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Superstore - Lowell Anderson - Review: Moving On

21 Mar 2021

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The Cloud 9 Store 1217 employees find that moving on from the past can be harder than it looks this week on Superstore, but it’s a feeling they just might have to get used to. Read on for my review of “Lowell Anderson”

At the top of the episode, Glenn gets excited when the eponymous son of the founder of Cloud 9 pays a visit to the store. Cloud 9 may have run his family’s hardware store out of business, but as Glenn’s father tells it, Lowell was always nice about it, and even took Sturgis Sr. out to dinner shortly before his store shut down. Almost as soon as he walks in the store, Lowell, an old eccentric, immediately starts demanding “innovative” changes to be implemented at the store, from making all the employees take off their Cloud 9 Vests (to be more accessible to the customers) and demanding that Mateo wear a tacky shirt from the clothing section and that Glenn change his hair to something that will “surprise him.”

Jonah is put off guard when Hannah mentions that she deposed Amy for Carol’s lawsuit, and that she seemed to be in a cabin somewhere. Unable to stop wondering if Amy was there with the kids or with...someone else, Jonah begins stalking Amy on Instagram to figure out what her relationship status might be (even though he is very much taken - for shame, Simms!)

On the other end of the romantic spectrum, Dina realizes that she’s no longer interested in Brian as a boyfriend, and, despite their awkward situation, Garrett gives her advice on how to break it off with him. She tries to follow it, and even calls Brian on Zoom to do the deed, but she chickens out at the last minute and hangs up.

Lowell begins insisting on more and more crazy changes in the store - including taking all the merchandise out of the boxes so customers can feel it for themselves. When that idea obviously doesn’t work out, Cheyenne loses her cool with Lowell, offending him by telling him he’s just a “rich dick.”

Queen of the stalker fan lifestyle, Sandra helps Jonah Instagram-stalk Amy to discover where she is - and whether she’s with someone else. They locate a few leads, but initially turn up empty handed. Finally, Emma posts on Instagram that she’s in the mountains with her mom and brother. Relieved that Amy isn’t with another guy, Sandra suggests that Jonah call her and they get back together. However, Jonah says no, insisting that he’s over Amy and that he’s with Hannah now. “Then what the f--- have we been doing all day?” Sandra asks. What the f--- indeed, Jonah - what the f--- indeed.

Glenn tries to repair the store’s relationship with Lowell, but refuses to fire Cheyenne over the incident. Lowell decides that Glenn needs to be a more authoritative manager, telling him the story of the dinner he had with his father when he ran the Sturgis hardware store out of business, including details Glenn’s father had never mentioned before. To show that he’s the “top dog,” Lowell told Glenn’s dad that if he ate dog food in front of him, he would stop underselling the hardware store. The older Sturgis did as he was told, but Lowell ran him out of business anyway.

Glenn, unwilling to let Lowell boss him around anymore, decides that he’s the kind of guy to make someone else eat dog food, and not the other way around. Lowell - almost too cooperative - chows down, in a questionable win for human decency.

Unable to get back to Dina, Brian calls Garrett, who accidentally lets it slip that Dina was intending to break up with him. Just then, Dina comes in and (utilizing a tip from Sandra’s son Tony) tells him that she’s “not ready to be with someone so great.” The two split amicably, and, merely hours if not minutes later, Dina and Garrett agree to go on a date.

Jonah and Hannah are out together as well, and Jonah - slightly shaken by his day thinking about Amy but convinced that he’s finally moved on, tells Hannah he’s happy being with her. Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Cheyenne is telling Amy over the phone about how Lowell revealed that Zephra has plans to shutter the Cloud 9 brand. “Let me see what I can find out,” the former manager says.

And with that, we have only one more week with these Cloud 9 goofs. It seems like everyone will get their happy(ish) ending (the ish because most of them might be unemployed by the end of the finale!), although we’ll have to spend at least a portion of our precious finale time going over the whole Hannah/Jonah/Amy mess when literally no one thinks Jonah should or will end up with Hannah.

It’s also notable how this episode brought back a rare unique part of Superstore storytelling; the weirdly glib look at how dark the lives of the working class are. The story about the dog food was oddly, uncomfortably heavy for a generally lighthearted comedy. But, following in the footsteps of previous storylines like the failed union and Myrtle’s firing, it underscores an unfairness that the Cloud 9 employees often have no choice but to live with. Hopefully, it’s a motif that the writers visit one last time next Thursday, because I feel like that comedy in painful honesty is central to what makes Superstore stand out.

What did you all think of “Lowell Anderson?” What final surprises might next week have in store? And what are you going to miss the most about the Cloud 9 gang? Let me know in the comments!