Abbott Elementary “Sick Day” Review: Where Ava Tries

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY - “Sick Day”— Janine is out sick for the day; but with the substitute teacher shortage, Ava grows desperate and must step in herself to help out. She starts the day in an unconventional fashion, disrupting the students’ typical routine as well as neighboring classrooms. Meanwhile, Barbara and Melissa revel in the quieter-than-normal teacher’s lounge when “Abbott Elementary” airs WEDNESDAY, NOV. 30 (9:00-9:31 p.m. EST), on ABC. CHRIS PERFETTI, QUINTA BRUNSON, JANELLE JAMES, SHERYL LEE RALPH
(ABC/Gilles Mingasson)

Abbott Elementary “Sick Day” Spoilers Ahead

Abbott Elementary Season 2, Episode 9, “Sick Day,” is as much about Janine Teagues as it is about Ava Coleman. It’s an episode that looks at the importance of one woman while then crafting another’s ability to try. 

While “Egg Drop” essentially teaches Janine that it’s okay to go at your own pace and know your limit, “Sick Day” reminds everyone else of the importance of infectious energy. It’s a stark examination of not only Janine’s effect on the school but Gregory and Jacob’s as well. When Ava uses the lounge room fridge to store her eye masks, Janine chooses to eat a sandwich that’s been sitting out in the sun, resulting in food poisoning. (This is Janine’s most questionable decision ever made, right?) And because there’s a district-wide sub shortage, Ava must step in to teach Janine’s second graders.

(ABC/Gilles Mingasson)

However, before we look into what Ava gets right and wrong, we need to talk about Jacob’s realization in noting Melissa and Barbara’s betrayal. Okay, yes, betrayal is a little too harsh, but it’s heartbreaking to see that they’re willing to go out for lunch with someone else but never once wanted to include Janine. And sure, the quiet must be nice, but at the cost of ants? No, thank you.

Despite these decisions, having Jacob call them out worked perfectly because, at this point, he and Janine have established a solid friendship. While the women are on the right path toward growing closer, Jacob and Janine’s foundation centers around understanding each other’s value, much like Janine and Gregory’s. Thereby, to not only hear Jacob vocalize these things aloud but for Barbara and Melissa to then admit that they missed Janine made my heart somersault. It’s the little things, friends. It’s the little things.

JANELLE JAMES as Ava Coleman in Abbott Elementary Season 2, Episode 9 "Sick Day"
(ABC/Gilles Mingasson)

Still, Abbott Elementary’s “Sick Day” is about Amelia Bedelia, an annoying woman who can’t follow instructions. I mean…Ava Coleman. Frankly, I’ve never liked Ava more than I did during this episode because there was something about her sincerity when Gregory called her out to do the right thing. While the thing that makes her riveting as a character is the fact that she’s so wildly different from the other staff members, Ava does care deep down.

In every way, the episode does a riveting job of setting viewers up for something bigger. There’s no way that Ava could get rid of a company without repercussions, and I still think that this is something Barbara’s former student could use against the school. While it’s unclear what that is at the moment, this is only the beginning. Ava might’ve stepped up by the end, and the teachers at Abbott know how she operates, but I can’t help but be worried, especially now and for the mid-season finale.

Further Thoughts

  • Why do you have to know the date? Do you have a meeting later? And the Blockbuster joke. I CAN NOT. Ava was too good in this episode.
  • “Insidious, you got Miss Teagues’ phone number?” “What if I meet a better Janine?” Impossible, but okay.
  • Gregory buying Janine water with electrolytes and being the first person to welcome her back!? EXCUSE ME LET ME SIT HERE AND CRY!!!
  • I’m also pretty sure Space Jam was based on a true story. 
  • At this point, Gregory is so in love with Janine that no part of me can handle it.
  • Also, the students missing her? P R E C I O U S.
  • I want to know Mr. Johnson’s entire airport tip.

Now streaming on Hulu or ABCWhat are your thoughts on Abbott Elementary’s “Sick Day?” Let us know in the comments below.


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