Janine and Gregory Suck Now

Two teachers go on a field trip. On the dreamy springtime getaway, which removes the pair from their humdrum school life and drops them into an oasis of sorts, one of the two has something to confess. He has feelings for his coworker, and he’d like to explore extracurricular activities with her. Yes! We’ve been waiting for these two to get together since Abbott Elementary began, and now, we’re finally seeing it happen. Right?

Right?

Um, well, not really, no. Janine (Quinta Brunson) and Gregory (Tyler James Williams) don’t end up together now, and they didn’t end up together in the Season 2 ending of Abbott, either. For Season 3, thes show has almost recreated last season’s finale: Once again, while on a school-wide field trip, Janine and Gregory can’t admit their true feelings for each other. This is exactly what happened in last year’s “Franklin Institute.” Instead of the planetarium, this year’s trip is to the Smith Memorial Playground.

Once again, Gregory confides his feelings in Jacob (Chris Perfetti), who was instrumental in last year’s set-up, as well. Am I having déjà vu? Jacob alerts Janine to the fact that maybe, hopefully, finally, Gregory will come forward with his feelings and ask Janine out. Janine seems unfazed by this news—almost like this isn’t her first time at the rodeo, and she knows not to get her hopes up.

After some conspiring between Jacob, Janine, and Gregory on the bus, everyone arrives at Smith Memorial Playground, where another school has really taken over—more on that, later. Janine and Gregory quite literally ditch their kids at the playground so they can hang out with each other. This Michael Jordan meme comes to mind; who needs a job when you have true love?

Janine asks for a photo with her kids—well, a photo standing in front of the playground where her kids are running around without her—and Gregory volunteers to take it. As he snaps the pic, a text from Manny (Josh Segarra) appears at the top of Janine’s screen. It reads, “I was wondering if we could get dinner sometime?” (This is a super-formal, unflirty text, for what it’s worth.) Gregory is shaken. But after he relays the info to Jacob, Gregory says this has only empowered him to ask Janine out as soon as possible.

While the Abbott students and teachers are starting a literal war—again, more on that later—Gregory finally uses the time alone to confront Janine. Unfortunately, right as he’s about to do so, Morton (Jerry Minor) interrupts, shouting on the phone with his ex-wife. His warning to them? Never date a coworker. Morton met his ex-wife while teaching at another school and, now, he has to work at Abbott, where he knows no one. Never get a honey where you’re making money!

Gregory and Janine are too shaken to continue the conversation. Again: This mirrors the Season 2 finale, which saw Janine reject Gregory in fear that they might ruin their friendship. This is so tiring. We get it—Gregory and Janine are a slow, slow burn. Now, I fear that the fire has been completely blown out. I have no desire to see them together because, as the last three seasons of the show have shown us, these two cannot communicate. They would not work well in a serious adult relationship.

Ava (Janelle James) interrupts them, too, demanding they help Abbott win against Liberty Elementary in a competition for the park’s big wooden slide. The schools have spent the entire day duking it out for dominance over the playground, and to make the final call, they settle on a relay race. Liberty’s principal just so happens to be Crystal (Tatyana Ali), Ava’s arch-nemesis, meaning that the heat is on.

But halfway through the race, all of the teachers realize—wait, the kids have made up and are now sharing the slide. Moral of the story: Make friends, not war! Really, though, it’s a miracle that every student made it out of this field trip unscathed when all of their teachers were off messing around.