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Recap / The Good Place S 4 E 11 "Mondays, Am I Right?"

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Michael gives a demonstration of the new test system to a group of unmotivated demons with Tahani as the test subject, and is not entirely pleased when Vicky offers her assistance. Meanwhile Chidi, Eleanor and Jason try to find the best candidates for the first tests, and Chidi starts to wonder, upon reading Eleanor's file, if he's really the best choice for her.


Tropes:

  • 0% Approval Rating: Unsurprisingly, the other demons are not the slightest bit on board with the new test system the gang has come up with. Once Vicky takes over, they're more receptive. When Michael apologizes and offers her the role of director, they have to pretend that she "overthrows" him because they would hate her for working for Michael.
  • An Aesop: Two of them:
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    • Michael learns not to turn away someone who wants to help just because you're too prideful to accept it.
    • Chidi learns that even if you're significantly less interesting than your significant other, it shouldn't matter because you guys truly love each other.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Justified in that Tahani, despite reconciling with her sister, still has leftover baggage and triggers. Tahani volunteers to be the test subject for the torture education session. Vicky forces Tahani to experience her parents praising Kamilah while hearing juicy gossip that her sister's new album may fail. Tahani actually is stymied when told to praise her sister, and admits the test was hard and "traumatic".
  • Bad "Bad Acting": When Michael and Vicky fake her overthrowing him as director of the new afterlife, it is very transparent what they're doing. The demons fall for it nevertheless.
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  • Bait-and-Switch: When Jason mentions the Montagues and the Capulets, Chidi naturally expects him to reveal it being a reference to people he knew in Jacksonville, but it turns out, that he actually did read Romeo and Juliet.
  • Batman Gambit: In an odd fit of genius, Jason pretends to lose his nerve at the idea of being with Janet when Chidi points out how different they are so that Chidi would comfort him with his words of wisdom. When Jason breaks character, he tells Chidi to apply that advice to himself.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Especially bears with chainsaws!
  • Being Good Sucks:
    • Michael finds that due to being a reformed demon and a traitor, he can't explain properly to his former demons how to change their torture. He gets irked when Vicky, still evil, does a much better job.
    • Chidi worries that he's been boring on Earth, due to his desire to be a good person. And perhaps that isn't good enough for Eleanor, who did make the most of her unethical life?
  • Call-Back:
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    • The demons once again hate Michael's attempts at new-fangled torture. They ask why not bring back the traditional chainsaw bears and bees.
    • Michael reveals they'll be going to the Good Place on a hot air balloon, which he assures is legit this time.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Michael disapproves of the demons having a chainsaw bear be what Tahani has to encounter as part of her test, and tells them to make it "smaller and more relatable"... so they make the chainsaw bear smaller, have him say, "Mondays, am I right?", and put a shirt on him saying "Epic Bacon Much?" because humans "hate Mondays and love bacon."
  • Cringe Comedy: The Soul Squad's poorly made Training Intro video, complete with Jason forgetting his lines and Janet and Michael's singing.
  • Crying Wolf: Michael has truly found a way to reinvent torture! The demons don't believe him since some of them went through three hundred years' worth of his failures.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After being the Iron Butt Monkey for several seasons, Vicky manages to establish a place on the hierarchy by doing a better job than Michael does, and reminding him he's not good at enacting reforms.
  • Doorstopper: Eleanor and Jason's files detailing their lives on Earth. Chidi's is thin by comparison.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The four humans are willing to put themselves through the test system they've set up, but the Judge instead decrees they're going to the Good Place as they've already proven to have earned their spot there. After all the trials and tribulations they've gone through, it's well-deserved.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Chidi's chalkboard list of possible test subjects includes Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Susan B. Anthony, Nelson Mandela, Siddharta Guatama, René Descartes, Oskar Schindler, Toyohiko Kagawa, Chiune Sugihara, Norman Borlaug, Anna Maria van Schurmann, Fred Rogers, Erasmus, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frederick Douglass, Louis Pasteur, Ida B. Wells, Derek Parfit, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Alexander Fleming, and Da Super Friends!
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Michael dismisses Vicky's effective means of tormenting Tahani because of how easily she was able to get the other architects to comprehend what they were going for.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Vicky helps out Michael with the new reforms, not because she has truly changed for the better but because this is her chance to shine. With that said, she does seem to grasp it better than her coworkers do.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Jason did read some books, like Romeo and Juliet. He also pulls off a genuinely clever Batman Gambit to illustrate to Chidi how unfounded his insecurities are.
    • Vicky is still a self-obsessed prima donna but she grasps the nature of the new afterlife much quicker than the other demons, and devises a brilliantly insightful test for Tahani based on Tahani's actual hangups.
  • Insecure Love Interest: After reading Eleanor's file and finding how complex and spontaneous she is, he feels she shouldn't have a meek, ethics-obsessed bookworm like he is for a boyfriend. Jason helps him see otherwise.
  • Insult Backfire: When the demons try to justify eternal torture as "the way it's always been done", Tahani tells them that excuse has been used for centuries to justify maintaining racist and sexist systems. The demons interpret this as agreement.
  • Irony: The metaphor Michael uses to describe his situation - being forced to roll a rock up a hill, only for it to fall down the hill, forcing him to roll it back up again and again - is exactly like the fate of Sisyphus, who was a soul damned to Hell (or Tartarus) for his various infractions against the celestial authority that ruled over him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Downplayed; Michael framed Vicky for treason and turned her to goo, the former to save the humans and his skin while the latter to rescue Janet. He finds himself having to rely on Vicky to direct the new system and to give her the spotlight she always wanted.
  • Pet the Dog: Vicky actually does help Michael with his reforms, if only for her own self-serving purposes, and doesn't overthrow him for real. She has a very good reason to usurp him, but doesn't.
  • A Rare Sentence: Janet's reaction to Michael's excuse for firing Vicky.
    Janet: I've literally never said this before, but... whaaa?
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Inverted; due to Michael being an Ascended Demon, the others in the Bad Place don't want to follow suit with the new tortures. Why should they trust the guy that betrayed Shawn?
  • Shout-Out:
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Vicky casually mentions that she is an "acid snake" beneath her skin-suit.
  • Stylistic Suck: The group's new employee training video, complete with Chidi and Tahani's wooden line delivery, Jason forgetting his lines and needing to read them off his hand, and Michael and Janet singing.
  • Trivial Title: People's dislike of Mondays is only addressed once in the episode as a quick gag.
  • Wham Episode: As a reward for saving humanity, the judge has decided not to test the four humans and let them go straight to the real Good Place!
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Referenced. On Halloween 2013, Eleanor apparently got so blackout drunk to the point that she didn't remember what she did that night and then woke up the next morning in a stranger's house badly hungover and vomiting on their family photo albums.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Tahani is confronted with this in Vicky's test. At a party celebrating her sister, some guests gossip that Kamilah's next album is going to bomb and ruin her. Their parents then praise Kamilah while insulting Tahani, and Kamilah pre-Character Development asks for her sister to say something nice. Tahani is actually stymied on realizing how tempted she is to spread the gossip about her sister being ruined.

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