SUPERSTORE has garnered comparisons to The Office ever since it started. Both are workplace comedies with deep supporting casts, similar character types, and a will-they-won’t-they relationship. The creator/showrunner of Superstore served as a writer on The Office for seven years. One would think that since the two shows are already compared so often, Superstore would try to avoid subplots The Office
No, this week included a scene where the sales associates had to try to unload a truck in the warehouse, as everyone in the warehouse quit after Amy fired Marcus in a fit of rage, quickly finding that seemingly simple task is actually quite difficult. If this sounds familiar, it’s because is the same thing that happened in a season eight episode of The Office — Jim, Erin, Kevin, and Dwight tried unsuccessfully and messily to unload a truck after the warehouse workers won the lottery and quit. This isn’t the first time Superstore has lifted scenes directly from The Office and every time it’s frustrating. It’s lazy and the show’s better than that.
Ok, rant over. This was actually a decently funny episode of the show. A bit meandering, a bit derivative, but funny. The employees begin to go crazy as a malfunctioning corporate computer causes the heat in the store to turn all the way up. Garrett threatens to murder the next customer who tells him it’s hot, Dina describes her “pelvic area” as being “like the Gulf Coast”, and Amy’s dripping sweat. Glenn calls corporate to get them to fix the heat, but according to their computers, the store is at a normal 66 degrees. Corporate’s insistence that it must be manager error is particularly soul-crushingly hilarious.
Glenn, defeated by corporate, turns on his office’s air conditioner and resigns himself to failure, until Garrett comes in and demands that he fix the heat himself. Really, all Garrett wants is Glenn to leave so that he can enjoy the coolness himself. Dina soon finds him, joining him once he refuses to leave. What do two people who’ve had sex before do when they’re stuck in close quarters together and bored? They have sex again of course! And surprisingly, after the heat’s fixed and they’re able to return to the rest of the store, they both acknowledge that they wouldn’t be opposed to it happening again. Is there a Dina/Garrett relationship in the future? Or is this destined to remain a sex-only thing?
Meanwhile, Marcus has been promoted to head of the warehouse—mainly because he didn’t sue the store after his thumb got chopped off. He lets a pallet of yogurt melt, causing a spill hazard on the floor. Amy asks him to clean it up, but he ignores her request. Amy goes to the warehouse to confront him, but he’s lounging around, blaming the heat. He makes things oh so much worse by telling her to smile. Amy storms out, grabs the microphone, and informs the whole store that nobody is to clean up the spill, it’s a warehouse problem that can only be fixed by warehouse people.
After she snaps at Mateo for trying to mop it up, Jonah stages a mediation between Amy and Marcus. Marcus apologizes for telling her to smile, but follows it up by saying that he forgot that women are all so sensitive. It’s the final straw and Amy fires him. The only problem is that she might not actually have the power to fire him, but Glenn is nowhere to be found. He’s trying to fix the heater on the roof, accompanied by Cheyenne. He fails to fix it, breaking down into an existential crisis that culminates with him strong-arming Cheyenne into agreeing to travel the world with him.
Marcus comes back to apologize, so Amy doesn’t have to chase him down and beg him to return to work. Corporate fixes the computer and heaters, but Glenn thinks it was his doing, making him realize he’s needed at the store after all. Everything works out in the end, but it’s a bit of a scattered journey getting there.
Season 2, Episode 15 (S02E15)
Superstore airs Thursday at 8PM on NBC
Jennifer Trofa | Contributor