DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Good Place episode “A Chip Driver Mystery” contains more spoilers than the amount of offensive rhetoric in Brent’s new book. How one person can manage to simultaneously offend so many people is almost admirable. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Soul Squad! The Good Place chugged right along this week with its sixth installment. Michael told Bad Janet, who has been trapped in Good Janet’s void for half a year, a story of human resilience. He highlighted the real question of humanity: how are they improving themselves from day-to-day? Are they striving for moral betterment or falling short of the bar? Brent’s moral compass hadn’t strengthened much, which left our team discouraged. However, Eleanor and co. picked themselves up and kept going. Go team, go!
Alright, ready to delve into “A Chip Driver Mystery?” Just be sure to shower Brent in compliments regarding his “critically acclaimed” book. Even though it stinks monkey butts.
We open with Michael (Ted Danson) paying Bad Janet (D’Arcy Carden) a visit in Good Janet’s void. He plans to regale her with a story prior to releasing her into the wild. Will he marbleize her? That remains to be seen. Anyway, he reveals that it all started a week ago…
Now, our humans have returned from a successful ski trip rife with good times and personal bonding. It would appear progress is on the horizon. However, Brent (Ben Koldyke) approaches Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) with a request – they must read his novel and heap praises upon him at his book launch party. Simone is brutally honest, almost to a fault. The pair invite Tahani (Jameela Jamil) to read his book that evening and poke fun at the story. Tahani attempts to steer the conversation from Simone’s predilection for criticism. She’s taking the “glass half full” route.
Next, we see our gang convening in Eleanor’s (Kristen Bell) office. Earlier, she awarded herself the “Hottest Savior” award. She also applauded Jason (Manny Jacinto) for his work on coaxing Chidi out of his shell. Now, she flips through Brent’s book and encounters some not-so-morally-sound text. His description of the femme fatale in his novel is clearly modeled after Tahani, but the language he uses is quite racist/misogynistic. Eleanor reveals that their objective is to keep Simone in line by encouraging her to give Brent some friendly, constructive criticism at the launch party.
Later, Jason persuades Chidi to stop “humping books” (Brent’s words, not mine) and let loose a bit. The two bust out some sick dance moves prior to John’s (Brandon Scott Jones) arrival. Now, we know that John is a vigilant gossiper. His discovery of Jason not being a monk but a Floridian bro will be a tough one to keep under wraps.
Meanwhile, we see Simone and Tahani discussing Brent’s book over lunch. Eleanor joins in and urges Simone to go easy on Brent. However, she refuses, citing that his behavior needs to be called out. She brings forth a series of thought-provoking questions for Eleanor to mull over.
Later, Michael and Brent are golfing. Michael encourages Brent to drop the player advancement shield the latter is utilizing to aid him in his performance. Brent does this begrudgingly, and his next move fails to even go near the hole. Brent is angry, but Michael reminds him that not everyone is perfect. Cool life lesson!
Next, everyone is present and accounted for at Brent’s book launch party. Chidi urges John to keep the Jason-not-being-a-monk secret a secret. Our resident Gossip Queen tries his damnedest to do this. Then, Brent asks Simone to speak on his behalf, to regale the audience with praises for his novel. But Simone refuses, harshly criticizing his work. Brent, flustered, storms off, but not before insulting our trio of ladies in the process.
Then, our team regroups in Eleanor’s office. She decides that their new target is Brent. His behavior was uncalled for, and he’s clearly backsliding. Michael approaches Brent and urges him to apologize to Tahani, Eleanor and Simone.
Later, Brent gathers the crew and delivers a halfhearted apology. Well, not really an apology. Simone calls him out on his insincerity. Brent grows ever more flustered and calls her a bench. Chidi strides forward to defend his girlfriend, and tries to usher Brent into his library for an important moral lesson. Brent refuses and shoves Chidi, which results in the latter delivering an impressive punch to the Princeton alum. Go Chidi! Handsome, intelligent and has the ability to throw a punch in defensive of his lady? He’s set the bar high for his gender.
Next, the Soul Squad reconvenes their meeting. Eleanor is out of ideas. Their progress has been minimal, and the clock is ticking. Jason suggests he set his monk robes aflame, thus forcing Brent to put said fire out. Eleanor piggybacks off his idea, trying to conceive a way to force Brent to do a moral act without personal gain. Tahani also proposes she urge John to do good for the sake of morality. Our crew begins jotting down ideas.
Then, we see Michael has neared the end of his tale to Bad Janet. He reveals that the moral of the story isn’t whether humans are inherently good or bad. There’s some good humans and some bad eggs in the mix. He reveals that it’s more about the effort – are humans striving for personal betterment everyday? He had hoped to get through to Bad Janet, potentially swaying her to the Soul Squad side. He leaves her with a hefty book containing their progress in the experiment for the sake of transparency. Michael also reveals that she’s free to go, and he has no desire to marbleize her. We see Bad Janet, although affected by his words, take her leave. Back to the Bad Place!
Now, our gang is hellbent on succeeding, and despite the setbacks they might actually pull this shirt off. Bad Janet returning to the Bad Place armed with a book containing our crew’s experimental notes presents an interesting angle. Michael is essentially entrusting her with valuable information critical to the success of the experiment. Of course, the Bad Place demons don’t want said experiment to succeed. It goes against their belief system, and if people are capable of real change then they’re left with less souls to eternally torture. I really dug Michael’s scenes with Bad Janet, and his perception of what truly makes someone good.
Do you think Bad Janet will eventually join Team Soul Squad? Will Brent change? Can Jason effectively look cool with flaming monk robes? Join me next week as I continue to recap The Good Place, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Good Place airs Thursdays at 9pm on your NBC affiliate.
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