This week’s episode of SUPERSTORE brought Jonah and Amy closer together, moving this will-they-or-won’t-they relationship closer to “they will”. Amy goes home to help her parents move, reluctantly bringing Jonah along because he’s able to drive the truck, but slowly bonding with him. The scenes with Amy’s parents are delightful, partially because her father was played by Tony Plana, who also played her father in Ugly Betty, and who doesn’t love a good reunion?
Jonah’s excited to meet Amy’s parents, mainly because he has a long list of questions he wants to ask them–so long, he isn’t sure if he should ask them chronologically from birth or in order of how embarrassing they are. Amy’s horrified to find that her parents aren’t even close to finishing packing up their house and that they don’t seem to be in any hurry to finish doing so. Her mom is more interested in showing Jonah old photo albums and making tamales, while her dad hasn’t even begun packing up his extensive art collection.
Amy’s parents’ little eccentricities help build their characters without making them too over-the-top. Amy’s dad is a prolific painter, but he only paints celebrity portraits, including a terrifying Vladimir Putin. He offers Jonah one–he picks Putin–but then makes him pay $30 for it. Amy retreats to her childhood bedroom, where Jonah discovers that the two of them have a lot in common. They both did theater and debate in high school. In one of the funniest exchanges of the night, Jonah tells Amy that he doesn’t see her as a theater nerd, declaring he was one too. Her reply? “Yeah that’s exactly how I picture you.”
Their sweet bond is exemplified in how they’re able to tease each other. They’d probably make a great couple, but the show has also done an excellent job of developing their friendship. They care about each other, but are still able to see each other’s flaws. Jonah tells Amy that she doesn’t need to pack up the house for her parents or deal with the consequences if they don’t move out on time. She’s taking on that responsibility, when really they’re adults who can deal with their own consequences. Their friendship feels so real and adorable that I almost don’t even want them to date. They’re perfect as friends.
Meanwhile, Glenn tells his employees about the new Cloud Nine Integrity Award. Every store can nominate an employee and the winner gets an unframed certificate and a spot at an all you can eat buffet. Glenn clearly wants the recognition for himself, heavily hinting that everyone should vote for him. At first, it seems like he has no competition–no one else really cares enough about the store to compete–until Garrett bursts into the store with a puppy he saved from freezing in the snow. The other employees take notice of his selfless act, but Garrett announces that he doesn’t want anyone to vote for him for the award, as he sees how much it means to Glenn.
However, everyone fawning over Garrett, which only increases when it’s revealed that the puppy he saved belonged to a veteran, really begins to irritate Glenn. He forces Cheyenne to rewrite her nomination, then encourages her to lie to make him seem more heroic. Garrett changes his mind and tells the employees that he does want to be nominated after all, as Glenn crosses the line by badmouthing him during a call from corporate congratulating him on the dog rescue.
Their rivalry ends when everyone has to evacuate the store for a toxic event. Mateo set off a dozen industrial strength bug bombs in the break room, as Dina asked him to use his relationship with Jeff to get an exterminator for the store. Jeff told Mateo that he can’t do him any special favors, but Mateo didn’t want Dina thinking that their bond wasn’t deep enough, so he began doing Dina’s chores himself. Mateo won’t have to worry about Dina for much longer, as when Jeff is called in to supervise the cleanup of the toxic fumes, he tells him that he came clean about their relationship to his superiors.
Cloud Nine is fine with Jeff dating Mateo, as long as Mateo transfers stores. It’s incredibly selfish of Jeff to just assume that Mateo will be fine with uprooting his life, but I have a feeling it’s not actually going to happen. Mateo is an essential part of the show’s cast, so it seems unlikely that they would write him off the show this way. However, this probably means the end of Jeff and Mateo, a relationship I never understood in the first place.
Season 2, Episode 17 (S02E17)
Superstore airs Thursday at 8PM on NBC
Jennifer Trofa | Contributor