The Good Place Season 3, Episode 12 recap: Chapter 38

Photo Credit: The Good Place/NBC, Acquired from NBCUniversal Media Village
Photo Credit: The Good Place/NBC, Acquired from NBCUniversal Media Village /

This week on The Good Place, Michael meets with The Judge about the points system, and we get a new direction for the show.

This week’s The Good Place had a lot going on in such a short amount of time. It felt like we moved quickly through so much plot, which would make sense seeing as we only have two more epsiodes left this season. So, let’s watch our steps, and don’t touch the Niednagel and try to make sense of what happened this week.

We start off where we left off last week. The gang is on their way to meet The Judge at IHOP, but not the one we all know. It’s the crossroads of all dimensions, a place where The Judge’s powers are limited, so she’ll have to hear them out.

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They enter the IHOP, and Jason has the best way of describing it. It’s like you’re on a bad trip. It’s super psychedelic and trippy. Floating orbs and bubbles.

Before the Judge shows up, Jason and Janet take a minute to talk about their feelings and agree to go on a date. It’s kinda cute.

The Judge shows up, and she’s angry about all of the lying.  And how Michael stole the only key to Earth.

Before anyone can try and explain anything, a Niednagel attaches itself to Tahani, so the Judge augments reality so that it now looks like they’re in a regular IHOP. But they need to try and remember that they’re still in the IHOP, try to keep up and remember that.

Michael explains to the Judge his revelation about the points, and she’s not impressed. Life is hard, so what? People need to make better choices.

Michael panics and begins flossing. And then the most surprising thing happens. Jason has a story about a friend, and the moral of the story is you can’t judge people until you know what they go through.

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With that revelation, Michael sends the Judge to Earth to see what people go through. When she comes back, she actually agrees with the crew and is on their side. Earth stinks, and it is hard to make good choices on Earth.

So, she pulls in Shawn and changes the scenery to a board room. Michael, The Judge, and Shawn debate about changing things to make it easier to get people into The Good Place. Shawn argues that people are just inherently bad, and there’s no way they can ever be good. Michael argues that these four humans changed and got better.

That’s when Chidi has the second big revelation of the night, and one that is changing the course of the show once more. They all got better because the neighborhood they were in removed all the things that make things hard on Earth. So, he proposes they redo the experiment and prove that humans are not terrible.

The Good Place
The Good Place — Photo Credit: The Good Place/NBC, Acquired from NBCUniversal Media Village /

The Judge loves this idea, and they come up with the idea to put the experimental neighborhood in The Medium Place, where we find Derrick again. A slightly improved Derrick because every time Mindy reboots him he comes back slightly better, and she’s rebooted him a lot.

In The Medium Place, The Judge lays out the rules. Michael will build the neighborhood, Shawn will pick the four new humans, of equal badness as the original four. Janet will make all the other people. Michael will have one year to improve the humans.

Michael and Janet get to work building the neighborhood, and it’s our familiar Good Place neighborhood, complete with Eleanor’s creepy clown house. She tells Chidi she wanted to live there because, in all her memories of The Bad Place, that was the house they fell in love in over and over.

As Michael is getting ready to welcome the first new person into the neighborhood, Shawn calls. He tells Michael he has the perfect way to torture the humans when Michael fails. They have built a Michael suit, so now the humans will be tortured by someone they trust.

Shawn succeeds in getting into Michael’s head, and when it’s time to welcome John, a journalist, into The Good Place, Michael has a full-fledged panic attack. Eleanor tries to get him to get up, but he can’t. And that’s where we end this week.

dark. Next. The Good Place Season 3, Episode 11 recap: Chapter 37

What did you think of this week’s episode? Do you want Derrick to stick around? How are you feeling about this new experiment? How cute are Eleanor and Chidi? Let us know in the comments below.

The Good Place airs Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC