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The Magic Panda Returns In A Joke-Filled 'The Good Place'!

By Dan Hamamura | TV | November 9, 2018 |

By Dan Hamamura | TV | November 9, 2018 |


Welcome! Everything is okay.

(At least, according to reboot 445.)

But if I’m being perfectly honest (and breaking my own rules of this explicitly not being a review of the episode), for twenty one and a half glorious minutes, everything in The Good Place was better than okay.

Why? For starters, the episode (titled “The Worst Possible Use of Free Will”) was partially a clip show made of almost entirely new clips!

And that clip show was wrapped around a surprisingly emotional two-hander with Eleanor and Michael reminiscent of the “Leslie and Ron” episode of Parks & Recreation, while still being wholly its own thing.


Okay, enough gushing, let’s get to the gags, which have been joyously replenished, thanks to the time we get to spend in the neighborhood:

First Sight Gag: Zero Seconds In!


This episode did not mess around, as the very first image we get has an Arizona-appropriate public library.

Poetry Slam!


Jeff Foxworthy, he who proclaims “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s Daytona 500?” is truly the bard we deserve.

What’s My Motivation?


I can’t get a cleaner shot of that motivational poster, but it clearly says “Gratadude”, and looks like a car jumping out of the water?

Word Hard, Play Hard

From our very first flashback clip, we get new neighborhood punnery!


…and again…


(That says “Luncheons & Dragons”, FYI.)

…and again…


Kabob Patch Kids sounds… terrifying.

Side note: did anyone catch what that Cheesecake Factory is named? Is it just a Cheesecake Factory? I suppose that’s its own kind of punishment.

I’d Gif This If I Could


Did you see Eleanor’s pupils dilating and contracting, looney tunes style? So good.

Catch That Magic Panda, Use His Powers!



Yet another reminder that Jason is sometimes right about things.

An Emmy For Lizard


Bold acting here between two pros who clearly trust each other.

Also, if you remember, Lizard was initially established back in the episode “Best Self” in season two - when Eleanor asks Michael to describe the particular reboot, he mentions the kebab restaurants and her incontinent pet lizard, “Lizard”.

We’ve All Used Them, Right?

The philosophy book Eleanor uses here has, mathematically, exactly one forkton of jokes:


A Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Cliffs Notes of: Philosophy For Dingdongs… For Morons (Abridged Edition)

…and for good measure, an additional sub-header reads: “If this doesn’t work, give up!”

Part of a Balanced Breakfast?


The details are too small (for me, anyway) to read, but The Sandy Spoon diner has something called the “Arizona Junk Breakfast”. That… can’t be good.

Everything on the Eleanor Mindmap!


Enemies list is strong (and in particular, the Rihanna one, which is both a callback and a setup), but my personal favorite was the one about Eleanor’s dad getting into a fistfight with the “Entire Arizona State University Financial Aid Office”.

It’s been a long, twisty, sometimes confusing season, but now that it looks like the show is starting to head into the endgame for season three, holy fork am I on board. Not only for everything we get on-screen, but also for things like this (h/t Kristy):

See you next week!

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Dan is the Comedy Editor and Podjiba Host. You can listen to him scream into the void on Twitter, or listen to him host the weekly TV podcast Podjiba.

Header Image Source: NBC