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Recap / The Good Place S1E11 "What's My Motivation"

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"Eleanor! Everyone hates you!"

"Look, I know this is tedious, but holding a door for someone is three points, and if you do it for everyone in the neighborhood, then that's almost a thousand points for just a start. Besides, all the big ticket items are impossible, I'm afraid. It's not as if you could, you know, "sacrifice your life to save others" or "change the consciousness of a nation." Both of which I did, by the way. Such fun!"

Tahani suggests that Eleanor be allowed to accrue points in the Good Place; starting at -4,000, she must exceed 1,200,000. She performs good deeds and recreates Tahani's welcoming party, winning over her neighbors with humor, but her score only increases when she advises Chidi to respond favorably to Real Eleanor's declaration of love. Eleanor learns that, since her motivation is self-preservation, her actions won't increase her score. She secretly plans to leave the Good Place to become a good person and her score reaches the target. Michael discovers both Jason's identity and his marriage to Janet, who has developed emotions and loves Jason, so Michael decides to reboot her again. When Shawn's train arrives, Janet, Jason, and Eleanor hijack it to take them to a "Medium Place".

Flashbacks show that Jason suffocated and died in a safe while trying to rob a restaurant with his friend Pillboi, who was placed on probation and not charged in his death.



  • Because Destiny Says So: Eleanor reasons to Chidi that he should not overthink his feelings for Real Eleanor and just tell her he loves her because their relationship is literally "universe-approved." Giving him good advice earns her +20 points.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Jason falls in love with Janet because she showed unconditional kindness to him throughout his time in the afterlife.
  • Didn't Think This Through: As Pillboi's arresting officer points out, the "plan" to rob the Mexican restaurant wasn't really much of a plan.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Jason wasn't a failed DJ; he was "pre-successful."
  • Feet-First Introduction: How the judge is introduced when exiting the train.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Janet develops some emotions after interacting with and marrying Jason.
  • Love Confession: Real Eleanor confesses her love to Chidi via a note stuffed in an egg.
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  • Mistaken Identity: The reason given why Jason was mistaken for Jianyu was because the real Jianyu was in such a deep, meditative state that the Celestial Bureaucracy mistook him for being dead right around the same time Jason actually died. Not only that, but they possess the same IQ-level because Jianyu stopped learning at age 7.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Pillboi's "safe installer" routine didn't fool the restaurant counter girl for a second.
  • Production Throwback: Jason hides and dies in a safe made by the Swanson Safe Company, the name suggesting a connection to Ron Swanson from Michael Schur's previous series Parks and Recreation. Though it's probably not canon, a later edition of the official podcast has Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson voicing an advertisement for the company.
  • Stunned Silence: Eleanor's "Pobody's Nerfect" phrase doesn't catch on immediately. There is a long moment of silence in the room before the mood shifts to laughter.
  • Stupid Crooks: Jason and his best friend Pillboi.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Literally in Jason's case. He died locking himself up in a safe in an attempt to sneak into and steal from a restaurant and suffocated to death.

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