Thursday, November 1, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Good Place' - Eleanor and Tahani Try to Heal Some Family Relationships in 'A Fractured Inheritance'

NBC's The Good Place - Episode 3.07 "A Fractured Inheritance"

Eleanor makes a startling discovery that tests her resolve, Tahani looks to make amends and Janet does some bonding.

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.

"A Fractured Inheritance" was written by Kassia Miller and directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller

Over the course of the series, the audience has seen Eleanor evolve so much. She has aspired to become a better person. She succeeded in that endeavor as well. She actually made it into the Good Place when tested by the Judge. She chose to stand by her friends. So, the audience knows just how compassionate and understanding a person she can be. Even when the various reboots have reverted her back to her trash bag from Arizona personality, she has shown an impulse to do better. Her friends have helped her achieve that goal. She wanted to return the favor. But now, she finds herself caught up in a new kind of personal drama. It's not surprising to see that Eleanor's mother, Donna, was capable of change as well. That proves that it just took the right circumstances for the Shellstrop women to get their lives together. It's just tragic that they couldn't do so for each other. Eleanor is furious at her mother for faking her death and starting a new life in Nevada. She doesn't want to believe that she's a PTA mom not running a scam on this family she is now living with. And yet, that's exactly what's happening. Donna genuinely enjoys this life that she has. Sure, she may have a pile of money ready to go whenever it becomes too much for her. It takes Eleanor coming back into her life for her to realize that she doesn't need it anymore. She can donate it to a worthy cause because she cares about the people in this new family unit. It's just disappointing that Donna could make this change but only as soon as she left Eleanor. She wanted this maternal figure in her life. She attributes it for the reason why she couldn't commit to any kind of meaningful relationship. She is building trust with Michael again. And now, he seems to keep throwing new information at her. First, it was the reveal that Donna faked her death and was still alive. That did allow Eleanor to get some closure and help a person she cares about possibly get into the Good Place on her own merits. But that also inspires Michael to open up about Eleanor and Chidi being in love in the afterlife. They haven't been able to explore that connection in a meaningful way on Earth despite their proclamations in the Judge's chambers. And now, it's bound to be even more confusing for Eleanor because she has a completely new relationship with Chidi once more. He's not even a part of this journey in Nevada with her. Instead, Michael is her companion trying to be objective even though he likes Dave as a fellow architect. Chidi is too busy trying to help Tahani with her own personal relationships. That's the huge theme of this episode. The Soul Squad may be doomed to spend the rest of their lives in the Bad Place. But they can help the people of this world become better. They can go to the Good Place instead. That's very honorable and noble. The humans have started with the family members still alive. Jason's father was already too far gone. And now, Donna and Kamilah present as having genuine chances of being saved from eternal torture in the afterlife. As such, that's very hopeful. That's the hope that will have to keep the drive of the group going moving forward as well. It's the best that they can possibly have at the moment. It feels good but it's definitely bittersweet too because of all of the tough emotions that they have to deal with because of this new time together with their loved ones. But it hopefully gives Tahani and Kamilah a new and better relationship after constantly being pitted against each other.