In Season 2 Episode 6 of Abbott Elementary, the teachers dress up and greet their students in Halloween costumes.
Janine is surprised when Erika, an old high school friend drops off her nephew, one of Janine’s students. Erika invites her to a Halloween party that night, but Janine insists she already has plans. She’s lying, however. Since she broke up with Tariq, she’s found out that all their friends were more his friends than hers.
Another adult, Amber, tries to pass out candy to Janine’s students. Janine stops her and says candy must wait until the end of the day. No one is more upset than Erika’s nephew, who is dressed as Thanos.
Amber then hands Janine an extra bag of candy for her to give to Gregory. Gregory declines it, saying he doesn’t like candy. So Janine opens it on her own and finds Amber’s number inside.
Meanwhile, Ashley takes on the job of guarding the schools’ big bag of candy. She’s so bored with the job, however, she doesn’t pay much attention to the kids coming in and out.
When all the kids in the school suddenly become extra hyper and disobedient, Mr. Johnson has a hunch that they’ve gotten into the candy. Sure enough, the bag Ashley was supposed to be guarding is gone.
The teachers decide they need to get the kids under control, so they gather them in the gym. But one kid–Thanos–evades them. And he still has the bag of candy.
Janine and Gregory stand guard outside the gym. Janine takes the opportunity to hand Gregory Amber’s number, although she clearly doesn’t like doing so. And when Gregory asks her about having friends outside of work, she deflects.
The teachers then decide they need to track down Thanos. Gregory and Jacob take the basement, while Janine, Barbara, and Melissa search the hallways. Jacob ends up spooked by what he thinks is a janitor’s ghost (It’s just Mr. Johnson). Meanwhile, Barbara and Melissa give Janine encouragement to start over and make new friends.
In the end, it’s not a teacher who finds Thanos. It’s another kid, dressed up as Mr. Johnson. He brings Thanos to the other teachers, and they confiscate the candy.
When Erika returns to pick up her nephew, Janine accepts her invitation to go to that party. She’s a little more excited now to start over.
I’m glad the writers of Abbott Elementary haven’t let go of Tariq. He may no longer be a character in the show, but Janine’s breakup with him had a huge impact on Janine. She now has to navigate the world without him, and this episode did well to embrace how scary and nerve-wracking that has to be for Janine.
Other highlights of this episode were the two Mr. Johnsons, and of course the awkward moments between Janine and Gregory. I hope their chemistry continues to grow as a slow burn; they’re too precious, and their interactions are hilarious.