The Good Place: 3.06 A Fractured Inheritance
Last week we saw Jason and Chidi find some closure in their personal lives. This week it is Eleanor and Tahani's turn. Tahani heads to Budapest with Jason, Chidi and Janet, in order to make amends with her sister. While Eleanor and Michael head to Nevada in order to try to help Eleanor's mother on to the path to The Good Place.
A spanner is thrown into the works of Eleanor's plan before it even gets going; up until this point, Eleanor though her mother was dead. In the past Eleanor's parents have only ever been used as a way to illustrate why Eleanor is so messed up, but this episode actually takes a look at who her mother is as an individual.
I'm not sure what I was expecting from Eleanor's mother's new life, but suburban bliss wasn't it. Donna, now Diana, has changed, she has learned to love. However, much like her daughter, she is still learning how to be open and comfortable with that. I loved seeing Eleanor interact with her mother, a women who neglected and emotionally tormented her all throughout her childhood. It is a real testament to how much Eleanor has developed as a character that she could wish for her mother's happiness, even if it took her some time and guidance to get there.
Unlike Eleanor, Tahani arrives at her sister's art show genuinely wanting to repair their relationship and send her sister on her way to The Good Place. But, much like Eleanor, this doesn't come as easily as she might have liked. Of all the four human's personal stories over the past two episodes, Tahani's is the one that I found to be the most touching. It is the only one where both parties admitted to faults in order to begin to build a better relationship. I also found the way that all of Kamilah's art was a metaphor for her family unit, or lack there of, incredibly sweet.
There are as many different types of families as there are families in the world, and seeing these stories about repairing your own connection to those units, be it though growing closer or moving on, has been both fascinating and heart warming to watch. If there is one thing that I am going to take away from these past two episodes it is that humanity is diverse in so many ways, and that that diversity should be give time to grow and find its place in the world around it.
None of the characters in The Good Place have perfect lives or are perfect people, they each have their hangups and their faults, but they are trying, and that alone is worth something. This exaggerated parable of human nature has something that each and every one of its viewers can connect to and draw hope from. These four characters who, while not being monsters, weren't that great, have developed into caring individuals who want the best for the people around them. There is definitely something to be learnt from that.
Much like last week, the part of the upcoming episodes that I am most anticipating is seeing how the group intends to try and help complete strangers. It is one thing to nudge the people you know towards the right path, but completely another to help those you know nothing about. There is also the fact that Eleanor now knows about her romance with Chidi from her time in the afterlife. This will likely lead to some awkward interactions over the next few episodes, quite possibly leading to them drifting apart before they get together. But, as always, I am excited to be along for the ride.