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Abbott Elementary - 2 Ava 2 Fest Review - Janine Decides

18 Apr 2024

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Ava Fest, “2 Ava 2 Fest” or as it should be commonly known as, this year's Open House is back this year and once again Ava (Janelle James) has promised a well known musical act. This year, it’s Questlove of the Roots. However, will she actually deliver or is this another Jasmine Sullivan fiasco?  

The episode opens with the cafeteria staff in a panic (a la The Bear style ) cooking up as much chicken nuggets and peas as they can in preparation of Ava Fest with Mr. Johnson (William Stanford Davis) serving as the taste tester. In his words, the food was trash and the cafeteria staff was not happy. The scene was pure comedy and adds to the extreme ridiculousness the show plays on so well. 

"2 Ava 2 Fest"- ABBOTT ELEMENTARY -William Stanford Davis as Mr. Johnson, Nikea Gamby-Turner as Shanae and Reggie Conquest as Devin. Photo: Gilles Mingasson/ABC ©2024 Disney. All Rights Reserved

Everyone at the district (minus the HR assistant) are excited to welcome Janine (Quinta Brunson) permanently to the team. Her library program is doing extremely well and they need her help on more projects they have lined up. They are even throwing her a big party to celebrate. We have seen all season, Janine struggle with her decision about working for the district and this episode is no exception. 

Gregory (Tyler James Williams) is going to deliver his project, Garden Goofballs, to the district which gives everyone the opportunity to give their gifts and well wishes to Janine, except Ava who wants Janine’s lanyard back. Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph), Jacob (Chris Perfetti) and Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) are all trying to stop Ava from getting the community’s hopes up about Questlove attending 2 Ava 2 Fest. Jacob sent out flyers saying he would not be attending, Barbara has her church choir on standby and Melissa will be doing impressions of famous actors that definitely need some work. 

When Gregory does make it to the district we of course get that tension between he and Janine and the will they, won’t they continue. Gregory is somewhat happy for Janine as she helped him realize Abbott is where he belongs. Janine has everything she could want, access to help Abbott (even though she had to be reminded she helps all the schools in the district, not just Abbott), a higher salary, an office with a view, a Mac computer, a parking spot, a 401k and health insurance. All of this and her giant “welcome to the team party” overwhelms her and she needs a minute. She cannot shake Abbott Elementary. When she reads the card Barbara gave her, it appears she makes her final decision. 

Back at 2 Ava 2 Fest, parents are getting annoyed that Questlove is not there and Barbara finally reads Ava for all her lies over the last four or five years while Ava looks confused that she has done anything wrong. Just when Barbara was getting ready to finish her read, Questlove appears and the crew have to eat crow. Chris Perfetti (Jacob) gives the best facial expressions in awkward moments. 

"2 Ava 2 Fest"- ABBOTT ELEMENTARY -Janelle James as Ava Coleman and Questlove Photo: Gilles Mingasson/ABC ©2024 Disney. All Rights Reserved

This show is really great at getting Philly natives to make cameos and you never know who will be next. Just goes to show you the star power that Quinta Brunson has as her star is on the rise. Who knows, maybe one day we will see another West Philly native and Fresh Prince make a surprise cameo. 

While the cameos are great, what is always at the heart of this show are the lessons learned and the students that help teach them. That is exactly what Janine’s second grade class did for her with their card. It helped her decide that Abbott is where she wants to be. She explained this to the crew when she made her return at 2 Ava 2 Fest; although Ava swears Janine is pregnant and everyone believes her in a hilarious scene. 

Her deciding not to take the job may have some unforeseen consequences as Superintendent Reynolds (Keegan-Michael Key) hinted at. The district storyline gave us some great moments and cast of characters. There is still the potential of a love triangle between Janine, Gregory and Manny (Josh Segarra) that could be interesting for the back half of the season. 

"2 Ava 2 Fest"- ABBOTT ELEMENTARY -Qunita Brunson as Janine Teagues and Josh Segarra as Manny. Photo: Gilles Mingasson/ABC ©2024 Disney. All Rights Reserved

We’ve seen Janine grow in her confidence and wardrobe while working at the district. This needs to remain as she travels back to Abbott. We always knew she would return to her roots (pun intended); we wouldn’t get the longing looks between her and Gregory if she didn’t. 

The episode continued to bring the laughs that Abbott Elementary is known for while pulling at your heartstrings a little. The kids are adorable and Ava is one of the funniest if not the funniest characters in the ensemble however, some more growth is needed so she is not one-dimensional. The writers do a really good job of making sure that while having a bigger cast, everyone gets their time to deliver and this week proved just that. 
What did you think of the episode Abbott Elementary fans? Did you want Janine to stay at the district? Do you want to see her with Manny or Gregory? Leave a comment and let’s chat on Twitter, @lovesprina!

About the Author - Je-Ree Olenik
Je-Ree is the definition of a Jersey Girl. A true nerd who loves her comics. When not watching tv she is a paralegal by day. She loves writing, reading, binging all the newest shows and spending time with her family. Follow on Twitter @lovesprina
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