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“
He's just a wuss who's still afraid of his parents.
”
— Mateo about Jonah


"New Initiative" is the seventh episode of Season Four of Superstore, and the sixty-second episode of the show overall.

Summary

When a new Cloud 9 initiative forces employees to be friendlier to their customers, Amy ends up getting to know Jonah's parents, and learns he hasn't been completely truthful with them. The new policy also inspires Garrett and Dina to find out who can hold a smile longer.


Plot

Going the extra Smayzle?

At the store front, Glenn and Dina explain a new Cloud 9 policy to the staff which is making small talk with customers. Mateo corrects Glenn's pronunciation of a new store slogan, while Sandra and Amy argue about Sandra's cat. Mateo tricks Amy into serving an older couple who start telling many stories about their son who is in medical school. Jonah gets in over his head while trying to help a customer with a drill and Glenn tries to convince a customer to buy a printer once she hears that an on-line company has same day delivery. Amy helps the older couple by lying on a mattress with them. After Dina tells a customer about an accident her cousin had deep-frying a turkey, she and Garrett argue about who can control their facial expressions the best. They end up betting who can smile the longest and break into forced grins.

It's not funny. I'm going through hell.

Seeing Amy with the older couple, Jonah panics and tosses his store vest away. Jonah greets them and as Amy is confused how Jonah knows them, the couple, Marilyn and Richard Simms, say he's their medical school son. Jonah introduces himself to Amy like he doesn't know her and gives her a pleading look. A confusing sign, a variation on "smile and stay a while", is shown. (♫ Lionel Richie - Say You, Say Me ♫) As Amy teases Jonah by asking how long he's been in medical school, he hustles his parents away. Wearing his forced grin, Garrett deals with a customer who has been fired and is going through a divorce. The customer interprets Garrett's smile as being uncaring and walks away angry. He then has to deal with a woman whose dog died. In private, Jonah explains to Amy how he began lying to his parents about being in medical school. Amy decides to take the opportunity to learn Jonah's embarrassing childhood events.

I really, really hate you.

With growing concern, Glenn deals with a customer who is buying items with the intent of killing his mother. However, when the customer says he'll buy bleach on-line, Glenn helps him. With delight, Amy coaxes stories about Jonah from his parents while he tries to defend himself. Mateo won't help the drill customer. Tentatively, Sandra tells Dina that she left a drug case open which was robbed. Although Dina is angry, her grin puts Sandra at ease and the more Dina rebukes her, the more Sandra thinks it's funny. Glenn catches Amy and Jonah with the Simms and as he starts treating Jonah like an employee, the Simms become confused. As Jonah tries to explain without revealing he works there, he lets slip that the Simms are his parents. As Glenn introduces himself and is about to say Jonah is an employee, Amy yells at Glenn and hits him in the face with a yam.

Psycho much?

The customer who intends to kill his mother makes stabbing motions with several knives. (♫ Hall & Oates - Kiss on My List ♫) In private, Amy explains Jonah's secret to Glenn. Jonah arrives and further explains that he didn't want to disappoint his parents that he was working at a retail store which concerns Glenn. Amy tries to deflect Glenn's concern by citing the Simms' unreasonable expectations of Jonah. Another odd sign is shown. (♫ Goo Goo Dolls - Black Balloon ♫) In the Break Room, several staff make fun of Jonah for keeping the truth from his parents. This leads to Amy, Justine and Mateo to admit to lies they tell their parents. Jonah tries to justify his lie by saying working at the store is temporary which offends Amy who takes it to mean that their relationship is temporary too.

Mom, people are staring.

Garrett's ex-girlfriend Tiffany visits him with a young boy. She surprises him by saying the boy is his son but when he sees Dina lurking, he realizes it's a ruse to make him stop smiling. Confronting Dina in the Break Room, he can't believe the lengths she'll go to win a bet. They begin to say hurtful things to each other such as Dina's birds will all die and that Garrett is bad at sex. As Jonah leaves the store with his parents, they run into Amy. To show her that their relationship isn't temporary, Jonah admits that he's been working at the store for three years. Marilyn starts to cry and when Richard finds out Jonah doesn't manage the store, he falls to his knees. In Glenn's Office, Glenn tries to fire Jonah, believing he's setting him free to pursue his dreams. Seeing what Glenn is doing, Jonah assures him that he's alright working at the store.

She's always off somewhere filming.

In the parking lot, Amy catches up to the Simms and tries to defend Jonah's lie. Citing that his job doesn't define who Jonah is and that he's a good person, Richard agrees. However he mentions that Jonah has a fiancée who is an actress which concerns Amy. As Amy questions them about the actress, who she can see is famous, the Simms realize that he's been lying about her too. Amy then lies that she's seen the actress with Jonah and quickly leaves. Richard realizes why the actress wouldn't hug him when they saw her in an airport and Marilyn wonders who she's been emailing.

It's a bet. It's fun.

Dina and Garrett continue to insult each other in order to win their bet. The barbs include Garrett's disability and that he'll die alone and; Dina's sister being prettier than her and that her father abandoned her at a gas station. Garrett wonders why they're continuing the bet. At Coffee & Bakery, Jonah explains how his mother misunderstood that he was dating the famous actress. Vowing no more secrets except his relationship with Amy, they then both decide to tell the staff. However, the staff already assumed the relationship was happening and are more interested in helping Sayid find his lost pen. Amy and Jonah are disappointed in the staff's response to their secret.

Cast

Main cast

Featured cast

See also

Also see Season Four minor employees.

Running Gags

References

  • Amy sarcastically says the new Cloud 9 customer policy is a plan to take down Amazon. Later, several customers discuss Amazon services.
  • Jonah forgets what hematology is and says he'll Google it.
  • Jonah's brothers convinced him to swim naked in a pool at a Radisson hotel.
  • Glenn mentions former president Jimmy Carter's height.
  • Justine lies to her parents that she eats at Imo Pizza with friends but she's eating there alone.
  • Jonah's parents believe that Natalie Portman is his fiancée and mention the movie Garden State. Once they realize Jonah's been lying to them, Richard Simms says he read in a magazine article that Portman was married to "some dancer".

Trivia

Quotes

Did I mention he's in medical school?Marilyn Simms

Gallery

Video

Superstore Season Four Episodes
Back To SchoolBaby ShowerToxic Work EnvironmentCostume CompetitionDelivery DayMaternity LeaveNew InitiativeManagers' ConferenceShadowing GlennCloud 9 AcademySteps ChallengeBlizzardLovebirdsMinor CrimesSalaryEasterQuinceañeraCloud GreenScannersCLOUD9FAILSandra's FightEmployee Appreciation Day
Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason Five
ve Cheyenne nametag.jpg Superstore Season Four Episodes
S04E01-Amy Glenn school bus.jpg    "Back To School" October 4, 2018
Directed by: Matt Sohn - Written by: Jonathan Green

On their first day back from suspension, Amy and Jonah steel themselves for a barrage of jokes and snide comments about their sex video, while Jeff goes to extreme lengths to win back Mateo.

S04E02-Shower first shot.jpg    "Baby Shower" October 11, 2018
Directed by: Jeffrey Blitz - Written by: Bridget Kyle and Vicky Luu

Jonah helps Amy get creative to stock up on supplies for her new baby, while Glenn and Jerusha take maternity pictures that inspire Dina to have her own photo shoot directed by Mateo.

S04E03-Carol Sandra bang carts.jpg    "Toxic Work Environment" October 18, 2018
Directed by: Jay Karas - Written by: Aaron Lee

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

S04E04-Amy wins.jpg    "Costume Competition" October 25, 2018
Directed by: Todd Biermann - Written by: Justin Shanes

When an employee costume competition is announced, Amy and Mateo aren't afraid to play dirty to win first prize, a paid day off. Meanwhile, Glenn is preoccupied by Cloud 9's new automatic cart collector, and Garrett is tormented by an annoying Halloween novelty song.

S04E05-Amy w baby.jpg    "Delivery Day" November 1, 2018
Directed by: Daniella Eisman - Written by: Gabe Miller

Amy and Dina are both in labor! But while Glenn's manager status gets Dina the royal treatment at a fancy hospital, Amy and Jonah have a far different experience at a cheaper clinic. At the store, Garrett struggles to express his best wishes for the new parents.

S04E06-Amy yells at Glenn.jpg    "Maternity Leave" November 8, 2018
Directed by: Jackie Clarke - Written by: Jackie Clarke

Amy faces a nightmare day at work when she learns she doesn't have maternity leave, made worse by Cheyenne and Mateo campaign to change her baby's name. Meanwhile, Jonah and Garrett take on hiring the new seasonal help.

S04E07-Glenn hit with yam.jpg    "New Initiative" November 15, 2018
Directed by: Ken Whittingham - Written by: Ben Dougan

When a new Cloud 9 initiative forces employees to be friendlier to their customers, Amy ends up getting to know Jonah's parents, and learns he hasn't been completely truthful with them. The new policy also inspires Garrett and Dina to find out who can hold a smile longer.

S04E08-Amy Jonah goofy2.jpg    "Managers' Conference" December 6, 2018
Directed by: Phil Traill - Written by: Brian Gatewood & Alessandro Tanaka

Jonah and Amy take Glenn's tickets to a managers' conference in Chicago so they can enjoy a free night on the town, but their plan hits a few bumps. At the store, Cheyenne helps Mateo damage control after his undocumented status is leaked, and Dina and Garrett struggle at gift-wrapping.

S04E09-Amy Glenn on dock.jpg    "Shadowing Glenn" December 13, 2018
Directed by: Geeta V. Patel - Written by: Matt Lawton

Glenn drives Amy crazy with a new, over the top training system. Cheyenne and Mateo brainstorm a new business, while Dina recruits Jonah to help her when she starts second-guessing her own future.

S04E10-Jonah Marcus Mateo news.jpg    "Cloud 9 Academy" March 7, 2019
Directed by: Jeffrey Blitz - Written by: John Kazlauskas

Amy and Cheyenne attend Cloud 9 Academy to advance their careers. Dina and Garrett get roped into babysitting Glenn's daughter while he childproofs his office, and Jonah and Mateo become political activists.

S04E11-Scoreboard.jpg    "Steps Challenge" March 14, 2019
Directed by: Todd Biermann - Written by: Bridget Kyle and Vicky Luu

Corporate introduces a friendly step-tracking challenge between Cloud 9 branches, and Amy, Jonah, and Dina create a fake rivalry to inspire Store #1217's laziest employees. But healthy competition gets increasingly chaotic when the fake rivalry becomes real.

S04E12-Staff outside.jpg    "Blizzard" March 21, 2019
Directed by: Amy York Rubin - Written by: Dayo Adesokan

With a massive snowstorm beating down on St. Louis and an unsympathetic home office, the Cloud 9 employees and customers get snowed in, leading to escalating tensions and in-fighting.

S04E13-Garrett releases birds.jpg    "Lovebirds" March 28, 2019
Directed by: Mark McKinney - Written by: Aaron Lee

Jonah and Amy's first Valentine's Day together gets derailed when Dina brings her birds to work, which also causes trouble for Garrett. Meanwhile, Cheyenne offers to give Marcus a sentimental tattoo, and Glenn makes videos for his daughter to watch while he's at work.

S04E14-Laurie Amy cafe.jpg    "Minor Crimes" April 4, 2019
Directed by: Ross Novie - Written by: L.E. Correia

Amy jumps at an amazing career opportunity, only to run up against an exec with a major grudge against her. Jonah and Mateo help Glenn with a financial problem, while Garrett and Cheyenne struggle to spend a day without cell phones.

S04E15-Amy in office.jpg    "Salary" April 11, 2019
Directed by: James Renfroe - Written by: Ben Dougan & Matt Lawton

Amy finds herself at odds with her coworkers when some salary numbers get leaked, while Dina worries that Jonah is coming between her and Amy. Mateo tries to give himself a promotion, and Garrett attempts to sabotage Glenn's positive attitude.

S04E16-Sandra and bunny.jpg    "Easter" April 18, 2019
Directed by: Victor Nelli Jr. - Written by: John Kazlauskas

Suspicious that people are making fun of her, Amy and Jonah spy on Cloud 9 employees through the security system, while Dina tries to track down an unsanctioned Easter Bunny in the store. Glenn preps for his church's Passion play.

S04E17-Head table.jpg    "Quinceañera" April 25, 2019
Directed by: Rebecca Asher - Written by: Justin Shanes

Jonah struggles to find his place at Amy's daughter Emma's quinceañera. Dina proves very popular with some teenage boys. Cheyenne and Mateo are obsessed with seeing Amy cry.

S04E18-Hashtag sign.jpg    "Cloud Green" May 2, 2019
Directed by: Heather Jack - Written by: Jonathan Green & Gabe Miller

Despite Dina's protests, Amy lets Glenn's pastor host an Earth Day booth at the store, but things quickly unravel when Glenn won't recognize Amy's authority. Jonah spearheads Cloud 9's green initiative, but is met with apathy from his coworkers.

S04E19-Carol scanner.jpg    "Scanners" May 9, 2019
Directed by: Victor Nelli Jr. - Written by: Dayo Adesokan & L.E. Correia

Dina agrees to play the bad guy when corporate forces Amy to cut everyone's hours. Meanwhile, Jonah and the other employees play an elaborate game of laser tag with the store's new scanners, and Mateo makes a startling discovery about Marcus.

S04E20-Shoes burning.jpg    "CLOUD9FAIL" May 9, 2019
Directed by: Betsy Thomas - Written by: John Kazlauskas & Josh Malmuth

When a photo of a mess at store 1217 goes viral, Amy and Jonah try to use it to their advantage, while Dina starts hunting for the anonymous tweeter. And with money tight now that their hours have been cut back, Mateo, Cheyenne, Garrett, and Glenn sell their personal items in the store.

S04E21-Sandra on checkout.jpg    "Sandra's Fight" May 16, 2019
Directed by: America Ferrera - Written by: Sean Lee & Jen Vierck

Amy and Dina visit Cloud 9 corporate to fix problems caused by Sandra's misguided activism, while Jonah tries to sabotage an employee meeting and Garrett tries to prove to his co-workers that he's a good person.

S04E22-Mateo in ICE van.jpg    "Employee Appreciation Day" May 16, 2019
Directed by: Jeffrey Blitz - Written by: Justin Spitzer

Amy and Jonah find themselves on opposing sides as corporate tries to win over employees by showering them with treats. But when the company's tactics grow more extreme, everyone must band together to save one of their own.

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