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Recap / The Good Place S2E08 "Leap to Faith"

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"Hello, imbeciles."

"Let's tear this mother to the GROUND!"
Michael
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Shawn congratulates Michael on the success of his experiment and promotes him. Michael "reveals" to Chidi, Eleanor, Tahani, and Jason that they're in the Bad Place, and Shawn informs them that the neighborhood will be shut down and the humans themselves tortured. Dismayed, the four ponder their next course of action, but Eleanor insists that Michael is still on their side, based on his namedropping Kierkegaard, who was known for the "leap to faith". Michael calls a neighborhood assembly to roast the humans before the demons trash the neighborhood in a drunken rave.

The next morning, Vicky is about to tell Shawn about the reboots before Michael points out that the humans are escaping on a train and gets Vicky implicated for the deed. A second train leaves carrying Shawn and the rest of the demons, revealing the four humans and Janet on the tracks. Eleanor explains that they pieced together Michael's message — to use Derek to drive an empty train to the Medium Place at the end of the party and hide under the tracks to avoid detection — from clues in the roast. With the demons gone, the team realizes they're free to make a break for the Good Place.

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Tropes:

  • Alien Catnip: Janet gets "drunk" around magnets.
  • Anti-Climax: After getting a Wham Shot of a cliffhanger in the previous episode, it's quickly resolved by Shawn never finding out about the other 800 reboots.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The "jaywalking" in this situation is what actually makes Eleanor realize Michael's plan.
    Jason: Michael sucks now. He pretended to be our friend, he's gonna torture us for eternity, and you know what the worst part is? He doesn't remember the name of my favorite football player.
    Tahani: Definitely not the worst part.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: Michael does one when making fun of Eleanor in the comedy roast they throw in celebration of his promotion.
    Michael: Eleanor and I have a lot in common. Now, here's how you can tell us apart: one of us is a manipulative demon who's an expert at making other people miserable, and then the other one is me!
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  • Batman Gambit: How Michael turns the situation around, relying on the main four to figure out the clues he's leaving them while also setting up Vicky to take the fall and get her out of the way permanently. He uses a Paranoia Gambit (since he knows exactly how paranoid most demons are) to dispose of Vicky, playing both her and Shawn like a fiddle.
  • Blackmail Backfire: When Shawn shows up, Vicky is ready to reveal the truth of the multiple reboots and her in charge of the one that "worked." But then Michael points out that Shawn would be baffled as to why Michael would let Vicky be in charge of the "second" attempt and thus figure out there were 800 previous ones and they all end up punished. Vicky is forced to admit he's right and keep quiet...just as Michael wanted for his ultimate gambit.
  • Call-Back: At the last night party, giraffes roam the streets of Neighborhood 12358W, just like they did the first night Eleanor was there.
  • Decoy Getaway: At first it appears the group has taken a train to the Medium Place, so Shawn orders another train to follow them and has everyone get inside. Turns out the group was hidden under the second train, and had Derek conduct the first train as a decoy.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: When Eleanor picks up on the "Blake - Derek" clue left by Michael.
  • Exact Words: Janet tells Vicky that Michael told her "something something Vicky something something." Vicky thinks that this is a memory lapse caused by Janet's magnet-induced drunkenness but that was, verbatim, what Michael told her.
  • Glad I Thought of It: With the exception of his brief visit in season one, Shawn had no role in the design or operation of Michael's neighborhood, and he openly disparaged the idea when Michael first proposed it to him. After the project earns the approval of his superiors, Shawn refers to it as "our neighborhood" and tells Michael that he's jubilant about "our success".
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Played with - the group spends most of the episode trying to figure out if Michael has reverted back to his old ways, or if he's still secretly attempting to help them.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Vicky's attention-seeking proves to be her undoing ultimately.
  • Internal Homage: The creepy music from Michael's Gambit starts playing when it looks like Michael is still evil - but this time, the music stops as Michael starts crying instead of evilly laughing.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Michael's plan to get Vicky out of the way includes whispering nonsense to Janet about Vicky all night and guarantee she sees it, leading to Vicky ending up in a compromising position.
  • Pokémon Speak: Derek speaks mostly in emphatic variations of "Derek".
  • Promotion, Not Punishment: When Michael enters his office, Shawn is sitting at his desk with what seems to be overwhelming evidence for his failure. But then it turns out he was impressed by the reports and wants to promote Michael. The latter is utterly surprised.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: According to Shawn, Michael had several, vocal doubters:
    Shawn: When you proposed this new form of torture, we all laughed behind your back. Some people called you names, like "the Thomas Edison of Incompetence", or "That Dick".
  • The Roast: Michael throws one for the group, noting that it was invented in the Bad Place.
  • Take a Third Option: When questioned whether to leak Michael's reboots to the demons or escape to the Medium Place, Eleanor's answer is to do neither and trust that Michael is still on their side.
  • Take That!: Among the music Bad Janet plays for the Bad Placers' party, there's Puddle of Mudd's "She Hates Me", Elmo and Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer", and a mash-up of the two. Also, comedy roasts were invented in the Bad Place.
  • Talking Through Technique: Michael used The Roast to hand out clues to the team.
  • Trash the Set: Shawn plans to tear down the neighborhood, and on the party after the roast the demons completely trash it.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: As thanks for all her help, the group gives Mindy St. Claire two big duffel bags full of cocaine and Derek as a willing sex robot.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Invoked with Janet being restrained with the magnet handcuffs. It not only makes her powerless, but also makes her lose all her knowledge.
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