Abbott Elementary – Season 2 Episode 3 “Story Samurai” Recap & Review

Story Samurai

In Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 3, Jacob can hardly contain his excitement for the Story Samurai to be coming to Abbott. They’re a troupe of actors who improvise plays for students, and Jacob used to be one of them.

He’s so excited to show the other teachers what the samurai do. But their first performance at Abbott is incredibly cheesy–even for Janine.

Jacob is enthralled to be invited to perform with them next time. Knowing Ava is planning on livestreaming to her followers, Janine thinks she has to try to save Jacob from embarrassment.

She convinces Jacob not to accept, so as not to “upstage” the other samurai. So, Jacob follows her advice. But Ava throws a wrench in this plan when she announces over the intercom that Jacob will be a part of the show. Now, Jacob can’t back out unless he wants to upset the kids.

This time, Janine decides to tell the truth: The Story Samurai are corny. Jacob then realizes that other people think he is corny. Dejected, he decides not to do the performance.

Melissa meanwhile struggles with her combined class, but she refuses to ask for help. Barbara finally takes things into her own hands and convinces Melissa to request a teacher’s aide. She also drags her to the next Story Samurai performance. She needs a laugh more than anyone.

Before the Story Samurai go on, Greg asks Janine if convincing Jacob not to do the show was such a good idea. After all, they like him for who he is, so why should they stop him from being himself?

Apparently, Jacob’s students agree. They tell the cameramen that Jacob is corny–but he’s an amazing teacher.

When the Story Samurai perform, Janine suggests Jacob get up there, and everyone applauds to cheer him on. Jacob’s frown slowly turns into a smile. He runs up to the stage and gives it his all.

In the end, Melissa gets her laugh, and Jacob tells the cameraman he knows who he is. It turns out he’s corny. And that’s not a bad thing.

At the end of the episode, Melissa’s request for an aide is approved. The new aide, Ashley Garcia, enters the building singing and dancing. Now Melissa isn’t sure what she’s got herself into.

The Episode Review

Like Jacob, Abbott Elementary can be a little corny–in a good, lovable, and funny way. I died laughing at the “Sandra Bullock in The Blindside” joke, but at the end of that interaction I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Jacob.

Having your preconceived notions of the ways others perceive you crushed like that is no small thing. So, that wholesome ending where Jacob gets up on stage and the teachers are able to simultaneously tease him and cheer for him–yes, it was a little corny, but it was also a deeply satisfying character arc for both Jacob and Janine.

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