Ted Danson is a very funny man. There is a lot more than that to be gleaned from this week’s THE GOOD PLACE: a potential new romance, a fantastic new friendship based on lies, but oh man is that Ted Danson funny. Though so much of the marketing for The Good Place showed Danson and Kristen Bell side by side, there has not been much one-on-one time between Michael and Eleanor. “What We Owe to Each Other” changes that right away.
The end of the last episode saw Michael recruiting Eleanor to help him figure out what is causing the disruptions in The Good Place. Of course, she knows and we know that it’s her that causes everything, but she can’t let Michael now, but she can’t say no to Michael. Morality is hard, is essentially the message of this episode, and the show in its entirety. Eleanor has to find a way to help Michael while also not helping him. It’s a challenge that isn’t quite solvable, but the fact that Eleanor tries so hard speaks wonders of how far she’s come in only six episodes. Sure, she half motivated by selfish desires not to be found out, but she does really try to help Michael.
Michael himself is truly the star of this episode, with his seeing in nine dimensions, and his litany of Friends references. A Ross and Phoebe joke hasn’t landed that well since Friends was on the air, and it was clear that the writers had a lot of fun with it. Much like the fun Eleanor and Michael have when she convinces him to take a break from work. They do karaoke, bowling, arcade games, and the classic Good Place froyo. They also play a claw machine which brings the best Universal cross-marketing scheme ever: Michael calling a minion an “ugly yellow toddler.” We also learn more about Michael and how much he has riding on this place. He was the only architect who stays in the village with the people, and look how well that’s going for him.
While all of this is going on, Chidi is playing third wheel to the barely functioning Tahani and Jianyu (aka Jason). He joins them on a couple’s spa to try to get Jason to actually talk to Tahani who is just trying so hard to connect. Jason’s whole character is that he is a huge idiot, so it’s not going well. The only thing that comes out of their day together is Chidi’s odd connection to Tahani. Someone mistakes them for soulmates, and after some odd eye contact it’s clear that there is a little something going on there. It wouldn’t be inconceivable if the two of them were soulmates, given that both of their “soul mates” are truly frauds. To continue with the rom-com vibes, Chidi creates a painting for Jason to give to Tahani, and it makes her finally believe that she can make it work with Jason. There are a lot of Cirino/Roxanne vibes coming from Chidi, so it will be interesting to see how long this attraction and lying will last.
Meanwhile, Michael is ready to go back to work and thanks to Eleanor giving him a day off, he’s had an epiphany about what’s causing the world to go wrong: it’s a person. Eleanor is rightfully freaking out, but eventually, her newfound morals weigh out over her fear of being caught. When Michael gets a hoodie and has a breakdown, as one does about not being able to find out who is causing everything, Eleanor comforts him, and actually pledges her help. For real this time. However, it seems like Michael has already figured it out. He calls a town meeting, and Eleanor panics. However, at the meeting he announced that he’s figured out who the problem is: and it’s him.
Another cliffhanger leads us to wonder whether Eleanor will let Michael exile himself from the Good Place or if she will let him leave. There’s one thing for sure, Michael can’t actually leave, because none of us would survive without Danson’s comedic chops absolutely crushing it every week.
Season 1, Episode 6 (S01E06)
Show Titles 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