While not its best, The Good Place Season 2 Episode 4 is still packed with the laughs and moral dilemmas that make this series irresistible.
The Good Place at its worst is still better than most comedies on television. Although this wasn't my favorite episode, it provides necessary exposition to inform the season and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
It featured more Tahani than we've seen in a while. She was the only human whose cause of death was not revealed during The Good Place Season 1, and her flashback does not disappoint.
She went out in the most Tahani way possible: in a fit of rage after being upstaged and looked down upon by her sister yet again; she attempted to take down a large golden statue of Kamilah.
Tahani was crushed under the enormity of her sister's achievements, both literally and figuratively.
At the beginning of the series, I was not keen on Tahani. I couldn't stand her condescension and self-righteousness. Worrying this could be internalized misogyny, I searched for a glimmer of good in her, but it took a while to find.
Until now, the growth Tahani showed since the beginning of the series was hard to spot, but "Team Cockroach" provides a better glimpse at the potential she has as a character.
I want to do it. I want to become the person I pretended to be. I agree with Chidi; we should team up with Michael and all try to build a better Tahani.Tahani
Is she still self-centered? Of course, but she recognizes she has flaws, which is a big step for Tahani.
Although Tahani gets a lot of screen time, Chidi is the cornerstone here. The moral compass of the group, Chidi is forced to balance doing what he believes to be right with the knowledge that his earthly pursuit of the same ideals earned him a spot in the Bad Place.
In season one, Chidi had to choose between helping Eleanor earn her spot in what they believed to be the Good Place and turning her in. He made rational, ethically-based arguments that could support either decision.
No matter how I set it up, you found [Chidi], confessed you didn't belong, asked him for help, he said yes. Now, his agreeing to help was part of my plan. What wasn't part of my plan was it actually working. Drove me nuts. Pesky little nerd, stuck with you and always helped you overcome your biggest problem.Michael
Despite having the justification not to help Eleanor, we learn in this episode that Chidi agreed to help Eleanor every time.
No matter how much anguish Chidi's indecisiveness caused his friends and family on Earth, his heart is in the right place. He cares about doing the right thing.
He agrees to help Michael, but unlike Eleanor, Michael doesn't want to become a better person.
In "Team Cockroach," Michael forces the humans to confront an ethical dilemma on par with the one Chidi faced last season. Like Eleanor and Jason in the first season, Michael needs help to stay in the so-called Good Place.
"Team Cockroach" sets Michael up to fill the role Eleanor originally occupied. Eleanor was a bad person trying to become good so no one would discover she didn't belong in the Good Place.
Michael's motivation is slightly different, but the end goal is the same: he has to blend in and get the people who know his secret to go along with it.
Eleanor, however, learns too quickly. She's far from perfect, but she's unquestionably better than she was on Earth.
Michael, on the other hand, presents a greater challenge. As a demon, he isn't exactly predisposed to goodness. Of all the characters, Michael stands to grow the most, but he could also do the most damage.
The Good Place has already established that people can change and become better, but what about demons? Does Michael have the capacity to become good or at least better?
Like Eleanor on Earth, Michael's primary concern is saving his own skin. Other people are just props to help him get what he wants.
Like the humans, the viewers have no way of knowing how much of what Michael says is the truth. Like Eleanor, I'm not ready to take Michael at his word.
The humans could choose not to help Michael and take their chances with Vicky's reign, knowing they'll probably figure out they're in the Bad Place again after being rebooted. Helping Michael is riskier, but at least they will break the Groundhog Day cycle.
Whether or not the humans will actually have the opportunity to earn a spot in the real Good Place remains to be seen, but with 30 minutes to decide, they make the best decision they can. Michael may not be trustworthy, but going along with him is the best chance they have to become better people.
The humans could have snuck away to go live with Mindy St. Claire in the Medium Place, keeping their memories intact and avoiding eternal torture, but because they want to improve themselves and do the right thing, they take the greater risk.
Will this decision pay off? What did you think of the episode? Share your views in the comments, and remember you can always watch The Good Place online here!
Danica Leninsky was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April of 2018.