The Good Place Roundtable: The Burrito
As the group makes their way to The Judge to argue their fate Michael is left to deal with helping the humans.
1. The Judge. Yay, Nay, or something else? (Side note, MAYA!)
Roz: I’m so on board with Judge. The envy sauce was a great little line of what should be a pretty flat character.
Melissa: I’m always here for some Maya Rudolph, so Yay from me! That envy sauce line was great – I wonder if it was improv?
Cara: I was pretty excited to see Maya Rudolph, and she was so great. I’m not sure about her decision as a judge, but it was a great character. Her observations on humanity reminded me of Michael in a lot of ways.
2. So far this season is all about teamwork – which can be good or bad with the Judge. What’s so special about this team together?
Roz: I think they bring out the best in each other and that’s what we all need right about now. Much of life is “looking out for number one” and at a certain point, the gang gives up that idea to collectively be better.
Melissa: Collectively they represent the worst of humanity, but when they learn to care about each other and work together, that’s when they become better people. I appreciate that the overall lesson, the true path to the Good Place, is looking outside yourself and caring for your fellow humans. We’re learning that lesson from the angle of moral philosophy, but that’s what it boils down to: it’s how we treat others that determines our goodness.
Cara: I agree with you two. It’s easy to dismiss a person’s goodness until you see the positive effect it has on others. Aside from strengthening each other, I think the team has benefited from learning to sympathize and care for each other. They’ve grown to genuinely appreciate each other, in spite of the worst parts of each of them. And, as the team had grown stronger, they’ve drawn in others like Michael and Janet.The message that we are getting is that we rise and fall together, and that’s a powerful and timely message.
3. Speaking of, the episode puts everyone to a test to determine their location. Is that how you wanted all of these folks to go? Would you change who made it and who didn’t?
Roz: This show is all about twists – but ones that feel organic without being over the top and too far-fetched – but I didn’t imagine that they’d all be going back from where they came. I love that Eleanor lied about what happened to her so that everyone could go together.
Melissa: I have a quibble with Tahani’s test – I don’t think she failed. Yes, she succumbed to temptation and opened the door to her parents’ room, but through that interaction she realized a glaring truth about her relationship with them and, I think, finally made peace with it. How is that a failure? Chidi, for the love, PICK A HAT. I don’t know that I want Jason to stifle his impulsiveness. Would he still be Jason without it? And Eleanor…wow. Talk about character growth. Kudos, tiny blonde menace.
Cara: I’m with Melissa. I don’t really feel life anyone failed their test. They just didn’t succeed in the way the Judge wanted.
4. We meet Tahani’s parents. Thoughts.
Roz: It explains so much of Tahani’s narcissism but I wish she hadn’t had to confront them just to be reminded of how much they don’t care about her.
Melissa: As I said above, I saw this as a breakthrough for Tahani. She finally made peace with that toxic relationship. I’m happy for her.
Cara: Poor Tahani. The gal has really grown on me. I think she handled it with grace, in true Tahani fashion. It was nice to see her recognize that maybe the failing want her own, and to move past her parents’ horrible behavior.
5. Bad Janet. Go!
Roz: Best! Always.
Melissa: Ha! I knew that was Good Janet in disguise! Way to go, Good Janet!
Cara: Oh, Janet. How did we live without you all these years. Good, bad, ….I
Roz: Eleanor – for taking that leap to put herself on equal footing even if she did enough to get into The Good Place.
Melissa: I have to give it to Eleanor for showing such tremendous character growth. Good-Disguised-As-Bad Janet for runner up!
Cara: Yep, Eleanor all the way.
THE GOOD PLACE airs Thursday 8:30/7:30c on NBC