Talk about a cliffhanger! The Good Place is approaching the end of the experiment, and up until now it’s been anyone’s guess whether our four subjects managed to save humanity. However, some last-minute hijinks and even more shocking reveals mean eternity might be forked.
“Help Is Other People” takes place on the last day of the one-year experiment, as Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Michael (Ted Danson), and the others pull out all the stops to try and rack up a few extra points. This means hosting a big “London black tie” party where our four heroes will be given a chance to share what they’ve learned over the past year and make final amends with each other. Only this never happens.
You see, Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) has been pulling an Eleanor all this time (albeit a much more science-y version) by revealing that she doesn’t think they’re in the Good Place after all. She does this by showing them a massive conspiracy board that suggests they’ve been the centre of some kind of prank, experiment, or worse. Chidi (William Jackson Harper) is hurt that she didn’t tell him about her research, but she’s also upset that he kept Jason’s real identity a secret. Clearly, there are problems in their now-defunct relationship that not even being “soulmates” can fix.
Then you’ve got Brent (Benjamin Koldyke) and John (Brandon Scott Jones), who come into the final day of the experiment with their own baggage. John has spent a lot of time working on himself, along with having some of the best jokes of the series, but he still manages to spill the tea about Jason when pressed. Then there’s Brent, otherwise known as a “toilet full of a broccoli,” who insists he’s supposed to be in the Best Place and refuses to accept any criticism about his toxic behaviour. Clearly, the year hasn’t changed these four people as much as Eleanor and the others would’ve liked.
Things come to a head at the party, when Michael (who’s recently discovered he likes doing stage magic, something I hope he continues because it’s adorable) performs a final Hail Mary to bring the subjects together. He causes a massive sinkhole in the ground that swallows up Brent, leaving him dangling for dear life—the idea being that, since Brent doesn’t deserve to be rescued, showing compassion for him could rack up serious points for the team. But it doesn’t go the way they’d like. Simone refuses to help Brent and leaves, taking John with her. Chidi is the only one who seems to get it and tries to help Brent, which ends up making him fall into the sinkhole too.
This is when shirt really hits the fan. Eleanor and Michael realise that the only thing left to do is, well, implode the experiment and hope for the best. Chidi comes to the realisation that they’re in the Bad Place, giving Eleanor a chance to join Michael in that oh-so-perfect demon laugh session, which delighted me to no end. As Chidi and Brent sit in Eleanor’s office, contemplating their fate, the two of them share a tough but possibly afterlife-saving moment. Chidi confronts Brent about his behaviour, telling him he doesn’t like him because he’s a “bad person.” This destroys Brent, who sees Chidi is his only friend.
Brent is objectively awful, but watching him short circuit over the realisation that no one sees him the way he seems himself was heartbreaking. And it might’ve done the trick to save all of humanity: Unless it was too late. Just as Brent was about to apologise to Chidi, they were frozen in place. The experiment is over. Pass the margaritas.
This episode was a roller coaster, and I’m feeling actual nerves about what the result of the experiment is going to be! It’s one of those rare times that I cannot wait until the next episode because I have to know what’s going to happen. The theme of the season, and series as a whole, is about the importance of trying. I’m trying to wait patiently…and it’s not working.
I’m upset that we didn’t get a Simone arc like we did for Brent and John. I get that we know her a little bit better than the others, but it made the moment John criticised her for needing to “always be right” feel unearned, because we hadn’t spent enough time seeing her confront that side of herself. That said, pour out a margarita for Chidi and Simone’s relationship, as it looks to be dunzo. I know a lot of people who are going to be pissed about that.
Am I the only one who’s kinda curious to see what it looks like when Janet eats her Janet babies? Like, is this a full-on Kronos situation? Is one of them going to hide out in secret, i.e. Zeus, and then enact revenge, freeing all their Janet cohorts from Janet’s body? God, please don’t let that happen.