NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Superstore” are present in this review
Superstore balanced two highly powerful developments in its season finale this week, starting with Glenn having to choose six employees to fire to appease the corporate demand that was handed down a couple of weeks ago. The other big development, of course, is a tornado that hits St. Louis, forcing the employees to buckle down in the store and hope they survive! Yes, this is a payoff from the running gag of the store constantly blowing off tornado drills, and this is merely the beginning of lots of standout humour throughout this episode.
“Tornado” is a pretty great season finale for Superstore for the most part, even if it does fumble the ongoing romantic storylines a bit more noticeably. Glenn having to choose who to let go made for consistently funny gags though, as did the employees’ reactions to having their very lives threatened by the incoming tornado. Being put in such dire circumstances forces various parts of the Cloud 9 workforce to come clean about their insecurities and secrets, even if this device is used better with some employees over others, like I said.
The tornado doesn’t show up right away however, with the early parts of the season finale instead being entirely focused on the employees now knowing about Glenn having to fire people. Management is safe, though six associates are going to be let go, leading to questions among the employees about who should be fired. Glenn naturally has a very difficult time deciding, even when Amy tries to help him out, eventually deciding to have everyone vote together on who should be fired. Obviously, this doesn’t go anywhere either, merely leading to more standout humour, as it inevitably goes awry, and Glenn tries to beat a heated retreat out of the store!
The employees nonetheless corner Glenn at the exit though, forcing him to make a decision. Glenn having to blurt out six names right before the tornado siren goes off was a nicely dramatic turn, since he was mere moments away from being able to gain a better perspective on the situation. As I predicted, none of the show’s main employees are fired, of course, though a few recurring ones, like Justine and Marcus, do end up being let go when Glenn is forced to blurt out his decision, even if they must still nonetheless brave the tornado like everyone else!
The actual buildup and execution of the tornado was great, especially in how effectively the show managed to capture the destructive fury of a natural disaster happening right over Cloud 9! The store gets positively wrecked by the tornado, complete with the employees having to cling to various objects and each other for dear life, while some, like Cheyenne, merely go into hysterics on the floor. The most particularly telling moment here was Sandra shutting Carol out of an emergency exit as well, demonstrating that Sandra has a surprising dark side when she’s provoked, and I hope that this is something that comes back up in Superstore’s already-confirmed third season, especially now that Sandra has stolen Carol’s former boyfriend.
As I said though, the romantic arcs didn’t go over quite as well in this season finale, especially since the episode wastes the opportunity to fully push them forward. Instead, Jonah and Garrett are left to confront their feelings for Amy and Dina respectively, as Jonah tries and fails to pretend that he uses the word, “Sexy” in common speech, after telling Amy that she is sexy during Cheyenne’s wedding, while Garrett tries to act like he doesn’t care that Dina is not giving him special consideration due to the threat of employees being fired. We do get to see some small forward movement here at least, such as Dina expressing to Garrett that she’s glad he’s not dead after the tornado, while Amy finally kisses Jonah during the tornado proper, only to walk off with Adam and Emma at the end of the episode. Really? She’s not even going to talk about blatantly kissing Jonah during a crisis? That felt like a lame way to end the season, since so much ceremony has been given to the continued buildup of Jonah and Amy in particular beginning a romantic relationship.
Beyond the quibbles of romantic development that it disappointingly wimps out of though, the season finale for Superstore’s second season was still great overall, being both clever and very funny. The employees that ultimately got fired felt like a solid mix of unknowns and B-listers, even if the show’s main cast is predictably safe, and the actual tornado event definitely didn’t disappoint, in terms of how it affected the employees and destroyed most of Cloud 9 around them. It’s annoying that the Jonah/Amy romance buildup is still being dragged out for the most part, especially since Garrett and Dina don’t move their budding relationship forward any further either, but there’s still more than enough story intrigue and comedic momentum to keep Superstore heading into Season Three plenty strong this Fall!
- Glenn trying and failing to avoid firing employees
- Awesome, destructive tornado sequence
- Jonah and Amy finally kissing, for what that's worth
- Wimps out of truly advancing the Jonah/Amy and Garrett/Dina romances