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S04.E02: A Girl from Arizona, Part 2

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Eleanor, Michael, Janet and Tahani have their hands full when the new residents begin to show their true colors. Jason receives some unsettling news.

Original air date: 10/3/19

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Simone just casually sipping coffee as a giant golf ball rolls by was perfect. 

Poor Eleanor having to bring back the concept of soulmates to help Simone. When Chidi told Eleanor he’d never been in love before, that hurt. And when Eleanor was breaking down and said, “Maybe I should drive her into the arms of my ex-boyfriend, that sounds fun.” Just, ouch. 

Jason had a bad day, too. Janet telling him they can’t be together right now and telling him about Bortles being cut? Those are the two worst things Jason could hear. I love his friendship with Eleanor, though. “You’re right, that is the code.” 

Hopefully Tahani has a storyline of her own next week. 

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I found it a necessary episode re moving the plot along, but rather grim. I think that what’s his name is a lost cause.

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Is it weird that as soon as I heard about Bortles getting cut, my first thought was "oh man, Jason is gonna be heartbroken." Poor poor Jason, that and Janet leaving him are just about the worst thing for him. Are we sure this isnt still the Bad Place? At least he got a hug from Tahani and a high five from Eleanor. "It IS the code."

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1 hour ago, kirinan said:

I love everyone on this show, but I could honestly watch an entire show of Michael and Eleanor just having those fatherly-daughterly/friendship talks. Man, Ted Danson and Kristin Bell are just so GOOD together. When they're the only two on screen, you can't help but give them your full attention. 

I totally agree!  Their chemistry is beautiful, and that conversation was lovely.  I will miss them most of all when the show is done.

I loved Brent’s life story - “I earned my way to Princeton.  Just like my father and grandfather did.”  I also love that he assumed there was a better place.

I knew Chidi would get hit by the book, but I still laughed hard.  

I love this show.

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54 minutes ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

Jason's reaction to the news about Blake Bortles (and breaking up with Janet) was heartbreaking.   I wanted to reach in to my TV to give him a hug and show him some footage of Gardner Minshew.   

I didnt realize showers were necessary in the afterlife.   I chucked when Eleanor sniffed herself after her talk with Michael.   

Chidi forgetting about the book he summoned and getting reamed was hilarious. 

I came here just to say that Jason would forkin' LOVE Gardner Minshew.

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I love all of the relationships and characters on this show, but Eleanor and Michael's has a special place in my heart. Michael reassuring her that she is just the right person to save humanity and reminding her how she defeated him hundreds and hundreds of times, it was so warm and kind and Eleanor was so vulnerable in her self doubt and overwhelmed by being a normal (previously pretty crappy) girl from Arizona, it was just perfect. I love their relationship so much. 

Maybe even worse, Eleanor has to hook Simone and Chidi up for the greater good! When Chidi told Eleanor that he has never been in love, oh that one hurt! Bad stomach ache! Although, it was hilarious when Chidi got smacked with a book, I needed that chuckle. 

The dickhead (sorry, deckhead) guy really sucks, but I am sure that he isnt a fully lost cause. Well...hopefully. "I didnt take a single hand out, I got there on my own merit! Just like my father, and his father before me!" I guess next week we will focus on the gossip guy, and hopefully that will mean for for Tahani to do!

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I was surprised and hurt every time Eleanor referred to Chidi as her ex. I know why she had to do it but it made me sad.

I did not see the Best Place coming and am interested in how it plays out.

I'm seeing Brandon Scott Jones everywhere recently and that makes me more interested in seeing how his interaction with Tahani plays out.

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I don't know if it's intentional but the character of Brent describing his bros reminded me of Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation testimony. Squee could be Squirtman. 

1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I love all of the relationships and characters on this show, but Eleanor and Michael's has a special place in my heart. Michael reassuring her that she is just the right person to save humanity and reminding her how she defeated him hundreds and hundreds of times, it was so warm and kind and Eleanor was so vulnerable in her self doubt and overwhelmed by being a normal (previously pretty crappy) girl from Arizona, it was just perfect. I love their relationship so much. 

He is that big toothbrush at Bed, Bath, and Beyond that she's yearned for her entire life. 

Eleanor now thinks that Michael's meltdown was faked as his way of forcing her to step up the plate, but that's not really why he did that. Obviously, that Bad Place plan will come into play at some point. 

I know these episodes were mainly setting the stage for the rest of the season, and I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of it.

Not too much forward though as I don't want it to end, but it's for the best that it's on their own terms. 

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Boy, this iteration of Chidi is so much more attractive than before.  (He of course was adorkable before.)  He almost looks like a different person.

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Echoing everything already said about the Eleanor/Michael relationship. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the two of them are the two most platonic soulmate-y soulmates on the show. Even when Eleanor sexualizes cartoon characters. 

4 minutes ago, Harry24 said:

Boy, this iteration of Chidi is so much more attractive than before.  (He of course was adorkable before.)  He almost looks like a different person.

Agreed. Eleanor loves Chidi, and she built him an afterlife that will actually make him happy. We’re seeing legitimately happy Chidi, and it’s a great combination of sweet and super sad for Eleanor.

This feels like the Judge’s test #2 for Team Cockroach. Eleanor’s once again being tested on her selfishness (and she’s passing with flying colors, just like she did the first time.) Jason finally appeared to grasp his issue with impulse control when Michael laid it out. Hopefully we’ll see more Tahani next week. 

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That was a good episode. I wish they had aired Parts 1 & 2 back-to-back, though - it would've flowed better imo.

I hope next week's episode has a Tahani plot, I was missing her in this episode.

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Oh, Jason!  His face when he heard about Blake Bortles was heartbreaking!  I mean, yeah, having to "take a break" with Janet is sad too, but you just know how much the Bortles thing hurt him!  At least Tahani was there for him.  And he still honored the code and gave Eleanor a high-five at the end.  Well played, good sir!

Brent was a bit better more entertaining this go around, due to how oblivious he is about his awfulness, and Michael and Eleanor's eye-rolls over his ridiculousness.

Not surprised Eleanor ended up having to push Chidi towards Simone at the end, but I still felt bad for her.  Kristen Bell has always done an excellent job with showing underneath all of the snark, arrogance, and even flat-out bad behavior that Eleanor is still someone who just wants to be loved and have connections with others that she never really had in her normal life.  And, of course, her and Ted Danson's chemistry continues to be a highlight of the series.

I do hope we get more Tahani soon, but I did love hearing that her coping method towards a break-up is listening to Alanis Morissette records.  With her totally normal friend, Adele!

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3 hours ago, DrScottie said:

I don't know if it's intentional but the character of Brent describing his bros reminded me of Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation testimony. 

I thought of that, too, when I was watching. Thinking about it now, I believe it is intentional. Notice the similarity: Brett = Brent (speaking of names). 

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Eleanor's rants about "how should I make the rude guy better", "how should I make the journalist guy not be an a-hole" actually pointed out a mistake in the show. They have Janet right there who knows everything about everything. So all they need to do is ask her, she should be able to tell them how to push the new test subjects in the right direction. Eleanor doesn't have to come up with wacky ideas.

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23 minutes ago, Harvey said:

Eleanor's rants about "how should I make the rude guy better", "how should I make the journalist guy not be an a-hole" actually pointed out a mistake in the show. They have Janet right there who knows everything about everything. So all they need to do is ask her, she should be able to tell them how to push the new test subjects in the right direction. Eleanor doesn't have to come up with wacky ideas.

But I think Janet's knowledge is limited to facts and conjuring up items. I don't think she has ever delved into motivation or explanations of how people tick with the same all-knowingness that she has about facts. This is precisely why they need "a girl from Arizona".

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I thought this was better then the opener which was kinda slow.   I concur with everyone that Michael and Eleanor’s talk was the highlight of the episode.  It is rather ironic that Eleanor lovingly made Chidi his perfect Good Place and then gives him someone else to share it with.   The old Eleanor would never have done that.  I think that is the most intriguing story.  

Do we actually know what kind of person Simone actually is?  What she became after Chidi broke up with her? 

It was also sweet how Tahani tried to comfort Jason when Janet broke up with him.  Gone is the deeply selfish self involved Tahani she does care about her friends.

My major issue is I don’t really care about the new people (except maybe Simone).  I don’t have any real investment in any of them past Eleanor’s  emotional tole.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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14 minutes ago, albinerhawk said:

But I think Janet's knowledge is limited to facts and conjuring up items. I don't think she has ever delved into motivation or explanations of how people tick with the same all-knowingness that she has about facts. This is precisely why they need "a girl from Arizona".

When she had to act as a couple's councellor for Jason and Tahani she learned all there is to know about psychology/human psyche so she should still have a fantastic understanding of the human soul and how to manipulate people.

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1 hour ago, Harvey said:

Eleanor's rants about "how should I make the rude guy better", "how should I make the journalist guy not be an a-hole" actually pointed out a mistake in the show. They have Janet right there who knows everything about everything. So all they need to do is ask her, she should be able to tell them how to push the new test subjects in the right direction. Eleanor doesn't have to come up with wacky ideas.

52 minutes ago, albinerhawk said:

But I think Janet's knowledge is limited to facts and conjuring up items. I don't think she has ever delved into motivation or explanations of how people tick with the same all-knowingness that she has about facts. This is precisely why they need "a girl from Arizona".

35 minutes ago, Harvey said:

When she had to act as a couple's councellor for Jason and Tahani she learned all there is to know about psychology/human psyche so she should still have a fantastic understanding of the human soul and how to manipulate people.

But wouldn't having Janet tell then what to do invalidate the experiment? 

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When Eleanor referred to herself as just a girl from Arizona, instead of a trashbag from Arizona....

I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING!

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They don’t have the full bios of the new people.  That is the whole point.  If they had their entire life story it would invalidate the experiment.   Besides if Janet could just “fix” everyone it would be a short story.

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Eleanor could have had Chidi fix Simone's problems without telling him he was her "Soulmate". That is on you, Eleanor.

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7 minutes ago, AnimeMania said:

Eleanor could have had Chidi fix Simone's problems without telling him he was her "Soulmate". That is on you, Eleanor.

I do see Chidi and Simone being soulmates.  They have a connection that I find deeper than most romantic relationships.  I don't believe that a person only has one soulmate.  You can make the case that Chidi's soulmates are Eleanor, Tahani, Jason, and SImone.  

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Just now, Ohiopirate02 said:

I do see Chidi and Simone being soulmates.  They have a connection that I find deeper than most romantic relationships.  I don't believe that a person only has one soulmate.  You can make the case that Chidi's soulmates are Eleanor, Tahani, Jason, and SImone.  

But telling Chidi he is her soulmate changes the dynamic of their relationship. If Eleanor would have just told Chidi to fix Simone's problems, he might have been fond of her and become friends. Now he is going to try to become her soulmate. I would never try to have sex with someone in Heaven, at least until I know what the rules are.

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1 hour ago, Chaos Theory said:

They don’t have the full bios of the new people.  That is the whole point.  If they had their entire life story it would invalidate the experiment.   Besides if Janet could just “fix” everyone it would be a short story.

I think that might be the issue with everyone being Janet babies. Janet should know their life stories -- she knew what happened to all of Eleanor's exes -- but she's stretched too thin. So she can't help as much as she should in regards to the new people. 

19 minutes ago, AnimeMania said:

Eleanor could have had Chidi fix Simone's problems without telling him he was her "Soulmate". That is on you, Eleanor.

She needed him to be excited about helping and seeing and endgame. But also, it seems as though Chidi.842(?) already seems more evolved than his original version. More decisive, less stomach achy. Now that could be because he's not actively being tortured, but maybe they are all carrying something from their past lives, even if they can't remember it all, their souls still do. Which leads me to think that maybe this is all about reincarnation or, as the Indigo Girls put it -- how long 'till their souls get it right?

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Telling Chidi Simone was his soul mate was a quick and easy way to get him to help her that she knew would work because it had always worked before.   Of course she could have just asked but there was always the chance he could have asked questions and the more questions he asked the more chance there was for Eleanor to let something  slip.

Besides setting up Chidi with the perfect afterlife and the seemingly perfect soul mate is such a selfless thing for Eleanor to do. 

Edited by Chaos Theory
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When the series is over they need to do a super-cut of all of Eleanor and Jason's high fives.

It was definitely an hour long opener cut in half. That makes it more conspicuous that they haven't done anything with Tahani and John yet, which will probably come next week. Then we'll probably get some big switch-up. Can't help but notice the accountant obelisk is very conspicuous there in the background.

Not sure how I feel about the revelation that Michael's breakdown was all an act.

So, Janet only calculated they had a 9% chance of success going in?

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o we actually know what kind of person Simone actually is?  What she became after Chidi broke up with her? 

No, and I don't think they've told us how she died either.

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I found it a necessary episode re moving the plot along, but rather grim. 

That's kind of where I land on this one. Not a lot of funny aside from the book hitting Chidi in the head, and Tahani name dropping Adele. I don't know why Janet felt the need to tell Jason about Blake Bortles, either. That seemed unnecessarily mean and pointless.

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21 minutes ago, BobH said:

Not sure how I feel about the revelation that Michael's breakdown was all an act

It wasn’t an act. He lied to Eleanor when she asked that 

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14 hours ago, Fukui San said:

I came here just to say that Jason would forkin' LOVE Gardner Minshew.

I don't know. It's just not as a good a name to show when throwing a molotov cocktail. Not that I have too much experience in that area.

11 hours ago, DrScottie said:

I don't know if it's intentional but the character of Brent describing his bros reminded me of Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation testimony. Squee could be Squirtman.

Given these writers, I'd be shocked if it wasn't deliberate.

1 hour ago, AnimeMania said:

Eleanor could have had Chidi fix Simone's problems without telling him he was her "Soulmate". That is on you, Eleanor.

Besides what others have said, Chidi seemed to have no interest in talking or helping Simone. From what he had seen of her, she wasn't a nice person. Telling everyone they were just figments of her imagination and pushing people into the pool at the party. It took the "soulmate" thing to get Chidi interested in sitting down and talking to Simone.

26 minutes ago, BobH said:

Can't help but notice the accountant obelisk is very conspicuous there in the background.

I love how nobody mentions it's there. Mindy did one time in the prior episode, but that's been it. It's like a big penis-shaped Chekov's gun.

The Eleanor-Michael talk was great. KB and TD have off-the-charts chemistry.

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1 hour ago, BobH said:

Can't help but notice the accountant obelisk is very conspicuous there in the background.

And the same obelisk was in the season 2 episode where they showed the constant reboots. On the one hand, that could be nothing. On the other hand, this show is so detail-oriented it just seemed notable.

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Brent, perfect representation of the "mediocre white-man" that he is, moved from outright annoying to "love-to-hate" for me this episode. 

"My assistant, Janet, hasn't worn any of the outfits I ordered for her"

The characterization rings all to true. The privileged life he's lead makes him oblivious to his own shortcomings.

I agree with Janet telling Jason about Bortles. Part of her evolution has been to realize that the truth hits a lot harder if you learn someone you love has been keeping it from you.

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8 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

Do we actually know what kind of person Simone actually is?  What she became after Chidi broke up with her? 

My understanding was that Chidi asked to have his memory wiped so he would not remember anything that happened after the moment he died. Chidi met Simone when everyone was saved and didn't die. This is a different timeline for Chidi. It's like the first Back to the Future movie. Marty and Doc (in this case, Eleanor, Jason, Tahani) remember the original timeline and how/why things are different this time around while George and Lorraine (Chidi) do not.

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3 hours ago, Loandbehold said:

Besides what others have said, Chidi seemed to have no interest in talking or helping Simone. From what he had seen of her, she wasn't a nice person. Telling everyone they were just figments of her imagination and pushing people into the pool at the party. It took the "soulmate" thing to get Chidi interested in sitting down and talking to Simone.

Just make up a convincing lie. The Good Place works on a positive feedback loop, the more positive the people are the the better it runs. Simone not believing everybody else is real is throwing off the balance and scaring people and now there are giant tigers and golf balls in the street. If she keeps this up we may have to send her to The Bad Place to ensure your safety and the rest of the people here. Would you please try to convince her she is dead before that happens.

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Just found out there is an official word for how I see the world - solipsism. 

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Thinking about it more I kinda really like the idea of Chidi (with no memory of the hundreds of years he spent with Eleanor) being told Simone is his soul mate.  Maybe even having Simone be perfect for him on paper.  But to have him slowly believe something isn’t quite right and have him drawn to Eleanor and can’t quite put his finger on why.   

Edited by Chaos Theory
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30 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

Thinking about it more I kinda really like the idea of Chidi (with no memory of the hundreds of years he spent with Eleanor) being told Simone is his soul mate.  Maybe even having Simone be perfect for him on paper.  But to have him slowly believe something isn’t quite right and have him drawn to Eleanor and can’t quite put his finger on why.   

I hate the idea of there only being one person that is your soulmate.   Both Simone and Eleanor work with Chidi and bring out good things in him.  Why not both?  Monogamy really doesn't make sense in an eternal afterlife. 

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14 minutes ago, SevenStars said:

Why doesn't Simone remember Chidi ? Did I miss something or is this plot hole ?

She doesn't remember any of them because Michael erased the "Soul Squad" from her memory.

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1 minute ago, Amarsir said:

She doesn't remember any of them because Michael erased the "Soul Squad" from her memory.

Oh, okay. Thanks, I knew I was missing something. 

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17 hours ago, Mibbitmaker said:

I thought of that, too, when I was watching. Thinking about it now, I believe it is intentional. Notice the similarity: Brett = Brent (speaking of names). 

Have we heard his last name? Because I'm assuming it's Cabanaugh.

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Brent is no more awful than were Tahini or Eleanor when they first arrived in the Good Place. Difference is, the show didn't despise them. It despises Brent.

I'm trusting that eventually something interesting will eventually be done with the character. 

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1 hour ago, scrambled eggs said:

Have we heard his last name? Because I'm assuming it's Cabanaugh.

No, it's Brent Norwalk. 

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4 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

Thinking about it more I kinda really like the idea of Chidi (with no memory of the hundreds of years he spent with Eleanor) being told Simone is his soul mate.  Maybe even having Simone be perfect for him on paper.  But to have him slowly believe something isn’t quite right and have him drawn to Eleanor and can’t quite put his finger on why.   

That just made me think of the first episode of the second season where Eleanor shows Chidi the note she had Janet swallow. He says to her:  "I've never met you before in my life, but I think somehow we know each other." 

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19 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

I thought this was better then the opener which was kinda slow.   I concur with everyone that Michael and Eleanor’s talk was the highlight of the episode.  It is rather ironic that Eleanor lovingly made Chidi his perfect Good Place and then gives him someone else to share it with.   The old Eleanor would never have done that.  I think that is the most intriguing story.  

14 hours ago, BobH said:

It was definitely an hour long opener cut in half. That makes it more conspicuous that they haven't done anything with Tahani and John yet, which will probably come next week. Then we'll probably get some big switch-up. Can't help but notice the accountant obelisk is very conspicuous there in the background.

Remember, every other season, the Part 1 & 2 of the premiere aired back to back - so I imagine it was intended that way, but NBC split them up because of all of the comedies they ordered. Watching the two back-to-back is much better than a week apart

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