January 17, 2019

The Good Place Season 3 Episode 8 Review: The Worst Possible Use of Free Will

It was a long time coming, but The Good Place finally went back to its roots.

In previous seasons, the setting of the series has always been what's made the show so appealing and different from other sitcoms. The Earthbound storyline took that aspect away, but The Good Place Season 3 Episode 8 brought it back.

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Although the characters didn't return to the afterlife, the audience did get to re-experience The Good Place for a while and watch one of the most wondered about reboots to date.

If this were an episode of Friends, we'd call it "The One Where Eleanor and Chidi Fell In Love."

While this reboot was said to be the most important one for the pair, the viewers never actually got to see it first-hand. Eleanor and Chidi fell for each other in both of The Good Place versions we saw in full, but they were rebooted before they could take things any further.

This particular trip back to The Good Place was arguably the best part of The Good Place Season 3. While the episode focused mostly on Chidi and Eleanor, Tahani and Jason also appear in The Good Place reboot.

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Unfortunately, neither of them had a huge role in this episode, but they did add a lot of opportunities for a laugh track.

Tahani's Pegasus might've been a little bit too similar to her, which made "Pick a Pet Day," all the more hilarious. And Jason, as always, delivers commentary that should be stupid but is somehow stupid funny.

Jason: Dude, we can get mythical animals? Maybe I'll get a penguin!
Eleanor: Penguins are real.
Jason: That's the spirit, Eleanor. They're real to me too.

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Comedy aside, the sole reason for watching this reboot in the first place is a lot deeper than Eleanor not believing she and Chidi could have feelings for each other. The truth of it is that Eleanor never believed she could fall in love.

My screwed up relationship with my parents made me believe I could never really love anyone. I need to see it for myself.


There's no denying that Eleanor is one of the funniest and most lively parts of The Good Place. But she's also the protagonist which means she's so much more than just comedic relief.

Her importance to the plot of the show, though, is more often than not overlooked.

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Eleanor's journey in discovering who she is and who she wants to be is one of the driving forces of The Good Place. She is faced with both internal and external conflicts throughout the series, but her ability to be vulnerable with others has always been the thing that's held her back the most.

Events From The Past - The Good Place

Michael even points this out to Eleanor when she keeps denying what is right in front of her. Whether it was out of embarrassment, pride, or fear, Eleanor refused to believe that she could feel so deeply for another person.

This is a defense mechanism Eleanor. You saw yourself fall in love with Chidi, and it freaked you out to see yourself be so vulnerable. So you're using determinism to convince yourself that those feelings were not real.


Thankfully, Michael is there to pour some iced tea on her head and knock some sense into her. So the real question is, what does this mean for Eleanor and what does it mean for her relationship with Chidi?

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Did Eleanor remember the memories as Michael showed them to her or did she merely watch the events play out as if on a television screen? It seems like it might be the latter.

While it sounds like it might not make too big of a difference how Eleanor recalled the memories, wouldn't reliving those experiences also cause her to recall her feelings as well? Technically, Eleanor and Chidi would still be in love if they only remembered their past.

The only thing that's truly keeping these two from being together is the fact that they keep losing their memory and end up having to start all over again.

Missing  - The Good Place Season 3 Episode 8

Does Eleanor have romantic feelings for Chidi once more or is she just aware that she used to have them?

Hopefully, this is something that will be explored in future episodes this season. Soulmates can only be kept apart for so long, and as Eleanor and Chidi have proven time and time ago, they will always find a way back to each other.

No matter what he does, we will find each other. And we will help each other. Because we're soulmates.


To close out the episode, Michael announced that they would all be going to Canada. While we have a sense of why they're going there, we don't have any idea who they're going to see.

Regardless, a trip with the Soul Squad sounds exciting no matter the nature of it. So hopefully for them, things will all go according to plan.

Good Janet - The Good Place Season 3 Episode 8

That does, however, seem unlikely now that Shawn and the other demons have successfully created a portal and landed on Earth.

The gang may have to deal with quite a few problems next episode. But fortunately, that makes it all the more interesting.

Miss the episode? Can't get enough? You can watch The Good Place online right here at TV Fanatic!

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