The Good Place S3E9 Review

The Good Place is a show that has constantly been changing things up as it goes, especially in this third season. The season started out with Michael pushing the humans together so that they would become better, then it changed to the humans learning about what happened and deciding to help others get into the good place, and the end of last week's episode hinted at change coming. This week's episode sees the group try to come up with a good-person blueprint while a threat approaches.

S3E9 "Don't Let the Good Life Pass You By"

The Good Place has been compared to Lost since early on, as it dumped strangers together in an unfamiliar territory, made game-changing twists, and early episodes had flashbacks to the characters' lives before. I've often talked about the show as Lost meets Parks and Recreation, for the reasons above and the comedy style. The episode begins in a way that most Lost viewers likely noted as inspired by the earlier series, with it showing us a character we don't know in a place we don't know living everyday life before we are shown the connection to the story we are following. In this case, Doug Forcett is going about his Canadian life until Michael and Janet knock on his door, pretending to be reporters.

Michael and Janet intend to observe how Doug lives his life, and there is some really good comedy here about Michael's excitement upon meeting Doug. However, the two discover how horribly Doug forces himself to live, as he does everything to help others and doesn't think about himself at all. Additional sadness hangs over all of this, as Doug has said that he is doing it all to end up in the good place, and we know that this motivation would actually cause him to get sent to the bad place.

While Michael and Janet are off visiting Doug, Eleanor contemplates whether or not she should tell Chidi about how they fell in love. Tahani gives some surprisingly good advice on the matter, prompting Eleanor to decide she should tell him. On a more comedic side, Chidi defeats Jason in a game of Jason's own making, because really all that needs to be done to defeat Jason in this game is to outsmart him. Before Eleanor is able to talk to Chidi, the demons arrive. Janet using her immense knowledge to fight off all of the demons is entertaining, but the brawl goes on much too long, leaving the ending to be rushed, as a bunch of information is dropped all at once. About 5 seconds before the episode ends, Janet deduces that the group needs to go to her void, and that means that they will die.

While this episode had its comedic moments, presented interesting philosophical problems, and moved the plot along, its pacing felt very off. Much of the episode was spent with Michael and Janet at Doug's, where they end up coming to a conclusion that was evident early on, and during this, the others literally wasted time. Then, a more time than necessary was spent on the fight, and very little was spent on what will matter going forward. I think that The Good Place is an excellent show, so even though this episode is quite weak by the show's standards, it is still a good episode.

Score: 7.5/10

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