and Alicia and once she realizes the only thing Danny didn’t lie about was his feelings for her, she’ll forgive him. Plus, he brought up a valid point: what would she do if someone in her family mysteriously vanished?
  • Jason and Vanessa are cute, but they don’t have staying power. Ingrid’s jealousy was upsetting considering all the damage she’s already done to the people at the Riviera Grand, but thankfully, Mrs. P checked her real quick. Still, I see her and Jason becoming a couple very soon.
  • Gigi had me just as fooled as she had Felix when she accompanied him to the Bahamas. But alas, she ventured out there simply to cozy up to him, drug him, and take the money he said he put into a bank account for her. Her intentions were always to help Santiago, but she was more inclined when she realized he was willing to risk the hotel to get back into her good graces. They’re stronger together.
  • Danny’s a terrible spy. About 5 seconds into the party, I figured out what kind of party it was. Yes, eventually he saved a bunch of girls from sex trafficking, but I’m calling that a lucky break.

What did you think of this week’s Grand Hotel?

Be sure to tweet ABC to let them know you want to renew the series!

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