Superstore has officially left “The Office” territory and in Secret Shopper the show heads into blissful comedic mayhem as Amy and Jonah (Ace) bond over a forklift in the warehouse. Of course there is still a slight “remnant” of awkward colleagues who belong in the Gervais creation; Mateo (Nico Santos) and Dina (Lauren Ash) both fit “The Office” bill by regularly providing “cringe-worthy” moments.
In Superstore, these two “associates” class easily as “work-mates” from hell. The kind one would go to great lengths to avoid. Jonah (Ben Feldman) is a “Sesame Street” associate, as in “one of these things is not like the others” but he is, at least, amusing and attempts to get on with everyone else when not butting heads with Amy (America Ferrera).
While this episode was principally about the bane of every retail business’s existence; the secret shopper, Amy and Jonah take over this storyline with their episode long feud. The escalation of hostilities begins with the news that Jonah “aced” the company test. This immediately gets the new employee the nickname of Ace, and a name badge to match, along with his picture on the wall with “top scorer” under it.
Amy’s reaction speaks volumes about how she feels about the whole thing:
“You know you’re just asking someone to draw a penis on your face, right?”
Later a familiar looking hand is caught drawing something (tastefully pixelated) on Jonah’s picture in the hallway.
After the floor supervisor’s somewhat derisory reaction to the news that Jonah scored 100 percent on the test, the two begin to argue…about everything. Amy asks “Ace” to stock up the charcoal briquettes in “Patio” and he tells his boss that they are meant to be in “Grocery” per new Cloud 9 guidelines.
Amy then explains why they need to be in Patio and to put them there. Jonah goes over her head, speaking to store manager Glenn (Mark McKinney) escalating the mini feud. All the while Dina interrogates all the customers she believes to be the secret shopper and Mateo works hard to kiss Jonah’s a** believing that “Ace” is a Cloud 9 undercover employee secret shopper.
By the end of the episode Amy and Jonah have actually bonded, a bit anyway, and Mateo, along with Dina, manage to sully the store’s secret shopper results.
The “Blade Runner” reference at the start of the episode.
Mateo stomping all over Garrett’s attempt to help the gorgeous female customer looking for a man’s hat.
The public address argument between Amy and Jonah.
Amy and Jonah, again, with their entire forklift/warehouse scene.
That suspiciously familiar hand (Amy’s) drawing what is obviously a penis on Jonah’s picture.
Dina accosting the old lady looking for a hidden camera.
Garrett identifying the secret shopper, who is the same one as “last year,” while eating the meatballs Mateo brought for Jonah.
It has to be said that the comedic highlights of this Superstore episode were the two big scenes between Amy (Ferrera) and Jonah (Feldman). Both were hysterically funny. The “married couple” fight over the PA was tear inducing, as in “laughing till tears rolled.”
Amy, finishing up the public (See what we did there?) argument by swearing and then meekly telling a shocked customer to “Have a heavenly day,” was priceless.
The pinnacle of funny in Secret Shopper was the forklift being welded by both Amy and Jonah. (Both the PA fight and the forklift chaos was funny enough to be mentioned twice.) The two destroy the warehouse stocking system to the sounds of Onyx’ “Slam.” Sheer brilliance, followed by a moment of “getting to know you” revelations. “Ace” flunked out of his business course and Amy is taking college classes.
The moment ends with Jonah suggesting that they leave and blame the chaos on the shelving system. Amy agrees and as they leave, he sets off the forklift again and the machine heads onto the shop floor.
Superstore: Secret Shopper is easily the funniest episode yet and has slammed this NBC comedy treat into the zone of clear favorites. America Ferrera and Ben Feldman are the dynamic duo of comedy in this show and not to be missed. The series airs Mondays on NBC. Delightful comedy like this is hard to find, miss it and miss out.