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In the first episode of "The Good Place", Janet plays a brief audio clip of what's happening in the Bad Place.

However, we later learn that Eleanor is already in the Bad Place, and that Janet is NOT part of Michael's deception crew and is further one of the good Janets that Michael stole. I realize that Janet may be playing an audio clip of what's going on elsewhere in the Bad Place, but isn't this extremely deceptive for a good Janet?

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  • Janets cannot lie. But Michael's Janet is capable of lying after being rebooted 802 times. However, as a stolen unit, Janet may think she's actually in a Good Place.
    – Tim
    Feb 11, 2018 at 22:01
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    @Tim OK, but in the very first episode, Janet hasn't been rebooted 802 times. But you're right about Michael telling Janet she was in the Good Place.
    – user15319
    Feb 11, 2018 at 22:32
  • Wait, if Janet was rebooted for every cycle, shouldn't she be dopey whenever the foursome first meet her? Feb 13, 2020 at 2:00

3 Answers 3

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This could be an audio clip from another Bad Place, with classic torture, which Janet can play them. And technically, Neighbourhood 12358W is different from the Bad Place, and since Janet never directly told anyone that they're in the good place, she isn't lying, just hiding information as Michael told her to.

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While Janet is good and can't lie, she isn't lying by providing information about the bad place

Janet may not be able to lie but there is no compulsion on her to tell the complete truth. Besides, nobody asks her whether they are really in the bad place as nobody realises this until the last episode of series 1. When she responds with an audio recording of the Bad Place she is telling the truth: the bad place really is like that. And she isn't free to say more: she does say she can only play an audio recording and can't say any more.

Moreover, while she is a good Janet (stolen from the Good Place) she has obviously been somehow programmed by Michael to do his bidding and to sustain the illusion that his neighbourhood is the Good Place. So there may be constraints on what she can offer. She does say she can only play an audio recording and can't give more information. Presumably, if she were an unmodified Good Janet she could give more information when asked.

In short, the audio clip is consistent with Janet's nature and not, in context, deceptive.

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  1. Neighbourhood 12358W ≠ The Bad Place; instead
  2. Neighbourhood 12358W ∈ The Bad Place.

Being Neighbourhood 12358W the only piece of The Bad Place that has no classic torture, Good Janet could play the audio clip of "how is The Bad Place on average" or "what is going on a random piece of The Bad Place". In any of these cases, they would not hear themselves.

It would not make any sense for Good Janet to play an audio clip of Neighbourhood 12358W, for these reasons:

  1. people already know what is happening there, because they are there. Why present redundant information?
  2. people would listen nothing, because everyone was silent waiting to hear the audio clip. A paradox;
  3. or even, a funny one: microphony! Everyone knows that placing the micrphone and the speakers on the same place is a BAD idea. This would not make humans more happy. Seems like what an Evil Janet would do.

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