Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers from NBC’s Moral philosophy comedy, The Good Place’s Season 3 Episode 2.
We’re back again in Australia where episode two of ‘The Good Place’ resumes. The humans have no idea Trevor is trying to sabotage them and it’s up to Michael and Janet to stop him.
Trevor puts Eleanor in the spotlight, as he thanks her for being ‘the reason this is all happening.’ The music crescendos into a creepy tone, as we see how oblivious Eleanor is to Trevor’s ulterior motives.
Chidi and Simone begin their study, starting with an MRI scan of each member’s brains while asking ethical questions. Then, they would show each member images which trigger the memory of their near-death experience. The example Simone uses is Jason’s near-death experience: a safe, a snorkel mask, and several whip-it cans.
The dialogue is still imbued hilarious, witty banter and the dynamics between group members are still the same as they’ve always been. Tahani asks Eleanor if it’s safe to go into the MRI machine with a bra made of gold and Eleanor responds with a quip about how she’s in a similar situation since her sports bra has “rust-colored” sweat stains.
Trevor walks in, asking Eleanor why she hasn’t responded to any of the ‘dank memes’ he sent her. Eleanor clearly uncomfortable with the gesture and asks Simone if they can start the procedure immediately. In the meantime, Michael sneaks back down to earth and confronts Trevor, who reveals his plan to sabotage the humans: he’s going to annoy them into quitting the study. Unfortunately for Michael, he can’t directly stop Trevor, since he had already helped the humans get to Australia and they would recognize him. This presents the first driving conflict of the episode: how will Michael stop Trevor?
The show cuts back to the humans. After their MRI scans, Chidi dismisses them for the day. Eleanor stays behind and asks him if they can continue their one-on-one lessons. Chidi tells her that he’s too busy to teach her but she’ll still learn a lot. This rejection drives a wedge into Eleanor and Chidi’s relationship.
Trevor decides to take them to an American bar for some ‘bonding.’ He reveals that he’s made them all sweatshirts and tosses them at each group member- all of them (except Jason) are shown to be very uncomfortable. Suddenly, Janet appears as their server and old western confrontation music starts playing in the background. It’s face-off time. Although she struggles with her lack of powers on earth, she’s working with Michael to stop Trevor’s plan.
Over drinks, Trevor thanks Chidi for coming. He suggests that maybe it’s unethical for a researcher to be friends with his subjects, triggering Chidi’s indecisiveness. It’s an integral part of Trevor’s evil plan. If Chidi backs out of their friendship, Eleanor will leave the study because she can’t stand the other group members. Then Everyone else will leave too, resulting in Chidi’s study being dissolved.
Chidi leaves the group table. Eleanor’s annoyance with Trevor bubbles over so she goes after Chidi. Then, Trevor initiates a drinking game between Tahani and Jason. Michael recognizes that Trevor’s plan is in motion and decides to talk Chidi into remaining friends with the group. He catches Eleanor talking to Chidi, who is panicking about tainting the results of his study. Chidi decides that it’s best if he wasn’t friends with his subjects and turns Eleanor away.
Michael tells Chidi to keep his friendship with the rest of the team. However, Chidi decides to go home instead. Michael and Janet confront Trevor, who is pleased that his plan is going so well. Trevor reminds Michael that he’s still on Earth illegally and could jeopardize his experiment if the Judge finds out. This raises the stakes of Michael’s operation.
In the morning, Simone confronts Chidi about his decision to keep his distance from the group. Tahani meets the other members and hands out apology letters. Eleanor is nowhere to be found so Chidi decides to find her and ask her to stay on. He has a heart to heart with her and she decides to go back.
Michael and Janet confront Trevor again. However this time, the Judge finds out and summons them back to the bridge. In an amazing display of power, she flicks Trevor into the black abyss and decides to send Michael and Janet back to the Bad Place. Suddenly, Janet’s powers begin to work. Like a backed-up printer, everything she tried to summon on Earth starts to show up, right in front of the Judge. As the Judge tries to push away Janet’s junk, Michael and Janet have the time they need to escape, going back down to Earth.
I particularly enjoyed the set design in this episode, especially in the last scene where couches and steamrollers start falling in the path of the Judge as she pushes them away with her ethereal power. I also thought the episodes had some funny commentary about America and the dialogue remains just as light as it always is, even when the stakes are raised.
Next episode: Michael and Janet have escaped to Earth. How will they survive without their powers? How are the group members going to react to Trevor’s disappearance? Will Michael and Janet finally be reunited with the group?
Episode Three, ‘The Snowplow, releases Thursday, Oct. 11 on NBC 8/7c.