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S04.E04: Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy

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22 minutes ago, Bruinsfan said:

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?

I think that was only memories regarding her relationship with Chidi and the first time she said "I love you."

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On 10/18/2019 at 12:49 AM, 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. 

The reactions of Eleanor and Janet to him are entertaining to me. I actually really liked how shocked Eleanor was when his arrogance and entitlement led him to presume that there must be a Better or Best Place that he should get to go to. I won't be really delighted unless the character is in some way relevant to the way the ending works out, but I am OK with him so far.

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2 hours ago, Bruinsfan said:

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?

IIRC, he just showed her some memories he selected to help him talk her out of her funk. The first time he did it, he just showed her a quick snippet to "inoculate" her to the side effects of the process (losing her hair and teeth).

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14 hours ago, albinerhawk said:

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". 

Glen, Gunnar, close enough 😛

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I work part time for a medium-sized nonprofit organization.

I manage their social media.

I'm doomed.

To the train switch - I was suspicious.  But I thought it possible that we had both Bad Janet and Vicki in a Michael suit working against the plan.  I'm glad it was the real Michael all along. 

Glen is the Jerry/Gary Gergich of the demon world.

Edited by amaranta
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8 hours ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

The reactions of Eleanor and Janet to him are entertaining to me. I actually really liked how shocked Eleanor was when his arrogance and entitlement led him to presume that there must be a Better or Best Place that he should get to go to. I won't be really delighted unless the character is in some way relevant to the way the ending works out, but I am OK with him so far.

Brent is a conglomeration of all the negative cliches a political progressive might hold about a certain class of white male. He's a satiric target, not a person.

That's why he's coming off to some of us as flat and lifeless. He has the crassness and selfishness of the old Eleanor combined with the entitlement of Tahini, but with none of the contradictions and nuance that make those characters fun.

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47 minutes ago, clack said:

Brent is a conglomeration of all the negative cliches a political progressive might hold about a certain class of white male. He's a satiric target, not a person.

You don't have to be a political progressive to know real people like Brent, who are arrogant and act entitled because they think they are better than other people.

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53 minutes ago, Paloma said:

You don't have to be a political progressive to know real people like Brent, who are arrogant and act entitled because they think they are better than other people.

Not what I am saying. I'm not saying that arrogance doesn't exist.

I am saying that Tahini is also arrogant, entitled, and superior but she's sympathetic and entertaining because she's just not a collection of negative traits.  She's allowed to be a person.

Brent is not fun, imo. Some may enjoy his appearances on the show, I don't. He annoys me.

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Do we trust these writers or do we not? I agree that Brent is not funny, but I have a certain amount of faith that eventually they'll do something brilliant with him. Especially now that they're not taking bum advice from a Bad Janet any more.

Edited by Corvino · Reason: Forgot to say something before
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Way late to this one due to being out of town the past few days, but better late than never!

I definitely had my suspicions of either the "Vicky in a Michael suit" or a Bad Janet/Good Janet swap being in play, but I loved how it all played out here, and I especially loved that Jason was the one who put the pieces together.  The moments were he can actually be insightful and notice things others don't is always great and makes him rise above the normal "dumb comedic relief."  And it makes sense that it would be him since he loves Janet and would notice that Bad Janet didn't respond with "not a girl" like Janet normally does.  All in all, great show.

As for Michael, I guess it is always possible that there could always be another twist with him down the line, but right now, I do think that is the real Michael, because I just don't think Vicky has the patience or ability to pull of a charade for as long as she needs to.  But I did understand why Eleanor and the rest were wary of him due to his lies (glad they acknowledge that the panic attack was actually real), and why he needed to make a big move in order to prove himself.  

The Chidi scenes were great, but I really do hope he doesn't continue to be separated from the rest of the main cast for too long.

John and Brent are amusing enough in how everyone else reacts to them (Simone's frustrations were especially great here), but they seem one-note overall.  Brent in particular feels like he's come straight out of Mad Men to the point that; with respect to the actor; I almost think he would have worked better if they had either Jon Hamm or John Slattery playing him with a more "wink and nudge" kind of way.

Oh, Glenn!  You may be a demon, but I almost pity you.  

Despite only about a minute of screen time, I still loved Shawn and Marc Evan Jackson's varied "Shut up, Glenn!"  And it was great seeing Tiya Sircar as Vicky again.

Definitely looking forward to next week's episode with Michael/Jason going to The Bad Place to rescue Janet, while it is up to Eleanor and Tahani to hold the fort down.

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5 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

The Chidi scenes were great, but I really do hope he doesn't continue to be separated from the rest of the main cast for too long.

So much this.  Each episode feels like a section of the show is missing. 

Edited by amaranta
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On 10/20/2019 at 10:03 AM, clack said:

I am saying that Tahini is also arrogant, entitled, and superior but she's sympathetic and entertaining because she's just not a collection of negative traits.  She's allowed to be a person.

Yes, this. Tahani balanced out her negative traits by also being kind and genuinely concerned with others' welfare. Eleanor balanced out being Arizona trash by being exceedingly self-aware of and honest about her own shortcomings. Even John has shown some depth, he seemed to feel a real connection with Tahani over being an outsider. Plus, his put-downs and obsession with celebrity gossip are fun to watch even if they're negative traits. The only speck of entertainment I've gotten out of Brent so far is that line about having shot a lot of racehorses.

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1 hour ago, Bruinsfan said:

The only speck of entertainment I've gotten out of Brent so far is that line about having shot a lot of racehorses.

But, but... he got into Princeton on his own merit!  Just like his father and his father before him!

10 hours ago, Corvino said:

Do we trust these writers or do we not? I agree that Brent is not funny, but I have a certain amount of faith that eventually they'll do something brilliant with him. Especially now that they're not taking bum advice from a Bad Janet any more.

I tend to agree with this.  Although they don't have too much longer for a payoff, unlike some earlier season characters (shut up, Glenn).

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I'd love it if they used Brent to address the question of why, since he's got so much privilege, he isn't using it to be good-- if you can have fewer obstacles, and still wind up rotten-- how does that dovetail with the way that being in the Bad Place enabled Our Heroes to grow into better people? Do we need to suffer, or will the show answer this question in another way?

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13 hours ago, Bruinsfan said:

Yes, this. Tahani balanced out her negative traits by also being kind and genuinely concerned with others' welfare. Eleanor balanced out being Arizona trash by being exceedingly self-aware of and honest about her own shortcomings. Even John has shown some depth, he seemed to feel a real connection with Tahani over being an outsider. Plus, his put-downs and obsession with celebrity gossip are fun to watch even if they're negative traits. The only speck of entertainment I've gotten out of Brent so far is that line about having shot a lot of racehorses.

I agree with what you've said about how the show balanced Eleanor's and Tahani's negative traits with bad ones, but I actually love Brent. Or I love laughing at how awful he is. It's like catharsis for me that the show has him as the butt of so many jokes. If he improves, that will be great, but if he doesn't, I will have no problem with them sending him straight to the Bad Place when all is said and done. 

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Oh man, the moment where "Daisy" came alive gave me the biggest laugh of the season so far. Chidi's reaction was up there with the moment Michael entered his existential crisis.

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On 10/22/2019 at 12:10 AM, piccadilly83 said:

If he improves, that will be great, but if he doesn't, I will have no problem with them sending him straight to the Bad Place when all is said and done. 

That sentence just made me think—they didn't establish that all the test subjects had to improve to prove Team Cockroach's point, did they? If Simone, John, Brent, and now Chidi are the actual metric by which the experiment is judged rather than it secretly being a test of the original four's altruism, ANY of them improving from their beginning state proves the hypothesis. So if, say, three of them show substantial improvement but Brent only gets worse, that just proves that some people can be reformed and deserve The Good Place, while some are hopeless and belong in The Bad Place.

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4 hours ago, Bruinsfan said:

That sentence just made me think—they didn't establish that all the test subjects had to improve to prove Team Cockroach's point, did they? If Simone, John, Brent, and now Chidi are the actual metric by which the experiment is judged rather than it secretly being a test of the original four's altruism, ANY of them improving from their beginning state proves the hypothesis. So if, say, three of them show substantial improvement but Brent only gets worse, that just proves that some people can be reformed and deserve The Good Place, while some are hopeless and belong in The Bad Place.

That was my understanding of the judge's rules, but I may have misunderstood. I always thought that the point of the new experiment was to show that at least some humans can improve, not necessarily all humans.

Edited by piccadilly83
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54 minutes ago, ByTor said:

The cheese stands alone, I love Brent, I think he's so over the top obnoxious that he's hilarious!

I enjoyed Brent in this episode.  I know a bit about the horse world so his line about having experience putting down race horses was equal parts hilarious, horrifying and telling about his life on earth.  Race horses are both extremely expensive and extremely fragile and the horse world is full of chicanery.  Now I want to know if Brent's experience was all above board or if he was involved in some insurance fraud.  

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If he were involved in some type of insurance fraud, that would continue the motif that he's there for Eleanor.  She sold all those fake drugs (not the same type of insurance fraud, but the same idea of taking advantage of people's safety nets to rip them off).  

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On 10/18/2019 at 9:53 PM, 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.

Word search. Which makes more sense. He found all the words after all.

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On 10/23/2019 at 12:10 PM, Bruinsfan said:

That sentence just made me think—they didn't establish that all the test subjects had to improve to prove Team Cockroach's point, did they? If Simone, John, Brent, and now Chidi are the actual metric by which the experiment is judged rather than it secretly being a test of the original four's altruism, ANY of them improving from their beginning state proves the hypothesis. So if, say, three of them show substantial improvement but Brent only gets worse, that just proves that some people can be reformed and deserve The Good Place, while some are hopeless and belong in The Bad Place.

This would make the most sense. Some people are better, in morals and actions, than others. Hence good/bad places. Not everyone will or even should get "better" and I kind of hope they don't turn him around. That'd be too pat. Humans ARE flawed. They're just better than the current system indicates.

On 10/31/2019 at 9:07 PM, Machiabelly said:

Word search. Which makes more sense. He found all the words after all.

I thought that was just perfect. He totally found them!

Edited by snarktini
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Yeah, I'm going to need a clip of Simone reacting to Brent. "Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no." Perfect line delivery.

Ah! I was really expecting a doppleganger of Janet, Michael, or one of the original 4. I never would have guessed Glenn. Of course, Glenn showing up to maybe snitch on Fake Michael/Vicky basically achieves the same end of having to suss out a possible fake. 

I feel like they heard the complaints about Jason. Loved that he was the one to figure out that Janet was the real fake.

Edited by aradia22
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On 11/4/2019 at 6:27 PM, aradia22 said:

I feel like they heard the complaints about Jason. Loved that he was the one to figure out that Janet was the real fake.

I just watched this episode again this morning. The first time, I missed "Janet" not correcting Jason when he said "girl." Also, I missed earlier when Chidi's horse abomination started chowing down on Mariah Carey's freed tattoo. I really like how this show gives a lot more on second (and third) viewings.

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