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Superstore - Perfect Store and All Sales Final (Series Finale) - Review: Best Foot Forward

Well folks, here we are. 6 years later, and we've gotten our last taste of the Ozark Highlands Cloud 9 craziness. But, going into this two-part finale, many pressing questions still remained: would tragic exes Jonah and Amy reunite? Will Garrett and Dina make their probably will/possibly won't-they a definite "will?" And who was the mysterious St. Louis serial foot-chopper? Read on for my review of the Superstore series finale:

After some digging, Amy discovers that Zephra is making Cloud 9 an online-centric retailer, meaning that 95% of phsycial stores will be closing down. Amy, along with the Store 1217 management, vow to make sure their location isn’t one of the corporation’s victims, whatever it takes. However, no one is particularly hopeful about their control over the outcome; even Jonah is out of ideas - “We’ve been flattened by these guys over and over.”

When a professional analyst is scheduled to inspect the Ozark Highlands store, the Cloud 9 employees know that it’s now or never. Amy travels over from California to help make the store the most super it’s ever been, leading to much awkwardness with Jonah and the rest of the crew, especially after the details of Jonah’s current relationship with Hannah are unceremoniously leaked during a breakroom meeting.

Romantic entanglements aside, Amy suggests that aesthetics are part of the decision making process, so for the rest of the day, the employees spend the day making the store perfect. And it almost works, too, if it weren’t for the infamous St. Louis Foot Murderer, striking once again. This time, Justine finds a duffle bag full of not one or two but 8(!) severed feet (that’s 4 people’s worth!).

Dina won’t let anyone move or further touch the evidence, but to prevent the store from becoming a crime scene (admittedly a bad look), the gang decide to not tell anyone else about the duffle bag and hide it by surrounding it by boxes of Lacroix (definitely the weirdest product placement I’ve seen in a while, but I love it) until the analyst leaves.

Megan the Zephra analyst arrives at the store, and the Cloud 9 higher-ups all try to play their parts. Amy, who is supposed to still be in California, hides out in the backroom giving the others advice on the walkie talkie while trying to prevent Megan from seeing her. While things initially go to plan, it's not long before Marcus discovers the bag of feet and makes an enormous scene. Jonah tries to talk him down, but it’s too late - the analyst sees everything.

Like buzzards, police and media descend upon the store dubbed “Toe-zark highlands.” In lieu of damage control, Jonah agrees to do an interview on the news where he highlights the store’s good qualities, dodging all the gritty questions to promote the store in a last-ditch effort to convince Megan to spare everyone’s jobs. Finally, he gives a frustrated, impassioned speech about the store's imperfections.

"We're just us. But we're here every single day. When it rains, when it snows, when it tornadoes. When there's a plague and you're all safe at home, except for when you come here to cough - we're here, just trying to get you what you need, and all we want is to keep doing that."

Amy and all the other workers who hear Jonah's words seem truly touched - and let me tell you, as a retail worker myself, this moment definitely got me - but did it work to save Cloud 9?

Amy comes to Megan, encouraging her to not close the store. Megan reassures her that Zephra still wants to keep the Ozark Highlands location - but as fulfillment center. Most of the employees will lose their jobs, but not everyone. And, Megan adds pointedly, Amy will keep her job.

“No I won’t,” Amy says in a moment of moral clarity, and quits.

A month later, Amy returns on the store’s closing day to help out and say goodbye, and we see what plans our Cloud 9 crew has for their now-uncertain future.

Glenn is retiring, and trying to figure out what he should do if he isn’t working. He makes such a big deal about not being able to work anymore that he frustrates Mateo - worried because he won't be able to work by law, not choice. Mateo, emphasizing that choice left for Glenn, convinces him to not retire and re-open his family’s hardware store instead. As a thank-you, Glenn offers Mateo a job at the re-instituted Sturgis and Sons.

Dina, meanwhile, has been appointed manager of the new fulfillment center. The good news that accompanies this is that she can choose parts of her team from the old roster of Cloud 9 employees. The bad news is that she can only choose 5 employees in total, meaning that the majority of the crew will still be out of a job. Dina struggles with this decision all day, until Sandra comes in and, seeing her dilemma, offers her help. Sandra immediately picks 5 employees - including herself, “as your Assistant Manager.” Dina wholeheartedly agrees to the choices, not only marking the end of both her and Sandra’s individual arcs, but also that ye olde Sandra/Dina feud is long in the past.

Speaking of Dina, our beloved assistant manager-turned-manager plays one more role in the show’s final hour when she reveals to Amy that in the month of downtime, Jonah and Hannah broke up. Amy tries to mask her reaction to this news, but it seems to affect her in some way.

Later, Jonah and Amy talk, and when Jonah explains that he and Hannah are no longer an item, Amy pretends to not have known. However, Dina overhears the conversation and accidentally reveals she already told Amy, indicating to Jonah that Amy lied - and is pretty clearly still interested in him. Still doing Jonah-related recon, Amy asks a few of the others how upset Jonah was when she left. “I think I made a mistake not marrying Jonah,” she admits.

“YA THINK?” asks Sandra, storming away.

Finally, Amy finds Jonah again, and (in a romantic gesture equivalent to The Notebook’s infamous rain scene) tells him that she finally watched The Americans. She apologizes for how she left him, noting that she realized in hindsight that she was just overwhelmed by the sudden availability of options in her life. He tells her not to apologize for not wanting to marry him, but she refutes him; “I didn’t know what I wanted, and I know now.”

However, Jonah’s not just going to come back willingly. “I’m not something you can schedule whenever you’re free,” he says. The two are left in the reverse situation of their break-up, with Jonah unsure of what he wants, and Amy asking him to “let her know” when he figures it out.

The whole crew gathers in the electronics section after Glenn finds video recordings of everyone’s job interviews, which he not only took, but kept, for whatever reason. One by one, we go through the adorable, uncomfortably relatable interviews that really hammer home the growth each character has experienced through their time at the store (an aside: was it just me, or did they CGI the actors’ faces to look younger? What a weird expense to make for such a tiny part of the show overall).

By the time we get to Jonah’s interview, the interviewee in question leaves in embarrassment (although not before we get a clever nod to Jonah previously working at an ad agency, a shout-out to Ben Feldman’s memorable recurring role on Mad Men). However, as the tape goes on, 2015-Jonah poignantly echoes his “moments of beauty” speech from the pilot, talking about the “magic” of retail work. He also makes it clear that he never stays at a single job for long, and - at least at the time - he kind of expected the Cloud 9 gig to be the same, a “couple months just not using my brain.”

Once again touched by his words, Amy seeks out Jonah a third time and asks him, point blank, why he stayed at Cloud 9 for 6 years if he had, before then, been somewhat of a floater.

“Why do you think, Amy?” He asks.

Amy then tells him that - after she stopped hating him for it - his belief that “life could be better than it was” changed her own life. She acknowledges that she messed up, but insists that “You waited six years for me, so if I have to wait another m-”

She is cut off as (soundtracked to the cheers of Superstore fans everywhere), Jonah kisses her, officially reuniting “Simmosa” once and for all.

And with that, we reach the end of the road. Glenn officially passes the store onto Dina, and Cloud 9’s Ozark Highlands store closes forever. In commemoration, we first flashback to some “highlights” of the show’s 6 seasons, then flash-forward, to a montage of where all the characters end up in some indistinct, COVID-free era in the future.

Glenn, Cheyenne and Mateo work at Sturgis and Sons Hardware( A sitcom I would definitely pay to see), Dina (who is now officially dating Garrett), Sandra, Marcus and Justine stay on at the fulfillment center, Eric and Mateo get married (as indicated in a blink-and-you’ll miss it shot in the final barbecue scene), Amy becomes an executive and Jonah runs for city council. It’s also revealed that Jonah and Amy got married and had a son named Carter, who shares a room with Parker. One of the last shots we see is their shared room - with glow in the dark stars on the ceiling.

In the end, however, it’s Garrett who gets the very last lines of the show (in the same way he got the first ones 6 years ago!). As the blue neon signage shuts off for the last time -

”At any rate, thank you for shopping with us. Cloud 9 is now closed.”

It’s hard not to love this finale. I certainly take some issues with it - mainly its hasty clipping of long-gestating plot threads that deserved more consideration, including Carol’s lawsuit, the St. Louis severed foot murderer (which was Elias, by the way!), Eric and Mateo’s engagement, and Jonah and Amy’s fraught relationship status. However, my #1 criteria when rating finales is how much thought went into them - where each character should end up and why - and, on that scale, Superstore ranks highly. While certainly not the greatest pair of episodes (nothing, to be fair, can top “Tornado”), the business practices of major corporations were criticised one last time and our characters ended up happy - what more could I ask?

Superstore is a special show. So few shows in general, much less comedies, managed to be so funny while remaining unfalteringly honest to the effects of the growing wealth gap in America. The idea that Jonah - a representative, to an extent, of the rich elite - would enter the minimum wage workforce expecting an easy few months and get consistently beaten down by it instead is something the writers never wasted. Jonah’s character entered the show fresh-faced, convinced that anything was possible if you believed in it hard enough. But that ideology was soon torn out of him. And the show was never about the Cloud 9 employees' victories against the “big bad” of Corporate; every single showdown, the Goliaths always won, even down to the store closing.

Instead, what the Store 1217 employees found over the course of 6 years was a way to become themselves outside of the constraints of work. They found a hope for the future and a self-confidence that is often depicted as being unbecoming on the working class. Jonah - quite possibly like much of the show’s audience - came into the fold with little regard for retail work or workers.

And what Superstore did, without fanfare, for more than half a decade, was portray some of the least-respected members of American society with honesty, hilarity, occasional irreverence, and - most importantly - dignity.

As a retail worker myself, I want to thank the cast and crew of Superstore. This show was a comfort in a difficult time in life, and it made me feel seen and understood in ways I didn’t think possible. The world needs more media like this. And with spin-off Bo and Cheyenne now officially DOA, TV has some “Super”-sized shoes to fill.

What did you think of the Superstore series finale? Any changes you would have made? Let me know in the comments!

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