THE GOOD PLACE: “Derek” Roundtable

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Missing The Good Place? Don’t worry, it returns to NBC on January 4. In the meantime, catch up with our roundtables for the first half of the season here and read our thoughts on the mid-season finale below.

Janet and Derek quickly soured on each other, leading to Janet placing Derek in power saver mode. Were you surprised he only lasted 7 hours?

Melissa: I really did think he would last another episode or two, but it’s probably for the best that Derek is gone. He was getting on my nerves.

Cara: Yeah, I thought he would make minor appearance for an episode or two at least. I didn’t expect a full-on Derek episode. Although, as it appears his creation was more flawed than we realized last week, I guess it makes sense that he would have had to go pretty quickly. Also, is this the first non-perfect thing that Janet has created?

Cay: Agreed, I was expecting a bit longer but perhaps it is for the best as he got annoying fast!

Michael came to Eleanor and Chidi with his dilemma about Derek, prompting a discussion of ethics in practice as they tried to figure out how to solve the problem. What did you think about their discussion?

Melissa: Is it weird that their discussion seemed really familiar? I mean, I haven’t had a discussion about the ethics of killing someone, but working through a sticky situation and whether or not it was right to do something given how it would effect others is certainly familiar. I’m impressed that Michael even thought to come talk to Chidi, and that Eleanor was able to participate. That’s progress!

Cara: I think this discussion finally convinced me that Michael is really trying to be good. Up ‘til now I was still skeptical, but he wasn’t making the same snarky comments about humans and ethics that he usually does. Good job, Michael.

Cay: Yes, Michael really seems to be trying. For a few minute at a time I can pretend that he is The Good Place Michael and not demon Michael.

Ultimately Eleanor told Jason that he’d previously been married to Janet and that’s why she was glitching. Was that fair to do to Jason and Tahani? What does the future look like for them?

Melissa: I don’t know…it seemed unnecessary considering Jason doesn’t remember a relationship with Janet. I think Jason and Tahani’s relationship is going to have enough challenges without this claim of a former marriage in the mix!

Cara: I think most relationships have to deal with past loves, so even though it’s a weird one, I think it’s something they had to deal with eventually. I don’t think Eleanor telling them was the best way, but given that Jason wasn’t aware of the relationship, someone else had to bring it out into the open. I think ultimately it’s better in the end if Jason and Tahani are aware of all the circumstances that may affect their relationship, especially since in this case it could also mean the destruction of the good/bad place. I also think Tahani needs to see Jason as more of an equal if the relationship is going to thrive.

Cay: While I think Tahani could learn a lot from Jason, I have little interest in their relationship outside the comedic value. I mean, they are in The Bad Place, so thing could most definitely be worse!

Eleanor was there for Janet again, admitting that she gave the wrong advice previously assuming Janet was dealing with “a schoolgirl crush”, not real love. What does all of this mean for Janet the robot who now has feelings?

Melissa: Janet went through a LOT of emotions in just a few hours. She realized she loved Jason and was heartbroken about his relationship with Tahani. She rebounded with Derek only to have that turn bitter within hours. She broke up with (and disposed of) Derek. Then she came to terms with “sitting with her feelings” about Jason. That’s a lot of humanity happening! I’m curious how they’ll keep what we love about Janet (um, everything) intact as she becomes more human.

Cara: Janet has just realized she’s having emotions, and now she got hit with a truckload of them. Ouch. I think reconciling her emotions with unlimited knowledge and power will be an interesting challenge to watch. Which makes me wonder, emotions made Janet glitch. Will she start to lose her functionality now?

Cay: It seems unlikely that she will just be magically fixed now, but I have a hard time predicting what might happen on this show!

In addition to advising Janet, Eleanor was there for Michael – twice – when he needed to talk things out. When did Eleanor become the person to go to for advice and friendship?

Melissa: You know, given all the horrible things she did in her life, Eleanor actually has a lot of experience of what NOT to do that she can draw from.

Cara: I think that seeing Janet play out Eleanor’s advice made Eleanor take a step back and really thinking about her responses to things. Like Michael, maybe Eleanor is really making some progress.

Cay: Or Michael feels a kindred spirit because Eleanor is potentially most like him of the 4?

Lest we assume Eleanor is now wise and selfless, she showed Chidi evidence of their past love and clearly hoped he felt the same in the current reboot, then got all awkward when he didn’t. Are we in for some Eleanor pining?

Melissa: Oh man, she put herself out there and got denied. Ouch. Based on what we’ve seen before, I am concerned that rejected Eleanor could become vindictive and wreak as much havoc as glitching Janet.

Cara: I have a feeling that Eleanor is gonna get wrecked and do some drunk dialing here pretty soon, or at least the good/bad place equivalent of it.

Cay: I don’t know, it certainly isn’t the first time Eleanor has likely run into a similar situation. I do imagine she’s regretting telling him, though.

And finally, it looks like Michael is in trouble with the boss!

Melissa: I wondered how long it would take the boss to come check on Michael!

Cara: Yep, I think Michael’s in trouble now, but maybe it’ll force the issue of getting into the good place for Michael. I wonder if we’ll get to see someone from the good place (aside from Janet, that is).

Cay: Yeah, you get the feeling that he was caught red-handed, but it could be something totally unrelated to his scheme with the 4.


Melissa: I’m going with Eleanor this week. After taking a back seat for a couple of episodes, she was right in the middle of things this week, helping people, trying to the right thing, growing as a person.

Cara: I’m going with Eleanor too, for the reasons Melissa mentioned, but also for putting herself out there with Chidi.

Favorite line/scene?

Melissa: Michael, Eleanor, and Chidi debating the ethical merits of killing Derek was pretty funny.

Cara: Jason’s wedding vows were spectacular, and also –Janet: “Based on your last 10,000 comments it would be Stone Cold Steve Austin’s head on Tahini’s body.” Eleanor: “or vice versa”

Cay: Cara – totally agree with you on both points!

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