Things have seemed a little off in Eleanor’s experiment to determine the fate of humanity, and in the latest episode of The Good Place, we finally found out why. Thanks to some sleuthing from none other than...Jason Mendoza??
“Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy” opens with another failed bonding exercise between our human subjects. Eleanor has them play a game of Magical Pictionary to see how well they all knew each other. Unfortunately, the whole thing comes to a tragic and violent end as Chidi’s pony drawing came to life and started attacking people, leaving everybody on edge and wondering where to take things next.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for Team Cockroach, in pops demon Glenn from the Bad Place (he was the hooded figure coming into the train station at the end of the last episode) to stir the pot even more with a shocking revelation: Michael is actually Vicki in disguise.
This reveal fuels the rest of the episode, with Eleanor and the others finding it hard to trust Michael after he explains some of the ways he’s lied to them in recent weeks. It shows how, even though Michael has made improvements over the past few seasons, he still has trouble leaving all of his bad habits behind.
It all comes to a head when Eleanor, desperate to find something that will solve this mystery and fix the team’s problems, demands Michael take off his human skin suit to prove he’s not Vicki. However, Michael refuses out of principle, because he doesn’t want Eleanor and the others judging him for what he really is: a 1,828.80m tall fire squid.
The camera centres on Michael, mortified and a little angry at the lack of trust, as he shares details about his true physical form. There’s a reason he doesn’t want to take the suit off. He’s afraid they’ll never look at him the same way again. Unfortunately, he’s probably right and it speaks to the still-unspoken strain in their group dynamic. They all love Michael, but in the end they can never truly know him. It’s kind of sad, if you think about it.
Luckily, it doesn’t take long for the actual truth to come out. It wasn’t Michael who had been secretly replaced, it was Janet. And guess who figured it out first? That’s right, Jason Mendoza babyyyyyy! (With a little help from Mindy St. Clair and Derek’s sex toys. And Derek did mention he’s been evolving...) Jason knew something was up when he’d called Janet “girl” and she hadn’t responded “not a girl” like she’s always done. And thinking back on the past few episodes, there were plenty of other signs that something weird was going on with Janet. I mean, come on, she suggested Tahani punch Glenn in the face! That had Bad Janet written all over it.
In the end, Jason and Michael decide to head out on a rescue mission to fetch Janet from the Bad Place as Eleanor and the others figure out how to hold down the fort without half of the team needed to keep the experiment from falling apart. It’s clear that next week is going to be a wild ride. But at least they’ve still got Glenn in a fish tank.
I freaking knew something weird had happened on that train!
I loved the moment Simone went “no no no no no” to Brent after he called Chidi “my brother.” I’m curious to see how that relationship develops, as it’s clear Simone has no interest in taking any of Brent’s shit. That said, I wouldn’t want it to turn into the stereotypical situation where a black woman is brought in to solve a white man’s casual racism/sexism—unless their intention is to draw attention to that trope to unpack it. We’ll have to see what happens there.
Glenn is quickly becoming my favourite newcomer to the faux Good Place. I just want to grab a 12pm mimosas brunch with him and talk about mushroom water for hours.
You have to applaud a show that can turn a discussion of tentacles, teeth, fire, and “lots of juice” into one of the most vulnerable moments of the series so far.
Jason Mantzoukas teases what's to come with Derek in The Good Place. pic.twitter.com/y2dHbq6WSU
— io9 (@io9) October 9, 2019