'Superstore': What Happened to Mateo in the Season 5 Premiere?
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Superstore Season 5, Episode 1, "Cloud 9.0"]
Superstore finally returned after one big cliffhanger in the Season 4 finale, and with the Season 5 premiere came some answers to the question many fans have — what's going to happen to Mateo (Nico Santos)?
In the prior season's finale, he was rounded up by ICE in a workplace raid, much to his coworker's horror as they tried to shield him from being apprehended. Season 5 doesn't disappoint, as the premiere opens up with a candlelight vigil for Mateo being held by his fellow Cloud 9 employees outside the detention center he's in.
As they rally with signs and get to chatting about a possible strategy of helping him get out, they quickly learn it may be a tougher process than they may have thought. Back at the store, Dina (Lauren Ash) is busy at work constructing a model of the detention center, revealing that she hopes to break Mateo out herself.
Meanwhile, Amy (America Ferrera) questions Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) about whether she's gone to see Mateo since he was detained. It becomes clear to Amy that Cheyenne is coming up with excuses not to see him, despite revealing that she's keeping tabs on things for when he "returns."
Later on though, Cheyenne has a major meltdown over a customer messing up an end-cap on an aisle for no apparent reason. But there is deeper meaning to her upset — Amy asks if maybe Cheyenne got frustrated because Mateo was the last person to stock that end-cap.
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Sure, Cheyenne considers it, but ultimately brushes off Amy's consideration and goes back to the floor. When a new robot helper (introduced as a means to improve the work flow) bumps into the end-cap, Cheyenne tackles it, and it's then that Amy takes matters into her own hands by forcing Cheyenne to finally face Mateo, who has been asking to see her.
Finally, we come face-to-face with Mateo at the same time his closest friend Cheyenne does, and it's emotional to say the least. "It's bad in here, it's cold and there aren't enough blankets," Mateo says when Cheyenne asks how things really are. "It's flat out disgusting, and apparently this is one of the nicer places," he says honestly.
"I just want to go home," Mateo says plainly, and everyone's hearts break at the same time.
When Dina's break-out plan goes a little too far, Garrett (Colton Dunn) stops her, but when he tries to apologize for not taking her plan seriously, she shares that she feels responsible for Mateo's detaining. When Garrett tells her it's not her fault, she turns those words around and blames him, saying she hasn't been right since he let her beloved pet birds escape in Season 4.
The cast reflects on the heartbreaking moment, and the writers talk incorporating the actors' wishes into their characters.
For the time being, Mateo remains in the ICE detention center — not too dissimilar to a prison. Hopefully the troops at Cloud 9 can make a miracle happen for their friend. Find out what happens next by tuning in for Episode 2 on Thursday, October 3.
Superstore, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC