Chapter 23: Best Self is the 9th episode of Season 2 of The Good Place.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Michael debuts his newest design — Michael (Ted Danson) finds himself in a bind. Meanwhile, Eleanor (Kristen Bell) sparks an idea that has Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto) and even Janet (D'Arcy Carden) laying their feelings on the line.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Having eluded Shawn, the four humans, Michael and Janet are still in the neighborhood, with their next stop being the Good Place. Michael tells them that he has to build a special transport vehicle to get them all to the Good Place. Because of where they're going, they have to be the best version of themselves before boarding, or else they will be denied entry onto the vehicle. That caveat may be an issue. As a collective, they have to decide either how to figure out how each will be the best version of him or herself all at the same time, or else decide to leave those denied boarding behind, all under the time constraint of getting away before Shawn figures out where they are and that it was Michael who betrayed him. They may be facing a larger issue beyond boarding the vehicle which they are as of yet unaware.

The humans, with Michael and Janet, are eager to leave Michael's neighborhood, now that the demons are all gone, and to get to the Good Place, but Michael says there's no actual transport to the Good Place like a Train, he has to invent something. But that would take time, and they don't have time, so he quickly invents ... a hot-air balloon.

As Michael and Janet figure out the balloon, the humans sit around and speculate on what the Good Place will be like.

Janet reveals that the balloon will only transport those who have achieved "self-realization", there's a scale that determines if the traveler is the "best version" of him- or her-self, and if so, allows the traveler on. The humans are all confident that they meet that standard, they each step on the scale, Eleanor passes, then Tahani, even Jason, but for Chidi the scale rejects him.

The humans go aside to discuss, and Chidi says, there have been 802 versions of all of them due to the reboots, and he lacks confidence that his current version is the "best" version. Eleanor responds, Chidi has been their teacher, and if the scale says that the others are their "best" versions, he's been the "best" teacher as well. He tries the scale again, and this time it accepts him. But as they all reboard, now the scale rejects Eleanor.

Eleanor has caught Chidi's worry about what version of her, of the 802, was the best. On reflection, she thinks the version of her that was able to say "I love you" to Chidi was the best. Michael summarizes what he knows of the life Chidi and Eleanor had in that iteration, but nothing notable comes of that.

Tahani says, well how about if those who pass get going now, and Eleanor can catch up later... and now the scale rejects Tahani as well. Janet says she is always her perfect self, but when she steps on the scale, it flashes both pass and fail. Michael has been looking upset for a while, and now he boils over: the balloon is a fake, he actually has no idea how to get to the Good Place.

Michael's offer months ago to get them to the Good Place was a ploy to get him time, he hoped he'd come up with a way, but he couldn't get around the fundamental issue that one's life on Earth got one into the Good Place. Michael's sure that Shawn will be back, send him to retirement, and everyone else to torment. Eleanor says, let's ignore all of this and start drinking, it's what I've always done.

That evening, all are drinking, and Tahani and Jason discuss their relationship; Tahani suggests they end it, she should start relying on herself instead of on others. Eleanor confesses to Chidi that she has feelings for him, and he wonders what would have happened if they had met in a normal situation.

Eleanor calls them all together for final toasts, saying, regardless of what version was "best", she likes how they all are right now, and the others share something actually nice about the others. Eleanor even thanks Michael just for trying to get them to the Good Place.

As the impromptu party is winding down, in the air appears a message from Shawn to Michael: finish shutting everything down, a Train will come first thing tomorrow, the humans will be captured soon.

Now the humans spend a while speculating (very mildly) on what the Bad Place will be like: Jason imagines never getting the bass drop at a concert, Eleanor perpetually camping, Chidi says he's always turned wherever he is into a personal Hell, and Tahani thinks of an eternity in the Swiss Alps ... in the off-season.

Somewhere in that is a reference to speaking to a manager, and Tahani asks Michael, there was a Judge who decides on disputes between the Good Place and the Bad Place. Michael says he had thought of that, but the judge rarely hears cases, and they could never get to the portal to the judge, because to get to it they would have to walk through the actual Bad Place, in plain sight, and even then, they have to convince the judge to even hear them, and somehow then win the unwinnable case.

Eleanor, rather drunk, says, "OK, let's do it. What do we have to lose?" Michael picks up the spirit: there's no reason to succeed, so why not? OK, tomorrow they'll go to the Bad Place.

The next morning, Eleanor and Chidi say goodbye to her house. They all get on the Train to Bad Place Headquarters, run by Bad Janet, and as she starts the pre-loading speech, Michael activates her self-destruct, reducing her to a marble. As Good Janet drives the Train away, the Good Place dissolves into blackness.

Cast[edit | edit source]

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

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Among the items in Michael's "Human Starter Kit" is a stress ball with a logo on it from "Lonely Girl Margarita Mix (for one)". This is the brand of drink that Eleanor was buying right before she died.
  • The idea of a man with power (though less power than he admits) claiming to a motley group of four people that he has the ability to transport others to different realms in a balloon (when in fact he does not) is also an important plot point in The Wizard of Oz.
  • When Chidi and Eleanor are getting drunk and talking, the restaurant behind them is called Luncheons and Dragons.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

On Their Way To The Golden Ballon C23.jpg
Golden Balloon To The Good Place.jpg

Michael Talking With Janet.jpg

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