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Recap / The Good Place S1E12 "Mindy St. Claire"

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"Honestly, not the type of rail I thought was gonna kill me. [laughs] 'Cause I love cocaine. Do you have any? I'm just — I shouldn't. Do you?"

"Welcome to eternal mediocrity. Welcome to the Medium Place."
Beadie, in Mindy's orientation video

Eleanor, Jason, and Janet escape on a train to a zone of the afterlife outside of the Good and Bad Places. Eleanor recalls the day she died - she was shopping for groceries and while exiting the store, a young man who worked for an environmentalist agency approached her, only for her to rudely brush him off before getting hit by a column of runaway shopping carts pushing her into the path of an oncoming truck. She wakes up when Janet says they've reached their destination. They discover they're in the Medium Place and meet its sole inhabitant, Mindy St. Claire, who freaks out screaming when she sees them, as she's naked and has been alone up until now. After taking them to her house and dressing up, Mindy recounts her story to the group - she was a high-powered corporate attorney who practiced during the 1980s and generally led a selfish life. One day, however, during a massive cocaine bender, she came up with an idea to form a massive global charity and withdrew all of her money, only to die in an accident shortly afterward. Mindy's sister found the designs and was so inspired by it that she created the charity in Mindy's name, which went on to help millions of people. Both the Good Place and the Bad Place argued over whether or not Mindy should receive credit for the good things done in her name. Unable to agree where Mindy should go, a compromise was formed and they created a new afterlife neighborhood just for her: The Medium Place, an afterlife designed to be as mediocre as possible. Eleanor realizes that this medium afterlife isn't all that great either, as Mindy is isolated and clearly bored out of her mind with little else to do besides watch Cannonball Run 2 and masturbate constantly, desperately hankering to have some cocaine again.


Meanwhile, Shawn proceeds with his trial on Eleanor and Jason, with Chidi, Tahani, Michael, and Real Eleanor trying to argue in Eleanor's favor. Chidi argues that while Eleanor did start off bad, she did improve immensely, but anytime he and "Real" Eleanor get emotional in their arguments, Shawn just cocoons himself up. Ultimately, Shawn judges against Eleanor and Jason, decreeing that if the two don't return within a couple of hours, Chidi and Tahani will be sentenced to go to the Bad Place in their stead.

Eleanor tells Jason that they can't abandon their friends and they must return to help Chidi and Tahani. Jason would rather stay in the Medium Place, even if he doesn't like it that much, and even he can see that Eleanor's parents were terrible after she relates the story of how she emancipated herself from them on her fourteenth birthday (which they didn't even raise a fuss over). However, Eleanor is done making excuses for her own bad behavior and says it's time to step up to the plate and take responsibility. Jason and Janet board the train to go back to the Good Place.



  • The '80s: Mindy's as stereotypical as an 80s era yuppie can be, complete with a love for cocaine.
  • Abusive Parents: Doug and Donna Shellstrop were terrible excuses for parents, with Eleanor emancipating herself from them when she was 14.
  • The Comically Serious: Shawn is coldly unfeeling and sharply logical. Anytime anyone is emotional in their arguments, he just cocoons himself up.
  • Compressed Abstinence: Mindy's been hankering for cocaine for her whole time in the afterlife. It's not out of her own volition though.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Mindy casually tells Jason and Eleanor to get out of her house so she can go masturbate. It's implied she spends most of her time getting off because she's bored and doesn't have much else to do.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: The yogurt Michael brings Chidi and Tahani. "It's not a last meal. Just the final food you might ever eat!"
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Jason tries to stop the train from going back to the Good Place by dramatically throwing a Molotov Cocktail at it (much as he did at Acid Cat's speedboat a few episodes earlier). It bounces off harmlessly.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In a flashback showing Eleanor on a grocery shopping trip, the magazine rack has a copy of a magazine called International Sophisticate with Tahani on the cover ("Not Just Kamilah's Sister" being the headline) next to a tabloid about Celebrity Baby Plastic Surgery Disasters. Moreover, the the back of the magazine is an advertisement for a perfume made by Dennis Feinstein and Jean-Ralphio of Parks and Recreation. And according to her horoscope, her lucky numbers are 1, 23, and 58, paralleling the fact that she's headed to neighborhood 12358W.
    • The matrix of Eleanor's crimes that Shawn pulls up. Among other things, she's scalped Epi-Pens, sneezed on twelve salad bars, showed a 9-year-old child The Shining, briefly flirted with Kid Rock on Instagram, and stole a scarecrow from a Fall Follies display and put it in her passenger seat so she could use the carpool lane.
  • Freudian Excuse: Eleanor had referenced her terrible family life as being one of the factors behind her terrible personality. Here, we get to see it firsthand. Her parents were so self-absorbed, they actually forgot her birthday.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Eleanor admits that as horrible as her parents were, that didn't give her a free pass to be terrible to other people and she's ready to step up to the plate and take responsibility.
  • Functional Addict: Mindy loved getting high on cocaine, but she was apparently a pretty good lawyer back in her earthly life.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Downplayed—Mindy's surprisingly well together for someone who's spent thirty Earth years alone in a dull afterlife and isn't really starving for company, but she's still clearly bored out of her mind and would really love to have some cocaine again.
  • Mundane Afterlife: While this is generally how the Good and Bad Places operate (to some extent), Mindy's personal afterlife was deliberately tailored to be "mundane" in every sense of the word.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Mindy is introduced in her birthday suit. She wasn't expecting any guests. When the visitors arrive, she hides behind a bunch of sunflowers.
  • Personalized Afterlife: With Mindy being the one person in existence to be declared a Medium Person, she's the sole occupant of her own little corner of the afterlife. The Good Place provides everything she would want and the Bad Place modifies them to make them less satisfying. She's provided with her favorite beer but it will always be warm, the only music she gets is from a jukebox full of The Eagles (live bootlegs only) and William Shatner's poetry, and all she has to read are Anne Rice books with water stains.
  • Purgatory and Limbo: The Medium Place essentially serves as this, with Mindy as its sole inhabitant.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Mindy was a cocaine addict and a pretty nasty person in her earthly life. However, one day, she had a drug-fueled epiphany on how she could help people and actually tried to follow up on it by withdrawing all her money in order to form a charity. Right after that, she died in an accident. She then crossed into Death Equals Redemption since her sister found out what Mindy's plan was and was so inspired that she wound up creating the charity in Mindy's name and helped millions of people. If she stayed alive, Mindy would have likely failed in her plan and gone back to being a bad person. By dying when she did, she accidentally accomplished a lot of good (and avoided being painfully tortured in the Bad Place).
  • Shadow Archetype: Mindy is one for Eleanor.

Video Example(s):


The Medium Place

Mindy's personal afterlife was deliberately tailored to be "mundane" in every sense of the word, the Good Place providing everything Mindy ever wanted and the Bad Place adding a twist to them that makes them less satisfying. She's provided with her favorite beer but it will always be warm, while she was allowed to list her music preferences, the powers that be picked from the bottom of her list and provided her with a jukebox full of The Eagles (live bootlegs only) and William Shatner poetry and all she has to read is The Vampire Chronicles.

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / MundaneAfterlife

Media sources:

Main / MundaneAfterlife