A review of tonight's The Good Place coming up just as soon as I try to eat without listening to hardcore porn…
As the last new episode until January, “…Someone Like Me as a Member” nicely and amusingly illustrated the growth that both Fake Eleanor and The Good Place as a whole have managed over the last few months – emotional for her, comic for the show.
Of course, a lot of the comic value of these last few episodes have come from the arrival of Trevor and the rest of the Bad Place d-bags – which here included a Bad Janet who just plays on her phone the whole time while insulting anyone asking her questions – and I'm going to miss Adam Scott and company now that they've gone home. (I know what a great jackass Scott can play, but I was still in hysterics throughout the scene at The Good Plates where he dribbled food out of his mouth, clipped his toenails, and insisted on sending the wine back to the kitchen.) But this one also demonstrated the strength of the regular characters, whether it was Michael's inability to stand up to Trevor's crew, Tahani boasting of having helped Mark Zuckerberg in dumping Eduardo Saverin from Facebook, Jason and Good Janet sharing a sweet moment now that they're on the same intellectual level, or Fake Eleanor struggling to be totally cool with Real Eleanor's angelic perfection.
And while the Eleanor flashbacks again weren't particularly funny, they were aiming more for emotional resonance this time out, illustrating the ways that our heroine lives her life by Groucho Marx's old credo (the first half of the episode's titular phrase involves refusing to belong to any club that would have you), and how she needs the Good Place as much to accept other people into her (after)life as to avoid an eternity of being tortured by having to organize baby showers for women she doesn't know.
Early on, Michael and Trevor figure out that the Real/Fake Eleanor mix-up happened because the two happened to die at the exact same time in the exact same place, which puts Michael at ease that this is a one-time glitch caused by an improbable quirk of fate. But Jason's presence complicates things, and now that Tahani has figured out that he's not who he claims to be, perhaps we'll find out that there are more than just the two mistakes.
It's nice to see the show coming together as well as it has the last few weeks, even if we now have to wait til 2017 to finish out the season.
Some other thoughts:
* Soulmates Chidi and Real Eleanor of course hit it off famously, which has me wondering if the Chidi/Tahani/Jason love triangle was a one-time thing or will return down the road. In the meantime, though, Tiya Sircar makes a good addition to the cast, finding ways for Real Eleanor's inherent goodness to seem much humbler and less annoying than Tahani's.
* Given how Adam Scott is equally great at playing both dicks and sane men in insane world types – and, for that matter, how much fun Ted Danson is when he's playing a jerk – I almost wish that the cosmic beings also had Good and Bad versions of themselves like Good and Bad Janet, so we could meet a Good Trevor going nuts trying to figure out all the problems with the neighborhood, and/or a Bad Michael who delights in torturing humans as much as Good Michael enjoys emulating them.
* Better forced name change due to the presence of a more admirable person with the same name: Fake Eleanor here, or Phil becoming Tandy on Last Man on Earth?
What did everybody else think?