SUPERSTORE Review: “Mateo’s Last Day”

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At the end of the last episode of , Jeff told Mateo that he would have to transfer stores due to their relationship. Clearly, the show wasn’t going to sideline one of its main characters to a different store, so it was obvious that something would happen to derail the transfer. This made the episode feel like filler–it got the characters to the place where they needed to be, but it wasn’t a particularly funny journey watching them get there, despite a hilarious open where Mateo plays a farewell video he made himself, complete with faux-interviews where he discusses his impact on the store.

Superstore - Season 2

Mateo brags about his new store, which is a Cloud Nine Signature, a concept store with all organic produce and other high-end delights. He shows the employees some pictures, telling Glenn that he got from from Yelp. Of course, this inspires Glenn to go on their store’s Yelp page, where he’s quickly dismayed at the negative comments people are posting. He decides to track down one reviewer who wrote a particularly nasty review, inviting him back to the store to show him around. The reviewer, Tim, acts nice in person, but posts an updated review spewing even more vitriol towards the store and Glenn personally.

Amy tells Glenn that the best way to deal with internet trolls is to ignore them, but of course Glenn doesn’t take her advice. He keeps trying to bond with Tim, who keeps writing meaner and meaner reviews. Finally, Amy gets sick of seeing Glenn hurt and goes to confront Tim at home. His home is incredibly depressing. He lives with his dying mother and what appears to be dozens of feral rabbits. Amy asks Tim to stop attacking them online, which he agrees to, but as soon as she leaves he writes a review attacking her. It’s a predictable storyline that didn’t feel particularly fresh.

Superstore - Season 2

Jeff tells Mateo that in order for him to process his transfer, he needs to see his social security card. When Mateo first applied to work at Cloud Nine, all they needed was the number, but now they have to see the actual card. Mateo is an undocumented immigrant, a fact that we learned last season. He tries to come up with various ways to get a green card so that he can transfer without telling Jeff. He doesn’t want to marry Jonah, even though he offers, but they learn that if an undocumented immigrant is a victim of a violent assault, they can apply to stay in the country.

Mateo tries to antagonize the warehouse guys, but they’re not interested in fighting. Except for Brett, but he’s too into it–he pulls a knife. Mateo asks Jonah to beat him up, but Jonah can’t go through with it. He tries valiantly, flailing his arms about like a windmill and telling Mateo to just run into his fists, but it doesn’t work. Cheyenne tries next, but she can’t punch him either. Mateo tries to provoke Jonah into hitting him by pushing him and eventually punching him, but Jonah still can’t fight back. He’s too much of a pacifist.

Superstore - Season 2

Cheyenne and Jonah encourage Mateo to tell Jeff, but instead Mateo breaks up with him, telling him that he doesn’t love him. I’ve never thought that the two of them had chemistry, so I believe this, but it’s not clear whether Mateo truly feels this way or is lying because he’s afraid of being deported. Mateo begins to pour his heart out to Cheyenne, when Jonah finally sums up the courage to hit him, knocking him out. It’s been a tough week for Mateo and while I admire the show not shying away from telling human stories involving undocumented characters, I hope that he returns to his hilarious self next week.

TB-TV-Grade-B

Season 2, Episode 18 (S02E18)
Superstore airs Thursday at 8PM on NBC

Read all of our reviews of Superstore here. 
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Jennifer lives for two things: spreading the “Superstore” gospel and themed “Law & Order: SVU” marathons on USA.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jtrof
Keep up with all of Jennifer’s reviews here.

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