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S04.E04: Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy

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Glenn's been the Bad Place's butt monkey since season one (he's even the one who got stuck in the sinkhole!) If anyone was gonna have a Michael-style change of demon's-anatomical-equivalent-to-heart, it was gonna be him.

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I totally didn’t understand how putting the sex cuffs on Janet showed that she was truly Bad Janet. I must have missed something, but it made no sense to me.

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2 hours ago, rwlevin said:

Is it wrong that I hope we get updates on Glenn as he goes through his evolutions?

Not at all. It could be a fun little background thing that they check in on every now and then. 

Also, I realized Eleanor's challenge and part of the way she will demonstrate growth and change this season is by being responsible.

I think Brent was an idea that looked good on paper when they were planning the season, but hasn't really worked out that well. He isn't that interesting, and his character isn't that funny. 

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I missed the “not a girl” but I guessed there had been an opportunity to swap Janets. This is the twisty turny multiple episode setup stuff I appreciate on this show! I do wonder how the trip to the Bad Place is going to go super south - cannot wait!

This was a great episode for Jason - I loved his glee at the prospect of seeing Michael’s true form but the matter of fact “coconut rum” was *chef’s kiss*

40 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

On a shallow note, Jason looked fine in his 40s style Bad Place outfit!

It’s never shallow to appreciate art, Tennisgurl! 😉

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So was Good Janet really struggling to maintain the simulation of the "Good Place", if so, was Bad Janet struggling as well? Shouldn't the entire "Good Place" facade crash when they put the handcuffs on the Bad Janet and neutralized her powers?

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47 minutes ago, AnimeMania said:

So was Good Janet really struggling to maintain the simulation of the "Good Place", if so, was Bad Janet struggling as well? Shouldn't the entire "Good Place" facade crash when they put the handcuffs on the Bad Janet and neutralized her powers?

Did we actually see our Janet struggling to maintain the Janet babies? Or was that a lie from Bad Janet to explain why she was in such a bad mood?

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I love that they explained how a Bad Janet could believably pose as our Janet. So many other shows would have just revealed the switch without explaining how it was possible. 

One of the things I really love about the show is that manage to move the plot forward and still hits all the right emotional notes. Watching Chidi and Eleanor bond again was particularly nice. Eleanor and Michael have been my favorite relationship of the season. I loved Simone’s reaction to Brent calling Chidi brother. 

I really want to rewatch the last few episodes and find some of the smaller moments of how Bad Janet sabotaged the experiment. One that I noticed was during Pictionary when Chidi wanted a moment and she immediately flipped the timer.

I cant wait to see what is next. 

16 hours ago, Mockingbird said:

Did we actually see our Janet struggling to maintain the Janet babies? Or was that a lie from Bad Janet to explain why she was in such a bad mood?

I rewatched the first two episodes to check. Her talking about how complicated it was before the switch. This episode happened at night and we only saw the humans and Michael once Bad Janet was cuffed. The Janet babies could have been affected without anyone knowing yet. Hopefully it will be explained next week but Derek could probably keep things functioning enough for them to get by until Janet is back. 

Edited by Dani
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This total felt like a Buffy episode to me! Not a bad thing but Kristen was rocking some Smidge energy and the tight convos reminded me when the Scoobie gang were trying to figure out a demon.

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Well we finally got the punchline for the long running “not a girl” joke.

Janet has been a little surly since the train.   It’s great that every so often Jason has a moment of insight.

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Manny Jacinto's line reading of "not a girl" when he was on the railroad tram gutted me.  It was so wistful and sad.  And because it can't be said enough - he can wear the hell out of a suit!  I should of known it was Bad Janet when she told him about Blake Bortles!

I am loving this season.  From the pointed commentary of people doing evil things to other people and justifying it because they were just obeying orders and/or they were told they were bad to the silliness of Eleanor polishing off a huge platter of nachos and Derek's sex toys complete with wind chimes, I feel like this season is really going to come to a satisfactory ending.

ETA: Ohiopirate02 beat me to the Blake Bortles clue!

Edited by LBS
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So are the Bad Place demons privy to everything that's ever happened in Michael's neighborhood? It didn't seem that way in the early seasons, when Sean was unaware of most of what Michael was doing.

If they're not privy to everything that's happened, then if I were Eleanor, I would have asked Michael a question about something from their past that the Bad Place wasn't aware of.

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43 minutes ago, Blakeston said:

So are the Bad Place demons privy to everything that's ever happened in Michael's neighborhood? It didn't seem that way in the early seasons, when Sean was unaware of most of what Michael was doing.

If they're not privy to everything that's happened, then if I were Eleanor, I would have asked Michael a question about something from their past that the Bad Place wasn't aware of.

Eleanor’s neighborhood is in the Middle Place not the Bad Place like Michael’s was and her mission is different then Michael’s was.   I forget what the rules about Shawn’s involvement and knowledge actually are but he has been breaking the rules from the get go so who really knows.

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13 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I like the idea that some demons, like Michael, do have the capacity to change, or do have a less evil side. 

If humans can change, then it makes sense to me that demons can, too. Maybe humans are the next stage of evolution after demonhood! It would explain a lot....

10 hours ago, Dani said:

Hopefully it will be explained next week but Derek could probably keep things functioning enough for them to get by until Janet is back. 

A neighborhood maintained by Derek? That would be hilarious.

Are we really sure only one could be a fake? I still think Michael has been a bit out of character lately.

I wonder if seeing how they all cope with the unfairness of Shawn and Co breaking rules is part of the lesson. Life isn't fair, so why would a test of their moral evolution be fair in the afterlife, either?

Glen being a mole could be amusing, if they send him back to the Bad Place to gather intel once he re-forms. Also, him abandoning demonhood because he was bullied, rather than becoming an even more vicious bully in a quest for revenge, is an interesting choice.

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I thought Jason might've caught that Janet didn't say "Not a girl". I was so happy that he did. He may be dumb but he does remember things if you say it enough times. 

Janet was acting weird and it was cruel of her to break up with Jason and tell him Bortles got cut. That was definitely a bad place Janet thing to say. 

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That was great, well constructed and clever, and makes the preceding episodes much better in retrospect, as you see the clues and false clues that they were planting. I especially always like a revelation that depends on a shibboleth, ever since I learned that word from the WEST WING episode of the same name. The only thing that might have improved the episodes is if Michael used that actual word, to Jason's befuddlement. Actually, if Chidi was still part of the group I could see him using the word.

Any confirmation yet if they're going to run straight through thirteen weeks without a break (putting the finale the week before Christmas) or do the usual break before US Thanksgiving and hold back a few for January? 

(edit to add, looks like NBC has the night game on Thanksgiving, so almost certain we'll see a split season. Motherforking sports)

Edited by BobH
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13 hours ago, Sarah 103 said:

I think Brent was an idea that looked good on paper when they were planning the season, but hasn't really worked out that well. He isn't that interesting, and his character isn't that funny. 

His lack of growth has actually made me wonder if perhaps the conclusion will be that humans have the potential to improve but not all do? Because I agree - the character has lots of different annoying characteristics to reference but few actual jokes.

28 minutes ago, Omeletsmom said:

I still think Michael is a fake.  He was counting on Eleanor stopping him before he goo-ed himself.  

Plausible, but I doubt it. First, Vicky has never been that clever and is better at self-preservation than predicting others. And second, if Michael had been swapped it wouldn't make sense for he and Jason to go off on a mission. Either he'd stay behind to keep sabotaging or he'd head off alone. 

I'd like to see Glenn get a bigger role with Team Cockroach now that he's demonstrated where his allegiance lies.

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I'm pretty sure Michael is really Michael, but setting up a situation where Jason willingly goes to the Bad Place and not coming back, leaving just Eleanor and Tahani to conduct the experiment without any supernatural assistance (or worse, with only Derek's) would actually sabotage things fairly effectively.

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I don't think anyone does comfort as well as Kristen Bell. The way she just looked so totally at ease with Chidi was amazing -- the little kind smile, the effortless way she slid into saying things that helped and complimented him.

This is just such a pleasant show. Even with all the hijinks that go on, it just feels very nice to watch. 

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One thing I'm confused about and I probably have some underlying assumption wrong.  They're working out of Mindy's house in the medium place, right?  But they seem to be able to bop back and forth between their HQ living room, and the "good place" plaza, Chidi's apartment, etc.  Didn't the medium place used to be a good train ride away?

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If I'm not misguided, they are in their rebooted Good Place, which is in the Medium Place. I do notice they seem to be in a set for Mindy's house and not an actual house where they normally film her scenes, which was supposed to be 100 degrees and full of flies!

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14 minutes ago, cpcathy said:

If I'm not misguided, they are in their rebooted Good Place, which is in the Medium Place. I do notice they seem to be in a set for Mindy's house and not an actual house where they normally film her scenes, which was supposed to be 100 degrees and full of flies!

Oh I think that's the part I missed.  Thanks.

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Well kudos to everyone who figured out they switched Janets at the train depot. I chalked it up to just a weird camera shot because of the body double for Darcy Carden but I guess I should know better on a show like this. Every little thing does tend to mean something.

Quote

In hindsight, only Bad Janet would tell Jason about Blake Bortles right after breaking up with him.  That was a really low blow.

Yes! I even pointed that out at the time, I couldn't figure out why she'd tell him that. Now it all makes sense!

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10 hours ago, LBS said:

Manny Jacinto's line reading of "not a girl" when he was on the railroad tram gutted me.  It was so wistful and sad. 

I was just coming to post that the last thing Jason said made me choke up a bit.

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3 hours ago, cpcathy said:

If I'm not misguided, they are in their rebooted Good Place, which is in the Medium Place. I do notice they seem to be in a set for Mindy's house and not an actual house where they normally film her scenes, which was supposed to be 100 degrees and full of flies!

Just to clarify, last season they mentioned that they put it in "Mindy's backyard", and Mindy was complaining about how they had pushed her out of her home for the year of their experiment. 

So I rewatched the first four episodes again in light of the reveal of the Janet switch. I was specifically watching for what actions were Good Janet's and which were Bad Janet's. 

Good Janet's

- Complained that the workload for the neighborhood was intense and she couldn't lose focus for a billionth of a second without it imploding

- Started to get aggravated with Jason's jealous behavior toward Derek, including murdering him

Bad Janet's

- Broke up with Jason

- Told Jason about Blake Bortles

- Undermined Eleanor's leadership, and said that their initial chance of success was 9 percent

- Gave Tahani bad advice in dealing with John

- (Probably) murdered Glenn

Also, I thought that D'arcy Carden had a slight smirk on her face after the switch that was reminiscent of Bad Janet, but I could be reading into it. 

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36 minutes ago, Mecca said:

Jason saying he finished the crossword puzzle and only circling the search keywords got to me far more than it probably should have.

I CACKLED.

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If Jason's goal for improvement is about learning delayed gratification and self control, then going to the bad place is brilliant. It's a classic writers move (who is the worst person/least qualified/most likely to mess up this super important task, and then have them do it). I can't wait to see what happens. 

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15 hours ago, Blakeston said:

So are the Bad Place demons privy to everything that's ever happened in Michael's neighborhood? It didn't seem that way in the early seasons, when Sean was unaware of most of what Michael was doing.

If they're not privy to everything that's happened, then if I were Eleanor, I would have asked Michael a question about something from their past that the Bad Place wasn't aware of.

Glen was part of Michael's neighborhood. I believe he wanted to bite the Soul Squad.

10 hours ago, SoMuchTV said:

One thing I'm confused about and I probably have some underlying assumption wrong.  They're working out of Mindy's house in the medium place, right?  But they seem to be able to bop back and forth between their HQ living room, and the "good place" plaza, Chidi's apartment, etc.  Didn't the medium place used to be a good train ride away?

They said in last season "Hey Mindy, can we use your backyard?"

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On 10/18/2019 at 12:37 PM, Dots And Stripes said:

Michael saying "Take it sleazy" was actually a pretty good clue it was him.

YOU got to say it???  Fine!  Here, eat a Saltine!

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9 hours ago, bros402 said:

Glen was part of Michael's neighborhood. I believe he wanted to bite the Soul Squad.

They said in last season "Hey Mindy, can we use your backyard?"

Gunnar wanted to bite them.

Glen was mostly known for falling into the season one sinkhole. He has other little appearances here and there as a resident of Michael's "Good Place". 

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On 10/18/2019 at 8:04 AM, Blakeston said:

So are the Bad Place demons privy to everything that's ever happened in Michael's neighborhood? It didn't seem that way in the early seasons, when Sean was unaware of most of what Michael was doing.

If they're not privy to everything that's happened, then if I were Eleanor, I would have asked Michael a question about something from their past that the Bad Place wasn't aware of.

If Michael actually was Vicky in the Michael suit she could have answered any question. She wouldn’t know everything that happened once Michael started working with the humans but Eleanor doesn’t have those memories anymore. 

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Didn't Michael give Eleanor all her memories back at one point when she'd been resurrected on Earth, hence her going bald and spitting her teeth out like chicklets?

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