In episode 8 of Abbott Elementary Season 2, 8th grade teacher Mr. Morton decides to do an egg drop with his class. Janine wants to participate with her class, despite the teacher thinking her 2nd graders are not advanced enough.
In the experiment, the 8th graders don’t break any eggs. But all of Janine’s class fails to make a mechanism that protects their eggs. This causes all her students to be upset. One of them cries, having thought all he needed to do was believe in himself.
Gregory realizes Janine doesn’t know the science behind the egg drop, and neither do her students. So, he decides to help her understand it. When he tries to teach her, however, she claims she only wants to teach her students to believe in themselves and they can do anything.
Gregory presses Janine, realizing this is about something else. Janine then admits she’s not used to not getting things. Usually, a positive attitude is able to get her through. She doesn’t want her kids to feel like failures, so she teaches them to have the same attitude.
It’s this attitude that makes her continue trying. She has her students make more contraptions and asks Mr. Morton to put on another egg drop event–but he refuses.
Gregory tells Janine she’s approaching this project with toxic positivity. The facts are that Mr. Morton’s science is too advanced for her 2nd graders. Janine needs to tell them they can’t do anything they put their minds to.
Meanwhile, Barbara becomes upset with the mother of her student Tameika. The mom has a tattoo of an expletive and, when asked to cover up by Barbara, simply zips up her sweater–which has another expletive on it.
Barbara decides she needs a little “guidance,” but Tameika’s mom doesn’t appreciate Barbara telling her how to live her life.
Ava asks Barbara why she has a problem with this mom when she’s obviously taking care of Tameika and raising her to be a great student. Barbara admits she misjudged her; she just simply can’t understand why a grown woman would act the way she does. “Do you need to?” Ava asks her with uncharacteristic wisdom.
The next time Barbara sees Tameika’s mom, she apologizes for making assumptions about. In return, she promises to wear PG-rated clothing around the students.
The episode ends with Janine putting on an age-appropriate science experiment called the Egg Lift. The students have a good time, all cheering for science (even when a fan pops all their balloons).
The Episode Review
Overall, this episode is a fun little exploration into both Janine’s and Barbara’s flaws. Both women are generally portrayed as the most upstanding teachers at Abbott. But they both have to realize they can take their own moral codes too far. A science project was a clever and funny way to frame those difficult (but needed) lessons.
And, of course, an extra shout out is deserved by the “Just-Believe-in-Yourself” kid and the delightfully passive-aggressive Mr. Morton.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!