The Good Place: 3.10 The Book Of Dougs
One of the biggest successes of The Good Place - aside from a terrific bunch of characters and laugh out loud comedy - is its ability to continually reinvent itself. The twist at the end of the first season was a game changer and this third season shook things up again with the gang alive and back on Earth as part of Michael's experiment to prove they could change and get into the Good Place. And then the last episode Janet(s) shook things up again with the reveal that no one had gotten into the Good Place in five hundred years.
The difficulty the show now faces, particularly in light of the recent fourth season renewal, is how to keep the momentum going. We last saw Michael, Janet, Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason make the final place to the Good Place; leaving us with the question - where does the show go from here? Fortunately The Book of Dougs managed to both pay off on that cliff-hanger and keep the story moving forward without coping out of a happy ending.
The Good Place 'mail room' was a great place to interact with the Heaven the characters had been desperately searching for without actually reaching their goal. There were some interesting variations on what your favourite smell was - Tahini's smell of the change from economy to first class was hilarious. Nicole Byer was a delight chirpy Good Place employee Gwendoline while the council was delightfully happy, reassuring and restrained by red tape as they agreed to spend a couple of hundred years putting together an exploratory committee into choosing who should be on the committee to investigate why no one is getting into the Good Place. It's clever moments like this - and the reveal that perhaps it's just too hard for modern society to be good enough - that demonstrate just how intelligently written The Good Place is.
Of course, there were also some great little character reveals from Janet awkwardly discovering that Janet was in love with him to Chidi and Eleanor's first date and subsequent sexual escapades in the closet. I admit I like this more carefree Chidi now that he has admitted his feelings for Eleanor too.
The episode ended with the team leaving the Good Place before they even had a chance to experience it; Michael summoning the Judge took the season in an interesting new direction for its final two episodes. I'm intrigued to see how this quest to get everyone into the Good Place works out, particularly with a four season on its way too. Suddenly it's become a lot more than just getting Eleanor, Chid, Tahini and Jason to the place they deserve.