Friday, October 19, 2018

REVIEW: 'Superstore' - Glenn Is Determined to Keep Kelly from Transferring to Another Store in 'Toxic Workplace'

NBC's Superstore - Episode 4.03 "Toxic Workplace"

Amy and Jonah get combative to keep their new relationship hidden from their co-workers. Glenn spirals when he learns Kelly wants to transfer to a new store. Cheyenne struggles to organize a Cloud 9 carpool.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of NBC's Superstore.

"Toxic Workplace" was written by Aaron Lee and directed by Jay Karas

Kelly was introduced in the third season mostly as the girlfriend to keep Jonah and Amy from getting together. That main couple still ended the season together though. The show also found many creative ways to feature them in stories that inched them closer towards romance. And now, the two of them are actually dating. As such, the show had to decide if Kelly was going to stick around with more personal agency or if she would disappear because she no longer served a storytelling purpose. Sure, she existed outside of her relationship with Jonah. There were plenty of jokes made at her expense about not being able to do this job well at all. She could still thrive as a character on this show just like Sandra and Carol do. However, the show opts to have her transfer to a new Cloud 9. It presents a strong reasoning for doing so as well. Her co-workers treat her horribly over the course of this episode. It makes it so the audience feels sympathy for her right before she leaves for good. Her learning about Jonah and Amy's relationship isn't the reason why she leaves either. That's what Glenn assumes. He believes his employees can't get along anymore because of the personal drama going on amongst them. He doesn't want to break up the team. And yet, it's so abusive of him to hold her transfer papers hostage because he doesn't want to lose her. She has already made her decision. She wants to work at a different location to help her commute to work. In the end, she ultimately gets it. It's only after she endures everyone in the store doing an impression of her that treats her as nothing more than a high pitch mess. When she does the same to Glenn, she is able to get to the essence of his being and what is actually fueling his decision to hold up the paperwork. He only signs it because Jonah gets into his head about the store not running as smoothly as it did before Kelly arrived. It's horrible to attribute all of the dysfunction to one person. Jonah doesn't actually mean it. He's just trying to help a friend get what she wants. But Glenn absolutely sees the point that Jonah is making which continues to make him seem too oblivious and unaware of how his actions hurt people. Again, the show has always had to walk a fine line with that. Here, he's the one creating the toxic workplace while also trying to lead the training for how to improve the conditions at the store. Amy and Jonah are only fighting right now in order to throw off any of the suspicion of them now being a couple. Garrett is the only person at the store who knows the truth. He sees it as the lamest secret he has to keep. He doesn't see a solid reason why they are lying in the first place. And yes, it does seem like a silly plot device just to create some fairly low-stakes tension in the opening episodes of the season. They want it to remain a secret because they don't want to put up with the gossip that flows through the store. They don't want to experience this relationship in public like Sandra has been forced to do with Jerry. It's absolutely heartbreaking that she loses him in a simple coin toss. That makes no sense whatsoever. And yet, everyone involved treats it as normal and a binding agreement. Sandra was ready to move in with this guy and it's cruelly taken away from her because she can't see that Carol is a monster who needs to kick her down all of the time. It's understandable that Jonah and Amy don't want that. However, they are bound to be exposed at some point even though they aren't doing a great job at hiding it.