Abbott Elementary – Season 2 Episode 9 “Sick Day” Recap & Review

Sick Day

In Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 9, Ava displaces everything from the teacher’s lounge fridge so she can store face masks she’s been selling. That includes Janine’s tuna melt, which gets eaten by the teacher anyway.

The sandwich wasn’t exactly safe to eat, so it’s no surprise that Janine calls in sick Friday with food poisoning. And since Ava hasn’t prepared for the shortage of subs, she has to sub for Janine’s class herself.

Janine left detailed instructions for any sub who might take over her class, which Ava blatantly ignores. She decides to do things her own way–like play music while the kids take their spelling test.

When the kids turn in their tests, they are covered in drawings. “Miss Teagues says music enhances creativity,” one student says. Ava played music; what did she expect?

After so many mishaps, Ava gives up and gets Mr. Johnson to teach the students (aka, share his conspiracy theories about lizard people).

Gregory gets onto her for quitting. She insists it’s not a big deal that they couldn’t take their test today; “It’s just one day.”

But Gregory knows that isn’t true. He tells Ava how she’s thrown off the students schedule. One day makes a huge difference for 2nd graders.

Gregory convinces Ava to try again, this time by actually following Janine’s instructions. After a successful story-time, she administers the spelling test (after printing new copies on her face-mask flyers). She’s even able to help the students through the testing process, which gives her a glimmer of satisfaction for a job well done.

Meanwhile, some of the other teachers are enjoying a quiet teachers lounge without Janine. Tasha, who never frequents the lounge because of Janine, even stops by. And Barbara and Melissa enjoy her company as someone who is the polar opposite to Janine.

Only Jacob stands up for Janine and how they should all miss her. And by the end of the day, enough mishaps occur for everyone (except Tasha) to miss Janine. She may be overly chatty, but she takes care of things.

The Episode Review

I’m a big fan of Janelle James and her comedic timing as everyone’s favorite clueless principal. By revolving around Ava, this episode couldn’t help but be funny (especially when pairing Ava’s devil-may-care attitude with Gregory’s no-nonsense character).

There’s also a bit to unpack in how the teachers dealt with Janine’s absence. I know the gag was likely only meant for a joke and a wholesome ending, but the storyline left me with a tinge of sadness. (Do the other teachers really not appreciate Janine apart from what she can do for them?)

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