The Good Place season 3, episode 7 recap: The Worst Possible Use of Free Will


If free will didn’t exist, how did Eleanor and the gang go through so many reboots on The Good Place?

It’s no secret that the main theme of The Good Place is the afterlife.

But they have largely stayed away from religion and specific teachings of any church or creed. Except for demons, they don’t even refer to heaven or hell (hence “the Good Place!”). Tonight, however, they covered something that kind of transcends across many religions – free will.

Let’s go back to last week when Michael dropped a huge bomb on Eleanor – that she and Chidi fell in love in one of his torture attempts. Of course, we only saw one small portion of this, when the two were lying in bed together at Mindy St. Claire’s house, professing their love for one another.

In a library in Nevada among the Jeff Foxworthy poetry section, Eleanor begs Michael to show her how she and Chidi fell in love to prove that she can fall in love. As I and the rest of the world scream at the TV, “SHOW US NOW!” He reluctantly shows her.

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Her first glimpse at the afterlife zaps her brain, causes her to lose her hair and teeth. Somehow, Kristen Bell is still pretty even though she looked like an extra in Beetlejuice.

When she’s back to normal, we see their love story.

Chidi has been helping Eleanor become a better person, like every other reboot. Michael invites all the residents of the neighborhood to choose exotic (by afterlife standards) animals. Eleanor chooses a lizard, but Chidi can’t decide between two puppies. By the time he makes a decision, they’re both gone, and he’s forced to take an owl.

The owl ends up attacking Chidi. So, Eleanor offers to talk to Michael about getting Chidi a puppy, which she does. Michael said he’ll do it but after that night since he was going to let everyone spend an hour as their animals – allowing Chidi to become an owl and fly.

Meanwhile, Eleanor loses her lizard and Chidi ditches the party to help her find it. That’s when she kisses him. They spent every moment together and eventually figured out that they were in the Bad Place. But not before saying “I love you.”

They confront Michael about being in the Bad Place. When Eleanor says that their love is stronger than anything he throws at them, Michael basically laughs in their faces and says he’s the reason they fell in love. He manipulated them into falling in love. Michael hates watching himself as the villain because he has come such a long way.
In real-time, Eleanor is then convinced that she is incapable of loving anyone because everything is predetermined for her not to love anyone. She thinks there’s no such thing as free will.

Michael does everything he can to convince her otherwise because even though he had a million different ideas and ways to torture her, she kept throwing curve balls at him, making choices he never saw coming.

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I’m not sure if she’s sold on free will, but she’s definitely rethinking her feelings for Chidi when they pick the rest of the gang up from the airport.

The episode ends with Sean the demon, along with “real” Eleanor (remember her?) and Sean’s secretary (?) walking through an illegal portal to earth. I’m sure they will screw up something for the Brainy Bunch next week!

Read last week’s recap.

Watch The Good Place anytime!