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Recap / Superstore S 5 E 01 Cloud Nine Point Oh

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"Cloud 9.0" is the first episode of Superstore's fifth season.

Following Mateo's arrest by ICE in the previous season finale, Marcus, Dina and Garrett attempt to formulate a plan to get him out of detention, while Amy tries to help Cheyenne get past her distress and denial and visit Mateo in prison. She also assigns Jonah to train/program a robot intended to act as customer service and support, which is viewed by many of the employees as the beginning of the end for their jobs, and a general symbol of corporate soullessness.

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This episode provides examples of:

  • Comically Missing the Point: Amy tries to relate to Cheyenne's grief by making a story about how overprotective Amy got when Emma wore her deceased grandmother's earrings. Cheyenne thinks Amy wants her to give Emma a makeover so she'll stop dressing like an old lady.
  • Covered in Gunge: Marcus and Dina create their own gunge by combining old cans of dog food and expired clam chowder from the cafeteria, in anticipation of a sewage-based prison escape route. Only Marcus ends up covered in it but he does splash some on the others.
  • Darker and Edgier: Cheyenne's overall difficulty dealing with Mateo's situation is striking; it contains barely a whiff of comedy. When she visits him in prison, they trade a little gossip to try to preserve normalcy, but it's impossible to escape how miserable the situation is.
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  • Face Your Fears: Cheyenne seems to be partly in denial, and partly terrified to visit Mateo in prison. When she used to visit her mother in prison and cry, her mother would scold her for "making things worse". She's afraid of getting a similar reaction from Mateo. With Amy's help, she eventually goes in to see him.
  • Hellhole Prison: Played realistically at the ICE prison Mateo is stuck in - it's overcrowded, there aren't enough blankets, and all the dehumanizing guards yell at Mateo in Spanish even though he's Filipino.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: Glen the robot, provided by corporate, is viewed as this for all the floor workers. It doesn't help that its name is the same as one of their own, and arrived right after they arranged for Mateo to be arrested by ICE as part of union busting intimidation tactics.
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  • Model Planning: Marcus and Dina construct a model of the prison Mateo is in, to try to figure out a plan to break him out - using LEGOs.
    Marcus: "Some of this is from an Old West set, so the doors of the detention center might not open as easily as the saloon's"
  • One Steve Limit: Averted and discussed when the robot's name, assigned by corporate, turns out to be Glen. (With one n!)
  • Prison Episode: Mateo was arrested by ICE in the previous finale, and now Amy and Cheyenne visit him in prison.
  • Ringer Ploy: Marcus, Dina, and Garrett prepare outfits to employ this strategy to fool the prison guards and free Mateo. They consist of the glasses and sweatshirt-over-dress-shirt combo that Mateo usually wears. Unfortunately, of course, none of them look at all like Mateo. They never get a chance to actually test their disguises.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Marcus says th "Cloud 9.0" title is trying to be cool like Tosh.0.
    • The idea that they may use a sewer line filled with fecal matter to get Mateo out of prison seems to come from The Shawshank Redemption.
    • The music that plays as the robot rights itself after being throws off a roof, and then heads back to the store to resume operation, is extremely similar to the theme song of The Terminator.
  • The Singularity: Dina wants to delay this, inspiring her opposition to the Cloud Nine robot.
  • Super Toughness: The robot seems perfectly fine after being thrown off a roof, and is even able to right itself on its own.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: Mateo's ICE storyline is all serious, no comedy, and doesn't pull punches about how miserable the experience is for him. And, by extension, other undocumented immigrants.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Glenn finds it hard not to feel this way about the robot's name, "Glen", since the robot is there to replace employees like him. However, it is probably a coincidence.
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