The Good Place Review: Existential Crisis (Season 2 Episode 5)

Vicki’s torture attempt is underway, and she believes everything is going according to plan. Little does she know, Michael and the humans have teamed up and are only playing along to save themselves.

On The Good Place Season 2 Episode 5, “Existential Crisis,” Eleanor and Chidi try to help Michael recover from a complete and total breakdown™ after he struggles to face his own mortality. Elsewhere, Tahani and Jason unexpectedly bond after throwing an unsuccessful party.

Ethics 101

This week’s episode was by far the best since the start of Season 2. From Michael having a mental breakdown on day 1 of class to Eleanor crying in a plunger, this episode did an excellent job of bringing together conventional comedy and philosophy. At one point it got a little too real when Eleanor pointed out that we’re all aware of death, so we’re all just a little bit sad all the time. Yikes. This show definitely has a way of making you want to laugh and cry in the same moment. 


Chidi and Eleanor quickly realize that before teaching Michael to be good, they have to teach him to be human. However, contemplating death for one forking minute caused Michael to completely lose his grip on reality, so it was up to them to fix it. Apparently humans aren’t the only ones capable of existential crises. Is it possible humans aren’t the only ones capable of change and growth as well? Michael’s very realistic breakdown could be proof that he can actually learn what it means to be human, and eventually learn to not be evil. Fingers crossed. I will restrain from pointing out how Michael is yet again being tortured how a human would be.

Not only did we get a look at what a mid-life crisis looks like for a demon*, we got to see more flashbacks of Eleanor and her trash mother, who only ever drinks alcohol through a bendy straw. That woman is god awful, and it’s no wonder Eleanor cried over toothbrushes in a Bed Bath and Beyond and ended up how she did. 

*Apparently demon is considered a little bit racist. The more you know.

From One 8 to Another

She knew the party was doomed to fail and yet, in good Tahani fashion, she was doing her level-best to throw a party that was too much. It’s both comical and sad watching Tahani be aware of the torture and yet still be tortured. Hopefully, we finally get to see her come to terms with the kind of person she was on Earth, so she can actually make an attempt to better herself here (because currently her level of pretentiousness is unbearable). Luckily, she was able to find some comfort in Jason of all people after the night was over. Damn The Good Place and its ability to make me simultaneously ship every character with every character. 

There’s been a lot of people pushing for Eleanor and Tahani to be together, but after seeing Eleanor and Chidi exchange “I love you’s”, it’s pretty clear that’s the direction they’re headed as far as couples go; especially now that Tahani and Jason have hooked up. In any case, it’s refreshing to see the relationships take the back-board and not be the main focus of the characters. A sweet moment here and there is fine, but it’s nice that the primary focus seems to be friendship and individual character development. 


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What did you think of The Good Place Season 2 Episode 5? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

The Good Place airs Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC. Follow The TV Type on Twitter!

[Total: 12    Average: 4.9/5]

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