Abbott Elementary – Season 2 Episode 4 “The Principal’s Office” Recap & Review

The Principal’s Office

In Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 4, Gregory struggles to keep his student Micah in line. As a last resort, he sends Micah to the principal’s office, expecting Ava to discipline him. But Ava only sends him back with a toy and a lollipop.

Gregory is upset. He grew up with so much discipline and thinks his students would benefit from the same. So, he practices his own disciplinary voice, hoping he can get Micah in line himself.

Meanwhile, Melissa takes notice of Janine’s poor eating habits. Janine confesses that her mother never taught her how to cook, so Melissa invites her over for a cooking lesson.

According to Melissa, precision in cooking is key. Her sister Krista Marie once put the wrong ingredient in their Nana’s special gnocchi, brought that dish to her wake, and Melissa never spoke to her again.

Janine opens up about her sister as well. They’re not too close ever since she left for Colorado to get away from their mom. She thinks it’s a shame that Melissa doesn’t speak to her sister anymore, but Melissa won’t say anything more about it.

Janine, of course, decides to take matters into her own hands. She makes the special gnocchi recipe and drops it off at Krista Marie’s workplace.

Later, Krista Marie stops by Melissa’s place with the gnocchi. They fight over the dish and Melissa ends up kicking her, Janine, and Jacob out of her house.

Janine apologizes for her actions the next day. She just misses her own sister so much and thought she could help Melissa solve a seemingly minor issue with her sister.

But, it’s not a minor issue. Melissa says the gnocchi isn’t the only reason she’s not speaking with Krista Marie, despite how much she misses her. Krista Marie left while their Nana was sick, so Melissa had to take care of her alone.

Seeing how bad Janine feels and how discouraged she is about not knowing how to cook, Melissa invites her over to finish their lesson.

Barbara notices Gregory practicing his disciplinary voice. She tells him that his students can either fear him or respect him. Gregory then realizes he’s using the wrong approach. He had forgotten how his father’s overemphasis on discipline affected him growing up.

In his next lesson, instead of intimidating Micah, Gregory decides to incorporate a character from Micah’s favorite show. This gets Micah involved and stops him from disrupting the class.

Later, Gregory drops off a disciplinary report at Ava’s office and takes a seat in his chair. The camera focuses on him through a window as he accepts a call from his father, who berates him for not addressing him formally enough.

The Episode Review

It’s nice to get some context to the recent revelation of Melissa’s feud with her sister. However, it’s Gregory who steals the show in this episode.

Gregory has probably seen the most growth of any character since his introduction in season 1, and it’s heartening to see the writers continue to flesh him out in interesting ways. Here we see his passion for teaching grow, and his self-confidence too, when he finally stands up to Ava.

But it seems there’s at least one person he can’t stand up to: his father. I’ll be interested to see that conflict develop further. Hopefully, Abbott can continue to shape Gregory into the person he wants to be and help him step out from his father’s shadow.

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