The Good Place S01E01 "Everything Is Fine" Recap

Eleanor Shellstrop wakes in the afterlife to learn that she died in a traumatic manner (which is why she doesn't remember it). She was run over by some shopping carts that threw her into the street where she was struck by a vehicle. She is met by the neighborhood architect Michael who shows her around the "Good Place", a utopian-like place that only the elite few that lived the most giving, spectacular lives that benefitted others are able to go. It is a highly competitive selection process involving point distribution for every good act and negative points for bad ones. Only a few people qualify for the Good Place, while everyone else is send to the Bad Place for an eternal life of torture.

Eleanor is shown to her new, modest home that is a cottage filled with clown art. There is a video system that allows her to review everything that happened in her life from her point of view. The memories are of a life as a lawyer fighting for human rights. Shortly after she meets her soulmate, as all residents of the Good Place are given a soulmate. His name is Chidi and he was a Senegalese ethics professor. She opens up to him about the fact that there has been a mistake and that none of the memories or life experiences she is being shown belong to her. In actuality she worked to sell fake medicinal pills to old people.

Eleanor and Chidi work to try to figure out how Eleanor ended up in the Good Place and on the way meet Janet, a robot assistant working for Michael that can answer any questions they have. She even plays a live audio sample of the Bad Place, which has the sounds of people screaming and being tortured. They also meet their neighbors Tahani and Jianyu who are each other's soulmates. Tahani was a wealthy philanthropist while Jianyu was a Buddhist monk who doesn't speak due to his taking a vow of silence.

Throughout the episode Eleanor is revealed to have been crass, selfish, and rude in her life. She implored Chidi to help her learn how to be a better person so she can stay in the Good Place. Chidi struggles with the ethical dilemma over whether to help Eleanor and lie, or to tell the truth and damn her to the Bad Place. Eleanor becomes increasingly agitated and gets drunk at a party hosted by Tahani and Jianyu.

The following morning, the Good Place is attacked by various representations of items from Eleanor's true life (as opposed to the false one that mistakenly got her to the Good Place) and her other misbehavior while in the Good Place.

The Good Place airs on NBC.


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