I didn’t get to write about last week’s episode, but if you saw it, you know about the fallout of Amy kissing Jonah and the progress made on that front, with their vicious argument and Jonah astonishingly dumping Kelly at the end of the episode. This episode picks right up from there, with the cold open starting with Kelly dumping Jonah’s possessions in the middle of the Cloud 9 floor, while Garrett goes over his three rules: Don’t date coworkers, don’t dump coworkers, and don’t date and dump coworkers you live with.
The big town hall with the CEO is set to take place and to be broadcast to all Cloud 9 stores worldwide. New District Manager Laurie comes in to prep the staff (including an incredibly nervous Glenn), being rather suspicious in how she talks about Myrtle as an off-limits topic. This cues Jonah and Amy to go to Glenn’s office independently and investigate, looking through Myrtle’s personnel file. Great moment when Amy asks Jonah if he knows Myrtle’s last name. (He doesn’t.) “Were you just looking under ‘M’?” “She’s in my phone as ‘Myrtle Old.'”
They discover a bunch of disciplinary reports written up in recent months, that are signed by Jeff Sutin, former district manager. (Note: Captions spell his last name as “Sutton,” but Wikipedia and the Superstore Wiki both spell it as I have here.) They decide to meet with Jeff to get to the bottom of this.
Jeff reveals the truth: “There was a mandate to write up any employee over 70 to create a pretense for firing them.” Jonah and Amy gather the crew to plan to expose the scam at the upcoming town hall event with the Cloud 9 CEO. The crew, in turn, points out that they don’t have much of a plan, but the crew comes up with the idea to sneak Jeff into the town hall and put the CEO on the spot, once Amy and Jonah come up with the evidence of conspiracy. (Garrett separately comes up with a separate camera rig in case Cloud 9 cuts the feed once the story breaks.)
Amy and Jonah can’t break into Laurie’s email, so they then plan to steal her phone and get it from there (which involves an extended sequence of Amy trying to keep Laurie distracted). Meanwhile, Sandra and Dina plot to sneak Jeff inside in a box, but when Sandra’s forklift capabilities fail to prove up to the task, they just put Jeff in a disguise, and it is really something:
Meanwhile, Glenn is extremely nervous about the Town Hall, to the point of botching his meeting with the CEO by referring to a “Black Glenn” at the store and then doing an impression of him. Then when Glenn gets up to speak at the town hall, he farts and blames the CEO. (The CEO blames him back, of course.) The CEO fields a couple of questions– including Marcus’ incredible pitch of Boob Cheese– but Amy and Jonah haven’t come back with the evidence before he gets ready to wrap up, so Dina has to stall for time. Amy and Jonah take the tunnel they found in Glenn’s office earlier this season to sneak into the town hall, where they pass off the evidence to Jeff.
The CEO doesn’t recognize Jeff at first, but he shows exactly the kind of skills that got him into the CEO position, immediately pretending to recognize Jeff and offering him a great corporate job before he can disclose the age discrimination. Jeff accepts, and that’s why you never put your hopes in a Jeff.
It’s a real down note for the Cloud 9 crew, and a reminder of the power corporations wield over our lives. At least Amy and Jonah got to go on a caper and reconcile a little, agreeing to start over.
Then they have sex. And Garrett’s camera films them and patches them into the worldwide feed.
For all my misgivings about the way the will-they-won’t-they has been handled, and the times it hasn’t really landed, this not only makes the situation pretty funny, but makes more sense for the characters– I’ve never gotten the idea that they were Jim and Pam-style soulmates, but the whole “simmering attraction waiting to explode” vibe makes a lot of sense coming from them. And, uh, having sex in the store, and broadcasting it to every Cloud 9 on Planet Earth, should complicate season four very nicely.
(And yes, season four has been confirmed. Celebrate with Garrett showing off his camera, and the goofy expression captured here.)
ATTENTION CLOUD 9 SHOPPERS
- Brian Howe guests as CEO Neil Penderson; you might most recently recognize him as Vice Principals‘ Superintendent Haas.
- Among the implausible disciplinary reports on Myrtle: She wore gang colors to work. (Someone else can unpack how this pretense is likely used in genuinely racist fashion among big-box stores and other corporate workplaces where the employees have no rights.)
- Carol starts talking to Kelly about revenge on Jonah, and Kelly gets real dark, real fast. (“Maybe I’ll tip the FBI that he’s making meth. And maybe they’ll find a pound of it in his belongings.”) Too dark for Carol, even.
- Jeff’s an Uber driver when we meet him, and his mustache is gone.
- Dina: “Are you asking me to sign off on a plan where Jeff is the key?” Good foresight, Dina. Also, Jeff was on speakerphone and heard you.
- At least Dina lampshades this when it happens again with Myrtle. “Can you tell us ahead of time who’s on the phone?”
- Dina is awfully confident in her not-stabbing-Jeff ability when she ventilates his box.
- Dina has Sandra drive the forklift because Sandra doesn’t have the charisma to distract the security guard.
- What they shouldn’t expect to find in Laurie’s emails: “Hey, team, how’s the ageism discrimination going?”
- Mateo’s evaluation of Jeff’s disguise: “I think you look like a hot, skinny Hagrid.” Dina’s evaluation: “You look terrible.”
- Cheyenne gets surprised at the Town Hall because she forgot she helped put Jeff in a disguise.
- “Do I need to put on a condom?” “No, I’m already pregnant.” “Cool.”