The Good Place Season 2 Episode 8 Review: Derek

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This episode of The Good Place has it all: humor, romance, drama, and a Home Alone reference. What more could you ask?

The Good Place Season 2 Episode 8 is the show at its finest. Not only does it feature a fantastic story for Janet and the boyfriend she created on The Good Place Season 2 Episode 7, but it also shows the growth of Jason and Tahani's relationship and heightens the romantic tension between Eleanor and Chidi.

Chidi, Michael, Eleanor, and Derek - The Good Place Season 2 Episode 8

D'Arcy Carden continues to shine as Janet, and her additional screen time is a welcome addition to the show.

The power she brought to pre-emotional Janet shouldn't be underestimated. Although she makes it look easy, it takes considerable comedic chops to play Janet in her usual form.

Jason, Tahani, and Janet - The Good Place Season 2 Episode 8

The Janet we've seen recently, however, gives Carden even more with which to work. She nails it, from her screaming matches with Derek to her arrival in front of Jason and Tahani as depression personified.

Speaking of Derek, Jason Mantzoukas is a delightful addition. Mantzoukas brings his signature wildness to the role, and every moment he's on screen is hilarious. 

Janet: We are so in sync we're finishing each other's--
Derek: Derek!

Carden and Mantzoukas bring out the best in each other, whether they're shouting about the void or having a brief moment of happiness in which they finish each other's Derek.

I'm not sad to see Derek go, as the show can only withstand so much of his absurdity. A short arc with him was perfect, and I wouldn't mind seeing him again in a future season.

Janet and Eleanor - The Good Place Season 2 Episode 8

One of the sweetest moments featured Eleanor and Janet's blossoming friendship. The two have a heart-to-whatever-Janet-has, and Eleanor's advice helps Janet deal with her newfound human-like feelings.

I'm always game for strong female friendships, and with Eleanor and Tahani not interacting as much this season, Janet and Eleanor's friendship is a welcome addition.

Tahani and Jason Play Croquet - The Good Place Season 2 Episode 8

Jason and Tahani's relationship remains sweet. The scene where Jason teaches Tahani a more fun version of croquet is particularly adorable, and it highlights Tahani's growing ability to let her guard down.

Jason's making me watch this horror film about two ex-convicts who try to rob and murder a neglected child. [The TV shows the movie Home Alone]

Tahani

Earlier, I still wasn't invested in their relationship, but my mind is starting to change. The two bring out the best in each other: Jason helps Tahani be slightly less selfish, while Tahani brings out Jason's caring and generous nature.

Though Jason and Tahani's relationship is a central plot point, the developments with Eleanor and Chidi are far more interesting.

When Chidi walks in on Eleanor watching the tape of them together, we learn Eleanor watches the video frequently. She's harboring feelings for Chidi.

Eleanor makes this clear after showing Chidi the tape and asking if he has feelings for her. Her slight hesitation and quick cover-up to hide her disappointment are classic Eleanor moves.

Chidi and Eleanor - The Good Place Season 2 Episode 8

I'm most interested to see how Eleanor will act towards Chidi from now on. On Earth, Eleanor would probably treat him callously and push him away, leaving Chidi to figure out what's wrong.

I hope to see Eleanor's growth in this arc, with her continuing to treat Chidi as her best friend, albeit with some awkwardness thrown in.

I would also love to see Eleanor confide her feelings for Chidi to Janet. Eleanor has been giving most of the human advice, so it would be an interesting change of pace to have Janet throw it back at her.

I have never been that certain about anything. I once even tried to rent socks. How did I say that that easily?

Chidi

Chidi's astonishment at how easily he told Eleanor he loved her bodes well for him either developing feelings for her or realizing he already has them.

Eleanor has had significantly more time to process the meaning of the video than Chidi, and the payoff of any future relationship will be more significant if she allows him time to process without becoming defensive of her own feelings toward him.

The writers have planted the seeds for a relationship between Eleanor and Chidi, but I hope they don't rush it too much. After all, what romantic trope suits two lovers in the Bad Place better than a slow burn?

It ends with a cliffhanger reminiscent of season one: Michael returns to his office to find Shawn at his desk. This ending is particularly striking after an installment in which the major problem, Derek, is solved, but it left me eager for The Good Place Season 2 Episode 9.

Eleanor: I hate to be the bearer of bad news...
Jason: Uh, I think you mean Bad News Bear.

What did you think? Are you eager for Eleanor and Chidi to get together? What do you think Shawn is up to? Share your thoughts below, and remember you can always watch The Good Place online here!

Derek Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

Danica Leninsky is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Good Place Season 2 Episode 8 Quotes

Girl, you are a messy bench who loves drama and I am into it!

Eleanor

Jason's making me watch this horror film about two ex-convicts who try to rob and murder a neglected child. [The TV shows the movie Home Alone]

Tahani