Superstore is usually filled with fun antics and silly problems. And no matter what, the Cloud9 crew can always get out of a jam. But not this time.
This week’s episode ended with a soul-crushing scene of Mateo being taken away by ICE while his co-workers watched hopelessly.
A reminder: Mateo was brought into the country from the Philippines when he was a young child. He didn’t actually know he was here illegally until Jonas proposed the idea to him. Mateo later confirmed the news with a phone call to his grandmother.
Since then, Mateo’s status has come up a few times throughout the series. He was even discovered by Glenn after Saeed ratted him out. But luckily, Glenn took mercy on him and it seemed like Mateo was finally safe.
Cue this week’s episode when the threat of unionization prompted corporate to send in a whole crew of ICE enforcers.
The entire episode, we watched as Amy, Cheyenne, and the crew try to figure out how to get Mateo out of the store safely. But for the first time, they can’t save him.
Superstore has addressed a few serious issues before — maternity leave, healthcare disparities — but they always balanced it out with light-hearted jokes and whimsy. And every time, things ended up ok.
Watching Mateo get taken away was heartbreaking and way too real. But it had to happen. Ever since Trump took office, he’s affected every aspect of our lives like a virus.
I’m proud of Superstore for taking this huge leap. Because by getting political, they’ve officially crossed into new territory and they can never go back.
But the truth is, we can no longer pretend that Trump hasn’t infiltrated every aspect of our lives. If Mateo were to walk away scot-free, it would be a lie.