“Abbott Elementary” - Season 2, Episode 7 Review
Leslie Odom Jr. appeared in this week's episode of “Abbott Elementary,” which is big news for annoying people (Hamilton fans) everywhere.
The new episode, entitled “Attack Ad,” involves the teachers finding out that an attack ad has been airing about them and the school. The teachers are alerted to this when parents and students begin making strange comments towards them, such as a parent telling Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) not to teach her son how to gamble.
Another thing going on at Abbott in this episode is the return of Tariq, played by Zack Fox, Janine’s (Quinta Brunson) ex boyfriend, who the audience hasn’t seen since the season two premiere.
When the teachers and Ava (Janelle James) see the attack ad, they are all furious, and feel that they need to do something. Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph), however, seems to be calmer about it, as the advertisement targeted all her fellow teachers but painted her in a positive light.
Melissa eventually finds the number for the head of the company who is responsible for the attack ad, and she and Ava watch as Jacob (Chris Perfetti) makes the phone call. He starts this call off angrily, but the man on the phone is so charming that he becomes disarmed, and the man says he’ll come to the school for a meeting.
Finally Leslie Odom Jr. is on the screen when the man responsible for the attack ad, Draemond, comes to Abbott. It is soon revealed that Draemond attended Abbott Elementary and was a student in Barbara’s class.
Eventually, Barbara decides to scold Draemond, and he reveals that he attacked Abbott because he felt that the public school system had failed him as a kid, and he didn’t reach his full potential until he enrolled in a charter school. She tells him that the advertisement is just hurting her and her fellow teachers, and he agrees to take the ad off the air.
However, Draemond privately tells the camera later that his goal is to turn all of the schools in Philly into charter schools, so this is likely not the last we’ll see of the character.
During this, Janine was supposed to meet Tariq in the parking lot at lunch to give him the rest of his things, but he comes to her classroom instead. The kids love him, and she reluctantly agrees to let him stay for a while, and even agrees to get dinner with him later as well.
Tariq then runs into Gregory, and he reveals that he’s going to dinner with Janine. This seems to upset Gregory, as Tariq’s motivations don’t sound like he really has Janine’s best interests at heart. Gregory then tries to warn Janine of this, which prompts Janine to tell him it’s really none of his business.
After some reflection, Janine realizes that dinner may not be the best idea, and she tells Tariq that she doesn’t want to go. After he leaves, there is another cute moment between Janine and Gregory.
One really special part of the episode is that Ava is so dedicated to getting the commercial off the air. She may not be the best principal in the world, but she cares about this school and the students a lot. Not to mention the fact that Janelle James is a fantastic comedic actress.
Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. is a particularly great guest star, and his promise to the camera at the end is a small hint that he will be back, which is enticing.
The writing in this episode is so fresh, and may be the best since the season premiere. It also appears that this may be the end of guest appearances by Zack Fox, which is good closure for Janine but sad for the viewers.
Izzy Charboneau is a second-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.