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Superstore - Cloud 9 Academy/Steps Challenge/Blizzard/Lovebirds - Quadruple Review





Attention Cloud 9 shoppers: We've finally managed to churn out our four back-reviews from the recent Cloud 9 Shenanigans. Our new year's resolution to be more timely for our shoppers has clearly toppled faster than our store in a tornado. But, never fear! We're still around and still dedicated to delivering our product...eventually. Enjoy these precious memories as we prepare to not talk to you again for a few weeks. It's nothing personal, we just hate you, apparently!


Cloud 9 Academy

Making good on her career goals, Amy attends a Cloud 9 manager training and brings Cheyenne along for the ride. Rather, they eventually attend the training after mistakenly joining an embalming seminar. Though initially very calm, Amy eventually begins to get in her own head when she discovers that it is actually possible to fail this class, which she thought was a simple introductory course. As the class goes on, they get to a team exercise which sees Amy reluctantly pairing with Cheyenne to offer Cloud 9 store improvements. Amy does everything she can to make sure her ideas are put into their presentation while avoiding most of Cheyenne's ideas, like a gnome that either gives customers $100 or sprays them with ink. Once the presentation begins, Amy makes it known which ideas she came up with while throwing Cheyenne under every bus she sees when the bad ideas are read aloud. The final exercise involves Amy role-playing as a manager who is supposed to have a non-attacking conversation about her employee's (Cheyenne, of course) excessive absences. Cheyenne, unhappy with Amy, goes into overdrive and immediately says she feels attacked, and even uses time in later rounds to pull other participants in as she accuses Amy of abusing and harassing her employees. Amusingly, the other participants agree with Cheyenne's accusations. This flusters Amy to the point of throwing wild accusations out about other people in the room. Luckily, everyone is told to grab a diploma at the end of the class, which means (I think) that Amy passed. As did Cheyenne maybe?

Back at the store, many antics ensue. While Jonah helps Mateo with a scheme to gain asylum, Glenn asks Dina and Garret to look after his baby while he sets up his office for her. They are unfortunately stuck with the baby longer than they thought, thanks to Glenn's bumbling actions. After placing a plastic knob cover on his door handle to make sure the baby doesn't open the door, he quickly discovers that he is also unable to properly grip the handle and becomes trapped in his office. To handle the baby, Garret and Dina set up a small play pen in the store which one parent leaves their child in under the assumption that it is a sort of daycare. Before long, they find themselves looking after several kids while their parents shop. In perhaps the funniest moment of the episode, Dina is convinced to breastfeed Glenn's hungry baby, only to be shocked when Glenn returns (from breaking through his office door) to find them and grab his baby from the playpen as Dina continues to accidentally breastfeed a baby that she has zero blood relation to.


Steps Challenge

When it's announced that the Cloud 9 store wins lunch with the Regional VP, Amy decides that the store winning would be great for her management track. Jonah and Dina agree with her and commit to motivating the other employees so the store can win. After simply talking to the employees doesn't do the trick, Dina suggests a war with the Bel-Ridge store. So, pretending to be Bel-Ridge, Amy sends trash talking texts to the Steps Challenge Chat trashing the store. The motivation gets them all the way to 5th place, but this isn't enough for Amy and Dina, so they vandalize the outside of the store and frame Bel-Ridge for it. While Glenn reacts by (foolishly) asking Garrett to help him with an email to the Bel-Ridge store, other employees start blaming anything that goes wrong on Bel-Ridge. It escalates to the point of Marcus and Isaac vandalizing Bel-Ridge with Super Soakers of hot deer urine. As the other employees suggest more violent attacks on the store, Amy finally admits to what she's been doing. As if everyone being mad at her wasn't enough, she soon learns that Regional VP's have no power in promoting managers anyway, and it was all for nothing. Unfortunately, while she was telling this to Jonah and Dina, a real Bel-Ridge employee infiltrated the break room and retaliated. The employees are upset about the attack and come to the consensus that they must retaliate in order to end things. Amy and Jonah attempt to make them realize things will just continue to escalate, but they eventually give up and everyone leaves to vandalize Bel-Ridge.


Blizzard

As a blizzard hits the town, the employees beg Glenn to ask corporate for the rest of the day off so they can return home safely. Corporate being Corporate, they deny Glenn the privilege of sending the employees home, but, after a bit longer, Glenn decides to give up on Corporate and tells them all they can leave. Unfortunately, it's too late at this point and the employees are forced to hunker down in the store with each other and a few last-minute shoppers. During the shut-in, the employees try to bond a bit by sharing virginity stories and embarrassing injuries, but as they're forced to continue spending time together, many of the employees begin to point out each other's flaws and annoyances. Also noteworthy, Justine encounters a raccoon, Brett adorably spends his time far away from everyone doing about 20 puzzles, and Sandra and Jerry rekindle their romance, which I think I'm slightly more excited about than Amy and Jonah going public. I've just learned I'm a huge Sandra/Jerry shipper! Like, I audibly happy gasped when I saw them in the office together. That also could have been from the wine I was drinking. Who's to say?


Lovebirds

Finally, we are given the chance to meet all of Dina's birds. Sort of. Briefly. Dina decides to bring her birds to work with her to help with their separation anxiety and, naturally, the best place to keep them is in the break room in front of the vending machine. This becomes a problem for Garrett when he wants a bag of Takis. Using a grabber, he impressively is able to get the money to the machine and pull out the bag while Jonah watches. When he unlatches the cage, however, things go south. The birds fly out of the open door, through the entire store, and straight out the front doors in front of Dina's eyes. She is understandably devastated, and watching this takes a toll on Garrett. The weight of the secret also gets in the way of Amy and Jonah's first Valentine's day together as Amy insists they have to tell her what really happened. Garrett's endeavors eventually lead him and Dina back to her place where she mistakes his caring as true compassion and decides to sleep with him. Unable to say no without revealing his true motivations, he goes along with it. When Amy hears about this, she declares that it would be best to take this entire secret to their graves. Though the guilt will undoubtedly continue to eat away at Garrett, Amy and Jonah recover and set out to have their first Valentine's Dinner. With Dina, after she invites herself along.

Meanwhile, Cheyenne spent the day horribly tattooing Marcus's mother onto Marcus's back. Also, Sandra is worried that her secret about Jerry will get out. But as his very public gifts continue to arrive at the store for Sandra, Justine and Carol think she's just come up with a fake boyfriend again and spend the whole day making fun of her, and it's clear that the secret is safe. The most surprising moment of the day, though, comes from Glenn's activities. While in the middle of recording one of the many videos he plans to give his daughter to watch for moments he won't be around for, he realizes he doesn't think he wants to be the manager anymore and walks out of the frame. Elias walks by though, just to lighten up the moment!



After using the mid-season premiere to continue Amy's management story line, Superstore took a few episodes to just have a little fun. While "Cloud 9 Academy" wasn't the strongest episode, it was a perfect way to hop back in after the break by focusing on where we left off with Amy. "Steps Challenge" then came in and went full-throttle with the Cloud 9 staff antics by using the classic out-of-control snowballing technique which gave plenty of space for comedy that the employees certainly didn't waste. "Blizzard" then took the reins and gave us another trapped employees story line, but without the urgency of a tornado around them. This gave our employees an opportunity to be with people they wouldn't normally spend so much time with, and gave us an opportunity to witness some hilarious moments. "Lovebirds", while fun, is the episode that sets up the biggest potential change for the series: losing Glenn. Now, I don't believe Glenn is going to leave Cloud 9. If I had to guess, he will likely demote himself to a floor worker or a supervisor. I'd be absolutely devastated with any other direction that results in no/less Glenn on the show. This does, however, solve the problem of what to do with Amy and her manager ambitions. I'm very excited to see how this goes, while also a bit nervous. Hopefully tonight's episode will shed a little light on the subject, and I can come back in (likely) a few weeks to discuss/vent the developments.


Shopper(s) of the Week
Cloud 9 Academy: This episode didn't really have any shoppers, but it did have a child that stole my heart. Therefore, the Child of the Week award goes to Mailman's New Daughter. After being left with Garrett by her mother, Garrett tries to call after her until the young girl says "Our mailman's now our dad." Garrett, as most people would, has no response other than "Grab some floor." Thank you, mailman's new daughter.

Steps Challenge: This episode's award is sort of a freebie since there was really only one shopper, but our recipient still certainly earned this award. Ladies and gentlemen, Gender Neutral Toy Lady runs away with the prize this episode. While simply asking for help finding a gender-neutral toy isn't particularly noteworthy, the only reason she is asking is because she's "trying to be cool", which gave me a good chuckle worthy of an award!

Blizzard: This one can't possibly be a surprise, but the third winner in this batch of episodes is none other than Mistress Man! Initially dubbed Razor Blade Intercom, we met him while Garrett, Glenn, Jonah and Amy were all using the store intercom for a conversation about leaving. Just as Glenn decides everyone can go home, Mistress man picks up a phone and asks them to unlock the razor blade case before they leave, and says he doesn't understand why they're locked up in the first place. Luckily, Dina hops on the intercom as well to explain it to him. This alone would have won him the award, but he didn't stop there. When everyone got snowed in, he asked to use the phone to call his wife, as well as his mistress. We then get to check on him a couple more times as he's speaking much more to his mistress than he is to his wife. He also suggests to his mistress that she should take the hotel blankets into the shower, because it's free. Mistress Man ran a marathon of comedy in this episode, so I'm very happy to present him with Shopper of the Week.

Lovebirds: Our final shopper of the week was stolen from under Cheap Valentine's nose and right into the hands Offended Card Lady. Her accusation that a frog and a bear kissing on a card will lead to cards featuring kangaroos and sharks having anal sex was absolutely outrageous while also mildly sounding like something I've actually heard a human say. While Cheap Valentine trying to find a card cheaper than a dollar was fun, this unlikely card description was gold and I'm very proud to give her her hard-earned Shopper of the Week.


Which of these episodes was your favorite? What moment cracked you up the most? Are you as excited as I am for Sandra and Jerry, or am I just too invested in the underdog couple? Sound off in the comments below!



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