DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Good Place episode “Employee of the Bearimy” contains more spoilers than the number of tentacles on Michael’s true demon form. Our reformed demon daddy is a proficient multitasker thanks to said tentacles. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Soul Squad! The Good Place continued its stellar streak with its fifth episode. “Employee of the Bearimy” shone the spotlight on one Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto) and his quest to refrain from using Molotov cocktails to solve his problems. Thankfully, he succeeded. And he reunited with Janet! Their reunion was so sweet it gave me cavities. Michael and Shawn faced off at DemonCon, and we learned that the former used to be the Employee of the Bearimy. Even demons deserve recognition for a job well done.
Alright, ready to delve into “Employee of the Bearimy?” Just be sure to not mention Bortles’ departure from the Jaguars to Jason. You’ll just be rubbing salt in the wound.
We open with Janet (D’Arcy Carden) at the merciless hands of Vicky in a Michael Suit (Ted Danson) in the Bad Place. Vicky just isn’t nailing Michael’s mannerisms. She can’t harness his essence for this role. Which is a damn shame, because the Oscars are only a few months away. Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) waltzes in to observe Vicky in rehearsal mode. He urges her to keep whittling away at it.
Meanwhile, the real Michael (Danson) and Jason (Jacinto) are en route to the Bad Place. Their plan is to infiltrate the aforementioned and rescue Janet. Michael encourages Jason to refrain from falling into his default mode – throwing Molotov cocktails as a response to danger. Some things can’t be solved with fire. Especially in hell.
Next, we see Eleanor (Kristen Bell) announcing to the neighborhood that she’s organizing activities meant to foster personal relationships. Naturally, she puts our human experiments in one group and reveals that they’ll be retreating to a private lake house.
Later, Eleanor returns to Mindy’s house in the Medium Place to assign Derek (Jason Mantzoukas) the monumental task of supervising the neighborhood while she’s away. Can Derek not Derek it up? Or will he go Derek and beyond? Derek! Tahani (Jameela Jamil) will be throwing a massive house party to bring everyone together in perfect harmony. She is a party aficionado, after all.
Then, Tahani is taking attendance of our four humans at the lake house. However, Chidi (William Jackson Harper) is unaccounted for. Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) reveals that Chidi has opted out of the activity. He’s afraid of lakes. Tahani realizes that she needs to persuade our favorite bookworm to join in on the festivities.
Next, we see Michael and Jason unsafely ensconced within the walls of the Bad Place. Jason finds Michael’s photo on a wall showcasing Employees of the Bearimy. Michael reflects on his past self and just how far he’s come in the personal growth department. Our demon daddy is a good egg!
Meanwhile, Eleanor is approached by a resident of the neighborhood who appears to be malfunctioning. That’s when she notices that everyone is a bit kooky bananas. Derek, of course, is to blame. No offense, Derek. She urges him to find a resolution to this cataclysmic problem.
Then, Eleanor and Tahani pay Chidi a visit. He’s in his natural habitat – cozily lounging in his favorite armchair while engrossed in a book. His fear of everything has prevented him from venturing outside his library. Eleanor appeals to his inquisitive nature by revealing that he’s meant to embark on a quest. A quest of knowledge! There are several clues to a massive riddle peppered throughout the Good Place. Chidi must crack the puzzle – and we know he loves a good puzzle! This will surely get him to leave his comfort zone behind.
Next, we see Shawn is hosting the infamous DemonCon – a demonic convention that essentially goes on forever. There’s a panel with 4,000 slides on innovative ways to torture humans. And that’s about it. Suddenly, Michael and Jason make their way to the stage. Shawn is under the impression that it’s Vicky in her Michael suit. Michael plays along with the charade, revealing that Jason is actually Glenn donning a “Jason suit.” Shawn is reticent, especially since he didn’t authorize another skin suit creation. However, he rolls with it.
Then, Shawn ushers Janet forward so Jason can torture her. Shawn wants the crowd to see these “skin suits” in action. Janet, thankfully, figures out the ruse and also plays along. Surprisingly, Jason does a decent job of maintaining their cover.
Meanwhile, Derek decides that the only way to save the malfunctioning residents of the neighborhood is to reboot himself. He always rises from said rebooting more advanced than his previous self. Perhaps this will translate to his creations. He “kills” himself, and we see the neighborhood residents collapse in tandem.
Later, Vicky enters the stage dressed in her Michael skin suit. The jig is up! Shawn realizes that the real Michael has infiltrated the Bad Place. Michael brandishes his demon zapping gun and blasts Vicky into blue goo. He also shoots another demon. Then, our trio of heroes make like trees and leave. All the demons at the con are clapping, under the impression that the unfolding events are part of the presentation. Little do they know!
Then, we see everyone present and accounted for at the lake house. Tahani pulls Eleanor aside and reveals that she wants to do more than just throw house parties. Tahani longs to contribute something of significance to the cause. Eleanor reminds her gal pal that said parties are beneficial – vital in bringing everyone together and analyzing what makes them tick. Eleanor is handy at solving problems on the fly due to her lifestyle. When you’re hanging onto life by the skin of your teeth then you have to improvise. Tahani, of course, spent her life in lap of opulence and isn’t as adept at problem solving. I’ve really enjoyed her growth this season.
Meanwhile, we see the entrance to the Bad Place cave in as Janet utilizes her not-a-girl abilities. Janet’s powers are, thankfully, resurfacing. Our trio reunites and it’s glorious. Janet reminds Jason of the painful fact regarding Bortles’ Jaguars departure. However, another team member has been promoted to quarterback, and it’s one that has Jason’s approval. Michael, Janet and Jason return to the neighborhood, happy as clams.
Now, I wonder how their escape from the Bad Place will affect the remainder of Season 4. Firstly, Michael blasted Vicky, thereby destroying the Michael skin suit Shawn created. Secondly, Good Janet has been rescued. Lastly, Janet decimated the entrance to the Bad Place so they couldn’t be followed. Methinks Shawn will retaliate in a big way, and our protagonists may not see it coming.
Do you think Shawn will concoct a revenge plan in the near future? Will Chidi overcome his fear of lakes? Will Derek ever Derek again? Join me next time as I recap The Good Place, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Good Place airs Thursdays at 9pm on your NBC affiliate.
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