DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Good Place episode “A Girl From Arizona Part 2” contains more spoilers than the number of Mountain Dews Jason can shotgun. Our boy from Jacksonville can definitely hold his MDs. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, forkfaces! The Good Place aired the second half of the Season 4 premiere this week. Eleanor had a nervous breakdown of her own while Janet dumped Jason. But that wasn’t the worst of it – Jason learned that the Jacksonville Jaguars are now bereft of one Blake Bortles. How does one cope with such a devastating discovery? Meanwhile, Eleanor informed Chidi that Simone was his soulmate in an effort to curb the latter’s perception of the afterlife. Naturally, this did not sit well with our girl Shellstrop.
Alright, ready to delve into “A Girl From Arizona, Part 2?” Just be sure to tread lightly around Jason after receiving the Bortles news. He’s currently experiencing the “denial” aspect of the grief cycle.
We open with the Soul Squad planning their next move. Chidi has officially replaced Linda as one of the four humans in the experiment. However, Eleanor (Kristen Bell) wishes to focus on Brent (Ben Koldyke). He’s a full-blown narcissist, so he’ll be a tough egg to crack. But Shellstrop is up to the challenge.
Next, we see Eleanor is hosting a game show entitled “That Was Your Life” in an attempt to knock Brent down a few pegs. Hopefully hearing of other people’s valiant acts will humble him. Chidi (William Jackson Harper) reveals his esteemed academic career in philosophy and ethics. Another woman discusses her benevolent acts toward animals. However, Brent is not deterred by this. When it’s his turn to speak he spouts a stream of narcissistic tripe, completely oblivious of his surroundings. Janet (D’Arcy Carden) appears with Brent’s requested limousine.
Meanwhile, Jason (Manny Jacinto) approaches Michael (Ted Danson) with a conundrum. He knows he forked up big time with Janet by killing Derek. He reveals his plan to win back her affections by hosting a flash mob. Michael urges Jason to think before he acts. Perhaps giving Janet some space will help their relationship. Not even a Molotov cocktail can fix this one, bud.
Next, Eleanor reveals her next plan to Michael. They stage the same chaotic scene from Season 1, wherein Brent realizes that he doesn’t belong in the Good Place. Suddenly, we see the giant Princeton mascot wrecking havoc on the neighborhood. Everyone is fleeing in matching pajamas with Princeton’s colors. A giant rain cloud bursts over Brent’s head. Massive golf balls roll by. Even the rain tastes of Perrier.
However, despite the chaos, Brent reveals that he believes these signs point towards something more grand than the Good Place. He tells Eleanor and Michael that there must be a Best Place, and he belongs there. Well, that shirt backfired spectacularly.
Later, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) approaches Michael back at Mindy’s home in the Medium Place with some concerns. She thinks Eleanor needs to step down as team leader. With a recent string of failures in mind, Tahani suggests that someone else be chosen to lead them into battle. Janet also supports Tahani in this endeavor. However, Eleanor overhears our crew discussing her potential relegation. She agrees with them, and tells them that she quits.
Next, Michael finds Eleanor drinking a margarita on the decimated set of “That Was Your Life.” Eleanor reveals that she’s just a girl from Arizona, and entirely insignificant in the grand scheme of things. She’s very much unfit for this task, and overwhelmed with the idea that the fate of humanity rests in her hands. Michael delivers an encouraging speech, reminding her that a girl from Arizona is perfect for this job. He could never fathom what it’s like to truly be human, but Eleanor’s own reformation provides necessary experience for the task at hand. This scene is beautifully made, with wonderful performances from both Bell and Danson. It truly encapsulates the soul of The Good Place. We humans are capable of great change.
Later, the team apologizes to Eleanor for ganging up on her. She decides to reinstate herself as team leader, and the Soul Squad is 100% on board with this decision. Eleanor reveals her next move in regards to Brent. She suggests they feed into his delusions of a Best Place, and make him think he belongs there.
Then, we see Eleanor and Michael meeting with Brent. They discreetly reveal the knowledge of the Best Place, and only the select elite, the cream of the moral crop, will reside there. A competition will be held to weed out the inferior. Brent knows he can beat his opponents. He starts out by performing minor charitable acts. However, Michael and Eleanor know his motivations are not for the betterment of humanity, but for personal gain.
Meanwhile, Janet meets with Jason to break things off. Only temporarily, mind you. Janet must focus on running the neighborhood for the good of the experiment. Said experiment may become compromised if her attentions drift elsewhere, like to Jason. Jason is heartbroken but, to add salt to the wound, Janet reveals that Blake Bortles is no longer with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now, Jason is doubly heartbroken.
Next, while Eleanor and Michael are observing Brent executing good deeds, our demon daddy reveals that he faked his mental breakdown from last season. This was an experiment of his own to see if Eleanor would rise to the task of leadership. Our sneaky little demon daddy is sneaky.
Later, Tahani comforts Jason. She reveals her own breakup routines while on Earth, such as listening to Alanis Morrisette while hanging out with her best pal Adele. Never stop name-dropping, Tahani. Tahani vows to support Jason during this difficult time and the two hug it out.
Then, we see Eleanor meeting with Chidi for lunch. She reveals that Chidi and Simone are soulmates. Not to mention, if anyone can convince Simone that the afterlife is real, it’s Chidi. Chidi is ecstatic by the prospect of soulmates, and entirely up to the challenge of persuading Simone out of her delusions. Naturally, Eleanor’s heart is breaking during the course of this exchange.
Next, Chidi meets with Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) for yogurt. They discuss Simone’s belief that the afterlife is a conjuring of her imagination. Chidi attempts to poke a hole in that theory, and it would appear he’s starting to make a difference. However, the two are beginning to grow close as they did on Earth, which does not bode well for Eleanor.
Later, our team reconvenes in the Medium Place. They applaud Eleanor for the sacrifice she’s making for the good of the experiment, as well as Chidi’s contribution. Eleanor is even able to elicit a high-five out of the forlorn Jason, because you never leave a bro hanging.
Now, I think this episode was a step up from last week’s premiere. I was laughing all throughout, and the scene with Eleanor and Michael was so touching. This is more on par with what I love about The Good Place – raucous laughs with a whole lot of heart and morality.
Do you think Chidi will be able to persuade Simone out of her delusions? Can Eleanor and Michael humble Brent? Will Jason ever get over the Bortles catastrophe without running an ATV through a Panda Express while hopped up on Mountain Dew? Only time will tell, ashfaces, so join me next week as I recap The Good Place, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Good Place airs Thursdays at 9pm on your NBC affiliate.