Taking things at a refreshingly slower pace than most of the previous season two episodes, The Good Place Season 2 Episode 10 allows the characters to take time to reflect and look to the future.
The episode starts with an element of immediacy: a hot air balloon can take them to the real Good Place, as long as they are the best versions of themselves.
When Michael reveals the balloon won't really take them to the Good Place and the scale isn't real, I was annoyed. Almost half an episode spent arguing about the balloon seemed like a waste of time.
In true Good Place fashion, however, the balloon had a higher purpose after all. While the balloon can't physically take them to the Good Place, the conversations it sparks bring greater self-awareness.
By the end of the episode, Michael, Janet, Eleanor, Chidi, and Tahani all recognize they are still growing. Jason remains...Jason.
Michael embraces his inner human and chooses the ethical route of telling the truth (as far as we know).
Eleanor brings Janet's unresolved feelings for Jason to her attention, causing Janet to question whether she is indeed the best version of herself.
Eleanor expresses her true feelings for Chidi, as well as expressing the group's appreciation for all he has taught them about ethics.
Chidi recognizes how his constant competing thoughts cloud his mind, and Tahani admits to Jason that she needs to stop relying on others for her sense of self-worth.
While the balloon doesn't take them to the Good Place, it gives them a greater appreciation for each other and how far they've come.
In a touching scene, the six offer toasts to each other, expressing their appreciation for what each person has done.
The humans spend about half of the episode at a final party, drinking and talking. Allowing time for the characters to just talk and mull over their thoughts was a valuable addition to a usually fast-paced show.
I've never felt more invested in the relationship between Eleanor and Chidi than in this episode.
Eleanor tells Chidi that the best version of herself was the vulnerable, emotional, and honest Eleanor from Mindy St. Claire's tape. In "Best Self," we finally catch another glimpse at that Eleanor.
Do you remember that version of me from the tape of us at Mindy’s? Where I was vulnerable and emotional and honest? That Eleanor is a better Eleanor than this one, and that is not an easy thing for me to say.Eleanor
She opens up to Chidi, telling him she has feelings for him despite knowing he only sees her as a friend. She puts herself in a vulnerable position so Chidi will know the truth.
Chidi seems conflicted, wondering what it would have been like for them to meet in a more conventional way, like at a philosophy conference, as you do.
Although he doesn't express romantic feelings for Eleanor, the two seem to have a moment when dancing to Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable."
Congratulations, writers. You win. A relationship between Chidi and Eleanor no longer seems forced or too quick. They have an established, loving friendship, and they care deeply for each other.
I'm here for it.
In weirder relationship news, Tahani makes the decision to break up with Jason. While she says it's so she can stop relying on others for her own self-worth, the whole thing seems so sudden.
If anything, Jason seemed to be bringing out a softer side in Tahani. Although she was still self-absorbed, he was helping her to let her guard down and become less high-strung.
Nevertheless, her choice to stop looking to others for validation is a huge step for her, and the self-awareness it takes for her to leave a relationship that makes her happy in order to work on herself is admirable.
Her reasoning is solid, but it seems to come out of nowhere. I would have preferred to see more of Tahani's realization that she relies on Jason for self-worth.
I propose that everyone who’s green go ahead and board the magic balloon and set out to the Good Place, sort of like an advance team—we’ll put our names in, or book a table, however it works. And then we’ll send back the magic balloon for the red light people later on. It’s a perfect plan.Tahani
Although I didn't like the way it came about, I'm not at all opposed to their breakup. I am desperate for Tahani to start growing as a character. Her self-centered nature is becoming tedious, and if being single will allow her to be introspective, so much the better.
This also leaves the door open for a reunion between Janet and Jason. Since we know Janet still has feelings for Jason, it seems fairly likely that the two will get back together.
Even a slow episode of The Good Place usually involves major decisions and dire consequences, and "Best Self" is no exception.
In the end, the humans make the decision to go to the real Bad Place to find the portal Michael tells them about. While we aren't quite sure what the Bad Place holds for the six, it's sure to be interesting.
What do you think is in store? Share your theories and thoughts on this episode in the comments below, and watch The Good Place online here!
Danica Leninsky was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April of 2018.