The Good Place: Most Improved Player – Forking Forked (Recap/Review)

The Good Place - Season 1The Good Place looks all ready to deport Eleanor and send her to The Bad Place. As Janet is still rebooting, Michael has to revert to questioning Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jianyu. The recently rebooted Janet is having issues with the most mundane of tasks and it is slowing Michael’s investigation down.

Janet hands out cactus plants whenever she is asked for anything. Michael asks for Eleanor’s file and gets a cactus.

First Michael must have Eleanor complete a questionnaire, which she does pretty well on. The questions are designed to see if she is essentially a good person.  She is asked if she ever watched The Bachelor or any of its spin offs. Other questions include whether she has ever taken off her shoes and socks on a commercial flight.

Eleanor replies, “Ew. Who would even do that?” “People in The Bad Place, Eleanor,” says Michael.

Then there is a polygraph “cube.” The small white box turns red and green, red equals a lie and green the truth.  Eleanor also does well on this test.  During the test she is asked if she killed Janet and Eleanor replies no. It is, of course, the truth.

Michael is finished with Eleanor and moves on to speak with Tahani.  Eleanor then warns Chidi that anyone who helped her would also be sent to The Bad Place. “We are all,” she says, “forking forked.”

As she explains what Michael told her, Eleanor quotes Immanuel Kant and Chidi is overjoyed that his lessons have not been in vain. She and Chidi tell  Jianyu to say nothing to Michael. He agrees to nod and gesture vaguely while being questioned.

In the interview, Michael begins quoting Buddha and Jianyu touches a cactus and pricks his finger. The architect takes the gesture to be some sort of meaningful event and thanks Jianyu.

Chidi is saved from being interrogated when Janet finally produces Eleanor’s file. Michael begins going through some instances of her life and  initially things do not seem too bad.

Then the subject of “Dress B*tch” t-shirts comes up. By the end of the memory, where Eleanor borrowed her roommates peach dress and tore it, Michael decrees that she must go to The Bad Place.

(The clincher was Eleanor and her other roommate printing up t-shirts with the roommate’s picture on it with the logo “Dress B*tch” across the front. Eleanor made enough money to buy the exact same dress that she tore.)

Michael rings Trevor, his counterpart in The Bad Place, and tells him to come collect Eleanor. When Trevor and his entourage arrive he is excited to see who he has been called to collect. He tell’s her that she is famous in The Bad Place.

After Eleanor boards the train, Chidi speaks to Michael about not sending Eleanor away. Michael says that despite Eleanor getting better there was no award for “most improved player.” Chidi replies that there should be.

Michael rushes to stop the train and tells Trevor to let Eleanor off.  He wants Eleanor to stay until he can work out how she got in The Good Place.

Trevor agrees but explains that the real Eleanor Shellstrop will stay in The Bad Place until things get sorted. He brings “good” Eleanor off the train and the two women stand facing each other.

There are some funny bits in this episode. The Bad Place crew, for example, give Michael 100 Hawaiian pizzas, aka pineapple and ham.

The big question is what will happen to both Eleanor’s at the end of the investigation.  Since both the Shellstrop’s are dead, and presumably the real “good” one will be trapped in The Bad Place while Michael discovers what went wrong, the pressure on Chidi’s fake soulmate will be  intense.

The Good Place is still funny and it is almost compulsive viewing.   The show  is clever, funny and brings out the best in Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. Jameel a Jamil has become a personal favorite along with Manny Jacinto.

The series airs Thursdays on NBC.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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