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Superstore - Manager's Conference - Review: "Merry Christmas, Mateo"

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Attention Cloud 9 shoppers: We are quickly approaching the end of the year and must soon begin turning all of our focus on the upcoming Christmas/New Year holidays. We'll have one more round of fun with your favorite Cloud 9 employees tonight, but before we get there, let's remember all the fun antics we got into last week.

Due to Dina's goldfinch being in hospice and Glenn's in-laws coming to town, Glenn has to give away their tickets to the Cloud 9 management summit away. His first choice, of course, is the newly public Jonah and Amy as he thinks they'd enjoy a nice overnight trip together. Apparently, though, nobody bothered to actually look at the tickets as they clearly say they are non-transferable. Jeff manages to catch them before they leave and uses his clout to get them into the conference. His clout, by the way, is snatching two other mangers' ID's without anyone noticing. Once inside, Jonah and Amy discover the Summit is a lot more exciting than they thought. There's lights, loud music, free food, plenty of alcohol, and tons of freebies being given away (like a free iPad!). Amy decides to blend in with the "d-bags" for a while, so she can walk around and collect all the free merchandise and alcohol with Jonah. While drunk, they end up talking to two particularly d-baggy d-bags and making tons of jokes about floor workers. Amy makes a joke about saving money by treating full-time workers as if they were two part-time workers, and the two men shockingly think that might a good idea. They try to summon someone from billing to discuss the new plan, but Amy quickly dips out before anyone can come over. Later, Amy casually vents to Jonah that she should be a manager without any real conviction to do so, but Jonah points out the reasons why she really should, leaving her questioning her future.

Back in the store, Mateo's job is once again in jeopardy due to his undocumented immigrant status when Glenn announces corporate has requested he run all of his employees through E-Verify, which scans for undocumented immigrants. After mentioning he was undocumented in a conversation with Cheyenne, they notice Sayid was nearby and Mateo fears he overheard. Worried Sayid will go to Glenn or corporate, he makes a series of very poor choices, such as accusing him of lying about Cheyenne being pregnant again in front of Cheyenne to establish Sayid as liar. He even coins the very not real phrase, "lying like a Syrian." This obviously makes its way to Sayid who confronts Mateo and Mateo confesses his plan. Fortunately, Sayid never had any intention of turning him in because it was none of his business. Unfortunately, however, Mateo keeps talking and ends up worrying Sayid that he would be an accomplice if anyone ever found out Mateo was undocumented and ultimately ends up going to Glenn. Mark McKinney gets the rare chance to show Glenn's serious side when he asks Mateo why his social security number belongs to a Polish woman in Buffalo and asks Mateo to write his real number down. Mateo only writes down five numbers and audibly gives Glenn the final four obviously fake numbers and Glenn says he'll run it through the system. As Cheyenne and Mateo discuss his impending deportation (and Cheyenne plans her super affordable vacation to visit him) Glenn calls him over to let him know that his number passed through the system and leaves him with "Merry Christmas, Mateo." Perhaps one of the most heart-felt lines on the series, though Cheyenne, not understanding what happened, is shocked to hear that Mateo has been legal the entire time and asks him how much attention he needs.

While not as laugh out loud funny as previous episodes, this was a solid episode with a little more seriousness than usual. That's not to say nothing funny happened, of course. Dina and Garret's gift-wrapping struggles were a joy to watch, and everyone agreeing that they'd easily believe Marcus was a terrorist was also a fun moment. But what really stood out this episode were the serious moments in some of the character arcs. Mateo's undocumented status has always been handled with the gravity it deserves, but this may be the closest he's come to being deported. It also gave us two very good scenes between Mateo and Glenn that will stick in the mind for a while. What Glenn did, while extremely kind, is undoubtedly not without consequence. It wouldn't be at all surprising if this came back around in time to give us a very serious cliffhanger at the end of the season. As for the more immediate future, watching Amy's journey to become a manager should be fun to watch unfold, especially when Glenn inevitably gets involved. This may also end up being a part of the season finale as there may not be any room for a new manager at this Cloud 9 location and Amy may need to transfer to another store. That can't happen, though, because Amy and Jonah have to be together forever and always, and they aren't allowed to just give us this happy relationship only to tear it away from us. That's far too cruel. But I digress. This was a great episode and makes a solid point that an episode of a Comedy doesn't have to leave you in stitches to make it a memorable episode.

Shopper of the Week
While our Sled Shoppers were this week's only true shopper cutaway, I'm going to have to take the award away from them and hand it to Santa Shopper. He only said a few words, but it was just enough for him to ho-ho-ho his way into my heart. As Dina and Garrett attempted to wrap gifts, Garret made a comment about them not being as good as Santa Shopper's elves. To explain the joke, Garret points out that the man looks like Santa, to which our Shopper of the Week replies, "And you look like a dick." He caught us all off guard with that one and has easily earned his place in Cloud 9 shopper history.

Are you happy we get to keep Mateo? How do you think this might blow back on Glenn? When do I get to go to a super cool manager's conference and get free alcohol and expensive merchandise? Sound off in the comments below! Particularly about that last question, it'd be really useful for my last-minute Christmas shopping!

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