In February, America Ferrera announced that she was leaving Superstore after being on the show for five seasons. Then the pandemic happened and her originally scheduled goodbye episode (a two-parter season finale that only aired the one part back in May) got delayed to Season 6, with Ferrera agreeing to extend her appearance on the show through its milestone 100th episode. I was worried that Superstore would break-up Amy and Jonah (I was right and I hate it), but it ultimately had very little lead-up and gave them a very underwhelming, jarring, and tragic end.
Many of you have already mentioned that Amy and Jonah’s relationship is not what keeps you watching Superstore (it’s not the sole reason I watch, either), but we can’t ignore how well the sitcom handled their romance over the first four seasons. There was sexual tension, there was a lot of buildup, intense chemistry, and they’ve had some of the biggest and most memorable moments on the show. Hell, the entire Cloud 9 staff was also deeply invested in their relationship and had been since day one.
And then the 100th episode happened. Called “California, Part 2,” Amy freaked out when she thought Jonah would propose to her now that they were starting a new life together on the west coast. Amy, out of nowhere, felt that she wasn’t ready for marriage despite the fact that she and Jonah had been together for some years now and, as he put it, were “living together and raising Parker together,” too.
So, what’s the problem, right? Amy explains that she was scared the move to California was accelerating their relationship to the point of discomfort — she didn’t want to make the same mistake marrying Jonah for the wrong reasons the way she did when she married Adam. (For the record, her and Jonah’s relationship is NOTHING like her and Adam’s, but I digress.)
If the groundwork for their break-up had been laid out throughout the back half of Season 5, I could’ve understood where Amy was coming from. However, leaving the big blow-up until Ferrera’s final episode felt disingenuous to the Amy/Jonah relationship and kind of soured the whole thing for me. They did her and this beautiful fictitious couple so, SO dirty.
After Jonah walked away from Amy, angry that she wanted him to come to California and “see where it goes,” the pair didn’t speak to each other for the rest of the damn episode. That’s it, game over, they’re done. It was so pretty horrible. A nod to each other in the episode’s final scene was, what, supposed to make me feel better about the whole thing? Absolutely not. They could have at least had a proper goodbye scene that was sweet, thoughtful, and more indicative of the love they had for each other. But it seems the writers forgot all that.
Instead, their final words were exchanged in a heated and contrived argument because the writers didn’t know what to do now that they had to write off one-half of a genuinely healthy relationship. So they threw it under the bus instead of building up to it in a more authentic manner. In an interview with the LA Times, co-showrunner Gabe Miller said that it felt like the best way to go without going the long-distance relationship route.
“This was the best solution that we all came up with together, the thing that felt most real. We definitely discussed other options, and even entertained the idea of them dating long-distance. But when we thought about how that would actually play out on the show, it seemed like it might be actually more frustrating for viewers to think that Amy is just on the other side of Jonah’s phone calls. And eventually that would peter out and we’d end up having to do an off-camera breakup, which really wouldn’t feel right.”
I wouldn’t have liked an off-camera break-up either, Gabe, but my issue is in the WAY that it was handled, not in the actual break-up itself (we all knew that was coming the moment Ferrera said she was leaving). In any case, Superstore lost some of its shine when Justin Spitzer left after Season 4 and I can’t help but wonder how he would have tackled the Amy/Jonah break-up had he stuck around. Between the writing, Ferrara’s departure, and the trajectory of the show in general (yes, including the sad state of Amy and Jonah’s now-ruined relationship), I don’t know that I’ll stick around much longer either.
Header Image Source: NBC