Superstore: The Most Engaging Character Says the Least
Ian Goodwillie
Superstore Brett
Superstore Brett
Building an engaging and funny sitcom requires a cast of main and secondary characters who fans connect with, but on Superstore, that extended to a group of recurring, often silent background characters. The best of them was Brett. While he spoke only once in Superstore and rarely moved, his story became legendary and a major source of comedy.
Brett Kobashigawa was a long-time employee of Cloud 9 Store 1217 and built up an incredible reputation among the staff. During the annual Color Wars event in Season 1, Episode 7, two teams tried to out-sell each other, and as Jonah pointed out, Brett was a machine of a salesman, despite never moving or speaking to anyone on screen. This exemplified the deep mythology that surrounds the character. Despite being mysterious on an entirely different level, Brett was at the core of the series.
Throughout it, there were many hints that indicated Brett as a much bigger part of this world than even his co-workers and friends seemed to know about. In Season 5, Episode 6, "Trick-or-Treat," a new district manager, Maya Fonseca, arrived, and unlike the previous district manager, Maya was not openly hostile toward Amy or Store 1217 itself. Maya also arrived when more union cards were coming in. When she accidentally left with the cards, Amy tried to track her down, and she was informed that Maya had stopped to have a heated, emotionally charged argument with Brett before going to her car.
Brett pulls a knife on Mateo
Brett pulls a knife on Mateo
Like the rest of Brett's history, nothing further about his past with Maya had been revealed. Brett also brought out strong emotions in his co-workers, like at the end of Season 2, where a tornado destroyed the store and the only apparent casualty was Brett. Here, he spoke his only lines in Superstore, an expletive directed at the tornado as it bore down on him in the Cloud 9 parking lot.
When Season 3 started, everyone at the store believed Brett died. They did everything they could to figure out what happened, except calling his house where he had been the entire time. In Season 3, Episode 2, "Brett's Dead," the staff held a service for Brett and erected a memorial to him. Another silent co-worker, Heather, even left a pair of her underwear on his photo as tribute.
Possibly the funniest and most unexpected moment from Brett happened in Season 2, Episode 17, "Mateo's Last Day." Mateo was looking for someone to fight him as a means of trying to gain asylum. He asked Brett, who then pulled a switchblade on Mateo without missing a beat. No one, particularly Mateo, saw that coming.
With Superstore coming to an end after Season 6, Brett's full story will likely never be known. That's probably for the best. The mystery surrounding Brett made him a compelling character, one that had perfect moments of comedy. It was a testament to the writing of Superstore and the brilliantly subtle performance from Jon Miyahara.