DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Good Place contains more spoilers than the number of times Tahani and Jason have been drawn toward each other. Michael could create an infinite number of reboots and these two lovebirds would still horizontally tango. You’ve been warned. Prepare for the afterlife, and enter at your own peril.
Welcome back, Team Cockroach! The Good Place blessed our Thursday nights once again this week. Praise Stone Cold Steve Austin! Michael and Janet struggled to prevent our Brainy Bunch from falling apart when Tahani became engaged to the fourth Hemsworth. Yes, there’s supposedly another Hemsworth for us mere mortals to adore. However, Larry Hemsworth’s self-confidence exists below sea level thanks to the booming success of his three actor brothers. “The Snowplow” ended on another massive cliffhanger as Michael and Janet prepared to sneak into the Judge’s office. They planned to reset the timeline once again, wiping the slate clean. But, not before Team Cockroach caught the duo amid their travel over the magical threshold to said Judge’s office. Uh oh.
Alright, ready to delve into “The Snowplow?” Just be sure to compliment Larry Hemsworth on his own merits and not the triumphs of his brothers. We wouldn’t want him wallowing in their collective shadow.
We open with Michael (Ted Danson) and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) fleeing into a bathroom on Earth after narrowly escaping the wrath of the Judge. They’re wanted fugitives now. Michael proposes that they set up camp in the university and continue to monitor Team Cockroach. Suddenly, the Judge herself (Maya Rudolph) video calls Michael and Janet, overtly threatening them. Michael takes a stand against her, vowing to an indefinite stay on Earth in the hopes of keeping the Brainy Bunch on the right path. The Judge promises that, should they attempt to return, her wrath will know no bounds.
Later, Michael and Janet make themselves at home inside the desolate Journalism branch of the university. THat doesn’t bode well for the future journalists of the world. Janet composes a pitch perfect monitoring system for peeping. Let the peeping commence! We see that the Brainy Bunch is about to start class, and Eleanor (Kristen Bell) is already blaming a faulty chair for her flatulence. That’ll result in a point loss for certain. Chidi (William Jackson Harper) gets the ball rolling by revealing that Trevor will no longer be in the study group. Michael chuckles at the email he composed for Trevor, which Chidi reads aloud to the class.
Next, three months have passed. Eleanor reveals to Chidi that her monetary well has, unfortunately, dried up. Michael and Janet swoop in by purchasing a winning lottery ticket for our girl. Bingo! Eleanor finds said ticket on the ground and now has $18,000 to her name. She can stay! Jason (Manny Jacinto) complains about the woes of watching Jaguar games in a completely different time zone. Tahani (Jameela Jamil) eagerly offers to watch the football games with him. Time to hop on the express train to Bone Town, Team Cockroach!
Now, Michael and Janet decide to meddle in the Brainy Bunch’s affairs once again by finding Tahani a different partner. Janet is relieved by this, since she’s secretly-not-so-secretly in love with Jason. We see Tahani running into a former flame at a bar. Larry Hemsworth (Ben Lawson), the fourth and apparently forgettable Hemsworth brother, is elated to reunite with Tahani. The two rekindle their romance. Success!
Later, we flash forward once again as a full year has passed since the Brainy Bunch’s conception. Tahani announces that she’s engaged to Larry, and the two plan to relocate to London. Uh oh. This will result in the dissolving of Team Cockroach, which is something that Michael and Janet won’t allow. Tahani invites her pals to her Bon Voyage/Engagement shindig at her opulent mansion. Always with the mansions, this one.
Meanwhile, Michael and Janet are at the party disguised as caterers. They pull Larry aside and attempt to convince him to stay. Uprooting one’s life must be terribly overwhelming. However, Larry incorrectly accuses them of being paparazzo, only interested in utilizing him to get to his famous brothers.
Then, Eleanor muses with Chidi and Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) about whether they should invite someone else into the study group. However, Chidi reveals that Tahani’s bon voyage is a perfectly natural excuse to halt his thesis study. Perhaps he’ll continue said study in another year with a different group. Eleanor does not take kindly to this news.
Later, Michael entices Eleanor with cocktail shrimp and offers her sage advice. Eleanor is taken aback by this supposed caterer’s wisdom. Tahani invites Eleanor to give a heartfelt speech on her behalf, but said speech quickly morphs into an emotional breakdown. Eleanor rants about the group tearing apart at the seams. She confesses that yes, Chidi and Tahani have successful lives outside the group, but her and Jason are “trash.” Eleanor takes a chunk out of the massive cake with the group’s photo on it. She makes sure she feasts on her own face though, which is considerate. She storms out. Eleanor has always been one for memorable speeches.
Next, Simone finds Eleanor outside the mansion, attempting to hide behind a bush and eat cake out of the palm of her hand. A natural way to eat cake, of course. Eleanor confides in Simone, asking her, scientifically speaking, the origins of her outburst. Simone proposes that Eleanor has never been in a close knit group like this before, and the drastic change is having a profound effect on her. Makes sense.
Then, Eleanor returns to the mansion and apologizes to her friends for her rant. Tahani proposes that the Brainy Bunch reunites once a year during the summer. They can stay at each other’s places of residence for an extended period of time, to keep said bunch alive. Eleanor loves this idea, as does Chidi and Jason. Jason offers up his home in Jacksonville, even though technically it’s being swallowed by the ocean. How sweet of him.
Later, Michael and Janet brainstorm on their next move. The Brainy Bunch is effectively dissolved at this point, with none of their efforts to the contrary coming to fruition. Suddenly, the light bulb goes off in Michael’s head. He reveals they should sneak into the Judge’s office and figure out how to reset the timeline. Reboot time! Wipe that forking slate clean, as it were. Start the fork over.
Next, we see Michael and Janet summoning the door back to the Judge’s plane of existence. They still have the key that the Doorman generously gave them for just such an occasion. Suddenly, Team Cockroach catches our pair red handed. Eleanor asks them about the magical door behind them. Motherforking shirtballs. This isn’t good.
The Good Place was a bit slow for me this week. Still a great episode of television, but slow nonetheless. However, the series’ Powers That Be are masters of the cliffhanger, as is evident week after week. “The Snowplow” was no exception in that regard, reeling me back in and making me salivate with anticipation for next Thursday. Michael’s reset idea and Team Cockroach’s introduction to the fantastical worlds beyond is just what the show needs to plow forward. A “reboot,” but a good one. I’m glad we won’t continue to dally on Earth in the same timeline for much longer, otherwise the scenario would quickly go stale.
Do you think Michael and Janet will make it to the Judge’s office in time to wipe the slate clean? Will Team Cockroach join them on their trek over the threshold, away from Earth? What possibilities could the next reset hold for our Brainy Bunch? Join me next week as I continue to recap The Good Place, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Good Place airs Thursdays at 8:30pm on your NBC affiliate.
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