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Recap / The Good Place S2E06 "Janet and Michael"

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"They keep their Janets in a neutral pocket dimension beneath the shapeless time void. It's right next to Accounting."

"That's the good news. The bad news is, I seem to be losing my ability to sustain object permanence. So it's sort of a glass half full, glass stops existing in time and space kind of deal."
Janet
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Before he began creating his experiment, it's revealed Michael stole Janet from a warehouse in between the Good and Bad Places. He claimed to be a Good Place architect when he activated her and they built the neighborhood together. Now, Michael has to figure out why Janet is glitching out, as the problem could get bad enough to threaten the stability of the neighborhood. Michael troubleshoots Janet while Vicky is distracted by torturing Chidi with needles. Janet's manual suggests the glitches are being caused by Janet lying. Initially, Michael blames himself for lying about the neighborhood's nature, but when a very bad glitching attack occurs while he and Janet talk to Tahani and Jason about their relationship, he realizes the problem is Janet's own subconscious lies - she isn't really happy for the couple because she retains her second incarnation's love for Jason. Janet advises Michael to activate her self-destruct mechanism; he makes excuses and ultimately refuses because Janet is his friend. Instead, they solicit Eleanor's advice. Eleanor successfully talks Janet through processing her newly acquired human emotions. Acting on Eleanor's recommendation of a rebound relationship, Janet creates a boyfriend for herself, Derek, who has no knowledge of anything and has an infantile state of mind.

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Tropes:

  • Bottle Episode: The episode takes place largely in Michael's office as he attempts to diagnose why Janet is experiencing glitches.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Janet has gained some slight capacity for this, but her programming can't allow her to lie without causing problems.
  • A Day in the Limelight: This episode focuses primarily on Michael and Janet, their history, and the creation of the neighborhood.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Janet has no problem with the fact that she'll have to be destroyed to preserve the cover. She even smiles while doing the Throat-Slitting Gesture meant for herself.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Michael is unable to go through with destroying Janet, as he has come to genuinely consider her his friend.
  • Friendship Moment: The heartwarming moment when Michael realizes that he cannot kill Janet.
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  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: With a dash of Evil Cannot Comprehend Good. Michael stole a Good Place Janet by simply walking into the storeroom and taking one. Apparently, the Good Place architects really are that trusting, while the other Bad Place architects are astonished when Michael tells them.
  • Good Hurts Evil: Michael couldn't use a Bad Place Janet in his neighborhood because it goes against a Bad Janet's programming to be helpful. When he demonstrates this on one, the Bad Janet melts and collapses into herself.
  • Good Is Dumb: Michael's explanation for why it was so easy for him to steal one of the Good Janet from right under the Good-Place people's nose.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: In addition to understanding and expressing emotions better, Janet had also genuinely fallen in love with Jason and the reboots didn't completely erase those feelings, so seeing him with Tahani has led to her becoming jealous. Not only that, but Janet has gained the ability to lie (both consciously and unconsciously), but since this runs contrary to her programming, this causes her and the Neighborhood to glitch whenever she does it.
  • In One Ear, Out the Other: Michael runs a diagnostic check on Janet, at one point shining an otoscope into her ear. The light shines out through her opposite ear as if refracted through a prism, lighting up the wall in red, blue, etc.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Vicky refers to Janet as "it", in contrast to Michael who uses "she".
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Said by Eleanor after Janet has told her offscreen to convince Michael to kill her.
  • Mandatory Line: Since this episode primarily focuses on Michael and Janet, the other regular characters each appear in only a single scene.
  • Name and Name: "Janet and Michael," the title.
  • Really Was Born Yesterday: Janet's newly created rebound boyfriend is like a baby (though he can speak and articulate himself on an adult level).
  • Take That!: In a flashback showing how he designed the first neighborhood, Michael asks Janet what kind of food people say they like but is really a bummer. She conjures a cup of frozen yogurt.
  • White Void Room: Where new, unactivated Janets come from.
 
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Janet Warehouse

Janet Warehouse, a white void room that stores Good Janets, walking talking AI user interface for the celestial mainframe. Located beneath the Shapeless Time-Void and right next to Accounting.

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