The Good Place
The Trolley Problem

Original Air Date: Oct 19, 2017

Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer

Chidi has to be the worse teacher in hell. He is not getting through to Michael, no matter how many times he makes the demon write “People = Good” on the board.

So after Michael turns in an anti-human book report on Les Miserable, Jason takes him through theoretical ethics exercises. Like, if he were steering a runaway trolley and on one side of the tracks there are five workers and on the other only one – would he switch tracks to kill only one? Now if he knew that one worker, would he still switch?

Still, Michael doesn’t get it until he devises a way for them to play out the scenario as a real simulation (on a trolley named the Ethics Express), complete with blood splattering all over Chidi. And watch poor one-worker-track Henry, and his bloody boots sprayed all over Chidi’s face. (I hate to say it, but the blood makes this the funniest episode this season.)

That’s when Chidi figures it out — Michael is still torturing him! So he throws the demon out of his class.

Meanwhile, Tahani and Jason keep sneaking off to have sex. Jason wants to know when she’ll come clean about their changed relationship to their friends, but Tahani struggles with that. And even though Jason is rather dim, even he knows it’s because he doesn’t meet her high standards of what a boyfriend should be. He suggests she talk to someone about it — she points out that’s sharing, which she doesn’t want to do.

Enter Janet —who can keep a secret. Even though she’s not programmed to be a therapist, she quickly reads all the books in the known universe on the topic and voila! With the addition of glass, she starts them in couples’ therapy.

Eleanor visits Michael and starts to point out that they are very much alike. She says he’s making all her classic moves and they won’t work. He has to apologize to Chidi, or the whole thing is going to blow up in his face – literally.

Michael tries bribery first, giving Tahani a humongous diamond, Eleanor a shrimp dispenser, Jason a Pokemon balloon and Chidi an unknown notebook kept by Kierkegaard. Nope, Chidi demands a sincere apology, and so Michael breaks down and gives in, winning his entrance back into their class.

But here’s the kicker — While being a therapist, which she’s not programmed to do, Janet starts acting weird. Like losing her thumb, or producing a frog in her mouth. A month later, Tahani and Jason are doing great, but Janet appears to Michael and warns that she is glitching. In fact, the neighborhood is heading towards catastrophic meltdown…                                 

I was starting to worry about this show because there didn’t seem to be any real substance anymore. While this episode was far from perfect, it was funnier and had more going on. Maybe this is a good sign?

Do you think Tahani and Jason make a good couple? Can Michael be redeemed? Did you find the ride on the Ethic Express, complete with blood splattering, to be the funniest part of the show like I did? Give us your TwoCents…