Superstore (2015) s01e05 – Shoplifter

The cold open has Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Garrett (Colton Dunn) discovering a dead body in the store, which doesn’t turn out to be foreshadowing because neither Feldman or Dunn have anything to do with the resulting dead body in the store C plot. Dunn’s just around this episode, checking in for the occasional one or two-liner (though I guess he does have something to do with the C plot).

Feldman’s busy all episode babysitting America Ferrera’s daughter (Isabella Day) while Ferrera has to counsel boss Mark McKinney, who’s the only one freaked out about the guy dying in the store. The counseling bit falls on Ferrera because actual assistant manager Lauren Ash is busy trying to bust a shoplifter (Natasha Leggero). Ferrera’s going to end up in that plot too, because “Superstore” is really good about keeping its characters nimble as they bounce around the store.

Nico Santos and Nichole Bloom end up with the biggest parts in the C plot, as they both want to buy the couch the guy died on.

If the episode’s a showcase for anyone, it’s Ash, who doesn’t just get to go off on suspect Leggero, but there’s also some character development (ish) for Ash regarding Ferrera. Plus some of her weird flirting with Feldman. Feldman’s mostly doing physical comedy with props and he’s good at it. The episode’s not heavy on belly laughs; Jackie Clarke’s script more goes with constant situational amusement (getting a lot of mileage out of three basic events, the dead guy, the tween babysitting, the shoplifter) and Ruben Fleischer’s direction is focused on the cast’s performances.

McKinney’s really good this episode too. Figuring out he should be autonomous from his workers’ perceptions continues to succeed and he and Ash get into some rather amusing banter without interruption from the rest of the cast, but still some good reactions.

So not the uproarious heights the show’s recently hit but consistently amusing, leveraging the cast over the situations. “Superstore”’s developing nicely.