“Abbott Elementary” - Season 2, Episode 13 Review

Story posted January 24, 2023 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Izzy Charboneau

Selling something no one needs is something that everyone who went through the American public school system remembers, just like the students in this week’s episode of “Abbott Elementary.”

At everyone’s favorite school in Philadelphia, the students are selling chocolate bars this week to raise money to go on a field trip, and Barbara is leading the charge. However, her sales tactics are a little old school, and the money is coming in kind of slowly.

Ava discovers this, and she teaches the students a few tactics (scams) of her own that Barbara really doesn’t like. When the two women take the students to the mall and Barbara runs into someone from her church, she figures out that Ava has basically been telling the kids to lie and she is livid.

Barbara confronts Ava about this, and Ava tells her that she never had to learn how to scam because she never had to worry about getting by, and Ava is just trying to give these kids a fighting chance in their lives.

Janelle James’ performance as Ava is truly excellent, and the anticipation builds every episode for her to start getting awarded for it. James steals every scene she’s in with her perfect one-liners, and Ava’s character arc is increasingly promising as we continue to see her actually be good at her job this season.

Meanwhile, we also see the return of rapper Vince Staples as Maurice, Gregory’s friend who Janine met at the hookah bar over winter break. Maurice asks Janine to go on a date with him, and Gregory spends the episode seemingly annoyed by this information.

Jacob notices Gregory’s mood, and asks him if he’s jealous that Maurice is taking Janine out on a date. When Gregory doesn’t deny this, Jacob is prompted to ask Gregory even more questions about the situation.

After being pestered by Jacob, Gregory gives Janine some advice for her date with Maurice and tells her to have a good time.

Mr. Johnson and Jacob have also decided to adopt a cat that they found wandering around the school, and they have some conflicting ideas on how this cat should be cared for. This eventually leads to a custody battle that Melissa has the pleasure of mediating.

It is then revealed that the cat that they have been fighting over actually belongs to a student, and Mr. Johnson is deeply saddened by this development.

This week’s episode of “Abbott Elementary” was probably one of the funniest of the season so far, which is a pretty high bar. The writing for this show gets better every episode, and feels as fresh as it did in season one, which is a good indication that the back half of this season will continue to be great.

Another super exciting thing about this episode is that it has now been all but confirmed that Gregory has feelings for Janine. The audience knew this already, but now Jacob knows, and this will inevitably lead it to come to light for the other characters. This slow burn workplace romance is something fans of the show have been begging for since the pilot episode.

Rating: 4/5

Izzy Charboneau is a second-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email ijc5186@psu.edu.