The Good Place recap: Season 3, Episode 7, “The Worst Possible Use of Free Will,” Aired Nov. 8, 2018
Cheleanor shippers, this one’s for you. In our trips back to the neighborhood, Eleanor and Chidi are living domestically. They’ve fallen into a routine and are entirely comfortable with one another. Honestly, I’d watch an entire half-hour of Cheleanor fluff.
We open The Good Place 3×07 in a library because “there’s no place more deserted than a public library in Arizona.” Let’s go back to the afterlife, shall we?
Spencer the owl
Puppies, penguins, lizards, owls, and centaurs. Everyone in the “Good Place” can have a pet, including mythical animals. Eleanor gets a lizard. Jason gets a penguin, which he thinks is a mythical creature, by the way. Tahani gets a mirror centaur, whose human half adopts her looks and personality. Chidi wants a puppy but can’t decide between two, so he misses the opportunity and gets stuck with either a snake, tarantula squid, or owl. Clearly, he chooses the owl.
The lizard ends up running away from Eleanor, and Spencer, the owl, is rather violent. However, each resident gets the opportunity to become their pet, and flying like an owl would be pretty cool. When Eleanor gets stuck searching for her lizard so Michael won’t know it ran away, Chidi gives up the chance to fly to help her. Turns out he would rather be with her!
The whole thing is adorable and hilarious and just very Good Place.
In her memories, Eleanor witnesses one of the moments she and Chidi stand up to Michael after learning that the neighborhood is actually in the Bad Place. Chidi and Eleanor stress the power of love, but Michael shuts them down, reminding them that the neighborhood was entirely his doing.
Eleanor takes this reminder to heart, leading her present self to believe that she’s incapable of human love. She thinks that everything in her life was a consequence of determinism, which, ironically, relates to the ethics lessons she and Chidi worked on in those earlier memories. Meanwhile, Michael does his best to prove her wrong.
Free will vs. Determinism
As Michael tries to prove to Eleanor that she did, in fact, have free will in the afterlife, she brings those ethics lessons to life. She is convinced that everything she’s done was determined for her. Michael shows her that the both of them have made choices, and she suggests that there’s a power even above Michael who determined his decisions. In retaliation, Michael dumps his iced tea on Eleanor – a physical manifestation of the cold realization he hits her with: She’s pushing the determinism theory because she’s afraid of love because of the vulnerability aspect.
Of course, Michael is right. Eleanor realizes that her knowledge of the afterlife means the Soul Squad actually has more free will than other humans, so she wants them to step it up to make the most difference possible, and Michael is right there with her. I look forward to seeing where that adventure takes them.
But again with the cliffhangers! Shawn and his lackeys finished their portal to Earth, and their guinea pig was Vicky! I am honestly so glad to see her again. Looks like The Soul Squad is in trouble. Things are about to get tense!
After all that time splitting between multiple plots, it was nice to have a focused episode. This Eleanor-centric episode was a delightful 30 minutes of television.
What did you think of “The Worst Possible Use of Free Will”? Let us know at @PureFandom on Twitter!
The Good Place airs Thursday nights on NBC at 8:30/7:30c.