The first season of The Good Place was brilliant just as a show about four people who got into The Good Place by mistakes and were trying to become better people to prevent their Neighborhood from falling apart – and then there was that season finale. Michael turned out to be a demon -practicing a new kind of torture.
Season Two seemed like it could present some problems if it ran a variation of that set up -instead, it gave hundreds of variations where Elinor and even Jason at one point figured out they were in The Bad Place.
Now, with the boss having warned Michael (Ted Danson) that reboot 2 (in reality reboot #802) is his last chance – and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) is causing the Neighborhood to glitch because she’s still in love with Jason.
Eleanor (Kristin Bell) suggested she find a rebound boy, but Janet made on – Derek – and ‘his brain is wrong.’
Michael’s first option is killing Derek (Jason Mantzoukas), but everyone – and especially Chidi (William Jackson Harper) is against the idea.
While Michael (Ted Danson), Eleanor and Chidi try to fix the problem, Michael send Jason (Manny Jacinto) and Tahani (Jameela Jamil) of on a private picnic to keep them out of the way.
Written by Cord Jefferson and directed by Jude Weng, Chapter 21 of The Good Place finds Michael beginning to figure out this whole ethics thin – mostly by prodding hopefully for loopholes – by really trying.
In light of Eleanor’s bad advice, Janet braces her some of the real shirt and – surprise, surprise – she comes up with a much better idea.
Meanwhile, Jason and Tahani try to figure out why they love each other despite being literally all wrong from each other on every conceivable level (the answers shock and amuse).
After the first season ended with Eleanor knowing where she was and having to be rebooted, instead of having her know every episode might have been boring, so the writers had her go through hundreds of reboots (some glorious montage work there!) before settling in on the reboot where Michael’s underlings, led by Denise, take charge (or so they think).
The writing has been consistently sharp and succinct (except for Chidi’s ethics lessons) and very, very funny – and the cast has jumped aboard and taken each new script – including this week’s Derek – and turned it into an epic of mirth and merriment. In an ethically suspect world.
This week’s episode, Derek, continues the show’s consistently brilliant season matching the level of its predecessors.
Final Grade: A