The Good Place episode 11 recap: “The Ebook of Dougs” units up season 3’s ending – Vox

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The Good Place episode 11 recap: “The Ebook of Dougs” units up season 3’s ending – Vox

The Good Place Episode 11 Recap: “The Ebook Of Dougs” Units Up Season 3’s Ending - Vox

This week, Vox critic at giant Todd VanDerWerff, movie critic Alissa Wilkinson, and tradition editor Jen Trolio obtained collectively to debate “The Book of Dougs,” the 11th episode of the third season of NBC’s crazy comedy The Good Place. (As a result of the primary two episodes of season three aired as one installment, the episode quantity is one forward of the variety of weeks the present has aired.) Spoilers observe! Proceed with warning when you haven’t seen the episode!

Todd: I used to be proper!!

I imply, I don’t assume it’s a must to be a rocket scientist to see that the explanation no person has gotten into the Good Place in over 500 years is that the extra difficult the world will get, the extra difficult it’s to be individual. However nonetheless! I stated one thing to that very impact in my evaluation of The Good Place’s most up-to-date episode, “Janet(s),” and in “The Ebook of Dougs,” listed here are Michael and Tahani echoing these very phrases again to me.

Extra particularly, whereas analyzing the large e book of all Dougs who’ve ever lived, Michael pulls up an instance of two completely different Dougs who purchased roses for his or her grandmothers, which might appear to be an unambiguously “good” act. The Doug of the distant previous needed to choose the flowers himself, and he ended up with a optimistic factors distribution.

However the Doug of only a few years in the past ordered the flowers on a cellphone in-built a sweatshop, and the universe’s factors system deducted just a few factors for each single hyperlink within the chain of recent society the place folks and/or the planet had been abused or exploited for financial achieve. Turns on the market are plenty of these hyperlinks!

I bear in mind manner, manner, manner again when The Good Place debuted — earlier than we even knew the Good Place was the Unhealthy Place — I requested creator Michael Schur at a press convention if the present was meant to operate as a form of revenue inequality metaphor, with a handful of individuals having a bunch of arbitrarily outlined “factors” that allow them dwell in luxurious whereas others are compelled to rot in torment. He obtained form of a confused look in his eye, and I briefly apprehensive the present wasn’t meant to have broader philosophical that means in any respect! (How younger I used to be! I had solely seen the pilot!)

And, positive, The Good Place nonetheless form of features as an revenue inequality metaphor, but it surely’s at all times hoped to fry the most important fish of all of them: the very underpinnings of our ethical order. In “The Ebook of Dougs,” the characters enter the precise Good Place however are confined to a really small nook of it (as a result of people can solely enter the Good Place by way of its official entry level, so our gang can’t go away the constructing they’re in). Whereas they’re there, they uncover it’s run by an inefficient paperwork which means any investigations into the factors system will take millennia. And, tbh, we’d not be right here to get factors by then.

I’m liking this season a lot extra now that it’s now not earthbound, however I’m beginning to notice how a lot the transient sojourn to our airplane of actuality helped The Good Place underline its personal dramatic stakes. That is maybe the primary sitcom I can consider the place the literal destiny of all the cosmos is at stake in some style, and I’m into it! What did you two assume?

We’ve some very pedantic questions in regards to the central premise of this episode


Jason ponders the that means of existence.
Colleen Hayes/NBC

Alissa: I drastically loved this episode, not least for the dawning sense that each one of this season’s wanderings (which I’ve loved!) are beginning to come to a head. I squealed, as a Nailed It! stan, for Nicole Byer. I cherished seeing Chidi and Eleanor lastly have an actual date. I puzzled what the air in my Good Place would odor like. And as a professor who has attended, and typically chaired, many school conferences for the previous decade, I delighted, with schadenfreude, within the inefficacy of the Committee.

However most of all, I additionally discovered that the concept of upending the factors system breathed new life into the present. It’s just a little gutsy, just a little Lucifer in Paradise Misplaced-esque, to problem the ethical order of the universe. I particularly love the concept the disintegration of the previous points-based ethical order — at the least insofar because it allowed anybody to have an opportunity at moving into the Good Place — is pegged to roughly 5 centuries in the past, when up to date capitalism started its rise.

That stated, I’ve a bizarre little factor that retains bothering me at the back of my head; it began with the episode the place we met Doug Forcett. And the factor is that this: if the Good and Unhealthy Locations are presupposed to be for all mankind, what about all these folks over the previous 500 years who’ve lived in locations the place they lived hand-to-mouth, the place they weren’t collaborating in any “difficult” system the best way the present has set it up, the place every of your decisions has far-reaching repercussions due to the financial methods by which we dwell. How might none of them made it into the Good Place in all that point?

Whew, I really feel pedantic even bringing that up, although it’s only a variation of the sorts of questions youngsters ask in Sunday College (“if Jesus is the one one who can save us, what about individuals who by no means had the chance to listen to of Jesus?” and so forth). I don’t assume the writers haven’t considered this, so possibly the reality is that I’m anxious to see how they resolve it, too. And possibly that’s a twist we’re nonetheless ready for.

Jen: Wow, that query didn’t come up for me in any respect, however I believe it’s legitimate. And I get why you may be feeling a bit self-conscious about bringing it up — however I believe you’re proper that The Good Place’s writers have certainly at the least considered it. So I’m principally left questioning, at this late level within the season, what sort of pacing we’re in for because the present wraps issues up.

With two episodes to go and with the strain created from the Committee eager to take its time and observe process whereas Michael and his crew really feel a a lot larger sense of urgency, the place can we go from right here?

The episode ended with our trusty band of heroes on their technique to meet the Choose as soon as once more, this time within the Interdimensional Gap of Pancakes. So I’m form of anticipating the subsequent episode to be one thing of a bottled installment, confined to no matter The Good Place’s interpretation of the phrase “Interdimensional Gap of Pancakes” seems to be as Maya Rudolph interrogates the group’s each transfer for the reason that final time they had been all collectively in her quarters.

However then what of the finale? What sort of reset — or lack of 1 — may the collection subsequent have in retailer? Do you assume we’ll be staying within the Good Place, albeit confined to its much less schnazzy areas just like the mail depot we noticed this week? Headed to some new hallway past house and time we simply haven’t seen but?

I’m each intrigued and just a little stumped by how The Good Place may embark on its obvious intention to confront the issues of recent life on Earth whereas nonetheless linking the motion to a bodily house, nonetheless otherworldly that house could also be.

And what does your Good Place odor like?


Chidi and Eleanor lastly get to have a enjoyable date.
Colleen Hayes/NBC

Todd: It’s an attention-grabbing query to ponder. Up to now 500-some years, there actually hasn’t been some member of an uncontacted Amazonian tribe who hasn’t been adequate to get into the Good Place? It’s a troublesome place to get into by definition, however c’mon!

However possibly this performs into the present’s bigger level: The extra interconnected we’re, the extra that one thing dangerous I do can contribute to one thing dangerous that you do, typically with out you even understanding. If the aim is true altruism, then the extra a society turns into intertwined, the tougher it’s to ever extricate your self from it, even when you’re successfully residing off the grid like Doug Forcett. In spite of everything, simply by being alive and dealing on my laptop computer and having this lamp turned on, I’m creating very small carbon emissions which can be contributing to the demise of the planet! Onerous to again away from that one.

However I’m keen to grant The Good Place this premise, as a result of I believe it zeroes in on the place the entire story is headed, which needs to be some kind of upending of the entire Good Place/Unhealthy Place system in favor of one thing extra equitable. It’s, then, a collection not nearly being a greater individual, however about discovering a technique to be a greater society, which is so pie-in-the-sky as a huge idea that I can’t fairly wrap my head round the best way to inform a narrative about it.

Certainly, it felt just a little to me like season three was simply the present marking time, then quickly approaching what I hoped can be a fourth and closing season that will wrap all the things up. However the best way “The Ebook of Dougs” strikes the goalposts makes me assume that season three wasn’t actually a narrative lining up the characters to complete their story total, however lining up the entire present to transition into some new section.

I do know that Misplaced is buried deep in The Good Place’s DNA someplace, and that present, too, had a 3rd season that transitioned it from being one factor to being one other totally. It’s thrilling to observe that kind of factor occur once more.

In the meantime, Eleanor and Chidi: Do you purchase this as the nice romantic arc of the present? As a result of I’m in favor of them as a pair, significantly the best way they offer one another leeway to be bizarre, however I really feel that insistent little tug that one thing of their coupling doesn’t fairly work the best way the present needs it to, and I can’t determine it out.

(My odor, by the best way, would simply be Christmas bushes. Boring!)

Alissa: I agree. I believe The Good Place has proven a willingness to completely change the panorama, and to be trustworthy, I’m anticipating one thing massive within the closing episode to do the identical. For one factor, I believe it will definitely has to begin stumbling into some form of non secular territory — one thing it’s largely managed to evade for 3 seasons, and assuredly so, by specializing in ethical philosophy to the exclusion of issues like, say, origins and the tip of the world. Nevertheless it seems like Michael and the gang are inadvertently pushing the entire afterlife/supernatural world towards an apocalyptic second of reckoning, and I’ve no thought what’s going to occur subsequent.

I’m going to return again to Paradise Misplaced right here, as a result of I’m getting form of obsessive about the concept of a demon, an evil being, turning into the present’s hero. Granted, in Milton’s retelling, Lucifer will not be performed by Ted Danson. However many individuals consider Lucifer as an antihero, possibly the primary one — a fallen being, previously an angel of sunshine, who nonetheless is kind of the one we need to root for — and he’s able to problem an almighty, distant God when he feels wronged by the universe.

That’s not precisely who Michael is. However there are sufficient parallels right here that my spidey sense has been pricking, particularly in “The Ebook of Dougs” when Michael will get visibly irritated with the Committee, who’re, certainly, aloof and ineffective.

What would a extra equitable society seem like? And may The Good Place put one collectively with out actually specifying the supply of morality total? I don’t know! That’s what excites me. I really like this present for boldly diving into issues that exhibits like this not often get into, and doing it with hilarious jokes and candy storylines (and, sure, I do like Eleanor and Chidi collectively, although I’m to see the place that story goes).

My largest hope, although, is that we return to the Unhealthy Place sooner or later. The best way The Good Place throws shade on annoying folks in all places for dangerous behaviors (of the not-wearing-your-shoes-on-the-airplane selection) delights me, as an individual who lives in a crowded metropolis and takes plenty of public transportation.

My Good Place, by the best way, most likely smells like a bowl of ramen on a chilly day.


Off to the Interdimensional Gap of Pancakes!
Colleen Hayes/NBC

Jen: First issues first, I believe my Good Place may odor like a glass of pink wine and the surface air proper after a cracking summer season thunderstorm, however the thoughts really boggles. So many choices!!

And I’m gonna aspect extra with Alissa on the Eleanor/Chidi query: I believe they’re extraordinarily enjoyable to observe collectively, and I’m to see the place their story goes.

However I do really feel that very same sense of reservation, Todd; there’s one thing just a little … one thing … about them, and it’s laborious to discern. I’ve a sense that it might need to do with their relative function reversal in “The Ebook of Dougs” — all of a sudden, Chidi was reassuring a constantly-freaking-out Eleanor, as a substitute of the opposite manner round. However I have to confess I cherished seeing him tackle a extra assertive function and exude some confidence for as soon as. (Additionally, William Jackson Harper strutting round in that Good Place mail service uniform as if he was about to go out on some form of postal safari was superb.)

I’m desirous to see how the duo jumps into the way forward for the present as a partnership. Their coupledom offers The Good Place yet one more alternative to morph and evolve, as Eleanor and Chidi develop each as people and as a romantic couple. Who would have thought that we’d ever hear Chidi say, “What if we don’t fear about no matter comes subsequent?” Chidi! Of all folks.

There’s change afoot each on a common stage and a human stage, and I like the best way that The Good Place may very well be making one a microcosm of the opposite.

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The Good Place Episode 11 Recap: “The Ebook Of Dougs” Units Up Season 3’s Ending - Vox
The Good Place Episode 11 Recap: “The Ebook Of Dougs” Units Up Season 3’s Ending - Vox
The Good Place Episode 11 Recap: “The Ebook Of Dougs” Units Up Season 3’s Ending - Vox
The Good Place Episode 11 Recap: “The Ebook Of Dougs” Units Up Season 3’s Ending - Vox
The Good Place Episode 11 Recap: “The Ebook Of Dougs” Units Up Season 3’s Ending - Vox

The Good Place Episode 11 Recap: “The Ebook Of Dougs” Units Up Season 3’s Ending - Vox

The Good Place Episode 11 Recap: “The Ebook Of Dougs” Units Up Season 3’s Ending - Vox

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