DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Good Place contains more spoilers than the number of times Jason gushes about football. Hey, the man loves him some sportsball. You’ve been warned. Prepare for the afterlife, and enter at your own risk. 

Welcome back, residents of The Bad Place! The Good Place finally made its triumphant return after a lengthy hiatus this week. And boy, were the stakes higher than ever. Shawn, pleasantly surprised with the success of Michael’s (well, Vicky’s) torture methods, called for the deconstruction of the neighborhood. As for Team Cockroach, he demanded they be whisked away to the real Bad Place where their brains will be used as ping-pong balls. Oh, and their skin will be peeled off like a banana. Eternity never sounded so sweet, and oddly specific. Thus, our protagonists launched into action mode and attempted to evade eternal torture. Shirt has hit the fan.

Alright, ready to delve into “Leap Into Faith?” Just be sure to keep all magnets out of Janet’s reach. They are her source of intoxication. 

We open right where we left off: Michael (Ted Danson) is summoned into his office via Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson). Of course, we’re led to believe Team Cockroach has been found out. However, Shawn praises Michael for the success of his torture methods. Plot twist! Thus, our favorite formidable-turned-ethical architect is now promoted to a senior official. Michael giddily accepts said promotion. Shawn orders for the deconstruction of the neighborhood. Then, our tortured quartet will be shipped off to the real Bad Place, for some good ol’ true eternal torture. Michael proposes they host a party for the demons in the neighborhood, as a “thank you” for their efforts. Shawn approves of this. 

Next, Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) are called into Michael’s office. Michael reveals they’re in The Bad Place, and this was all an elaborate ruse meant to torture them. Now, our quartet feigns shock. Shawn laughs maniacally, or as close to maniacal as the robotic judge can get. We see the wheels turning in Eleanor’s mind as she tries to process why all this is occurring now, as it’s not part of the plan. Janet (D’Arcy Carden) is summoned, and we see she’s bound by magnetic handcuffs. No mortal can break them. She’s inebriated due to the magnets. Yes, magnets get our Janet good and sloshed. Carden, once again, resumes her place as my favorite of the bunch. 

Now, Michael and Shawn reveal the grand master plan, and how eternal torture will be inescapable. Our quartet returns to Eleanor’s house to ponder over what’s happened. Is Michael still on their side, and merely pretending to be Shawn’s puppet? Or, has he truly gone dark with his newly acquired senior position? Tahani and Jason vote they take the train to The Medium Place, and live out their eternity with Mindy St. Claire. Chidi agrees. Eleanor, however, believes Michael is still on their side. 

Pictured: William Jackson Harper and Kristen Bell

Then, Vicky (Tiya Sircar) barges into Michael’s office. Michael pulls her aside and Vicky lets him have it. She’s irritated that Michael is taking all the credit for her plan. Shawn is under the impression that this is Attempt #2, when in reality it’s more like Attempt #802. Michael urges her to have faith in him – there’s plenty of good coming Vicky’s way. It’s all part of the plan. 

Later, Michael gathers the neighborhood together in the square for a good ol’ fashioned comedy roast of Team Cockroach. Vicky notices Michael whisper something in Janet’s ear and is immediately suspicious. Michael then proceeds to “roast” all four members of our crew, each dig more harmful than the last. He even outs Eleanor’s true feelings for Chidi, and how they’re not reciprocated. Eleanor slowly loses faith in Michael’s rehabilitation. It would seem he’s truly gone dark. 

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Next, party time! Bad Janet is the appointed DJ for the night. However, in true Bad Place form, she only plays two songs: “She Hates Me” by Puddle of Mud and “Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer.” We see demons shed their human skins to go streaking. Animals run amok, while destruction of the neighborhood is already under way. Team Cockroach decides to make a break for the train station. The Medium Place is sounding better and better already. They split up so as not to draw attention. 

Pictured: Ted Danson and Marc Evan Jackson

Meanwhile, Vicky approaches the bound Good Janet. She demands to know what Michael keeps whispering in her ear. Of course, Janet is hammered at this point, with prolonged exposure to the magnets on her wrists. Vicky attempts to release her from them. 

Then, a new day dawns. Bad Janet caps off her night of DJ-ing with a remix of the two aforementioned songs. Creative genius is at work here, people. Shawn approaches Michael regarding Team Cockroach. They’ve escaped! Let the searching commence. 

Later, we see the demons at the train station. The neighborhood has been successfully trashed, and will soon be no more. Time to head home. However, Team Cockroach is still at large. Shawn proposes they head to The Medium Place to scoop them up. Gayle (Amy Okuda) approaches with Vicky in tow to reveal that she witnessed the latter trying to free Good Janet from her restraints. As punishment for going against orders, Vicky is trapped in a cocoon for, well, probably eternity. The demons hoist the newly cocooned Vicky onto the train. 

Pictured: Tiya Sircar, pre-Vicky cocoon.

Next, the train chock full of Bad Place demons leaves the station, with Shawn included. Michael will join them later. As the train departs, we see Team Cockroach is laying on the train tracks, safe and sound. Hooray! Michael spots them and his eyes well with tears. He’s overjoyed to know they’re safe. Yay, Michael is still good! Even Janet is with them, restraint free. However, she’s definitely hungover from the magnet exposure. Team Cockroach reveals that, eventually, they caught on to Michael’s plan. He was leaving our heroes riddles to solve, little Easter Eggs implanted in his speeches. They caught on to four, but according to Michael he left them 1,200. Nifty. 

Thus, they summoned Derek (Jason Mantzoukas) to drive the train to The Medium Place as a distraction. Our crew never intended to board said train. They also figured Mindy could use some company, so they attached a bag of cocaine to Derek as a present. Mindy (Maribeth Monroe) was certainly overjoyed to have copious amounts of drugs and a new partner to horizontally tango with. 

Now, what next? Well, since the neighborhood has been effectively cleared of all Bad Place demons with Shawn none the wiser and Vicky eradicated, their plan of infiltrating The Good Place is still a go. Michael is still on the ethical path, all thanks to Chidi. Everything is great!

That is the face of pure elation.

The Good Place is, without question, one of the most well written shows on television right now. It never ceases to make me laugh. Every character is incredibly well defined, with each actor having their moments to shine. Thank Michael this show was renewed for Season 3. 

Do you think Team Cockroach is out of the woods, so to speak? How will they infiltrate The Good Place? Will Shawn eventually catch on to their real plan? Will Michael have to venture to The Bad Place to keep up his evil illusion, especially with the promotion? Join me next week as I continue to recap The Good Place, here on Geek Girl Authority. 

The Good Place airs Thursdays at 8:30 on your NBC affiliate. 

 

 

Melody McCune
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