DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Good Place contains more spoilers than the number of times Jason has utilized a Molotov cocktail to wiggle out of sticky situations. Floridians sure love fire. You’ve been warned. Prepare to save some souls, and enter at your own peril.
Welcome back, Soul Squad! The Good Place continues to rain down blessings upon us with another excellent installment to a stellar Season 3. We finally met Doug Forcett, the poster boy for the afterlife! Shawn reunited with our Soul Squad on Earth in an attempt to whisk them back to the Bad Place! Janet kicked major demon ash with her not-a-robot abilities! Eleanor unburdened her secret on Chidi, revealing that they used to boink on the regular! In an “in love” sort of way, of course. In short, a shirt ton of stuff happened in this episode.
Alright, ready to delve into “Don’t Let the Good Life Pass You By?” Just be sure to steer clear of Doug’s precious snails. He gets cross if you accidentally step on one.
We open with a montage: Doug Forcett (Michael McKean) spends another day in the Canadian wilderness living a quiet life extricated from modern society. Suddenly, Michael (Ted Danson) and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) appear on his doorstep. They’re disguised as members of the press keen on interviewing the fascinating Doug. He’s the prime example of a wholesome and morally sound human being. Janet snaps a photo of Doug for their fake newspaper, and we see Michael discreetly hold up a picture of Doug from when he was younger. If you’ll recall, we saw a young Doug’s portrait hanging in Michael’s office during the pilot episode of The Good Place.
Next, Doug invites Michael and Janet in for a chat. He reveals that while tripping on mushrooms the entire blueprint for the afterlife was unveiled to him. Doug learned the full scope of the Good Place, the Bad Place and the point system used to calculate one’s afterlife destination. Now, he tries to adhere to said point system in his everyday life in the hopes that he’ll rack up enough points to make it into the Good Place. Doug only consumes food he can grow and that which leaves the smallest carbon footprint. Thus, his diet only consists of lentils and radishes. His water is generated through a compost filtration system. He offers Michael and Janet some of his poop water. Ick, I got the willies just typing that sentence.
Meanwhile, Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto) and Chidi (William Jackson Harper) are hanging out in a swanky Canadian bar. Everyone is jetlagged and utterly fatigued from all the constant travel. Jason offers to play with Chidi in a rousing game of pool. The pair moseys on over to an adjacent pool table while Eleanor asks Tahani for advice regarding her Chidi secret. She asks Tahani on when is the best time to divulge said secret. Tahani imparts her sage wisdom – that Eleanor should tell Chidi how she feels now. She wouldn’t want Chidi to know of their past requited love unless she presently felt the same. Tahani is truly the perfect person.
Later, Doug shows Michael and Janet his garden, and a cage containing all of the animals he’s rescued. A small boy wheels by on his bike and picks on Doug, forcing the latter to do his bidding. Michael and Janet learn that Doug will literally cater to one’s every whim in the hopes of making people happy. He’ll sacrifice his own happiness so that he’ll be ushered into the pearly gates of the Good Place. That’s not a way to live, dude. Doug returns to the house after attempting to retrieve his lost shoe from the punk boy. He fumbles over Michael’s name, referring to him as “Mark.” Then, he steps on one of his snails. All of this sends Doug spiraling, panicking over the possibility that he lost Good Place points over the aforementioned acts. Again, not a way to live, bro.
Next, Eleanor pulls Chidi aside so she can confide her feelings. However, before she can even get past the first sentence, one of the Bad Place demons strolls in. She recalls him from one of the clips Michael showed her in the previous episode. Suddenly, a swarm of Bad Place demons appears, including Vicky (Tiya Sircar). Eleanor calls an impromptu meeting of the Soul Squad as she reveals the imminent danger lurking around them. But Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) stops them in their tracks. He demands to know of Michael’s whereabouts. Uh oh. This won’t end well.
Meanwhile, Doug hosts a somber funeral for the fallen snail, and we see that he’s buried a plethora of snails over the years. Michael even imparts a few nice words for the occasion. Doug is about to bid his adieu to the duo as he embarks on quite the trek to the Canadian Mollusk Association…on foot. However, Michael and Janet pull him aside under the guise of finishing their interview with him. Michael gives him some advice – screw the forking points system. Be selfish every once in a while. Do something that makes Doug happy. Doug reveals that he can’t relax. He can’t risk losing points. Otherwise, he’ll end up in the Bad Place. Thus, Doug Forcett begins his months-long journey to Edmonton on foot, so he can donate $85 to the Canadian Mollusk Association.
Now, Shawn is attempting to weasel information out of our Soul Squad. However, Michael and Janet return just in time. Hooray! Shawn reveals that our quartet is actually the legal property of the Bad Place, and he intends on dragging them kicking and screaming back to where they belong. Janet launches into action mode and begins taking on the Bad Place demons by herself, and kicking all the ash while doing it. It’s go time!
Meanwhile, during the bar brawl, Chidi is almost dragged into the portal leading to the Bad Place by the shirtless demon who was Eleanor’s fake soulmate in Season 2. Thankfully, Tahani steps in with a pool cue and whips him out. As the pair watches Janet kick all the supernatural butt, Eleanor finally reveals that her and Chidi were lovers in another timeline. They loved each other deeply. Oh, and she’s developing feelings for him presently. But before Chidi can respond, they’re brought into the fight. We see Janet and Michael tag teaming: Michael zapping open portals while Janet utilizes her super strength, kicking the demons through them. Janet discovers that if she comes in contact with a portal, her powers return. Thus, she’s able to fully incapacitate Shawn after the other Bad Place demons have been conquered.
Next, Michael interrogates Shawn while the latter is bound to a chair. Shawn reveals that he constructed another door to Earth. He also divulges that the Soul Squad will inevitably wind up in the Bad Place, as will their relatives. Even saintly Doug Forcett is destined to go to hell. Michael kicks Shawn through the portal before the demon can spout any more nonsense.
Now, Chidi questions why Doug Forcett would end up in the Bad Place, especially considering the man was the blueprint for living a moral life. Michael reveals that he’s had his suspicions regarding the point system for quite some time, and his interaction with Shawn confirmed them. He proposes they gather evidence to present to the Judge, evidence that clearly shows how unjust and skewed the points system really is. But before that, Janet has another plan to enact. Suddenly, the Bad Place demons return to the bar, and desperate times call for desperate measures. Janet zaps our gang into her void. Yes, Janet’s void, where Derek used to reside. Who knows if our four humans will emerge in one piece, or if anything will occur at all. Only time (and another episode) will tell…
The Good Place has really amped up the action in just the past two episodes alone. I’m so glad we’re interacting with the Bad Place demons again, and that the threat of our Soul Squad going to hell is still tangible. While I’ve loved this season so far, I was worried the story was starting to get stale. This episode was just the kick in the ash The Good Place needed. Now, with our gang embarking into Janet’s void, I can’t wait to see what more magical shenanigans our The Good Place Powers That Be have cooked up.
Do you think Soul Squad will survive Janet’s void? Will the Bad Place demons continue to pursue them? Who will feed Doug Forcett’s many dogs and wolves? Join me next time as I 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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