“Abbott Elementary” - Season 2, Episode 15 Review

Opinion posted February 21, 2023 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Izzy Charboneau

In this episode of “Abbott Elementary,” the school has a crisis, and the characters are all handling it in very different ways.

When a fire breaks out at Abbott Elementary, Principal Ava flees the school, leaving her staff members to deal with it on their own.

Because of this, Gregory decides to take over as “interim principal” and talk to the firemen.

The teachers are informed that Barbara’s shawl fell on top of her candle, which is what started the fire in the teachers’ lounge. Luckily the fire didn’t do much real damage, and Barbara takes full responsibility.

Melissa, meanwhile, is fangirling over the fire truck, saying she always dreamed of being a firefighter because she had family members that did it.

Soon, a trauma counselor named Janet comes to talk to all the students and teachers because of the fire, and she, Gregory and Janine are worried about how Barbara is handling the incident. 

Just in the first 10 minutes, there have already been several notable guests on the show. The fire chief is played by Mike O’Malley, who famously played Kurt Hummel’s father, Burt on “Glee.”

Janet is also played by Shalita Grant, who is known for her roles as Sherry in “You” and Sonja Perry in “NCIS: New Orleans.”

Melissa is excited about the fire trucks and is forcing her bored students to stand out in the cold while she has fun. One of the firefighters asks Jacob if he can get Melissa to stop so that they can leave.

The fire chief is holding a fire safety meeting for the teachers, which Gregory tells Barbara she must attend. However, she storms out a few minutes in, and Melissa fellows her to console her.

Barbara reveals to Melissa that her husband has had a health scare and that she lit the candle so she could have some comfort. She says she has been very stressed waiting for the results of her husband’s test, and that’s why she’s been acting weird about the fire.

Janine and Gregory are still worried about Barbara, and Janet agrees with them. She says everyone else seems fine besides Barbara, but she won’t leave until she knows how Barbara really is.

The kids are all back in their classrooms, and one of Barbara’s students tells her that he was scared of the fire, and she says that it’s okay to be scared, and she was too.

This is one of the sweetest scenes in the season and is a perfect showcase of why Sheryl Lee Ralph won an Emmy for the first season.

Meanwhile, Jacob throws a frisbee onto a roof so that Melissa can use the fire truck ladder to get it down and live out her dreams a little bit.

After her conversation with her student, Barbara thanks Janet for coming, and reveals that she had some stress at home that caused her to act the way she did.

Janet, who had guessed this all along, writes her a note to give her a day off of school, which Barbara takes the next day.

This episode really allows Sheryl Lee Ralph to shine, as giving emotional performances is what she’s best at.

Rate: 3.5/5

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