Superstore S4E1, “Back to School”

Welcome back, Cloud Crowd! (I’ll try to refrain from inventing rhyming nicknames for Superstore fans in the future.) As we left last season, Amy and Jonah accidentally broadcast their sex in the photo lab to a worldwide Cloud 9 conference, and we get an immediate, if circuitous, answer to the question of how that was handled. I say “circuitous” because our cold open is at a diner on a rainy night, with a mysterious woman working and a mysterious man walking in. We reveal pretty quickly that the woman is Amy, working the counter and extremely pregnant, and almost as quickly we reveal that the man is Glenn posing as a truck driver. In a scene both hilarious and sweet, we learn that Amy and Jonah were suspended for three months, and Glenn has been coming in every day in disguise to see Amy while she’s suspended, leaving a $20 tip on a cup of coffee he never drinks. She tells him it’s her last day; he keeps his cover while saying he hopes he sees her around.

Back at work, Amy is surprised to find no one is razzing her about the sex, which of course drives her batty when she finds out the guys are talking to Jonah about it nonstop, seemingly confirming Glenn’s statement that Amy must be embarrassed over the whole incident, because she’s a woman. (They’ve even given him a nickname, “J-Bone!” “If you’re J-Bone, then I want to be A… hole!” “You sure?”)

Amy, of course, is practically defined by her willingness to make herself miserable to prove a point, so she gathers her coworkers to tell them she’s not embarrassed and she enjoys sex. And then, new hire Noam, apparently a teenager (Dina says he’s fourteen), propositions Amy in the stock room. She turns him down, leading to some crying and hiding in a tent.

Dina calls an immediate harassment meeting, leading to an extensive discussion of consent followed by a Q&A where everyone gets everything they want to ask Amy and Jonah off their chests, or else just uses it to disclose some disturbing details of their own sex lives. (Justine: “My favorite position is reverse cowgirl, because there’s no eye contact!”) Eventually everyone gets bored of this and heads back to the store… except the store closed 15 minutes ago. Hey, sex gossip is way more fun than working.

Two small side plots this week: Jeff returns to the store, trying to win Mateo back even though he’s on bad terms with him (and everyone else) after selling out the workers and especially Myrtle. They make it clear that the only way to win their good graces back is to get Myrtle her job jack. Jeff doesn’t do this; his ultimate solution is to get a Myrtle hologram as the store greeter, which of course just makes things even worse.

In the other plot, it turns out the show didn’t simply write Kelly off the air now that she isn’t dating Jonah anymore, but she’s over it (and good for her; she can do better). The store can’t be left completely unattended for the sexual harassment meeting, so Glenn puts Kelly in charge of the skeleton crew on the floor. This doesn’t go well at first (see her stuck in the middle of two kids firing Nerf guns at each other), but as she explains to Dina at the end, she eventually took charge and got it done and loved it. Dina doesn’t care. Dina, though I didn’t mention it earlier, is still also very pregnant, with Glenn’s surrogate.

Oh, and as the final scene over the credits tips us: Turns out Jonah and Amy are still J-Bone and A-Hole. Hard to do this without echoing season 4 of The Office, and Superstore‘s central will-they-won’t-they couple suffers by comparison. But that’s okay, because this is still a very good episode of Superstore, and one that really encapsulates the show: A great, funny hangout show that’s a worthy successor to The Office, except I don’t really care about said central couple. Still, the show is one of the most compulsively rewatchable on TV right now, and I’m glad to have it back.


  • Best interstitial gag: I can’t decide between “Sorry, DVDs of Back to School still full price” or the kid who puts on a backpack and falls over backward.
  • “Can someone call my mom, or my stepdad’s office?” “Your mom is at the dentist, and your stepdad says he doesn’t care.”
  • What a great story for Marcus to participate in, as he and Isaac (Steve Agee) tell anyone in earshot that Jonah “shreds so much ass.” “Hey, is your favorite movie Waking Shred Devine?”
  • That said, based on the harassment meeting, Marcus seems to have the best grasp of consent of anyone in the office. But I definitely agree with Garrett over Marcus on one point: “I am not high-fiving a dude over another dude’s orgasm.”
  • “As a pregnant woman, was it weird having two people inside of you at once?”
  • Poor Glenn, trying his best to make sense of #MeToo (or, as he puts it, a “#MeToo, Time’s Up, This Is Us world!”) but so ill equipped to do so. “All I know is, one day Charlie Rose was there, and then, he wasn’t!”
  • On the other hand: “I was hoping to get through my first day without a harassment meeting.” “Oh, you should have started up last Friday, we didn’t need any harassment meetings last Friday!” Swish!