‘The Good Place’: Can Michael’s Old Enemy Save the New System? (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Good Place Season 4 Episode 11, “Mondays, Am I Right?”]
With just two more episodes left in its run, The Good Place is starting to bring everything full circle, and in “Mondays, Am I Right?” it circles back to a familiar foe of Michael (Ted Danson)’s to paint them in a new light.
As Michael and Tahani (Jameela Jamil) struggle to get The Bad Place demons onboard with the new test system, Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Jason (Manny Jacinto) and Chidi (William Jackson Harper) try to pick who should be the first to take tests and end up questioning their relationships in the process.
A Lengthy History
The bulk of the A-story this episode involves Michael and Tahani’s trials in implementing the new system when it comes to The Bad Place. The folks working there are none too pleased to be under Michael’s thumb — one of them even storms out because of it — and they keep putting “chainsaw bears” into the test for Tahani rather than offering her “smaller, more relatable” challenges. Just in the nick of time, someone with a lengthy history of causing complications wanders in. Vicki (Tiya Sircar)!
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Supposedly, Vicki’s not there to cause chaos. “If things are going to change, then I have to change along with them,” she says. She then gives Tahani a perfect test in which she’s required to give a speech in praise of Kamilah in a room full of people who are rooting for her sister to fail. Michael knows it was a good examination, but he tells Vicki it was C+ work at best and orders her off the team. Why? It’s not, as Janet (D’Arcy Carden) and Tahani believe, because he’s averse to the solution to his problem arising from the mind of his nemesis.
Michael’s always had a purpose, but with Vicki joining and figuring everything out so rapidly, he’s concerned he won’t have anything to do — as he puts it, he won’t have “a rock to roll up a hill.” But he knows putting Vicki back on the team is the right thing to do, so he has a chat with her, and later she “seizes control” of the experiment from him (the whole thing was staged, but the demons wouldn’t listen to her if they knew she was working for Michael).
Opposites Attract — Or Do They?
Meanwhile, Chidi, Eleanor and Jason go through files to see which people should be the first to take the tests. Jason throws everything for a loop when he reads his own file and says he pulled the files for the rest of the group. Panicked, Eleanor runs up to Chidi, yells “I love you!” and tells him he can’t read her file — if he does, he won’t want to be with her anymore. His reassurance regarding the strength of his love doesn’t do much to change her mind, although she does realize that he should read her file now, rather than when “half an eternity” has gone by.
So, with her blessing, Chidi reads her file. His reaction is the complete opposite of what Eleanor anticipated; after he discovers how she had to raise herself and the various hardships she overcame, he feels he’s not good enough for her. Later he explains his fear to Jason, saying he worries Eleanor will get bored of him. Jason counters that opposites attract, but Chidi points out he’d believe that because he needs it to be true: he’s dating Janet, who is his complete opposite. Crestfallen at the thought that his not-a-girl might tire of him, Jason leaves the room.
Chidi follows him and they talk it out. The moral philosopher insists even though Jason and Janet are different, she loves him, and that’s all that matters. “Haha, suckah!” Jason exclaims, and then reveals his plan: he wanted to get Chidi to say those things so he could reflect on them and apply them to his own relationship with Eleanor. It works, and Chidi calms down.
It’s Finally Happening
1.28 Jeremy Bearimy later, Vicki’s still in charge of everything and it appears to be going great. She’s running a bustling architect training school for Good and Bad Place test designers. The four humans, Janet and Michael are there, too, and Eleanor’s taken aback when she hears a tone chime that she knows means someone got into The Good Place. She thinks it’s Prince, but Michael says otherwise. The bell tolled for them, the four original “cockroaches.”
The judge, he explains, said they didn’t have to take the test — they can go straight to The Good Place. Michael and Janet will be coming, too (what a relief). They all board a golden hot air balloon, and as it lifts off, Jason can’t resist yelling one more Jacksonville Jaguars reference: “Fooooooooles!”
The Good Place, Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC