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Superstore - Sal's Dead - Review: "The Disappearing Bee Crisis"



Before we get into this week’s review, I’d like to say that I read many of your comments from the last week’s review, and I have a confession to make: I was wrong. While I still stand by my dislike of last week’s episode, I understand all your feelings that the preceding Superstore episodes were a bit weak compared to the rest of the series (and my feelings that they were stronger probably stemmed from the blur that comes from watching a show too fast).

Glenn: “I know we don’t specifically promise ‘no dead bodies’, but we shouldn’t have to!”
Now that that’s out of the way, what a Halloween episode, huh? For most shows, I’m apprehensive every time there is more than one episode in one season mentioning death in a title, but Superstore is an exception. “Sal’s Dead” made me smile, and it was a good day to memorialize a character that I had almost forgotten about.

This week's cold open was one of the shortest I've ever seen, both in the show and in my history of watching comedy. In the opening, a group of workers discover the corpse of Sal (Sean Whalen) in the walls of Cloud Nine, and the other employees gather around and figure out what to do about it. That is pretty much it. However, the cold open did the trick, setting up some pretty interesting stuff.

Most comedic was the gag of Cloud Nine's customers mistaking the dead body in the walls for a display. The employees are under orders to not touch the body by the country coroner, so the body stays in the walls. Despite all of Glenn (Mark McKinney)'s efforts (and maybe because of his efforts), customers flock to see the dead body. The ironic humor was really great. I also enjoyed seeing how all of Glenn's efforts to get people to stay away sounded like the things you'd say to get someone into a haunted house instead.

After the customer display ordeal,  Dina (Lauren Ash) finds a customer dressed as a coroner for Halloween and assumes that he is the coroner. She whisks him away to try and move the body, until the customer's wife comes along, and Dina realizes that the customer is not a coroner. The body is subsequently dropped onto a display. By the time the real coroner comes, there is Halloween music playing, the corpse is part of a beautiful display, and Dina swears that the corpse wasn't moved. 10/10 television.

Elsewhere in the store, Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) is giving free makeovers, and Mateo (Nico Santos) is lamenting his inability to go to the Philippines for his relative's wedding; he is unable to fly out of the country because he is an undocumented immigrant. Cheyenne finds the dead Sal's passport, and offers to give Mateo a makeover so that he looks like Sal and can use Sal's passport to go visit his family members. Cheyenne does an absolutely stellar job with the makeup. However, the makeover works a little too well, as Mateo begins adopting bits of Sal's creepy personality to go with his new looks. The creepiness was funny in the way that made me hate myself for laughing. In the end, Mateo decides that he does not want the Sal personality, throws the passport back to Cheyenne, and tries to wash the makeup off.

Meanwhile, Jonah (Ben Feldman) gets into the dating game. As he scrolls through a dating app on his phone, Amy (America Ferrera) and Garrett (Colton Dunn) make fun of him. Amy even takes Jonah's phone away from him. When Jonah goes back to work, Amy accidentally swipes right on a profile belonging to new hire Kelly (Kelly Stables). Amy tries to fix things in a multitude of ways. First, she tries to take Kelly's phone, but Kelly has already seen the swipe right notification since then.
Because she cannot undo the swipe, Amy begins messaging Kelly as Jonah and tries to let her down easy. However, the messages end up snowballing, and Kelly is under the impression that Jonah is dying of a serious, unnamed illness. Amy tries to keep them away from each other, but they still find their way to talk. Off screen, they decide to mess with Amy like she messed with Kelly.

On screen, they stage a fight where Kelly accuses Jonah of lying to her while brandishing a realistic-looking knife. She then "stabs" Jonah, causing him to fall back and "blood" to flow out of his body. Amy's reaction at the sight of Jonah's limp body was super hilarious. The overall stabbing prank scene was fantastically funny from start to finish.

In the end, everything seems to work out. Kelly and Jonah forgive Amy for her deception. Kelly even thanks Amy for giving her and Jonah an ice-breaker. Looks like the Amy/Jonah ship just became the Titanic! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

The plot was very funny, and the prank was hilarious, though I personally would have preferred anything other that miscommunication comedy. Do even the sanest people in sitcoms not know how to talk to each other and tell the truth? Sometimes, it's so hard to let go of the frustration in order to laugh. Superstore got me to smile this time, but I'm not sure it will work next time.

Other notes:
  • Is anyone else super disappointed that Jonah's costume was "The Disappearing Bee Crisis"? I mean, yes, the bee crisis is terrible and we, as a society, do need to acknowledge it, but people I saw on Twitter were guessing that it was "To Bee or Not To Bee", instead. Sure, the costume is very in-character, but puns, people! Puns!
  • Cheyenne was an absolute highlight this episode! I smiled every time she was on screen because her costume was so cute, and all of her makeup looks are so good. If Superstore doesn't end with Cheyenne quitting her Cloud Nine job and becoming a super rich and successful SFX makeup artist, then what is the point of having dreams?
  • I'm not sure if Kelly's mistaken assumptions that Amy's costume was Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez was funny or slightly racist. 
  • Favorite customer moment of the night: the guy who got scared of the clown, and then proceeded to punch the clown. Topical, socially relevant television at it's absolute finest.
What did you think of this week's episode of Superstore? What was your favorite costume? Where do you think the Amy/Jonah ship will develop from here? Leave your answers in the comments below!







 
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