D & # 39; Arcy Carden dazzles when The Good Place falls yet another pair of narrative bombs - The A.V. Club

D & # 39; Arcy Carden (s)
Photo: Colleen Hayes (NBC)

"Sacred forked baseballs."

"Janet (s)" is the ideal form for Peak TV's new milestone, the "midseason finale". Filled with incidents and actions, the episode provides the universe's Eleanor-Chidi shippers with a literal kiss that saves reality, guesses Jason and Tahni in Janet's feelings for Jason, and introduces yet another comedy all-star of The good placeThe ugly cosmology, in the form of Neil by Stephen Merchant, the legendary accountant dealing with the supposedly infallible points system of the universe. The episode (credited to Morgan Sackett) is also a great showcase for the Janet of D & # 39; Arcy Carden. Or Janets. A lot of Janets.

To conduct

end last episode with another band's signature "we literally have nothing to lose here". The escape plans of Hail Mary, Michael, Chidi, Eleanor, Tahani and Jason are brought into Janet's infinite inner emptiness. (Unfortunately, they do not come across Jason Mantzoukas' Derek, since he still has a blissful cocaine and wind chime to have sex with Mindy St. Clair.) Michael is Michael (and, yes, his hair is still fabulous), but humans are all transformed into identical Janets as a side effect of the tensions on Janet's molecular cohesion in the face of this unprecedented rupture of unprecedented reality. In the course of the episode, whenever the human Janets use any of their new Janet powers to, let's say, manifest the cutest puppy in the universe, Janet suffers from gut problems ranging from severe intestinal problems to Cher songs. , barely contained imminent self-destruction. Quickly replacing the matching Janet human outfits for the more characteristic individual wardrobe helps, but "Janet (s)" relies mainly on the talents of D & Arcy Carden, which are more incredibly hilarious than previously imagined.

Ted Danson, D & # 39; Arcy Carden
Photo: Colleen Hayes / NBC

Carden's Janet, trapped mostly helpless on Earth this season, has (apart from the terrible fury of kicking her ass) on her part, and "Janet (s)" is a series fix as an explosion of the comedy. Everything in Carden's performance is specific and entertaining, from the sardonic elegance of Eleanor to the way Jason pronounces "Jacksonville". And it has a lot to do before the four humans finally recover their real shapes near the end of the episode, as Eleanor and Chidi, in particular, work through their long relationship that is simmering and intricate over time, all with Carden who plays on both sides of the equation. There is a maniacal sense of danger in the episode, since Janet's desperate gamble leaves her (and, by extension, the reality of the characters) so unstable that she ultimately begs Michael to transform her into her inert form of marble as a further desperate bet. While objects scattered around the void can be seen around them thanks to the loss of Eleanor's identity in the face of his confusion about Chidi's philosophical enigma about their relationship, and finally the tumult of Chidi-Janet who praises the heart for Eleanor who brings her, and the whole universe, together again. Taking it for a kiss to seal the deal, we see both the current Chidi and Eleanor replace their disguises Janet, but it is Carden who does all the heavy work for a plot The good place it has been building since the beginning. It's a risk monster, it works, and that's all Carden does. Wonderful.

Photo: Colleen Hayes / NBC

Meanwhile, the real Janet and Michael perform their other top floor plan to infiltrate the accountant's realm. In case I did not get enough of Arcy Carden, he also presented another model of Janet, making laughter like the senseless Janet, completely neutral of the accountant, who, unlike his Bad Place counterpart, did not communicates with contemptuous farts and middle schools -downs, but prosaically prosaic corporate suited to the blandly bureaucratic domain of the accountant. The Merchant's Neil is another of the immortal officials of this universe, in this case a smiling and harmless middle manager, too happy to show his well oiled operation to push the card, and to apologize by pushing the alarm button a Once Janet has literally pulled out the four humans after the disturbance caused by the climatic clash of Eleanor and Chidi. Like Gen, the Accountant combines a simple sentimentality and a touch of eccentric intertwining with a rigid and unconditional adherence to the rules of this universe which is actually quite chilling when you think about it. ("Cold, objective and hermetic", it is practically the definition of bureaucratic dystopias everywhere.) Especially once Michael learns – with his horror and the mild acceptance of the Accountant – that no person has been admitted to the Good Place in 521 years.

Ted Danson, Stephen Merchant
Photo: Colleen Hayes / NBC

This is also a huge swing, which seems to be content (as far as we are willing to accept things The good place at face value) regardless of whether the Good Place exists or not. Michael certainly reacts as if he did so unquestionably, as Ted Danson angered Michael's anger at his conclusion that the Bad Place has hijacked the voting system with vivid passion. Throughout the complicated moral voyage of Michael from the torture-happy demon to the human aspirant, the idea that the fundamental principles of the moral universe were incontrovertibly (to him) rigged simply clobbrano. Incredibly, Michael looks at the accountant's figures that indicate that the life of asceticism and radish, poor and thorny, by Doug Forcett, has left him nowhere near the entrance of the Good Place as an outrage. (Even more than the exclusion of artists like Jonas Salk, Harriet Tubman and all the dead Girls of gold.) "The Bad Place has violated your system!", It rages against the unbelieving peasant, who is so confident in the integrity of his army of plagued criminals who ward off Michael's worries on his way to have a little bit of the birthday cake office. (To be honest, get the last piece of the corner.)

Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper
Photo: Colleen Hayes / NBC

The episode ends with Michael asking a volunteer to do something that is "outrageously crazy, or really funny". (One step forward, Jason Mendoza.) There are a pair of suitably color-coded pneumatic tubes (or their interdimensional versions), one leading to the Bad Place and one leading to the Good. Michael, compared to this last – and apparently final – defeat in his plan to counteract the seemingly implacable will of the universe, resumes Janet's previous advice that he is not simply an accountant, a judge or another arbitrator celestial, which will enter the scene and save the day. As the klaxon rings and the red lights flash, Michael says to his friends: "We do not have a plan, no one will come to save us … so I will do it." (He also drops the much-desired piece of Neil's corner on the floor like a distraction of the first degree, a move so panic-petty and fun that helps to emphasize the noble madness of the patterns of the Soul Squad in a movement.)

Manny Jacinto
Photo: Colleen Hayes / NBC

Emerging from the tube through a frighteningly similar locker to Swanson's safe where Jason is dead, the band looks around an anonymous office full of reams of dot-matrix accounting documents for which the tube is intended – and Eleanor discovers that it can I swear. Michael tells the amazed and confused humans that their search for reality has come, unlikely, in the end. It's the right place, explains Michael. And that's how you take off a final.


Wandering observations

  • Chidi, instead of evoking puppies (or, as in the case of Jason, Pillboi, a broken hot tub and 40), uses her Janet powers to recreate the blackboard of her class to explain the philosophical reasons why the Chidi which is now not is the Chidi who fell in love with Eleanor (again at the restart number 119, as we all remember). Only this time Eleanor does not have it, accusing Chidi of "venting Wikipedia on everyone not to mention your feelings".
  • "Counterpoint: this is the stupidest thing you've ever said and I can not chew your puppy."
  • Janet-Eleanor tries to pretend Janet-Chidi changing position with Janet-Jason. Sadly, she forgets how many people were in Dance Dance Resolution.
  • Chidi-Janet, pissing off all the things Eleanor Eleanor does, reveals that she calls it "human snooze button".
  • Returning to herself (after turning into a series of people of random races, sexes and ages), Eleanor asks Chidi if she only said all the things she said because the world is ending. Chidi, again in himself, tries to play well, fails, and kiss again. Because, again, that's how you take off a final.
  • Feel free to speculate about who did the Good Place in 1497. Although, honestly, it is unlikely to be someone famous and powerful enough to get his voice on Wikipedia.
  • One of the tasks of Neil's staff is assigning the total points to all the untested acts we invented we humans. "The strange stuff of sex" constitutes the overwhelming majority of this innovation, and it is the domain of a Matt, who is understandably wishing an impossible death. He submitted a request and everything.
  • Neil sees a new action involving aubergine, spicy sauce and nickel on his monitor, which for a moment is surprised is not a strange thing about sex. (It's a strange thing about sex.)
  • Walt Disney has strange things in his archive.
  • Neil could be a dead end, but mentions, in passing, a committee that has responsibilities in The good place universe. Stay tuned.
  • Everything that has to do with point-hacking, and the reluctance of the presidential administration to compare it, is not without its true world resonances.
  • Because we are not in the Bad Place (no matter how the real world continues to suggest otherwise), The good place it has just been renovated for a fourth season. Succhialo, Shawn.
  • As always, take a look at the A.V. The summary of the club of things you've probably missed in "Janet (s)".

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