‘The Ballad Of Donkey Doug’ – The Good Place season 3 episode 5 review

The Good Place settles into its new status quo and says goodbye to a beloved character… maybe


Have you ever had a friend who was just a bit too weird, whose behaviour was inexplicable? I’ve had plenty, which probably says a lot about me. With every single one of them, the moment has come where I’d meet their family and everything would click into place. There was the guy who claimed, at 15, that he had a contract as a rally driver and had met Guns ‘n’ Roses and Metallica at the same time. When I finally met his mother, she told me she’d dated two rock stars and a footballer. The Walter Mitty gene was strong in that family.

The only appropriate facial expressions to use when meeting the Mendoza family

All this is to say, of course Jason’s dad is Donkey Doug. We’ve heard the name a few times over the past two seasons, usually in connection with some insanely stupid crime that also involved Pillboi, the third member of the stupidest gang in Jacksonville (which is some achievement). It makes perfect sense that the man who died locked in a safe with whippit cannisters and a snorkel would be the son of the man who invented a sport that crossed horseshoes and dodgeball and killed every participant.

Although these will also suffice

Reunited with his son (but when he says “son” he means “son”, not “son”, like he’s his “boy” but when he calls him “boy”, he doesn’t mean, like, “boy”. Got it?”), Donkey Doug tries to sell Jason, Tahani and Michael on his latest scheme before they can even properly explain why they’re there. Unsurprisingly unmoved (except for Jason) by his plan to create an energy drink/body spray crossover that only involves three robberies, Jason realises that his real mission is to save Pillboy, who seems to have something of a heart beneath all the idiocy and pill peddling.

Pillboi is a pill boy, who knew?

Meanwhile, Eleanor and Janet are trying to help Chidi break up with Simone. I get that Chidi wants to make sure he doesn’t accidentally tell Simone about the whole Good Place/Bad Place thing, but has he met Simone? I thought it was impossible for any character to usurp my love for Tahani and Janet, but Simone made it look easy and while Chidi’s attempts to concoct the perfect break-up (via Janet’s simulator that both her and Eleanor use for their own weird personal fantasies) were very very funny, I couldn’t get past the idea of the show without Simone.

Eleanor finds out her family is a little less dead than first suspected

But this is The Good Place and if we’ve learned anything, it’s to trust nothing. For example, there’s the very brief note of frustration from Michael with the group’s plan to spend the rest of their time saving other people’s souls. We might be back on earth, Michael might have sacrificed everything to help out his friends, but there’s the resounding impression so far this season that we’re still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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