Abbott Elementary “Desking” Spoilers Ahead
Abbott Elementary’s latest episode, “Desking,” introduces more than a viral challenge; it propels its characters towards allowing their feelings to evolve into something more profound. It focuses on the idea that dreams can be both hindrances and a goal while never once losing sight of its humor.
There is nothing more hilarious than when a viral trend makes zero sense to adults, and in this case, that occurs when the teachers are subjected to what can be a dangerous trend with students jumping over multiple desks at a time. Gregory still can’t fathom the idea that his dreams might be over, and we finally get to meet Jacob’s boyfriend, Zach.
And while attempting to uncover the culprits in everything, the teachers instead injure themselves. We even get some hilarious good cop/bad cop forms of interrogation. It’s also rather fascinating to see how far everyone’s come, specifically in acknowledging their friendships. To understand that Janine has already met Zach and that the relationships between everyone are growing closer is a lovely (and admirable) form of continuity to experience as a viewer.
But as someone who’ll always appreciate conversations about dreams, Mr. Johnson’s advice to Gregory is what stands out in Abbott Elementary’s “Desking.” A dream can be a distraction just as easily as it can be a goal, he tells Gregory (whose still rightly upset about the circumstances of the principal position). And the thing, Mr. Johnson is right. Dreams can be a distraction when we’re so focused on them, we forget everything else that’s right in front of us.
And what’s so riveting through this storytelling is that the further they go into conversation, the more Gregory’s walls come down as he realizes that perhaps there’s something (or someone) else out there that he can place his attention towards. In last week’s “Open House,” we watched him go out for drinks with Barbara’s daughter, Taylor, but when Janine’s face is zoomed in on the camera, there’s no denying what the look on Gregory’s face tells us.
It’s so evident that even Mr. Johnson immediately notices the change in his expression and his posture. A sense of ease washes over Gregory when he’s around Janine. He’s calmer, softer, and he isn’t overthinking as much as he usually does. He allows himself a moment to catch his breath and gaze at her, taken aback by everything in a way that sets up their romance beautifully. These are the kind of quiet moments that make the genre so addictive, and to see it in a comedy is always something that’ll work for us as well.
Abbott Elementary’s “Desking” continues to evolve the characters through organic and subtly nuanced moments. When it proposed that the work-family would become closer, it delivered by allowing Zach to be in on the plan. It develops their dynamics this way and touches on a type of closeness that’s very reminiscent of shows like Parks and Recreation. More importantly, the continuity allows us to see how much compassion is in each of them for the students and all those around them.