While The Good Place Season 2 Episode 3 is a solid expository episode, it isn't destined to become a fan favorite.
Even with a few fantastic one-liners, the montages of failed Good Place attempts are exhausting to watch.
You can only watch the same characters do essentially the same things so many times before it becomes tiresome, although I wouldn't mind watching full episodes of the attempts with Tahani and a golden retriever as Eleanor's soulmates.
Despite all the repetition in the first act, it provides one of the funniest moments of the episode: Jason figuring out they're really in the Bad Place, breaking up the monotony of Eleanor cracking the code. Manny Jacinto (Jason) and Ted Danson (Michael) are both superb in this moment.
Jason: Yo, yo! Homies, check it! There's something messed up with this place. We keep fighting with each other, none of the TVs get the NFL RedZone channel, my soulmate doesn't even know who Blake Bortles is. I know this sounds crazy, but I think we're in the bad place.
Michael: Jason figured it out? Jason? This is a real low point. Yeah, this one hurts.
The friendly neighborhood demons seem just as tired of the constant reboots. They are on strike with a laundry list of demands, and by the end of the episode, it looks like Michael will have to comply.
Assuming the humans accept his offer to work together, this Michael and the humans vs. the demons and Shawn arc sets the stage for the rest of the season. Vicky just may get her wish for a bigger role, both in the "Good Place" and on the show.
A spark of romance between Eleanor and Chidi drives a small subplot that will surely develop over the course of the season.
Season one showed the potential for a relationship between Eleanor and Chidi, but it wasn't on the same level as early Jim and Pam from The Office or Leslie and Ben from Parks and Recreation. They were great together, but there wasn't enough buildup to make their relationship as satisfying as it could be.
The slight will they/won't they undertone with Eleanor and Chidi from season one was far from the forefront of the story.
"Dance Dance Resolution" offers the most romance we've seen from them yet in a bombshell revelation from Mindy St. Claire: Eleanor and Chidi have had sex 20 times and professed their love for each other once in the various attempts at the Good Place since season one.
I have listened to you talk about Chidi fifteen times in fifteen different ways. Let me just cut to the chase. You two? You got it bad for each other.Mindy
Eleanor reveals she has only said "I love you" to two men before, making her professed love for Chidi even more impactful.
This isn't the first time Eleanor has expressed her love for Chidi, but in season one, she walked it back, telling him, "I do love you, but I think more in a best friend, afterlife-savior kind of way."
At that point, Tahani and "real Eleanor" also seemed well-suited to be with Chidi. Neither Eleanor nor Chidi were ready for a relationship, but Season 1 Episode 10 planted the seeds for something more.
William Jackson Harper's Chidi and Kristen Bell's Eleanor have undeniable chemistry, and they will make a fantastic couple with a longer, slow-burn arc. Part of the magic of TV couples is the tension before they finally get together, and it would be a mistake to rob fans of those little moments by getting them together too soon.
As a fan of Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I trust series creator Michael Schur to get Eleanor and Chidi together at just the right time. Both of those Schur-led shows nailed the timing of bringing their couples together.
The unique structure of The Good Place sets up the potential for a TV romance like no other.
Knowing they've been attracted to each other in at least eight of Michael's attempts at his "Good Place" (and possibly other times, away from Mindy and her lookin' hole), the romance between Eleanor and Chidi feels inevitable, in a maybe-they-actually-are-soulmates kind of way.
Blessedly, by the end of the episode, it appears as if attempt 802 is going to stick. After two episodes of these characters "meeting" each other again and again, I'm ready for something new. The gang is back together, the jig is up, Eleanor knows about her history with Chidi, and Michael wants to work with the humans.
With these pieces in place, the real story of season two can begin.
Although this wasn't my favorite episode, it provides a solid foundation for what's to come. In typical fashion for The Good Place, even an episode that isn't their best is still a hilarious half hour of television.
How are Michael and the four humans going to work together?
Will Eleanor tell Chidi what she saw on Mindy's tape?
Share your theories in the comments, and remember you can always watch The Good Place online here!
Danica Leninsky was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April of 2018.