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Abbott Elementary Season Finale Review – It’s a Slow Burn After All (222)

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY - “Franklin Institute” - Abbott Elementary takes a field trip to the Franklin Institute. Gregory is eager to spend time with a reluctant Janine who is avoiding him. Ava teaches the students about aliens, leading to chaos when someone spots an extraterrestrial in the museum. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19 (9:00-9:32 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Eric Liebowitz) QUINTA BRUNSON, TYLER JAMES WILLIAMS

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Wowie… that was a bummer. That was my initial reaction after Janine turned Gregory down on Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 22. But it wasn’t actually a bummer at all. 

Fans expected the duo—who has been crushing on each other since their first day at Abbott (love at first sight!)—to finally make a move on each other in the season finale, but when has Abbott ever done what was expected?

The mockumentary may be your typical workplace comedy on the surface, but it colors outside the lines, which is what has made the show so relatable, realistic, and most of all, unlike any other on television. 

And Janine and Gregory’s slow burn has been the best part of it. There are so many TV couples we ship that lose their magic the moment they get together—the chemistry only lives in the “will they or won’t they.”

Abbott is making sure that isn’t the case with Janine and Gregory. 

However, Janine’s selfish decision also prioritized something much more important than what fans want (because we know shows sometimes give into fan demands, which actually cheapens the storyline)—they led with the plot that made the most sense for the characters. 

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY – “Franklin Institute” – Abbott Elementary takes a field trip to the Franklin Institute. Gregory is eager to spend time with a reluctant Janine who is avoiding him. Ava teaches the students about aliens, leading to chaos when someone spots an extraterrestrial in the museum. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19 (9:00-9:32 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Eric Liebowitz)
QUINTA BRUNSON, TYLER JAMES WILLIAMS

It couldn’t have been easy arriving at this pivotal point with Gregory and Janine and then deciding not to give into that storyline, especially when they both admitted that they have deep feelings for each other (and they were pouring their hearts out to each other in a literal heart display that could be heard subtly beating in the background making for a perfect moment), but it was necessary for Janine’s character growth. She’s been having a bit of an identity crisis this season, and her brief but life-changing chat with Maurice, and surprisingly, later Ava, put things into perspective for her. 

https://twitter.com/moonlitpisces21/status/1648860791641108480?s=20

She went from one very long and serious relationship with Tariq to another one with Maurice, but she hasn’t been in a healthy or promising relationship with herself. She needed to explore that a little bit more before throwing herself into another relationship, especially one that was so real.

In addition to realizing the importance and necessity of being selfish sometimes (putting yourself first), Janine also knew that this wasn’t a relationship she could ever risk not working out. There was no going back, and if she was going to make that jump, she needed to be fully ready. They love each other so much, they can’t risk hurting one another.

It takes a lot to turn down the person that makes your heart skip a beat, gives you those flutters, and puts a smile on your face daily, but Janine knew it was the right call. And we haven’t seen her be so confident in her decision, like, ever. 

Janine and Gregory’s Franklin Institute moment proves how important the timing is; it wasn’t the right time now, but I’m confident it will be in the future when they are both ready, and it will only be that much sweeter. 

Gregory was heartbroken, but he found the positive in the situation as well, and he got a huge relief from not having to carry around those feelings for Janine anymore now that it was all in the open. 

And there’s a reason why “if it’s meant to be” is so fitting here—if it’s meant to be, they will find a way back to each other.

But for now, they’ll spend the summer brunching as the after-school crew and finding themselves. It’s clear that Gregory has a lot to figure out as well because otherwise he wouldn’t have pursued two relationships this season that he wasn’t fully invested in or getting anything out of. 

It was also nice to see the moment between Janine and Gregory happen outside of school walls. They weren’t coworkers or teachers but two friends trying to navigate their complex feelings. The choice to have that conversation in pajamas was key, and while they weren’t on their own turf, per se, the change in attire was so much more personal, alluding to a comfort level between the two of them. 

The rest of the episode was pure Abbott magic—from Ava scaring the children with her conspiracy theories to the children panicking after thinking that Barb was an alien because of her CPAP machine and right down to Gregory and Jacob’s bro hug. Some might say, the real romance was blooming in Gregory and Jacob’s friendship. 

Abbott always strikes the right chord, blending the comedy into the emotional beats of the series. 

As for the best moment of the episode? Look, the way Gregory just laid out his feelings for Janine was everything, but his love for her has always been evident in the nuanced moments, so my vote goes to Gregory informing her that he took her recommendation to watch Night at the Museum seriously because he wants to know what she likes. SWOON! Also, the way he smiled after telling Jacob about their kiss was also very adorable. 

Am I in love with Gregory? *Stares nervously into the camera*

What did you think of the Season 2 finale? Do you wish they just let Janine and Gregory have their moment or did you like how they explored this new shift in the dynamic?

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Abbott Elementary'

Abbott Elementary Recap Season 3 Episode 3- Gregory’s Garden Goofballs

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Abbott Elementary Review Season 3 Episode 3- Gregory's Garden Goofballs

Amid the plethora of laughs delivered in any given episode of Abbott Elementary, the sitcom always finds a way to weave in a poignant lesson about the efforts of teachers to come through for their students.

The effort was evident on Abbott Elementary Season 3 Episode 3 in more ways than one. The obvious one was Janine’s devotion to finding Jacob Hill’s hard-of-hearing student, Imani, a qualified ASL interpreter. And though the red tape and logistical loopholes almost made her give up, she was swiftly reminded why she’s in the position at the district in the first place—Ava nudged her by stating that they do what they have to do for their kids, while Manny encouraged Janine to look at less conventional ways to do what needs to be done. After all, as he pointed out, she got the position for her creative problem-solving skills.

So, Janine did just that—she got Imani’s parent’s number, encouraged them to go public with the district’s failure to provide accommodations and the threat of bad press was the perfect amount of pressure for them to green light all of Janine’s requests.

As a teacher, or a former teacher who now wants to invoke change from the top, Janine can’t bring herself not to care, and it’s teachers like this, who don’t do it for the money, that are so needed. They advocate for the children, the schools, the teachers, the needs, and everything in between.  One small ripple can make a big change!  

Gregory’s contribution may have been on a smaller scale, but his impact was just as effective, if not more, as he found himself dubbed the “cool” teacher—one that kids looked up to for advice and guidance. While his first attempt at providing relationship advice didn’t go over so well (but, quite honestly, I think it was right on the money to tell boys to focus on school rather than girls), he ended up finding the right balance and offering up himself as a mentor to those who needed it. Yes, even if that meant a safe space to pass gas!

In fact, before Gregory came around to the idea of being a “cool teacher,” he needed a little push from his peers, namely Melissa and Mr. Johnson, who both gave their all for the kids. And we love to see it. 

And fans who were bummed when Janine and Tariq broke up because it meant he wouldn’t be around as much, have no fear, because the sitcom knows just how much we all love him, and he’s here to stay, for now. 

Tariq hilariously appeared several times throughout the episode dropping his “son” to and from school, before seeking out Barbara’s advice on how to connect with his stepson. Giving life advice as a teacher seemingly never stops—and neither does Barbara’s impact as a “step-teacher.”

While the “performance of the week” award would hands-down go to Tariq’s Zack Fox, the moment of the week had to be Mr. Johnson popping in to state “be gone, Satan” when he sees a young girl crying, all while telling everyone he’s going to grab his “holy mop water.”

Mr. Johnson remains a scene-stealer, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

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‘Abbott Elementary’s Season 3 Promo Goes Viral With Jeremy Allen White Joke

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'Abbott Elementary's Season 3 Promo Goes Viral With Jeremy Allen White Joke

Imagine a world in which Abbott Elementary and The Bear exist in each other’s orbit.

The former almost made it happen with its brand new promo for the upcoming third season went viral following a joke about Jeremy Allen White.

In the snippet, Ava (Janelle James) calls Gregory (Tyler James Williams) “Jeremy Allen Black” after he whips out his muscular arms to try to convince her to loosen up on the new rules she’s introduced after spending the summer at Harvard. 

Someone said that the scene alone deserves an Emmy, adding, “writers are writing.”

That Jeremy Allen Black joke at the end. Yeah another banger semester incoming,” someone else quipped, as another added, “give quinta the emmy, pulitzer, all of them!”

Plenty more memes piled in on X (or what we all still call Twitter): 

“so if in the abbott universe jeremy allen white exists does that mean that ayo edebiri also exists and if so how does ayesha fit into this equation,” someone else questioned referring to Janine’s (Quinta Brunson) sister Ayesha (Ayo Edebiri)—and we have to admit, they have a point. 

“Ok so if Jeremy Allen White is in this universe does that mean Ayo Edebiri is? And does Quinta think her sister looks like her?” another user pointed out. 

And if the joke was somehow lost on you, don’t worry, we got you—it’s a play on Jeremy’s recent viral (and steamy) Calvin Klein underwear ad that he people talking, retweeting, resharing, and gawking. 

The actor, who is also known as Lip from Shameless, nearly broke the internet by flaunting his muscular physique—arms and all. 

Abbott Elementary’s new promo promises plenty of laughs right from the start on Feb. 7, as Janine considers adding vulgar language to her vocabulary (stopping Gregory in his tracks) and Gregory and Janine swear that things aren’t odd between them despite their near-romance last season, to which everyone’s favorite janitor Mr. Johnson (William Stanford Davis) simply replies, “interesting,” totally unconvinced. 

Oh man, it’s great to have television back again! 

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Abbott Elementary Review – Mom (221)

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Abbott Elementary Mom Recap

I know the focus of Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 21 was supposed to be Janine’s mom, but it only further emphasized just how incredibly fantastic Barbara is. 

There’s no doubt about it, Janine’s work mom trumps her real-life mom, who has always been a bit of a disappointment in Janine’s life, and her recent visit was no exception. 

Taraji P. Henson guest-starred in the role of Vanetta, Janine’s mom who shows up at Abbott seemingly because she misses her daughter before the true and heartbreaking reason comes to light—she needs money to pay her phone bill so that they don’t turn off her phone. She’s using her daughter and the ugh immediately sets in. 

The way Janine recognized her mom’s heels clicking from far away was priceless and tapped into some deep-rooted trauma. The more we know about Janine, the more I feel bad and want to give her the biggest hug to heal those broken parts. 

Henson was perfectly cast, bringing a smidge of that Cookie energy, and proving that Abbott really brings the best of the best to their little show that could. When she first walked in, I immediately got Ava vibes, so it was really great to see the duo side-by-side and not getting along despite the similarities. Ava acknowledged that Vanetta could kick her ass, which is a first—we’ve never seen Ava scared or intimated of anyone. She’s finally met her match.

https://twitter.com/haworthes/status/1646320651060523008?s=20

It didn’t stop her from being Ava, though, saying she felt bad such a cool woman had Janine as a daughter. She’s just lucky Vanetta didn’t hear that particular comment because she made it clear that she would take down anyone who hurt her baby girl.

It’s very clear that she has a lot of love for Janine, but they also have a pretty toxic relationship. Vanetta knew exactly how her daughter would respond, dropping that little phone bill dilemma into the mix and hoping Janine would offer to pay wihtout her asking. 

And Janine would typically cave into such manipulation and help out at her own expense hoping to get earn mother’s love.

It’s a fact Barbara also knew because she’s spent so much time with Janine—she knows her heart and how she operates. 

While Melissa was probably right about suggesting that Barbara minds her own business and stays out of family matters, the truth is that Barbara couldn’t let this incident take away Janine’s solo vacation plans; she was finally doing something for herself, she worked hard for it, and most importantly, she deserved it. 

The confrontation between Barbara and Vanetta was spicy (and two legends giving this scene their all!), even if Barb never intended for it to go down that way. She sang Janine’s praiseto offering to pay for the bill herself so as to not inconvenience Janine. She also didn’t want her to think that her mother was simply taking advantage. 

However, Janine already knew, and this time, she was prepared not to cave. She offered to fix the situation for her mother, put her on a payment plan, and provide her with the first two payments, but she was not going to take the hit and give up her vacation. 

And honestly, it’s some serious growth from Janine, who is selfless and a people-pleaser through and through. 

Janine set those boundaries and stuck by them, and Barbara couldn’t be prouder.

It was also evident Vanetta was lying because anyone who knows Barbara knows she’d never square up! 

We saw just how fractured Janine’s relationship was with her mother—she didn’t even know her daughter broke up with Tariq, yet Barbara made an effort to be there for Janine personally and professionally every single day. 

It’s clear that all Janine has ever longed for it a motherly figure to do things with, even if it’s something basic as shopping, and Barbara was proud to fill that role. And at Ross, no less. Who can pass up their good deals?

It was such a heartwarming episode proving that Barbara is mother, while also giving fans a glimpse into Janine’s complicated upbringing, allowing fans to understand her character a little better.

As for Gregory, he realized he was not into small talk, nor was he a social butterfly like some of his coworkers. Ava might not be a great principal, but she knows how to work a room and get people on her side, and that matters a lot at the end of the day. 

Eventually, Gregory found his footing, winning over Shanae, who initially didn’t want anything to do with him. I truly thought there was going to be more to the story between them, but I guess everyone just avoided Gregory because of his cold and unapproachable demeanor. 

There wasn’t much on the Gregory and Janine front. He didn’t even interact with her mother, which felt like a bit of a missed opportunity. It would’ve been so great to see, especially if she had picked up on the chemistry.

However, the brief scene at the end where they both debrief about how their day went was so cute. How are they not dating yet?

And lastly—Jacob’s magic should’ve made more of an impact on his co-workers. Ava was genuinely geeking over it, but his tricks were impressive. Did you see how he bent the spoon? 

There needs to be a talent show at Abbott because I stan and I need more, Jacob.

And who knew Jacob and Shanea were the duo we never knew we needed? Her interactions with Jacob were so genuine; she may be the only person who actually has a true friendship with him and likes him for who he is other than Janine! 

Abbott, let’s bring her back! 

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