It may have been Valentine's Day, but it was hard to feel the love on Superstore Season 5 Episode 15.
"Cereal Bar" was a good installment, but it lacked the comedy that the second half of Superstore Season 5 has been providing so well.
There were a few laughs amidst an episode revolving heavily around the plot, but while Superstore is usually incredible at creating a balance, the scale was tipped too much in one direction.
The question I found myself asking after the credits rolled was whether Zephra's new ownership is meant to put an end to the union plotline.
The story that has been building since the first season came to a head on Superstore Season 5 Episode 10, but ended with the employees of Cloud 9 right back where they started.
Or did it?
It's unclear whether the buyout was an opportunity for the union to fizzle out, or a means to add more fuel to the fire.
Corporate greed has always been an issue at the front and center of Superstore, which makes it hard to believe that the workers will be saved by a different corporation.
Kira, the CEO of Zephra, appears to be willing to put the fourth the resources to make a difference for the retail business.
Self-driving cars being dispersed to all Cloud 9 employees may not have been a reasonable request, but Zephra giving all employees 50% off of Lyft rides was a compromise viewers couldn't have seen coming.
Justine: Oh my God! You did it! You got us cars!
Sandra: I did?
Justine: Zephra just sent a mass email saying that Cloud 9 employees now get 50% off all Lyfts nationwide.
Everything we've seen so far seems to imply that Zephra is more open to solving employee issues, but it still feels as if it's too easy of a solution.
Amy and Jonah's disagreement over the matter imposed upon what could have been an adorable Valentine's Day for the couple.
It's understandable that Superstore wants to keep the "opposites attract" dynamic between them alive, but there's such thing as an overkill.
Amy setting up a romantic lunch and hiring the accordionist from their first date created the opportunity for viewers to witness a side to them that the series doesn't show often.
It's too bad that viewers didn't get to see it.
Amy: Oh, crap! I totally forgot I set this up. I mean, I know we said we weren't going to do anything for Valentine's Day but-
Jonah: Oh, okay. So, you're allowed to break an agreement, but if I do it—wait is that the guy from our first date?
Amy: Yes. You said you loved him.
Jonah: That was very thoughtful.
Amy: I know.
Jonah: Is that gnocchi?
Amy: Yes, your favorite!
Jonah: I love gnocchi.
Amy: I know!
In regards to Amy and Jonah's relationship, Superstore is a big fan of telling instead of showing when it should be the opposite.
They don't have to makeout every episode for viewers to feel the love between them, but they do need to give the audience some moments that aren't belittled by petty disagreements.
It's acceptable, and even necessary, for the couple to have situations exemplifying that they don't always get along, but it's been happening far too often.
Viewers have seen this side of them more than enough. It's time to show us another.
Amy's refusal to discuss Cloud 9's issues with the new CEO was far too reminiscent of Superstore Season 4.
It's always been understandable that Amy has a lot more on the line, given her position as store manager, but she decided to put herself at risk to do right by the employees.
Amy shutting Jonah down every time he tried to bring up employee issues with the CEO, was a nonsensical regression of her character.
Kira: Tell me what you think we could do to make your lives better.
Jonah: Actually, for a long time now, we've been trying to get Cloud 9 to address—
Amy: Address our breakfast needs! Which, by the way, you killed it today with the cereal bar!
Sandra: And also, getting to work in the morning can be tough for us—
Amy: Which is why it's so great that we get to arrive and be greeted by the cereal bar! Anyway, that's it. That's all we wanted to say.
There was no need for this argument to be rehashed, and the placement of it in this episode was tactless.
The side stories that were occurring apart from the Zephra debacle weren't as funny as they typically are.
Although it was nostalgic to return to the old power dynamic between Garrett and Glenn, Garrett trying to pass himself off as mentally distressed to obtain paid time off, was a bit extreme.
However, given the lengths Garrett will go to to get out of working, everything he did was in character for him.
By the end of the situation, Garrett seemed to realize that he was in the wrong, as he questioned whether he's been feeling a bit lonely in his life.
Glenn: I'm just glad that you don't have any problems.
Garrett: I don't have any! And I'm not thinking about my life. I'm just being quiet 'cause you walked away.
Dina's plot, on the other hand, wasn't necessarily funny as much as it was badass.
Whether or not the scammer was using Dina is up to interpretation, but Dina remained true to herself and didn't compromise her morals for a man.
At the end of the day, Dina will always do what she believes is right, even if it's not easy.
It's Valentine's Day. I had to follow my heart.Dina
This characteristic is often overlooked since Dina and viewers don't always see eye-to-eye on everything.
But the argument remains the same. If Dina believes she's following the correct principles, she'll go out of her way to make things work out.
Overall, "Cereal Bar" wasn't a poorly done installment.
It pushed the central plot along nicely and raised even more questions about the union storyline.
Is Zephra the answer to Cloud 9's prayers? Or have they lured them into a false sense of security?
With the first half of Superstore Season 5 in the rearview and the finale not too far off, viewers have to wonder about the direction the show is currently heading in.
Will the union be addressed again at the end of the season? Or will the finale tackle something new?
Superstore has a knack for leaving its audience on major cliffhangers, and we're confident that whatever happens next will leave all our minds reeling.
- Was anyone else shocked that Carol only got suspended for sneaking away from work to kill her co-worker's cat? Although, it is on par with Amy and Jonah only getting suspended for creating a sex tape at work and streaming it globally.
- Jonah displaying his ninja skills while trying to sneak Sandra out of the meeting was the highlight of the episode. Who knew he had such stealth?
- Mateo has been particularly mean lately, and it's been making his character less enjoyable to watch. Hopefully, his new loyalty to Amy as her assistant and his relationship with Eric will help turn that around.
- Sandra deserves a shoutout for her character growth. The Sandra from Superstore Season 1 would never have been able to speak up like the Sandra we know now.
- Jonah taking out the coconut chocolates from the box he gave Amy was a sweet callback to the first Valentine's Day the two ever spent together. They may not have been a couple at the time, but it was unforgettable to them both.
It's your turn, Superstore fans! What did you think of "Cereal Bar"?
Drop a comment down below, and let us know your thoughts and predictions!
And don't forget that if you missed the episode, you can watch Superstore online right here at TV Fanatic!
Superstore airs Thursdays at 8/7c on NBC.
Rachel Foertsch is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.