‘Abbott Elementary’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 5 “Juice”


This week on Abbott Elementary, Melissa’s aide Ashley begins helping around the classroom, but it doesn’t go quite well. Meanwhile, Gregory and Janine face a bathroom crisis with their kids.

It Has the Juice

The episode begins with Jacob asking Ava about security footage, as someone has stolen his bike. But he’s having a hard time describing the person and is visibly uncomfortable about it. He eventually changes his mind and cuts his loss.

The real star of the episode, though, is the school’s new juice option, which Janine is positively thrilled about. She tries to hype the other teachers up, but none of them share her enthusiasm. Gregory prefers water, or as he calls it: nature’s juice. Barbara pulls out the ol’ “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and Melissa agrees. But Janine is far too excited to change her mind.

During lunch, she finds out that Barbara didn’t opt her class in for the juice. This prompts a small argument where Janine thinks sometimes if it’s (whatever “it” is) broke, it can still be better. Barbara remains steadfast on her juice stance.

One Bathroom to Fail Them All

Janine teaches and two of her students return from the bathroom, prompting another to ask to go. Janine asks if anyone else has to and the entire class raises their hands. She brings her class to the bathroom where Gregory’s students are all lined up to use it too. Mr. Johnson walks by and says it’s because of the juice. Janine is confused because it was only two extra ounces. Still, she manages to find the good – hydration. A loud noise comes from one of the bathrooms, and a student walks out saying it’s broken.

Mr. Johnson walks out, splashed with… we don’t want to know what, and says the first floor bathrooms are out of commission. Janine and Gregory are worried their kids won’t be able to keep their bladders in check long enough to make it to the second floor. So, they ask Barbara if they can use her kindergarten bathroom. She agrees, but only for emergencies. However, this soon becomes an unwelcome disruption for her class, and she makes them use the second floor bathrooms.

Gilles Mingasson/ABC

Not Quite an Aide

Melissa tries to teach her class but her new aide, Ashley, is making things quite difficult. In an attempt to be productive, Melissa gives Ashley a to-do list, which is different than Melissa’s in that it doesn’t have, for example, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on it. Afterwards, Melissa goes to complain to Ava (who is doing a livestreamed pop-up sale of her clothes). Melissa wants Ashley fired, but Ava isn’t on board. However, she eventually agrees to monitor Ashley.

Once again, Melissa tries to teach but Ashley disrupts things. Ava arrives to monitor and notices that Ashley is wearing a shirt she sold on Depop. The two then bond over Ava’s clothes. Melissa tries to get things back on track, but it only annoys Ava. And again, Melissa tries to make her case to Ava, but she has Ashley doing her errands now.

Later, Ashley and Jacob are talking in the break room, which makes Melissa angry because she learns Ashley didn’t do anything on the list. When Ava comes in, we learn that Ashley did have time to package a bunch of stuff for Ava. Jacob can tell Melissa is upset but thinks it might be because she doesn’t engage with Ashley. He thinks it could help if Melissa tried to get to know her.

Gilles Mingasson/ABC

If It Ain’t Broke, Break It

Janine and Gregory line the kids up for the bathroom. Again. They both realize that Barbara has a free period, so they justify using her bathroom. Unfortunately, she catches them. As Janine tries to explain, a loud noise is heard. Yep, this bathroom is broken too, and it was the same kid from earlier. This time, it’s even worse. Mr. Johnson tells them that the break also took out the second floor bathroom, so now the third floor is the last one standing. It will take the city a week to come fix everything.

Later, Janine and Barbara’s classes are up at the third floor bathrooms. Janine apologizes as Barbara airs out her frustrations. Janine is also frustrated that Barbara doesn’t give them the “why” of her decisions, but she’s also upset that it’s going to take so long to fix the bathrooms. At this, Barbara mentions what Janine said earlier about fixing things, and she heads off somewhere.


Ashley teaches the class some music thing and Melissa decides to (politely) ask about it. She suggests that Ashley can teach something to the class once a week, then has her hand out worksheets. This goes down without a hitch. Moments later, Barbara walks in and asks for Melissa’s bat. New item in tow, Barbara heads back upstairs and incites some panic with Janine and Gregory. She goes into the bathroom, a ruckus ensues, and she walks out and announces that the bathroom is out of commission. The school’s repair status is officially an emergency. Janine heaps on her appreciation and Barbara says she’ll start setting aside time so people can learn more about her methods. And she needs Janine to get rid of the bathroom murder weapon.

The episode ends as Jacob returns from the corner store. As the school has no working bathrooms, he needed to use theirs and he panic bought some scratch offs in the process. Melissa promptly takes them and makes a remark about retirement. In response, Ava mumbles a few things before heading into the bowels of the school. Where she has her own secret bathroom.

Abbott Elementary airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Keep up with our recaps and other coverage on the show here.

Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds who joined the team in 2019.

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