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SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

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Abbott Elementary – Episodes 1.05 and 1.06 – Double Review


As most of the broadcast schedule takes a break during the winter Olympics ABC continues to air new episodes of its delightful new comedy Abbott Elementary. With a new episode tomorrow it’s a good time for us do a recap of the last two outings of the show.

1.05 – Janine spirals after getting a seemingly bad review about her teaching, which compares her experience to Melissa’s and merrily finds her somewhat lacking in that area. After a student, Courtney, gets transferred out of her Melissa’s class into hers she gets a bit full of herself and takes her frustrations out on Mrs.Schemmenti, going so far as to call her a bad teacher. This prompts Melissa to let Janine handle the new student without the appropriate warning that Courtney is in fact a rather difficult child. Ava and Barb place a bet on Janine’s handling of the situation, with Mr Johnson getting in on the action as well, all while Janine struggles to manage Courtney who acts out at every turn and disrupts the classroom. When she confronts Melissa about leaving her to handle such a case without the appropriate heads up, Melissa points out that when she tried to do so Janine was the one who got mean and defensive. In the end Janine apologises and the two put their heads together to try and solve the Courtney problem. They realise that skipping her class might be the right approach as a more challenging workload would keep her distracted. It’s indeed an excellent plan... so much so that Courtney needing to skip second grade should have already happened as it was in her file. It was just that Ava, in typical Ava fashion had forgotten about it. In the end we find out that Bard won the bet as Janine indeed solved and handled the Courtney situation as a pro, and hadn’t bet against Janine as she originally thought.

Meanwhile Jacob too is having issues with his own form a disruptive class, seeing that he is having a hard time with his students who seem to lack any kind of respect for him, and roast him at any opportunity. He turns to a reluctant-to-help Gregory for support, and with his involuntary guidance Jacob finds a way to deal with the bullying: When the original suggestion to “turn it back on them” backfires, he instead incorporates the roasts in the teaching and manages to engage and connect with the kids.

1.06 – A new student from a fancy prep school arrives at Abbott, and sets up Janine’s project for the episode of organizing a “gifted program”. She has fond memories of herself being in the gifted program, as well as feeling some of her overachieving students are distracting the teaching process, so she makes it her mission to get the thing off the ground. In a shocking turn of events it’s not that the school doesn’t have funding for such a venture but that it’s hard to set up. Janine takes it upon herself to figure out the logistics of making it happen and recruits Jacob to teach the class. She even gets Ava on board when she realises that the endeavour will give her something to brag about to her friends. But the gifted program begins to make some students feel left out when they see Jacob gets to teach about cool things like hatching chickens. Janine tries to make it up for them and has Melissa get her regular class eggs as well, in a plan that goes awry when her eggs turn out to be snake eggs. Feeling a bit dejected she confides in Gregory, who tells her he thinks the gifted program is a bad idea exactly because it excludes kids, making them feel less than. And this is something he can speak from personal experience, as someone who wasn’t in the gifted program himself. In the end together, they come up with a new plan for the gifted program where they will endorse all forms of intelligence as they will have a rotating class every few weeks. They even convince Ava to go along with it, after her time spent with the new smart student begins to rub her the wrong way.

Elsewhere, Barb notices Melissa’s rapport with Gary, the vending machine refill guy, and tries to gently push her friend to ask him out. A painful divorce has put Melissa on edge and unwilling to put herself out there again. And for all her good intentions Bard makes it hard when Gerald, her husband, sets such a high bar. Still Bard is encouraging and explains that relationships require work. In the end Melissa reaches out to her ex, seeing as he is the only one who can really get where she’s coming from. He has some nice comforting words for her and tells her to go for it... even if he hates her. It’s sweet. And just the right push Melissa needs to give Gary a proper chance.

And that’s all from the show so far! Tune in tomorrow for a brand new episode of Abbott Elementary!