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Recap / The Good Place S1E07 "The Eternal Shriek"

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"Again, I am not human. I can't die. I am simply an anthropomorphized vessel of knowledge built to make your life easier."

"Well, Janet's been murdered. That's a nice capper to this wonderful day. I don't really know what happens now because Janet has never been murdered before... only today, here on my watch, while I was distracted with a party that Tahani was throwing for me, which I didn't want."
Michael
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Michael announces that he will be "retiring", which will consist of eternal torture. Rather than tell the truth, Eleanor decides to "kill" Janet because only she can initiate Michael's retirement. She and Chidi argue over activating Janet's killswitch and Chidi ends up pushing the button while trying to stop Jason from doing so. Chidi agrees to keep their secret, even though it will make him miserable. Meanwhile, Tahani plans a somber retirement party for Michael; Michael then blames Tahani for distracting him from Janet but soon apologizes. Janet is rebooted with no memories and operates at diminished capacity. Michael announces he will remain in the neighborhood to investigate Janet's murder, which he says means there is a problem beyond himself. Eleanor tells Chidi she loves him, then admits to everyone that she is the problem because she was brought to the Good Place by mistake.

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In flashbacks, Chidi fibs that he likes a coworker's unattractive boots; he obsessed over the lie for three years and finally confessed after the coworker survives a difficult surgery.


Tropes

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Janet gets pretty glitchy after her reboot.
  • Big Red Button: Janet's killswitch is a big red button; Jason is tempted to press it.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Michael announces he's leaving the Good Place, Janet bluntly says it will not affect her in any way. Which is true, since she's an anthropomorphized construct with no real emotions.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Chidi can tell a lie, but he'll obsess over it for a long time.
  • Character Development: Eleanor's comes to a head here, when she ultimately steps up to the plate and confesses that she doesn't belong in the Good Place.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Michael's description of the convoluted torments he expects to face is a darkly comic moment.
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  • Diving Save: Subverted. Chidi pushes Jason out of the way to avoid the latter pushing the button and killing Janet, but pushes the button in the process.
  • I Have a Family: Janet tries to dissuade Eleanor from pressing the killswitch by producing a photograph of her children and asking who will take care of them if she's gone. It's just another part of the failsafe, the photo is actually of random children at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, but Eleanor is still unsettled enough to back away from the button.
  • Lying to Protect Your Feelings: When a coworker asks Chidi if he likes his boots, Chidi tells a white lie and says they're great as to not hurt his coworker's feelings. He proceeds to obsess over it for years afterwards.
  • Mid-Season Twist: The episode ends with Eleanor confessing that she doesn't belong in the Good Place.
  • My God, You Are Serious: When Chidi says he's going to confess, Eleanor laughs in his face then says a Flat "What".
  • Running Gag: People telling Chidi, "This is why everyone hates moral philosophy professors" when confronted with his boot obsession.
  • Sarcasm Failure: Eleanor tells Chidi they should go help Tahani with Michael's goodbye party.
    Chidi: Sure. That will more than make up for all the pain and misery and lying.
    Eleanor: Yes! Now you're getting it.
  • Skewed Priorities: Chidi's reaction after telling a minor white lie to his colleague about the colleague's boots is a dramatic "My God, What Have I Done?"
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Eleanor's for killing Janet because Janet isn't human and doesn't operate on any moral principles.
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