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Recap / The Good Place S3E12 "Pandemonium"

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"Time means nothing. Jeremy Bearimy, baby. We'll get through this, and then you and I can chill out in the dot of the 'I' forever."

"What's that thing you humans say when you're playing chess and you trap your opponent into an inescapable position? Oh, right. Eat butt, you ding dongs."
Shawn
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As Michael is too distraught to properly fulfill his role as the neighborhood architect and introduce the first new human there John to it, Eleanor takes the role herself. All goes smoothly until they realize that the people the Bad Place has chosen for the experiment are ones that the original gang knew on Earth, whose presence will complicate their ability to run the neighborhood: John, a former blogger who frequently criticized Tahani, and Chidi's former girlfriend Simone! Although Tahani overcomes her irritation with John relatively quickly, Chidi knows that he will never be able to overcome the stress of pretending not to know Simone, even with her memory of him erased, and decides that there's only one possible solution: erase his memory too. Naturally, everyone else is opposed to this, especially Eleanor, but Chidi assures them that he has thought hard about it and that it is the best solution. So after some last minute bonding with Eleanor and a viewing of a video montage of their past escapades together, courtesy of Michael, Chidi's memory is erased.

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Tropes:

  • Bittersweet Ending: The season finale is more emotional than the previous two thanks to the tragic circumstances behind Chidi's memories having to be reset, however he and Eleanor have hope that they'll rekindle their relationship again like they've done in all their encounters.
  • The Bus Came Back: Simone, who was last seen in Australia after breaking up with Chidi, turns out to be one of the people the Bad Place chose for the experiment.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Near the start of the episode, John asks what the weirdest celebrity hook-up was and Janet reveals it to be Drake and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Later in the episode, Tahani then reveals that it was she who set the two up in the first place.
    • Eleanor tells Chidi, "That's why everyone loves moral philosophers", playing off the Running Gag of everyone saying that they hate moral philosophers.
  • Call-Back:
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    • Eleanor's introduction of John to the Good Place is very reminiscent of how Michael did so to her when she first arrived.
    • Right before Chidi is rebooted, Michael plays for him and Eleanor a video montage of clips of the time they spent together, both in the original fake Good Place and on Earth.
  • Consummate Liar: Eleanor acknowledges that she's made so much progress with becoming a better person, that she had forgotten what a magnificent liar she is and her surprisingly impressive job posing as the neighborhood architect to John has reminded her.
  • Evil Is Petty: Shawn deliberately picks humans whom the main four knew on Earth just to mess with them so they'll be too anxious to think clearly and the experiment will fail. Two are revealed in this episode: John, a gossip columnist who made Tahani miserable; and Simone.
  • Eureka Moment: Invoked by Michael, who wants to have a brainstorming session to find another solution that doesn't involve erasing Chidi's memory, hoping that eventually someone will say something innocuous and he'll get to say "Wait, say that again!"
  • The Jailbait Wait: John's blog The Gossip Toilet invented the countdown to when Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen would turn eighteen.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Chidi opts to have his memories rebooted so he won't have to deal with the anxiety of seeing Simone, even if it means forgetting his friends. Simone similarly has her memory wiped to the point before she conducted the study.
  • Loophole Abuse: Shawn is allowed to choose the subjects for the new experiment, but there ain't no rule saying he can't choose humans who had a connection to the original four — so he does. The gang picks up on this, and Gen acknowledges it to be a dirty trick and allows them to wipe Simone's memories of the four humans.
  • No Body Left Behind: Averted. John mentions that Tahani died in Canada, which implies that the physical bodies of the Brainy Bunch remained on Earth instead of being erased when they entered Janet's void.
  • Noodle Incident: Michael allows Eleanor and Chidi to view a Clip Show of their previous experiences during the hundreds of Bad Place experiments. Many of them are touching moments, with several taken from previous episodes and others being self-explanatory. Two particular scenes however involves 1) a llama in Eleanor's home and 2) Eleanor teaching Chidi about the Kardashian-Jenner family tree, and neither are given any meaningful context.
  • Oh, Crap!: Everyone's response to Simone showing up, especially Chidi's.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Gen admits that she never said that Shawn couldn't use humans who had a connection to the main four, but at the same time notes it was a dirty trick, so she rules that Simone's memories can be wiped so she doesn't remember Chidi or the others.
  • Relationship Reset Button: Chidi's memory wipe also means that his relationship with Eleanor is erased.
  • Sequel Hook: The episode ends with Eleanor introducing a new rebooted Chidi to the neighborhood.
  • Shout-Out: Eleanor mentions Paradise Lost as one of the books Chidi had her read for her ethics studies.
  • Sophisticated as Hell:
    Shawn: What's that thing you humans say when you're playing chess and trap your opponent into an inescapable position? Oh right. Eat butt, you ding-dongs!
  • Take a Third Option: Subverted. Michael hopes that a discussion among the group can lead to one of them discovering an alternative to their current dilemma with Chidi, much like it has for dilemmas they've had in the past. Chidi sadly reveals that he's thought about it hard and that memory wiping is literally the only choice they have.
  • Title Drop: In the final discussion of the season, Eleanor decided to "embrace the pandemonium".
  • Undignified Death: Parodied. John says that Tahani dying in Canada is "the nip slip of deaths."
  • The Un-Reveal: The other two humans chosen for the experiment are not revealed in this episode.
  • Wham Episode: Michael cedes the role of architect to Eleanor, since Shawn's mind game destroyed his confidence. To twist the knife further, Shawn decided to send up humans who knew the main four on Earth, betting that the four will crack under the anxiety and botch the experiment — including Simone. Chidi opts to have his memories rebooted to avoid Shawn's mind games.
  • Wham Shot: Simone sitting on the couch outside Michael's office.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Asked to Chidi by Shawn regarding Simone's death. While Shawn (presumably) did not kill her, he did select her for the experiment specifically to torment Chidi and according to him her death was "hilarious".

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