NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Superstore” are present in this review
Superstore hit some small stumbles in last week’s episode, but fortunately, the show fully got back to its usual high note in this week’s offering. “Mateo’s Last Day” built off of the surprising conclusion to the previous episode, something that’s been foreshadowed since it first came out that Mateo is an illegal immigrant during the Olympics special, while the rest of the employees also got up to their own character-expanding fun.
Mateo being forced to transfer for dating Jeff hits the ground running at the start of the episode, as Mateo makes an overblown goodbye video that elicits groans from the rest of the Cloud 9 employees, save for Glenn. Dina mistaking the video as Glenn’s work at first was especially funny, though the transfer soon turns more serious, after Mateo learns that his citizenship documents need to be double-checked by corporate to approve the transfer. This means that it’s about to come out that Mateo is an illegal alien, which wouldn’t just see him fired from Cloud 9, but also likely deported!
Jonah and Cheyenne join Mateo for his central plot, with both trying to help him find solutions to avoid being deported. Mateo constantly being disgusted at Jonah’s offers to marry him for a green card made for several of the episode’s funniest jokes, as did the three eventually discovering that an immigrant is automatically eligible for citizenship in the U.S. if they are the victim of a violent crime. This has Mateo deciding that he would rather get beaten to hell than marry Jonah, piling on the laughs even more, and it all came together in a brilliantly funny conclusion that had Jonah trying and failing to fight Mateo and beat him up, so he can stay in the country.
Out of options, and with Jonah being the one to take a hit instead, Mateo comes to the realization that there may just be nothing he can do. Obviously though, Nico Santos isn’t walking away from Superstore, so the show does have to come up with an alternate solution to keep Mateo at Cloud 9. This comes out as Mateo sees Jeff after failing to get beat up by Jonah (and several other employees, including a knife-brandishing Brett!), and breaks up with him, lying about not being truly in love with him. This makes the transfer unnecessary, and allows Mateo to keep working at Cloud 9 as an undocumented illegal, though this coming at the cost of Mateo’s relationship with Jeff was an effectively surprising and heartbreaking conclusion, considering that Jeff was the main force that made Mateo more likable on this show.
Mateo isn’t the only one suffering from romantic woes this week either. After it comes out that Jeff is dating Mateo to corporate, Jeff asks Dina and Garrett to fill out a disclosure form to make their own casual sexual relationship apparent to the higher-ups. When Dina discovers that the only options are, “Spouse”, “Family” or, “Romantic” though, she makes a big stink to Cloud 9’s upper HR and legal team, initially to Garrett’s annoyance. Garrett, predictably, just wants to mark the form and move on, with Cloud 9’s upper executives also just wanting Dina to check the, “Romantic” box so the form can be submitted, but Dina holds firm. Even funnier is that, when the, “Romantic” box is defined in a legal view, Garrett starts taking Dina’s side, and begins demanding that Cloud 9’s higher-ups come up with another option for casually sexual interpersonal relationships on a conference call.
This was a fantastic showcase of just how far Dina and Garrett are willing to go to avoid admitting their obvious feelings for each other. The Cloud 9 team piling on more and more executives, as Garrett and Dina take their lunch breaks to grill the other employees about potential fourth relationship disclosure options, was all unrelentingly hilarious. The two eventually coming up with the option of simply saying, “Other” as a fourth option was also very funny, in the sense that it was a mundane, seemingly predictable result, and yet corporate was completely oblivious to it. This was a very inspired way to satirize corporate thinking in a cute way, especially as Garrett and Dina return to outwardly hating each other as soon as they resolve their issue.
The remaining storyline involved Glenn discovering Yelp, which, as you can imagine, leads to no shortage of amusing moments. After Glenn sees an especially scathing review of his Cloud 9 branch from an online troll, he decides to invite the troll back into his store to try and improve his opinion. After every effort to appease the guy only leads to more awful Yelp reviews though, Glenn starts questioning whether or not he’s truly a people person anymore. It was pathetic in a way, but also sweet, even to the point where Amy becomes motivated to go to the guy’s apartment (how did she learn where that was?), only to discover that he lives with his ailing mother, in a dirty place filled with rabbits, after recently being let go from a Gamestop. Amy and the troll bond over their seemingly dismal lives, with Amy eventually deciding to be friends with the poor fellow… Until he writes yet another hateful review on Yelp, this time directed at Amy. This was another smart and very well-written plotline, one that effectively presented both sides of the ever-present troll issue on the internet, while also providing an entertaining way for Glenn to feel better about his people skills, even at Amy’s expense.
It was satisfying to see Superstore bring things back up to its usual superb standard this week, as every storyline in the episode was funny, clever and very satisfying to see through. The show predictably dodged Mateo having to transfer in the end though, on the negative side, which was simply utilized to dissolve his relationship with Jeff, and hopefully, this doesn’t hurt Mateo’s character over the rest of the season, since he’s bound to be especially unpleasant now. Still, watching Garrett and Dina continue to hilariously battle the development of their budding relationship made for lots of standout humour, as did Glenn taking his latest difficult step into the 21st Century. Superstore is taking another week off next week, unfortunately, but hopefully, when it returns in April, it doesn’t lose any of this renewed spark!
This week's superb episode of Superstore returned the show to its usual high note, even if Mateo's threatened transfer naturally doesn't stick.
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THE GOOD STUFF
Mateo hilariously choosing to take a beating and lose Jeff over marrying Jonah
Garrett and Dina continuing to stubbornly resist their attraction
Glenn (and Amy) discovering the pain of online trolls
THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF
Mateo's transfer not sticking is pretty predictable