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Chapter 19: The Trolley Problem is the 5th episode of Season 2 of The Good Place.

Plot[]

Chidi and Eleanor tackle a famous ethical dilemma, leading to a conflict with Michael. Meanwhile, Tahani harbors a secret and confides in Janet.

Summary[]

Chidi teaches the trolley problem thought experiment, but Michael's practical knowledge of the afterlife scoring system conflicts with Chidi's theoretical approach. Supposedly as a learning aid, Michael subjects Chidi to realistic simulations of variations of the trolley problem, such as one where the one construction worker is his friend, and related ethical questions, then admits he is deliberately torturing Chidi.

Chidi expels Michael, who tries to placate the humans with extravagant personalized gifts that Chidi calls bribes. Chidi allows Michael to return after Michael offers an apology that consists of exact, seemingly sincere wording Chidi has pre-approved.

Tahani and Jason continue their relationship, but Tahani insists on secrecy while Jason wants to go public. Janet becomes their couples counselor; over the course of a month, their relationship improves. But Janet is performing beyond her specifications, causing worsening glitches; Janet tells Michael the neighborhood could collapse.

Cast[]

Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop
William Jackson Harper as Chidi Anagonye
Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil
D'Arcy Carden as Janet
Manny Jacinto as Jason Mendoza
Ted Danson as Michael

Guest Starring

Dominic Burgess as Henry

Co-Starring

Emma Vivien Garcia as Birdie

Trivia[]

  • The trolley passes a cinema displaying the titles STRANGERS UNDER A TRAIN and BEND IT LIKE BENTHAM, parodying Strangers on a Train (1951) and Bend It Like Beckham (2002), while alluding to philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), founder of utilitarianism (a doctrine that was mentioned earlier in the episode).
  • In season 2 episode 1 The Good Place: Everything Is Great! (2017) the wall outside of Michael's office had changed from "Everything is fine" to "Everything is good". In this episode it has changed back to "Everything is fine".
  • This episode won the 2018 Hugo Award for "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form," as announced at Worldcon 76 in San Jose, California on August 19, 2018.

Gallery[]

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