It’s a sad day to be writing this review. Not because THE GOOD PLACE has gone down hill at all, or that this particular episode wasn’t fun to watch. No, it’s a sad day because this is the last episode of The Good Place we’ll be able to see until January. Goodbye Real Eleanor, goodbye Fake Eleanor, goodbye Fake Eleanor’s disdain at being called Fake Eleanor. It’s going to be long few months. Luckily though, “…Someone Like Me as a Member,” did a good job at heightening the stakes, and still crushing it will the goofs.
Purely the funniest addition to this and last week’s episode is Adam Scott’s Trevor who excels at playing truly the worst kind of person. Even though he’s technically not a person, but a demon who is essentially ruling the bad place. His sexist remarks at Eleanor and his every excuse to make a fart noise make him truly the worst, but in the best way possible. The whole episode hinges on a negotiation to get Eleanor to stay in the good place, even though it’s clear to Trevor and Eleanor herself that she does not belong.
This episode’s use of flashbacks are some of the best the show as uses so far. While they normally use the device to convey Eleanor as a not-so-great person, this week they also highlight her inability and lack of desire to belong. She doesn’t want to be in any cliques in high school, doesn’t want to sit in a big group at the movies, and doesn’t want to be employed somewhere where everyone hangs out. These moments beautifully highlight how much she’s changed, and not just through a moral lense. Post-death Eleanor wants to belong somewhere, and she wants it to be The Good Place.
Of course, this is easier said than done, and Trevor does a pretty good job at playing off Eleanor’s insecurities. Chidi and Real Eleanor are getting along a little too well (as soulmates do) and Eleanor feels left out and unwanted. Which is a feeling you can’t have unless you do want to belong somewhere – so check and mate. Toward the end, when there is a final negotiation of the Eleanors, she is almost ready to give it all up. However, Chidi and the whole community assure her she’s not going to be left out anymore. And Michael takes it into his own hands. After spending the whole episode (hilariously) being bullied by the Bad Place crew, he tells them to fork off, and that he’s keeping Eleanor.
Of course, things are not going to go smoothly from here out on out. If it comes down to it, they are going to have to refer to the almighty judge of them all, who happens to be named Sean. All of that, however, is for 2017. There is a lot that is at stake here, but what makes that so beautiful is that everyone in the Good Place is willing to put a lot at stake for Eleanor. Even Real Eleanor, who already feels like she belongs both in the Good Place itself and in The Good Place the show. (She has a killer Seinfeld joke.) The whole place is standing by her side and will continue to do so even if it causes the wrath of Sean.
It wouldn’t be a complete episode of The Good Place without a nice little twist to tide us over for the months we will go without it. Throughout this whole Eleanor ordeal, no one had really been paying attention to Jianyu/Jason and his flagrant act of not being a Buddhist monk. No one, that is, except for Tahani who has been picking up on all the not-subtle hints. She confronts poor dumb Jason at the end of the episode, but who knows what the greater consequences will be. Especially now that it’s clear Eleanor is not the only exception. Sadly, we have to wait until January to find this out, but I have faith that it will be worth the wait.
Season 1, Episode 9 (S01E09)
The Good Place airs Thursday at 830PM on NBC
Raina spends most of her time watching television and trying to find the perfect bagel and lox, because she likes being emotionally distraught.
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Raina Deerwater | Contributor