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Recap / The Good Place S1E04 "Jason Mendoza"

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"Pretty unique decorating style you have here, Jianyu. It's like, "12-year-old boy" meets "13-year-old boy.""

"When I say I'm meditating, I'm just trying to figure out what the fork is happening. I think we might be in an alien zoo or on a prank show."

Jianyu tells Eleanor he is really Jason Mendoza, a Filipino-American drug dealer and amateur DJ from Jacksonville, Florida who has gone along with the fiction of being a monk because the supposed vow of silence enables him to avoid detection. Jason decides to express his true identity, while Eleanor and a stunned Chidi try to convince him to stay hidden, fearing Eleanor will also be exposed. Tahani helps plan the gala opening of Patricia's restaurant. When Jason plans to share the real details of his life at the event, Eleanor creates a distraction by destroying Patricia's masterpiece cake, causing a sinkhole to open. Jason agrees to join Chidi's ethics class, but is an even less apt student than Eleanor. Tahani discovers that the sinkhole is growing, not closing as Michael expected.

Flashbacks show that Jason was hired as a famous EDM DJ's stand-in and was rejected by the crowd when he played his own music. He tells a friend that he longs to be appreciated as his authentic self and then vandalizes the DJ's boat.



  • Angry Chef: Deconstructed. Chef Patricia conforms to this stereotype by seemingly being abrasive, irritable, and a complete perfectionist — yet when Michael asks her to change the seating chart for an additional guest, she agrees immediately, because this being The Good Place, everything is working perfectly. Patricia herself is actually accommodating and willing to adjust her plans even at the last minute, she just says everything with seething anger.
  • Asian Airhead: Jason (aka, Jianyu) is very immature and very stupid. His friend Pillboi is much the same.
  • Be Yourself: Utterly subverted with Jason, who tried doing this in life, only to get pelted by AcidCat's audience, then sued for breach of contract. When he tries doing this again in the Good Place, Eleanor tells him not to do this, because he sucks.
    Eleanor: You need to be a better version of yourself.
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  • Casual Danger Dialog: Glenn has time to compliment the chef on the soup while dangling from a ledge in the sinkhole.
  • Character Title: The second in a row.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • At the dinner, everyone gets their favourite meal on Earth, save Eleanor, who gets nothing, because according to the Good Place's files, her favorite "meal" was a hunger strike.
    • Jason, when Eleanor's yelling at him, tries saying he didn't get into the Good Place to go to school. Eleanor points out he wouldn't have got in at all, save for mistake.
  • Everyone Has Standards: As has been established by this point in the show, Eleanor is kind of a jerkass, who had no problem going to a coffee shop owned by a blatant pervert, but Jason's stories about Jacksonville horrify her.
  • Flashback Cut: Eleanor asks how Jason figured out she didn't belong in the Good Place. Jason claims he figured it out via deduction. We see Eleanor on the first night drunkenly confessing her secret to "Jianyu".
    Eleanor: Okay... I vaguely remember that.
  • Fun with Homophones: Jason's Bud-Hole, which both Eleanor and Chidi initially assume he's calling his Butt-Hole.
  • Humble Goal: In a flashback, Jason's dream is to become a DJ in Daytona, Tallahassee, Tampa, even.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Immediately after saying he wants to show the world his beautiful soul, Jason throws a Molotov cocktail at AcidCat's speedboat.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Jason explains that he's actually Filipino-American, not Taiwanese like the Buddhist monk he's been mistaken for. He even lampshades it.
    "Heaven is so racist."
  • I Think You Broke Him: Played with - when Chidi finds "Jianyu" playing EDM while wearing DJ clothes, he initially thinks Eleanor has caused it.
    Chidi: Eleanor? You broke Jianyu! [...] one hour ago, that man was a silent Buddhist monk!
  • Jerkass: AcidCat regards his audience as idiots, and bluntly tells Jason he's terrible.
  • Kick the Dog: In order to stop Jason revealing he's an idiot, Eleanor zeroes in on the cake Chef Patricia spent weeks working on. When Chidi points out destroying it would be a truly cruel act, Eleanor responds "no durh", and smashes it to pieces.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Eleanor when she is about to reveal Jianyu's true identity to Chidi:
    "Jianyu is actually ... (Tahini enters the room) ... a guy who is nice.
  • Late to the Punchline: It is not until Michael is declaring the restaurant open that he realizes that "The Good Plates" is a pun on "The Good Place".
  • Molotov Cocktail: In flashback, Jason uses one to torch DJ Acidcat's speedboat.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: DJ AcidCat, with his name and cat-like helmet-mask, is a pretty obvious send-up of deadmau5.
  • Noodle Incident: Glenn's story about how his favourite kind of soup helped save hundreds of lives.
  • No, You: When Eleanor tells Jason that he sucks, Jason just retorts "You suck!"
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: A variant. Jason's "budhole" is filled with posters of things you'd expect a teenage boy to have, which immediately establishes that he's hardly the serene, wise Buddhist monk he was posing as.
  • Produce Pelting: Happens to Jason when the crowd at the rave party gets angry over him not being the real deal.
  • Separated by a Common Language: The Good Place's automatic translation clearly doesn't distinguish between British and American English. When Michael tells Tahani he's going to wear suspenders, she has a brief moment of confusion over whether he's using the word in the American or British sense and has to ask for clarification. (UK "suspenders" are US "garter belts", US "suspenders" are UK "braces".)
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • When the sinkhole opens, Glenn falls in. Michael calls down to assure him they'll put his soup in the fridge so it doesn't go to waste, even though Michael acknowledges this probably isn't his biggest concern at that point.
    Glenn: It was up there! It's really good soup.
    • After the party, Tahani laments the sinkhole, that "Jianyu" is so traumatized he may never speak and that her hair is barely cascading down her shoulders.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When Tahani hears Jason say "I'm cool", she pauses, and looks at Eleanor, Chidi and Jason, figuring out there's something going on with them... and comes to the conclusion they're trying to help Jianyu speak as a gift for her. Eleanor is more than happy to go along with that conclusion.
  • Take That!:
    Chidi: Do you hear music?
    Eleanor: That's no music. [Extreme Close-Up] That's EDM.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: Thanks to the sinkhole, no-one gets to eat their favourite meals.
  • Up to Eleven: According to Michael, any place or thing in the universe can be up to 104% perfect.
  • We Need a Distraction: Line said by Eleanor before destroying the cake in order to stop "Jianyu" from talking.


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