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S04.E07: Help Is Other People

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I felt genuinely bad for Brent in this episode. He looked so doubtful as he came to his realization.

It's also important to note that Chidi didn't hesitate about making a decision. Growth!

Edited by Harvey
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Liked this episode more than last week and can’t wait to see what happens next week. What a cliffhanger. Disappointed that whatshisname and Simone bugged out and left Chidi and Brent. Don’t blame them for hating Brent but they apparently didn’t feel much for Chidi either, since they didn’t help him out.

Does telling them that they’re in the Bad Place break the rules? 

And boo to NBC, because I swear that this episode was half commercials.
 

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Eleanor and Michael evil laugh was the best moment of this entire show quite possibly since Michael's back in season one.

I actually laughed at a Brent line! 

I never liked Simone much but I really don't like her now. John's lines to her by the sinkhole were all mine. But then, they had John go with Simone, interested to see how that'll turn out.

I think that since Brent clearly felt remorse before the clock ran out, that shows he can improve.

Tahani wondering if Jason was a demon in a Jason suit was actually exactly what I was wondering. And all her stuff about black tie style is everything I love about Tahani

Is it next week yet??

Edited by JessDVD
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The laugh and the almond milk were the highlights for me too. Also, I am gonna need Janet to show up with a pitcher if margaritas at the end of this show cause I am not going to be able to cope.

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Ok I have been waiting for that  “This is the bad place” laugh from Eleanor all season and not only did I get it I got it from her and Michael.   I love the idea that it might actually be Brent that saves everyone because that does fit with the show and it’s message of small acts of change because in the end both Simone and John refuse to change while Brent even in the smallest way is willing to.

I though Jason was hilarious with his football analogies  and his being all coherent not once but twice.  So much so that Tahani thought he was a demon in a Jason suit.  
 

of course Chidi thought it was the almond milk.   It’s always the almond milk.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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2 minutes ago, Linny said:

Damn, combining the implosion of Chidi/Simone AND Eleanor's experiment in one episode was pretty brutal. The contrast in Simone and Chidi's handling of the situation--Simone, grasping for data and the truth, and Chidi, looking for a foothold of human connection--makes perfect sense for both characters, and is the exact reason they're not as compatible as Chidi so believed. Chidi can understand Simone's decision not to help Brent, but he'll never agree with it. Doesn't matter if Brent has failed a thousand chances to be a better person, he's still a person in need, and Chidi's still going to extend a hand and hope that Brent will eventually reflect that kindness back on him. (And I, too, hope we're finally going to get past Brent's amped up toxic ego and find something real.)

Chidi's words directly echo Michael in his talk with Bad Janet. I have to think that this is the overriding ethos of the whole show.  I am enjoying this season and think it will play a lot better if we could binge it instead of having to wait a week.

I absolutely loved Kristen and D'Arcy in this episode.   From Janet's attempt at breaking into the obelisk to "what do you know", "I know everything," to Janet's look of appreciation after Eleanor says she has bounced quarters off of Chidi's ass, to the final pitcher of margaritas. They were both on fire in this episode. 

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I'm looking forward to freeze framing and zooming in on Simone's conspiracy board.

I figured we were looking at a "This is the Bad Place" moment somewhere down the line, but it was still really satisfying to have Michael and Eleanor do the reaction mirroring Michael's original reaction.

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3 minutes ago, shoregirl said:

I loved Jason apologizing for being coherent because he 100% does not know what coherent means .

Also that his favorite all-chocolate item was a peanut butter cup.

Edited by Amarsir
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Even early Eleanor would jump into the demon hole to save Brent.  She wouldn’t Know exactly why she was doing it and question herself the entire time.   But she would do it.  

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That was a great episode, I cant wait to see what happens next week! We got Michael and Eleanor getting to do the evil Bad Place laugh, we got Janet trying (and failing) to get into the score board, Jason using sports analogies, moral quagmires, its everything you could want!

I love Michael's enthusiasm for human magic. Oh excuse me, I meant Magnificent Dr. Prestos enthusiasm for human magic! *Pulls out top hat* "...You asked us to trust you after doing that?" And Eleanor got to do the Bad Place evil laugh, and she did a great job imitating a demon in that brief scene! I am so invested, I am going to need that pitcher, Janet! 

Oh Jason, he really can have his moments where he is actually keeping track of whats going on...sometimes. Coherent? He doesent know the meaning of the word!

I think it would be so interesting if Brent ended up being the one to save the day, because despite what an awful broccoli toilet he has been, he did actually show a glipse of growth and the start of his apology to Chidi did sound sincere. He might have sucked, but he did show some tiny bit of growth and show a real moment of real kindness, and I think that lines up with what the shows philosophy is. Even the smallest bits of improvement and the seemingly simplest good deeds are worth celebrating, and worth giving people another chance. 

 Simons fatal flaw might be her always thinking that she is right, and therefore not really improving, or possibly even her basing all her choices on pure rationality, and not morality. Her leaving Brent in the hole to die because she doesent like him was pretty cold, and in a way, lines up with the idea of moral desserts that we have talked about in this show many times. Doing something because it will get you something isnt the same as doing something because its the right thing to do. Saving a person at personal risk that you like is probably easier to do then a person you dont like, but that shouldn't matter. Saving a life, especially someone who, while not a good person, isnt an evil person or anything, is always a good thing, even if the person isnt a nice person. Just because you dont think a person wouldn't risk their life to save you, doesent mean you should sink to their level and not save them. Not that Simon is a bad person, but she doesent seem to have any interest in improving as a person. Brent is a crappy person, but in the end did seem to show come capacity for growth. John is kind of in the middle, showing some growth but is also quick to backslide. Of course Chidi would be the one to try and help him, because as neurotic as Chidi is, he is a good person and he puts ethics and doing the right thing first. 

Its always that damn Almond Milk! It gets them every time!

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1 hour ago, BobH said:

I'm looking forward to freeze framing and zooming in on Simone's conspiracy board.

 I tried but most of it is too small. The only visual stuff that's kind of interesting is a big "Where's Linda?" and speculation that Janet is bisexual.

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I didn’t think they’d reach the end of the experiment this quickly - plenty of time to dissect the results! I’m not convinced Brent demonstrated an inclination for growth or repentance when they hit pause - it sounded sincere but it could also be he’s sincerely sorry he didn’t get a final round of golf in. But it leaves a lot of room for philosophical discussion, which has been a bit lacking this season. 

I liked Simone more last year when she was a character embedded with the group rather than a plot device. Her data gathering tracks well with her initial skepticism. I don’t think the issue is that she’s always right - to use her example in her current context, it’s that you do the experiment the 1001st time in the hopes that you were wrong. 

Humour-wise, I liked this one. I always like call backs like almond milk but I loved Tahani’s flustered “I know Sting!” and Janet’s sparkly version of her uniform. 

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Definitely a solid recover from last week, since it looks like the pieces finally being put into place and the season is getting ready to go into a new direction.

Out of the four, Simone figuring out that The Good Place isn't what it seems to be fits with her character, and it also does a solid job at showing why she isn't a "win" for the team after-all, since all of her behavior was an act to try and figure out the conspiracy.  And then while Brent is clearly the worst, her willing to abandon him to likely die is certainly not a good look for her either.  In the end, she seems to be someone who thinks she is always in the right and doesn't believe she needs to improve in any way.

While I still mainly find Brent to be a one-note jerk, I'll give the actor credit at the end, at he did seem to convey Brent finally (fingers crossed) realizing that maybe he isn't as awesome as he thinks he is, and he is fallible.  Now, I'm not sure if he'll be enough or even if he'll ever actually become a "good person", but there at least seems to be a slim possibility he can change.

John's still kind of an enigma though.  I wonder if they're saving him to factor in more later.

Loved Michael and Eleanor's evil laughs, Michael's magic tricks, Tahani's big rant about proper party etiquettes, and Jason having not one, but TWO good analogies! 

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I really liked that episode - I want next weeks episode now.

I really really really hope that next week isn't the Fall Finale. However, I bet it will be, because this is the Bad Place Medium Place

 

3 hours ago, Amarsir said:

 I tried but most of it is too small. The only visual stuff that's kind of interesting is a big "Where's Linda?" and speculation that Janet is bisexual.

I believe it said Janet: Asexual?

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8 hours ago, Yokosmom said:

And boo to NBC, because I swear that this episode was half commercials.

The length of the episode without commercials was 21:25 so it was about the same length as usual.

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The experiment is to see if humans are inherently salvageable as a species, not if the 4 experiment members are going to the good place (if I understand the implications correctly). So Brent, after a year of being an unrepentant ashole showing the ability to understand, through Chidi’s speech, that he’s been a jerk his whole life, may be change enough for judge Jen to accept per the experiment. It doesn’t mean his Newly calculated pre death totals will get him there.
 

I think the ultimate experiment though was to see if the original 4 could pass the judges tests to get into the good place personally. All showed they would now. Jason proved he has impulse control when they rescued Janet. Tahani has moved on from the person only interested in throwing parties and being the center of attention. Chidi, that fine assed mailman, certainly grew more decisive and authoritative as evidenced by punching Brent when he needed to be punched and confronting Simone when they had a deep philosophical difference. Elinor, who had already passed the original test, illustrated multiple times she could put her selfishness aside. And Michael. Well. He’s basically an immortal human now. Granted a very tall one with a lot of juice, but he’s confronted his demons and let them go. He’s ready to be a good place being.

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Kirby Howell-Baptiste wore the hell outta that dress.

I really thought Brent was irredeemable after last episode, but wow, maybe coming right up to the edge of permanent damnation finally broke some reality through to him.

I appreciated the little parallels with the S1 finale in theory, but in execution it felt a little off. Something about how Eleanor said "I can't believe you figured it out" just didn't feel as fun as when Michael did it.

OTOH, while the Soul Squad's initial plan to get the humans to escape to Mindy (or somewhere) failed -- that was how most iterations of Michael's Bad Place worked. According to Mindy from "Dance Dance Resolution", most of the iterations had just Eleanor and Janet and one other. And then they always go back. So maybe Simone or John will have a change of heart and go back for Chidi and Brent. Or at least for Chidi.

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I loved the tuxedo in a can, but they never did say how to put it back in the can afterwards.  Do they just toss it out?  Are there shelves upon shelves of tuxedos in cans?  And how do they make sure that the tuxedo fits properly?  Are they one size fits all cans?

Edited by icemiser69
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11 hours ago, Yokosmom said:

.Does telling them that they’re in the Bad Place break the rules? 

Maybe it would break the rules if they told them where they actually are. I think they’ll get off on a technicality: they aren’t in the Bad Place. They're actually in the Medium Place.

Also, I loved Tahani’s (the iridescent color), Eleanor’s (the texture) and Simone's (the style) ballgowns.

I loved this episode so much.

ETA: I don’t think Brent was going to say “sorry.” I think he was going to say something else like “l’m so, so...  shocked that I didn’t get into the Good Place!”  And I think we’ll get to see how that scene would’ve played out if the clock hadn’t stopped in a later episode—maybe in front of the judge or something.

Edited by PityFree
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11 hours ago, phalange said:

Quote of the episode: “We do nothing. We hope our earlier successes make up for the embarrassing mess we’ve become. Like Facebook. Or America.” 

I love Michael being enthralled with basic human magic and how Jason is actually good at analogies when they involve football. Also the callback to early episodes when Chidi thinks he’s in the Bad Place because he drinks almond milk. 

Where do Simone and John think they’re going to go? I mean I get not wanting to hang out by the giant sink hole, but do they think they can just drive out of the Bad Place? 

I’m not surprised Chidi was willing to help Brent, but I am surprised that he got through to Brent. Brent’s “sorry” came just as the clock ran out, so hopefully it’s enough. And will it be enough that only two of them improved?

Eleanor got to do the evil laugh! And did it masterfully, I might add. 

I kinda wanted to see Janet eat the Janet-babies

 "Violently" eating the Janet-babies. 😂😂😂 Gotta love Janet 

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I liked when they were talking about emojis and Chidi described one as a "smiling poop coil."

Also enjoyed John telling Chidi that his was the most boring break-up he ever witnessed. "I respect your decision." "And I respect yours."

I can't wait to see how everything shakes out. Did Simone figuring out they were being experimented on change the results of the experiment, at least for her and John? Was Brent sincerely sorry or was he about to make another non-apology?

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I think based on the look on his face Brent was going to sincerely say he was sorry about something, but I'm not at all confident it was something that would show growth of character or moral advancement. Maybe regret that Chidi, whom he maybe developed genuine respect for after the punch, was earmarked for the Bad Place?

I did love that Simone's Carrie Matheson cork board included Tahani and Jainyu among her group rather than picking up on the fact that they were part of the conspiracy.

Tahani suspecting Jason was a demon in disguise was the high point of the episode to me.

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I said in my post at the top here that Brent looked like he was showing remorse but now I'm thinking that might be a misdirect, that we're supposed to think that but it'll go a different direction. I'd like for them to show that he was capable of some self-awareness, but this is the show that hates him so, who knows. 

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4 hours ago, PityFree said:

I don’t think Brent was going to say “sorry.” I think he was going to say something else like “l’m so, so...  shocked that I didn’t get into the Good Place!”  And I think we’ll get to see how that scene would’ve played out if the clock hadn’t stopped in a later episode—maybe in front of the judge or something.

2 hours ago, JessDVD said:

I said in my post at the top here that Brent looked like he was showing remorse but now I'm thinking that might be a misdirect, that we're supposed to think that but it'll go a different direction.

My husband agrees with both of you. It certainly sounded like the beginning of "sorry," and I can't immediately think of another word that would have fit in the situation, but misdirecting is a big part of this show so it is likely in this case. I also don't see why Brent would suddenly apologize to Chidi upon finding out where they are going--it seems more likely that Brent would focus on himself and start thinking of a way to get out of the situation.

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19 hours ago, Yokosmom said:

Does telling them that they’re in the Bad Place break the rules? 

I don't think there are any rules about what they can or cannot do. 

The test subjects get points just like they would on earth, and they get no points if their motivation is corrupt. It doesn't really matter if (they think) they are in the Good Place or the Bad Place, either way (they think) their soul has been judged, and it shouldn't negate their point total because someone who thinks they have already been judged would do good actions out of pure altruism and bad actions out of pure selfishness. 

The only way the experiment falls apart is if the subjects think the experiment is still going on, or they think they can change the outcome. 

It's a smart move honestly. Their motivations would be corrupt if 

A) They thought they were in a test to get into the Best Place, like Brent does

OR

B) They think that this is an experiment, like Simone does. 

They only way to shift them back into a system where actions matter in terms of point accumulation is to make them think they have already passed or failed the test. Then a heartfelt apology like the one Brent is (seemingly) about to offer at the end of this episode would count. He's not apologizing for any reason other then the fact that he is genuinely sorry. 

Edited by Maximum Taco
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6 hours ago, icemiser69 said:

I loved the tuxedo in a can, but they never did say how to put it back in the can afterwards.  Do they just toss it out?  Are there shelves upon shelves of tuxedos in cans?  And how do they make sure that the tuxedo fits properly?  Are they one size fits all cans?

Have you ever bought one of those plastic bag ponchos at a sporting event? They come in this teeny tiny package. Once you remove the poncho, there's no way you can fold that thing small enough to get it back in the wrapping. They also are one size fits all, but I guess that's easier for a rain poncho than a tuxedo - especially a tuxedo that meets Tahani's proper formal requirements. 

I thought that the four subjects thought Tahani worked for Eleanor and Michael and wasn't a resident like they were.  

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

OK tiny nitpick, but a name-dropping Brit like Tahani would not refer to Kate Middleton as "Princess Kate." She is not called that. Tahani would say "The Duchess of Cambridge" or at most "Duchess Kate." I suspect the writers didn't think us dumb Americans would know who she was talking about unless she said "Princess." 

(She is a princess by marriage only which makes her the Princess William. You are only called "Princess your first name" if you are a princess by birth. Tahani of all people would know this.)

I thought "Princess Kate" sounded weird, too! But then I thought of Princess-by-Marriage Diana and assumed it must be ok.

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

OK tiny nitpick, but a name-dropping Brit like Tahani would not refer to Kate Middleton as "Princess Kate." She is not called that. Tahani would say "The Duchess of Cambridge" or at most "Duchess Kate." I suspect the writers didn't think us dumb Americans would know who she was talking about unless she said "Princess." 

(She is a princess by marriage only which makes her the Princess William. You are only called "Princess your first name" if you are a princess by birth. Tahani of all people would know this.)

I had the same reaction. Plus the last time Tahani mentioned The Duchess of Cambridge it was as the commoner who married Prince William. That felt more consistent with Tahani’s personality. 

I’m a little surprised that they didn’t throw in a Duke and Duchess of Sussex reference instead since Jameela has confirmed that they watch the show. 

Edited by Dani
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3 hours ago, iMonrey said:

OK tiny nitpick, but a name-dropping Brit like Tahani would not refer to Kate Middleton as "Princess Kate." She is not called that. Tahani would say "The Duchess of Cambridge" or at most "Duchess Kate." I suspect the writers didn't think us dumb Americans would know who she was talking about unless she said "Princess." 

(She is a princess by marriage only which makes her the Princess William. You are only called "Princess your first name" if you are a princess by birth. Tahani of all people would know this.)

Very good catch, and it makes me think that Tahani has been replaced by demon Vicky wearing a Tahani suit!!!

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This show is so good! Every time you think it's gonna zig, it zags. Last week people were wondering why no one thought they were in the bad place, or in an experiment (even Jason figured it out once!) and sure enough, this week they do! And they reached the end of the experiment halfway through the season. Of course I thought it would last until the end, but it's here already. 

Such a ride on this show!

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According to the podcast, the episode's writer says Brent was clearly going to say sorry.

And that writer's room is much harsher on Brent than any of us, so i think it's a safe bet. Of course, because it's fiction, everyone is allowed to interpret as they like. But the guy who wrote the show said it was clear Brent was going to say Sorry. 

Also, they brought in a magician to worth with Ted Danson, and Ted was delighting everyone with the tricks he'd learned. 

And Jamila keeps candy and chocolate in her dress pockets. 

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3 hours ago, Paloma said:

My husband agrees with both of you. It certainly sounded like the beginning of "sorry," and I can't immediately think of another word that would have fit in the situation, but misdirecting is a big part of this show so it is likely in this case. 

I'm sorely...

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1 hour ago, PityFree said:

Very good catch, and it makes me think that Tahani has been replaced by demon Vicky wearing a Tahani suit!!!

Except that Vicky is now blue goo.  But it could be a different, just-as-heinous demon.

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19 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Simons fatal flaw might be her always thinking that she is right, and therefore not really improving,

In that respect she has a lot in common with Brent.

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13 hours ago, PityFree said:

ETA: I don’t think Brent was going to say “sorry.” I think he was going to say something else like “l’m so, so...  shocked that I didn’t get into the Good Place!”

8 hours ago, Paloma said:

My husband agrees with both of you. It certainly sounded like the beginning of "sorry," and I can't immediately think of another word that would have fit in the situation

He's obviously going to say, "I'm sorry...you feel that way." That's in our real life world the classic non-apology, and the writers will then have fun making that point, because that's Brent's function in the show.

Edited by Corgi-ears
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I haven't started my re-watch of the show yet, I'm waiting until the end but has the word "hell" always been a word that could be said without it being altered?

I looked online and it said season 4 will have 14 episodes.

I enjoyed this episode a lot!

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20 hours ago, bros402 said:

I really liked that episode - I want next weeks episode now.

I really really really hope that next week isn't the Fall Finale. However, I bet it will be, because this is the Bad Place Medium Place

My guess is that the 21st will be the Fall Finale, and then we'll get the final 5 episodes in January.

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34 minutes ago, foxfreakinmulder said:

I haven't started my re-watch of the show yet, I'm waiting until the end but has the word "hell" always been a word that could be said without it being altered?

I believe it only came up once in the original neighborhood when Vicky said, “what the here.” Although that could just be the bad place’s version of what the hell. 

1 hour ago, Corgi-ears said:

He's obviously going to say, "I'm sorry...you feel that way." That's in our real life world the classic non-apology, and the writers will then have fun making that point, because that's Brent's function in the show.

They made that joke last week. Based on the way the actor played it I do I think he was supposed to be sincerely apologizing. 

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Shallow point. Tahani and Simone looked great in their evening gowns. 

If not for the writers, I feel like Simone wouldn't have been collecting evidence for an entire year. She would have just pulled an Eleanor and busted the experiment much earlier. 

Jason was born in a swimming pool???

I'm with John. Muffin? Ducky?

I'm totally going to start using "toilet full of broccoli." 

I feel like we're really finally seeing why Simone would end up in the Bad Place. Or at least wouldn't qualify for the good place. I still think she was right to call out Brent on his bullshit. But she's also self-involved. Not in a traditional way. Like, she's not exactly conceited or greedy. But she cares about herself and her friends. She wouldn't struggle with the trolley problem. 

Well, they got Brent to almost apologize. That's something. I'm so curious where the rest of the season is going.

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My husband agrees with both of you. It certainly sounded like the beginning of "sorry," and I can't immediately think of another word that would have fit in the situation, but misdirecting is a big part of this show so it is likely in this case. I also don't see why Brent would suddenly apologize to Chidi upon finding out where they are going--it seems more likely that Brent would focus on himself and start thinking of a way to get out of the situation.

Maybe I'm more gullible. Or just willing to think the writers would take the shortcut. I can see Brent just saying sorry. The thing about characters who are written pretty shallowly is that they can do any number of things and you can rationalize it. If Brent suddenly does a heel face turn... why not? There are only so many episodes left in the season. 

I'm more intrigued by what Gen will say anyway. She was pretty harsh on our original four. Will any of this be enough? Is there a higher power than Gen? Will we ever see a real Good Place? So many questions. 7 episodes left! How can this be???

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