Warning: spoilers ahead for the series finale of Superstore on NBC.
A comedy era has ended on NBC with the series finale of Superstore, but fans got to leave the show behind knowing that the finale delivered happy endings for just about everybody despite a foreboding setup. The finale also delivered resolution for a mystery that had popped up time and again over the years of the series before returning with a vengeance in the penultimate episode. I am, of course, referring to the running joke mystery of the severed feet that had a tendency to turn up in Cloud 9.
The penultimate episode of Superstore actually aired as the first half of the hour-long Superstore finale event, and it seemed like it was giving one last hurrah to the mysterious foot severer, and in grand fashion. The employees found a bag full of severed feet in the store, and shenanigans naturally ensued as they tried to hide the bag of feet from being discovered during an inspection.
That seemed likely to be the end of the gag, but the finale had one more surprise in store: the foot severer was none other than Elias, and he had one last foot to plant. It wasn't a major character or a nobody doing the deed all these years, but rather somebody who has been in the background all along.
The reveal came in an interstitial rather than any kind of huge twist, so viewers who happened to look away from the screen at the wrong moment could easily have missed Elias planting a severed foot on a shelf, but the mystery is officially solved. Superstore co-showrunner Jonathan Green opened up about the reveal to CinemaBlend and other outlets. When I asked if this is a mystery the Superstore team always intended to solve this way, Green said:
We had a lot of discussions in the writers room about like, whether that was actually something that needed to be resolved at all. Is it sort of the thing that is out there that we can use as sort of running jokes throughout the series, but not necessarily like a mystery that viewers are dying to find out the whodunnit? So, you know, in the end, we felt like it was both for Episode 14. It gave us a good sort of culmination of this running joke that had been set up over the years. And then in the finale that the reveal of Elias was sort of thrown in.
The source of the severed feet was a mystery in the grand scheme of Superstore, starting back when the first foot turned up in the Season 3 premiere and had everybody at Cloud 9 convinced that it belonged to Brett before Brett showed up with both feet very much still attached, but it wasn't the kind of mystery that necessarily needed solving since it was played for laughs. Fortunately for those of us who wanted to know, however, Superstore took a quick moment in the finale to reveal Elias as the person with the penchant for chopping feet.
Elias was an inspired choice for the reveal of the person who has been severing and planting feet for years. He's definitely a familiar face, as actor Danny Gura has been playing Elias the Cloud 9 employee since all the way back in Season 1. But Elias isn't the kind of major character that a twist reveal that he has been cutting off limbs means a retcon of any kind. Elias was more or less a very familiar blank slate, and Jonathan Green along with co-showrunner Gabe Miller decided to use that blank slate to turn Elias into the guy who planted severed feet. That wasn't always a guarantee, though, as Green continued about the reveal:
For a while we were like, 'Well, do we want to do this? Do we not want to do this? Maybe this gets cut from the episode. Maybe we don't.' But yeah, we ended up liking that just as an interstitial throwaway joke, but not too much attention put on it. And that reveal just seemed like, you know, he's the last guy is you'd suspect of anything like that. Seemed like a fun way to end that.
My only question now is whether the closing of Cloud 9 means that Elias' habit of chopping off and planting feet is done for good, or if he'll start striking elsewhere. In all seriousness, as much as I loved the scene of Amy convincing Jonah that she's all-in again followed by the happily-ever-after montage in the series finale, the interstitial reveal about Elias is one of my favorite moments of the episode. In fact, it was my big laugh-out-loud moment of those final two episodes.
Even though Superstore only just ended its run on NBC, it's never too early (or late!) for a rewatch. The full six seasons are available streaming on Hulu now. While some might argue that the show ended too soon and there were still stories to be told, the end was more or less nigh once the news broke that star America Ferrera was leaving in Season 5, and Superstore at least had enough time to prepare a fitting farewell for all the characters rather than wind up cancelled on a giant cliffhanger.