The Good Place: 4.05 Employee of the Bearimy
Last week's episode ended with Jason and Michael leaving to rescue Janet from The Bad Place, leaving just Eleanor, Tahani, and an under equipped Derek to keep the neighbourhood running until they return.
The opening scene shows just what Janet has been dealing with since her kidnapping. Namely dealing with Vicki's sub-par attempts at pretending to be Michael. As usual, Janet's dead pan attitude adds to the hilarity of Vicki's failure. Janet is utterly unaffected by the performance, merely giving honest feedback, which frames the episode in a hopeful light since she has yet to even begin to crack under the pressure of her kidnapping.
Mean while Derek is not taking well to single fatherhood. He is in no way equipped to deal with running the neighbourhood on his own. So Eleanor sends Tahani and the humans to a lake house so that the rest of the town and its inhabitants can be shut down until Janet's return. However, Chidi, being Chidi, throws a spanner in the works when he decides to stay at home.
This provided yet another chance to Eleanor to think on her feet and use all that she had learned about Chidi over their various reboots. I love how she is still using her old knowledge to help Chidi become his best self, and to save the experiment. Even though she still shows pain when Chidi and Simone are together, the amount that Eleanor has grown over the show is exemplified more and more of the course of this season.
On the other hand, this episode also shows just how much the other three original humans haven't, in some ways, really changed all that much. Chidi can sort of be let off the hook since he has no memory of the events of seasons one to three. Jason, as lovable as he is, is a moron. But Tahani's ever present insecurities rear their ugly heads again this episode, in a way that we haven't seen in a while.
After watching Eleanor blossom into an amazing architect, Tahani feels like she is just being asked to put on parties. And, much like on Earth, this insecurity on leads to trouble. She gets Derek to kill himself, which does make him smarter, but also makes all of the 'Janet Babies' fall unconscious. Eleanor swoops in to save that day, but that is exactly what Tahani didn't want.
Tahani's eventual explosion at Eleanor makes sense, I can see why she would be jealous. Eleanor has really stepped up this season and seeing her grow has sort of made the other characters pale in comparison. But the moral I got form this episode is that everyone is good at something. If the world were made up entirely of Eleanors, it would be just as much of a disaster as it would be if it was made up of entirely Tahani's. Where Eleanor is good at thinking on her feet, Tahani is genuinely great at keeping people happy and throwing an amazing party party.
The phrase 'it takes a village' comes to mind. Not only does this experiment take multiple people but it also takes multiple skill sets. All of the humans need each other for it to be a success.
While The Good Place has always been able to get me to laugh, it has also always made me think, and this week is no exception. There are so many morals flying around it would be very easy for the show to slip over the line into being preachy, and though it does toe that line form time to time, it does mostly succeed at talking through what it means to be a good person without too much judgement. I am really going to miss its lighthearted way of covering just how hard it is to be good to yourself and those around you in the world today.