DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Good Place episode “Chillaxing” has more spoilers than the number of times Tahani can name drop in a day. Our favorite member of the upper echelon of society sure knows a lot of famous people. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, ashhats! The Good Place aired another stellar installment this week. Jason received a motorcycle with a celebrity’s bosom on it akin to the one he had on Earth. Tahani treated John to a spa day in an attempt to reform his way of thinking. Eleanor and Michael applied a bit of pressure on Chidi to get his ethics class rolling. As to be expected, Tums were consumed by the bottle. Dry-heaving took place. And, as per Chidi’s norm, there was forced smiling while internally crying. Sounds like a typical day for us anxiety-riddled folks!
Alright, ready to delve into “Chillaxing?” Just be sure to compliment Janet’s post-breakup hairdo. Her emotions, despite not being human, are rather fragile at the moment.
We open with Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and Michael (Ted Danson) discussing their next move in “Operation: Reform a Couple of Forkfaces.” Okay, so that last bit was fabricated by yours truly, but I think it’s a decent mission title. Chidi (William Jackson Harper) makes his way toward the pair in utter ease. He’s the least un-Chidi we’ve ever seen him. He’s laughing. Not to mention, he’s sporting beach clothing. Eleanor inquires as to how Brent is faring in Chidi’s ethics course. Chidi explains that, after Brent boasted a few times of his alma mater Princeton and walked out, he decided to pull the plug on it. No more ethics classes.
Next, Eleanor tells Michael that Chidi works best under pressure. They have to light a fire under his ash. Raise the stakes a wee bit. Then, Chidi will resume his courses and get the new residents on the road to redemption. Piece of cake.
Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) is researching the life of one of the residents, John Wheaton. Janet (D’Arcy Carden) appears sporting a new hairdo. She reveals her coping mechanisms post-Jason. Hint: lots of TV binge watching is involved. Tahani decides to take John on a spa day and really cater to the latter’s whims. He was always jealous of how the upper echelon lived, so why not give him a chance to experience that coveted lifestyle? Hopefully by pampering John Tahani will be able to convince the former to attend Chidi’s ethics class.
Later, Eleanor and Michael approach Jason (Manny Jacinto) with a conundrum. They need his aid in bringing Chidi back to the drawing board. Dark times are here if Jason’s assistance is required. Well, for anything besides throwing Molotov cocktails and forming a dance crew.
Next, John (Brandon Scott Jones) is treated to a luxurious spa day reminiscent of his favorite celebrities and their own private spas. Tahani name drops again to whet John’s palette, and loads up on the juicy gossip. John’s appetite for the all things tantalizing has been sated. Afterwards, Tahani attempts to convince John to join Chidi’s ethics class. Since his outside has been rejuvenated, it only makes sense to rejuvenate his spirit as well. However, John doesn’t take the bait and refuses to attend the class.
Then, Eleanor meets with Chidi back in the latter’s study. She introduces him to Jianyu aka Jason, a monk with an ineptitude for social interaction. She leaves the pair solo. That’s when Jason opens up and admits that he doesn’t belong in the Good Place, and that he’s really not a monk. Chidi goes into panic mode. Welcome back, Chidi!
Later, Jason decides to turn Chidi’s study into a party zone. Chidi is about to burst from anxiety, especially at the prospect of keeping Jianyu’s secret from Eleanor and Michael. Eleanor and Michael pop in to check up on Chidi’s course and Jianyu’s progress. However, Chidi has to lie to keep the monk under wraps. Phase One of “Operation: Crack Chidi” is complete.
Next, we see a neighborhood luau is underway. Jason gives Eleanor the scoop on Chidi’s mental state. Tahani approaches John and tells the latter that his gossip site was harmful for many people. For example, she reveals that she was personally affected by John’s words. Initially, he refuses to see things her way, claiming that Tahani attempted to make him comfortable so she could easily attack him later. Tahani regales him with a story of a party she attended on Earth, and how obsessed she was with obtaining status. It left her embittered, jealous and hollow even after she was elevated to the upper echelon. John apologizes for hurting Tahani with his gossip column. The two decide to take a walk. Aw, bygones are now indeed bygones.
Meanwhile, Eleanor and Michael summon the neighborhood together for a special surprise. Each person has a lava stone. Everyone will chuck said lava stone into the flames and their deepest desire will be made manifest. Jason throws his into the fire as Chidi attempts to dissuade him from doing so. A motorcycle with celebrity breasts painted on the side materializes from the flames. Chdi takes the fall for Jason, revealing to Eleanor that it’s his own bike. He awkwardly rides the motorcycle out of the crowd.
Later, Chidi meets with Eleanor and Michael in the office. Chidi is now fit to bursting with the burden of holding Jianyu’s secret. He reveals the utter torture he’s enduring due to this problem. Prior to Chidi’s entrance, Eleanor was just discussing how she wanted to continue subtly torturing Chidi to his breaking point. Michael tried to persuade her otherwise. Eleanor bursts into tears in front of Chidi. Michael urges our ethics professor to reveal the problem, and Michael will make it disappear. Chidi claims that the motorcycle is his, so Michael uses his ability and said motorcycle goes up in smoke. Much to Jason’s disappointment, of course.
Next, Chidi reorganizes his plan. He tells Jason that instead of focusing on keeping the latter’s secret they’re going to study ethics. Jason is on board with the idea, and thus Professor Chidi teaches again.
Meanwhile, Eleanor reveals to Michael that she liked the idea of torturing Chidi. Well, in reality, she’s still angry with Chidi for leaving her, despite it being for the betterment of their cause. Michael urges Eleanor to parse through her emotions as she experiences them, then get her shirt together and move on. Our demon daddy is a motivational one, my messy benches.
Now, our Soul Squad reassembles for a status report. Chidi is teaching ethics again with Simone and Brent in attendance. Tahani reveals that while she was able to make progress with John, philosophy is not really the former gossip columnist’s thing. Instead, she’s going to sincerely watch a film with John without taking the irony route. Catering to his way of learning from his mistakes is the best course of action. Good on Tahani!
Then, with our four residents on the path to redemption, Eleanor muses on what’s next for the Soul Squad. Suddenly, out in the desert, a mysterious figure cloaked in robes is seen riding toward the neighborhood. This figure appears ominous, and could spell danger for the Soul Squad. Cliffhanger!
So far so good, folks! This season of The Good Place is off to a stellar start. “Chillaxing” is my favorite of the season thus far, especially since it heralded the return of Nervous Chidi, which is the best Chidi. Jason was just as adorably clueless as ever, and I loved how his scenes with Chidi mirrored the scenes from Season 1 with Eleanor. So many good throwbacks, shirt stains. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Do you think Chidi can successfully send Brent, Simone and Jason on the path to enlightenment? Will Tahani be able to reform John? Who is the mystery figure making their way toward the neighborhood? 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.