Monday, November 14, 2016

Superstore 2x08 and 2x09 Recap: “Seasonal Help” and “Black Friday” (Last Chances and Nauseating Circumstances) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

“Seasonal Help”
Original Airdate: November 10, 2016

This past Thursday, NBC aired back-to-back episodes of Superstore to help welcome in the holiday season. The night began with the episode “Seasonal Help.” There’s a ton of new faces around to help keep the store running at super speed during the seasonal madness. The newest addition is Amy’s husband, Adam, who is welcomed aboard despite her desperate but too-subtle attempt to prevent him from joining the team. Amy is less-than-thrilled that she is now her husband’s boss and we soon find out why. During the introductions, Adam jokes about all the dirt he has on Amy and calls her by his special nickname for her: “Bean.” This instantly derails the entire staff meeting as questions arise about why this, of all things, is her nickname.

Out on the floor, Dina and Garrett are placing bets on who of the temps will be the first to quit their jobs. They ask Jonah if he’d like to join in on the fun and at first he refuses, saying he really shouldn’t gamble because he’s been known to “get carried away.” But it doesn’t take much to convince him to put a dollar down on a teen temp worker with an unfortunate face rash. Turns out Jonah made a good call, because his bet is the first to walk out. Jonah then decides to up the stakes and enhance their betting pool. Soon, all the regular workers are in the back placing bets on who among the seasonal workers they think will be the next to go.

While the employees are busy placing their bets, Glenn is busy interviewing potential store Santas. Cloud 9 has never had an in-store Santa before and Glenn wants to make sure his choice is absolutely perfect. He’s narrowed it down to six candidates and really puts them through their paces with various tests of cheeriness.

One person who definitely wouldn’t pass a cheerfulness test is Adam. He’s outraged when Amy tries to give him advice on how to stock DVDs, and the argument soon morphs into a full-blown marital tiff about the proper way to wash dishes. Before they can finish arguing, Garrett pages “Bean” over the loudspeaker and Amy stalks off.

Amy then pays a visit to Glenn, who is in the midst of testing the comfortableness of the various Santas’ laps. She asks if Adam can be switched to a different shift so she doesn’t have to work with him and Glenn says he completely understands, considering the troubles in their marriage. Amy is taken aback — she’s never discussed her marriage with anyone and is offended Glenn would assume something was wrong. When she tells Garrett, Mateo, Dina, and Cheyenne what Glenn said they all get very uncomfortable and find excuses to leave the conversation. Dina explains that they all agree with Glenn, which Amy had already gathered by their awkwardness.

This causes Amy to try extra hard to prove to everyone how happy she and Adam are. She kisses him in front of everyone and laughs overly loud at his unfunny jokes. When none of that convinces anyone, she persuades Adam to have sex in the photo lab and then tells Garrett, Dina, and Jonah about how awesome it was. They remain unconvinced and also are now grossed out.

Meanwhile, Garrett discovers that Jonah — in an attempt to win the bet — is trying to sabotage the temp employees and get them to quit out of frustration. Word spreads and soon the regular employees are all working equally hard to get the temps they bet on to quit. Dina convinces one to scrub and polish the concrete parking lot. Garrett reminds another of how much he misses his son and how this job is preventing him from watching his son grow up. But in the end, Jonah wins again, convincing his temp to storm out after a stack of Christmas tins he’d meticulously arranged topples over. It isn’t until after all of them quit that they find out the temps were from the “Last Chances” program at Glenn’s church. If they couldn’t successfully hold down this job, they’d all be sent back to prison.

Glenn has more bad news in store for him: he finally chooses a Santa, but when the Santa finds out this is just a volunteer position, he walks out — as do all the other potential Santas. Cody — the only current employee who was applying for the role — is the only one left standing. Cody is a less than ideal Santa but he’ll have to do.

Laughable Lines:
  • “So, I have the job?” “Not yet, my fat red friend.” 
  • “Is this about the dishes?” “This has NOTHING to do with the dishes.” “I was letting them soak.” “YOU CAN’T SOAK CAST IRON.” “WELL STOP BUYING PANS THAT I CAN’T GET WET.” 
  • “You made a promise. And, I, personally, would rather be a quitter than a liar.” 
  • “Do I look flushed to you?” “What do you mean by flushed? Do you mean tired? Because you always look tired.” 

“Black Friday”
Original Airdate: November 10, 2016

In the second of the back-to-back episodes, Black Friday is here! Jonah is beyond excited about his first Black Friday experience and he’s documenting the whole thing via video camera. None of the other employees can muster even the slightest excitement since they know what’s in store for them.

He starts by filming the pre-opening potluck — where every employee brings a dish to share. It’s 3 a.m. and no one is really up to being interviewed by Jonah. Glenn is the only other peppy person present, as he tries to boost morale before the doors open. As Amy runs through the list of assignments and protocols for Black Friday like a drill sergeant, Jonah finally starts to realize what a big deal this is.

Outside, Mateo and Cheyenne are corralling the line when a customer calls them over and asks them to set aside a television for him. They protest, saying it would be unfair but he offers them $40 each and that proves too tempting to refuse. It also provides them with a money-making scheme: get other customers to bribe them for the most popular items.

Glenn wanders over to chat with Tate, the pharmacist, who is the only one having a great day. He tells Glenn no one fills their prescriptions on Black Friday so it’s actually the easiest day of the year for him. While they’re chatting, Glenn asks him if it’s safe for him to take some of his wife’s pills that she got after an accident. They’re supposed to help you relax but Glenn doesn’t want to take anything too strong that he might get addicted to. Tate says it’s a low dose and he should be just fine.

Meanwhile, Jonah asks Amy why everyone isn’t more excited about Black Friday. Before she can answer, she becomes nauseated. She never gets sick so she immediately fears she must be pregnant from her and Adam’s rendezvous in the photo lab. While she’s on the phone with Adam discussing this turn of events, the customers break down the front doors and burst into the store. Jonah tries to interview some of them, asking what Black Friday means to them, but he is very quickly knocked to the ground and his camera goes flying.

With the pandemonium in full swing, Dina asks Garrett to man one of the registers while another employee is in the bathroom. Garrett refuses, saying that he doesn’t do registers. They argue and Dina says as soon as Garrett’s done with his intercom announcements, he has to work a register. Garrett latches onto the “as soon as you’re done” part and goes as slow as he possibly can.

Amy manages to wrangle a pregnancy test away from Tate. Much to her relief, it’s negative. But just as she’s expressing her feelings about the situation to Jonah, he runs off to the bathroom also feeling nauseated. Then Dina goes running past as well. It’s officially a case of food poisoning brought on by the potluck.

Half the staff has gone home sick, leaving them with a very limited staff to cover all the madness. Garrett still refuses to leave his post at the intercom. He has resorted to explaining the plots of every Tom Hanks movie just to stave off register duty.

Cheyenne has taken her money-making scheme to the next level. Instead of just targeting customers, she’s now making a profit off the employees, too. She bought up all the Pepto-Bismol and is selling it at steep prices to those with food poisoning. Mateo briefly admires her understanding of “war profiteering” and then runs off to the bathroom with his overpriced Pepto-Bismol.

Jonah and Amy end up in the men’s bathroom at the same time (the line for the women’s was too long). She finishes confiding in him about her mixed feelings about the pregnancy test. She explains that she always wanted two or three kids but is not sure she wants them with Adam.

Back in the break room, everyone is down for the count. None of them are feeling well enough to go back out there and so customers are just running amuck. Jonah tries to give a pep talk about the wonders of Black Friday but Glenn, high on his relaxers, cusses him out. Everyone stops their bickering, shocked by Glenn’s outburst. Glenn looks around and asks what happened. Apparently, he blacked out and has no memory of swearing at them all.

Garrett suggests they bail and abandon the store. Glenn agrees, as does Dina. Garrett is shocked they took him seriously and that everyone else is so willing to abandon the store to rabid customers just because they’re not feeling well. He gives a moving speech about the need to do at least the bare minimum and then he rolls out to man the cash register. Following his lead, the rest of the team heads back to work, too.

They manage to make it through the shift successfully. While the rest of the employees lay on the floor, exhausted, Amy calls Adam to tell him she’s not pregnant, but ends up telling him she’s not happy in their marriage and that they need to talk.

As one relationship possibly ends, another begins: Dina finds Garrett in the break room and kisses him then tells him to follow her to the photo lab.

Superstore is off until January, so it’ll be interesting to see where we pick up when it returns. Will Adam and Amy get divorced, paving the way for Amy and Jonah to finally act on their obvious feelings for each other? Will Dina and Garrett actually make it work despite their very different personalities? And will we be seeing more of Jeff, the regional manager and Mateo’s secret love interest? I guess we’ll find out in January!

Laughable Lines:
  • “Cheyenne, how about you? How you feeling?” “I’m okay. I think I hit something with my car this morning but I was too tired to check.” “Well... that’s alarming.”
  • “Have you had anything to drink today?” “Just three mugs of juice.” “I think you’ll be fine.” “No, I lied. It was seven mugs. I just didn’t want you to judge me.” “That’s too much juice, Glenn.” 
  • “It’s all good, boo. I’m keeping it 100.” “That’s not what that means.” “No?”
  • “Even you, Dina? You said you’d never give up.” “I also said I’d never vomit on a toddler’s head. Lotta firsts today.”
  • “Sir, you accidentally drove over my daughter’s doll!” “Not accidentally.”


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