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[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Thursday’s episode of Superstore, “California, Part 2.” Read at your own risk!]
Saying goodbye to Amy Sosa would never be easy, but America Ferrera’s latest installment of Superstore really twisted the knife. Even superstore is upset now. Haven’t we been through enough
“California, Part 2” – which also marks the 100th episode of the NBC sitcom – takes the story of Amy’s rise to a corporate job in California, which was scheduled to be completed in the season five finale before production was prematurely stopped. Now, after a season six premiere focused on adapting Cloud 9 to the pandemic, Amy’s move to the west coast has resumed, and that means Jonah’s (Ben Feldman), too. Cheyenne (Nichole Sakura) can see it now: “Jonah and Amy are old as hell, just sitting on a porch, looking at the Golden Gate and making out in the light of the Hollywood sign.” Get ready, Cheyenne.
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Amy has been feeling choked lately, overwhelmed by the fact that Jonah is uprooting his life for her – and she’s pretty sure he’ll make a suggestion. “I married Adam because I felt I had to, and that was wrong,” she explains to Jonah, explaining her hesitation. “I just feel like this move is pushing us on this path, and I don’t think we’d be talking about marriage if I didn’t get this job.” Desperate to suggest, Jonah gives her back the ring he took to determine her ring size and sneaks out of her office.
The problem with Amy’s sudden panic – which is as interesting as irrational freakouts usually are – is that the episode never finds a way to sell it as anything other than irrational. As Jonah later points out, they have been together for years. They already live and raise a child together, and Jonah’s personality was seen as the opposite of Adams from day one. Garrett (Colton Dunn) speaks something meaningful to Amy, indicating that she can’t really be surprised that the same guy who put stars on the ceiling for her wants to marry her. But when it’s time to take it home, he sniffs, “I’m sure you will find out. I’ll play this game.” Great talk of encouragement.
Amy tries to get it right with Jonah, but when she tries to prove she’s excited about her future, the best she can offer him is a pair of aqua socks. Jonah asks at close quarters if she would like to marry him (“I’m not suggesting anything; I am asking a question”), and after some security, Amy finally says no. She wants to drive long distances, but Jonah isn’t halfway there. “When we first met,” he says, “you told me that all of your days felt the same and you felt trapped. And I don’t want to be the reason you feel that way again.” This is how the relationship between Amy and Jonah ends: not with a bang, but with a couple – to quote Sandra (Kaliko Kauahi) – “fuck aqua socks”.
It’s a sad scene, and Ferrera and Feldman give it real weight. The plot of this episode just never goes beyond the fact that it is dictated by necessity: Ferrera does not leave the show and Feldman does not. To be clear, I’m glad we don’t lose him too. But the episode twists and turns in a way that doesn’t do justice to Amy and Jonah’s relationship, while at the same time that relationship overshadows Amy’s dynamic with everyone else. As cute as Amy and Jonah are, Superstore is a family love story between a group of coworkers. Garrett should be more concerned with Amy than a game on his phone.
There’s still a lot of heart in Amy’s Farewell, which also includes a farewell slideshow poor Glenn (Mark McKinney) really can’t understand, but Amy’s sweet exchanges with Glenn, Mateo (Nico Santos) and Dina (Lauren Ash) could need more room to breathe. And when none of her friends – except Sandra – seem so upset by Amy and Jonah’s breakup, it has the strange effect of making it seem like they’re not such good friends after all. Amy talks to Dina about the breakup and says it “feels pretty bad, but not wrong either.” But it feels a little wrong to me.
Superstore airs Thursdays at 8 / 7c on NBC.