Thursday, October 25, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Good Place' - Jason Returns to Jacksonville to Help His Father in 'The Ballad of Donkey Doug'

NBC's The Good Place - Episode 3.06 "The Ballad of Donkey Doug"

Jason visits with some people from his past while Chidi gets help in resolving a problem.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of NBC's The Good Place.

"The Ballad of Donkey Doug" was written by Matt Murray and directed by Rebecca Asher

This season has established new personal relationships for Chidi and Tahani. And now, they feel obligated to break up with Simone and Larry, respectively, because of what they know about the afterlife. They don't want to risk letting it slip and possibly dooming them to the Bad Place as well. It's a version of kindness that they see. They can't change their own fates anymore. But it's also fascinating to see how the show spends time with Chidi and Simone's breakup but not the same for Tahani and Larry. That may be because Larry is used to rejection because he doesn't see himself as successful as his famous brothers. But it's also strange that it occurs off-camera in between the episodes. That's because Tahani has to go to Jacksonville with Jason and Michael. Furthermore, Simone has just been a more important character this season. Not only has she offered romance for Chidi, she has been a key friend who supported people throughout the study. She was a part of that collaborative environment. She was friends with everyone who participated. As such, it's difficult for Chidi to break up with her without telling her the reason why. It's actually quite amusing to see Janet build him a virtual reality simulator that will allow him to test all of the ways that he can break up with her. It's a terrific montage - especially when Eleanor is running things. However, none of it can prepare Chidi for the actual conversation. He is thrown off his game immediately when Simone sits somewhere else in the restaurant and the waiter continually comes over to check on them. She ultimately doesn't deserve things to end badly like this. She deserves an explanation. She will never get one though. She will never know that the Soul Squad abandoned her because they have to redeem as many lives before they die on Earth. They already see Simone as a good person. She will likely make it into the Good Place for the many generous acts she has done. However, her connection to the rest of the group could compromise her in a way that dooms her to the same fate in the Bad Place. That's the reason why Chidi can no longer be with her. It's brutal but it's what he believes he needs to do. Meanwhile, it's just hilarious to see the show continuing to make a great deal of fun at the expense of Jacksonville, Florida. Plus, it's so shocking to learn that Donkey Doug is actually Jason's father. He has never referred to him as such. But now, he feels the need to do so in order to save his soul. He is the first person Jason wants to save in this world. He knows that he can't just throw money at his life to fix his problems. He's a gambler who hasn't made wise investment decisions. Moreover, he just has lousy business ideas that don't make any sense at all. He may fundamentally be a lost cause. That too is a crushing realization for the gang. They still have to determine who is worth saving and who isn't. That's suddenly a designation they get to decide. They aren't the pillars of what's moral and what isn't. But they do put in a genuine effort to ensure that Pillboi gets into the Good Place. It just means him continuing to work at the retirement community and committing no more crimes. He may be able to stick to that plan. But it should be fascinating to see if he breaks if he never sees these NASA scientists again. Plus, things are about to get even more personal with Eleanor confronting her mother who she believes is dead but isn't and Tahani reuniting with her sister to patch things up.