TL;DR – The entire universe is against them, but it is here where the show finds its core drive and so many Janets
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
So far this season, The Good Place has been a bit hit and miss, with a lot of episodes that make you wonder where are they going with this? Add to this, the show started splitting up the group which didn’t fit the tone of the show. The good thing is that even though some episodes were not working, because the show itself is so good it meant that even when an episode didn’t work, it was at least still compelling. Well this week, not only do we come back to form, we get one of the show’s most fascinating episodes to date.
So to set the scene, in the last episode Don’t Let the Good Life Pass You By, we discovered that something is wrong with the good place/bad place system even beyond the fact that it ignores that you could grow as a person after death. But, before they could really process this they were confronted by devils from the bad place that had snuck into the mortal realm through a bootlegs portal. A fight ensued, and Janet (D’ArcyCarden) found that she got her powers back, so in a last ditch effort she brought everyone into her void. Well this week, we open with the ramifications of this action as while Michael (Ted Danson) is fine, the humans didn’t quite make the trip in one piece and so they were reconstituted in Janet’s image. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
Now the one thing that is clearly on show this episode is the amazing acting talents of D’Arcy Carden who not only is playing Janey, but also the new Natural Janet and also Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), and Jason (Manny Jacinto). Now the one thing is clear D’Arcy is not doing characters of those characters but she is embodying every last one. This takes an amazing amount of talent both in D’Arcy’s acting but also in the entire production. So, for example, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got the actors to act out the scene normally, then did a Janet take. Which also means that they had to do four (and some cases more) different takes in different costumes for the different characters.Now today with a locked off camera and a green screen, it is a little bit easier to pull off than back in the day when you needed to splice film together or hope that someone had a twin.However, it is still a major technical achievement and it is credit to all the cast and crew that they pulled it off.
This was also an episode that had some real emotional touchstone moments, right across the spectrum. On the one hand, you had the trademark humour that the show is known for, like “I can throw shade now” or the dry pan delivery of The Accountant Neil(Stephen Merchant). But we also get some really touching moments, like Eleanor getting brought back together by Chidi professing his love for her in the most un-Chidi like way, but also in the most Chidi-like way. It is these emotional beets that bring the show together.
It is also the show that possibly changed everything we know because it is clear that something is very, very, very wrong with the point system. Not only is problematic, but it might also be deeply broken, which is confirmed when we find out that no one has gotten into the good place in 521 years. This is important because as we know time works differentlyin the afterlife, but it also has dire implications for every part of the show.It is this reveal that finally (with some help from Janet) pushed Michael to realise that instead of going to people for help like The Judge or The Accountant,it has to be him that has to lead the charge forward in fixing this great injustice. Now in past seasons of The Good Place, we tend to lurch from one great reveal to the next at the end of the season, and seeing as we have hit that place already, I am now fascinated to see where we go from here, as we end the episode with the group getting into the actual good place, and holy forking shirtballs it is about time.
In the end, do we recommend Janet(s)? Yes,yes we do. Now even when they show is not quite working it is still amazing to watch, but this week when everything is firing it is a masterclass in fun. It has both beautiful emotional moments, but it also has huge implications for the show going forward. If nothing else come watch to see D’Arcy nail six different roles in the one show.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations,or the Solar System.
Have you seen Season Three of The Good Place yet?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Good Place
Directed by – Morgan Sackett
Written by – Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan
Created by – Michael Schur
Starring in Season 3 – Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, D’Arcy Carden & Ted Danson with Dominic Burgess, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Marc Evan Jackson, Ben Lawson, Mike O’Malley, Maya Rudolph, Stephen Merchant & Adam Scott