School is back in session.
As our favorite teachers return to Abbott Public School for development day ahead of the students’ first day of school, chaos ensues, particularly for Janine.
Since her breakup with Tariq, she’s been trying to keep it together and pretend like nothing is wrong, but the truth is, everything is wrong.
While she holds it together for the first half of the day, even impressing her colleagues with the strides she’s made and how organized she is, things quickly spiral out of control.
First, Jacob oversees an email from her landlord that says her rent is overdue. She’s facing eviction, but Janine is in denial because she’s determined to be okay. When she dismisses Jacob’s concerns, he tells everyone, including Gregory, who calls her out on it immediately.
From there, things just continue taking a turn for the worse. Gritty, the Philadelphia hockey mascot that Janine managed to book for the first day of school, arrives a week early because she got her days mixed up. She then admits that she hasn’t been paying her bills because she can’t afford them without Tariq’s contributions.
But the last straw is when she gets a boot on her car for unpaid parking tickets. Janine informs the city worker that she hasn’t been paying them because the driving violations belonged to Tariq, which is when she’s hit with the hard truth that if it’s her vehicle, it’s her responsibility. I would think that a teacher like Janine would know that, but I’m also impressed with her desire to force some responsibility onto Tariq. She’s been funding his life for far too long.
Janine eventually breaks, but it’s all for the best because she has a solid support system in her colleagues, especially Barbara and Melissa, who have been there and done that and know that there’s no way to avoid the heartache that comes with a breakup. The only way over is through it, and Janine needs to face the pain and acknowledge that it doesn’t make her any less than.
And, in the long run, it’ll be the best decision she could’ve made because while she was wrong about a lot of things, she wasn’t wrong about the fact that it was the right choice. She outgrew Tariq, and seeing how unfazed he was when he moved out, he didn’t fully appreciate all that she had to offer.
And Gregory? He noticed the new side part. A man doesn’t notice the side part unless he’s smitten. Of course, audiences already knew that, but it seems like Janine is finally considering him in a new light… when he ends things with Taylor, that is. If he’s even with her anymore.
Barbara and Melissa weren’t interested in participating in Janine’s “wisdom swaps” portion of the mixer, but they imparted their wisdom on their younger colleagues nevertheless. They are Abbott’s very own superheroes!
In addition to helping Janine work through her break-up, Barbara also helped Gregory, a first-year full-time teacher, figure out that the magic of being a teacher is simply doing the best they can. Every teacher can attest to the unattainable goals set by the school districts, but the curriculum, as Barbara pointed out, is a mere suggestion. They are much more than teachers—they are guides, counselors, and mentors. They try their best every year.
After Barbara helped him navigate the first week jitters, Gregory took her advice to heart and did the best with what he had. He braved the school’s creepy basement and dug up an ADA desk for her wheelchair student. And the joy on their faces was well worth it.
Abbott Elementary may be a 20-minute sitcom, but it has so much heart and deals with some of the most difficult realities for teachers, including the lack of funding and being set up to fail. This season, there’s an added effort to be more inclusive. In addition to the wheelchair student, Jacob, who boasts all about the trip he took, took on ASL, which came in handy when he welcomed a deaf student into his classroom.
Melissa, however, was given 10 additional students as a mix of second and third grade. Every teacher is being tasked with new responsibilities and challenges, but since they’re all there because they love their students, they all rise to the occasion every single time.
Elsewhere, Jacob helped cover Janine’s finances with the money for his student loans (and didn’t seem phased because Joey B is getting rid of them anyway), Ava ran a side hustle in the school parking lot because, of course, she did, and Gregory continued to be the funniest character using only his facial expressions.
It’s going to be a good year for these Emmy-award-winning characters… I just know it!
What did you think of the premiere of Abbott Elementary Season 2?
Abbott Elementary Recap – Wrong Delivery (2×02)
Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 2 is on a mission to underscore exactly why it deserved that Emmy for outstanding writing.
“Wrong Delivery” might be the funniest episode to date solely because of the bit about Barbara confusing Black actors with white ones. The delivery from the cast, the perfectly chosen names, the way everyone tried to figure out who she was actually talking about, and the way they all let her go out misidentifying because it was “easier this way” made for some hilarious moments.
And honestly, I can’t even blame Barbara for confusing Milly Bobby Brown and Bobby Brown! She can get away with anything and everything in my book.
The rest of the episode dug deeper into the issues plaguing public schools and their dedicated teachers, as the staff at Abbott took a little trip to the nearby charter school, Addington Elementary, and got a firm understanding of how underfunded they are.
Janine, mostly, took the comparisons to heart, setting out on a mission to better Abbott with the grant money they received. While everyone agreed to spend it on the basics—cleaning supplies—Janine wanted to find a way to make the children feel special by buying a computer for the library since Addington had a whole computer lab for their kids.
Ava figured that the only way to settle this debate was to stage Shark Tank with each teacher and professional presenting their case. Not only was it a smart opportunity for ABC to promote one of their other shows, but it also allowed for some hilarity to ensue as Ava’s fellow sharks were Mr. Johnson and little Ava, Courtney.
Janine over delivered with a very over-the-top presentation (on brand for her), but once again, Barbara and Melissa proved that they knew what they were doing better than anyone. After years of teaching at Abbott, they understood that the key to success was to take care of the basic and fundamental needs of their students; everything else was the fluff on top that wasn’t exactly necessary.
Janine may have convinced the sharks to give her the money, but her efforts were wasted when a mouse outbreak in the cafeteria prompted them to use up the funds to pay the exterminator. Hey, at least it wasn’t rats!
Ava may not always have the school front of mind, but she heard Janine’s plea to make the kids feel special and ordered a water ice truck, which, in turn, made the Addington kids jealous of Abbott’s students. People always want what they don’t have. And Abbott’s students were perfectly content with this one special day. Because, while a computer lab with new tech is nice, it doesn’t necessarily measure up to caring teachers who have your best interest at heart.
Janine has a good heart and wants to help the students, but sometimes, she gets caught up rather than seeing the big picture, so it’s good that she has Melissa and Barbara around to keep her grounded.
Elsewhere, Gregory dealt with his Taylor situation. His romance with Barbara’s daughter was fizzling out, but he didn’t know how to end things without upsetting Barabara. The duo ignored each other in the halls, which made for some tense and awkward moments before Jacob suggested that Gregory “peters out” of the relationship, which is slightly nicer than just ghosting someone. He was on board until Janine helped him realize that he’s more of a straightforward shooter rather than the guy who skirts around the truth.
When Gregory confronted Barbara about Taylor, she, in turn, informed him that she was sorry that her daughter chose to “peter out” of the relationship, noting that she felt he was a “broke boi.” Harsh. He’s just trying his best while uplifting the youth!
Overall, it was a hard day for Gregory, who was also dealing with a malfunctioning AC unit, but in the end, the breakup leaves the door open for Gregory and Janine to finally get together. Well, first they have to be honest about their feelings for each other, but you know it’s coming!
Other highlights from the episode:
- Melissa starting with her doppelganger at the charter school before revealing it’s her sister.
- Ava’s comment about the 2021 Khloe K and the 2022 Khloe K being unrecognizable.
What did you think of the second episode of Abbott Elementary season 2?
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