Another week, another quote-worthy Abbott Elementary episode. It’s the season finale, and “Franklin Institute” pulls no punches in the Granine department. We get solid declarations from Janine (Quinta Brunson) and Gregory (Tyler James Williams) regarding their feelings for each other. You know, something we’ve all known since the pilot episode. It’s always fun when the characters finally catch on to what the audience has known all along.
The Abbott gang spends the night at the Franklin Institute before summer vacation. Ava (Janelle James) terrifies the students with her theories about aliens on Earth. At the same time, Barbara’s (Sheryl Lee Ralph) CPAP machine causes mayhem among the kids, and Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) razzes a Franklin Institute employee for not being from Philly. After a conversation with Maurice (Vince Staples), Janine wonders whether she’s been selfish regarding her love life. Jacob (Chris Perfetti) gives Gregory the push necessary to tell Janine how he feels.
“Franklin Institute” is a hilariously heartwarming outing that digs deep into these characters and explores the intriguing dynamics between them. I love Gregory and Jacob’s burgeoning friendship and how it develops in this episode and the season as a whole.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of quotes (and moments around the quotes) I loved from this week’s episode of Abbott Elementary. Class is in session!
JANINE: You know what? I’m just realizing I don’t know your first name.
MR. JOHNSON: When you get home tonight, look up in the sky. It’s written in the stars.
I love that it took us 35 episodes to broach the topic of Mr. Johnson’s (William Stanford Davis) first name. In true Mr. Johnson fashion, he gives a hilariously evasive response to Janine’s comment. What if you could find it in the stars? Like, you look up, and the stars are arranged to spell Mr. Johnson’s first name? I hope Abbott Elementary keeps up the running gag à la Scrubs with the Janitor.
MAURICE: I, too, become selfish sometimes. For example, I’m ghosting this girl right now. You know, she thinks I’m dead, but this convo, it inspired me to reach out to her; send her a text. I wouldn’t want to hurt her.
Maurice is a fun recurring character on the show, with some great one-liners to boot. This is the first time he sees Janine after what went down at Bone Town (sorry, I had to rhyme). This quote is hysterical to me because he calls Janine out for kissing Gregory while they were together, even though she told him about it. Then, he follows that up with the reveal he’s ghosting a woman who believes he’s dead.
That’s significantly worse than what Janine did. Pot meet kettle, am I right? Also, this woman is about to get the shock of her life when Maurice seemingly texts her from beyond the grave.
AVA: Aliens might already be here, drinking Mai Tais and using the Indian Ocean as a lazy river.
Of course Ava believes in aliens. It all makes sense. (Real talk: she’s not wrong about how little we’ve explored our oceans.) Admittedly, I agree with Ava to an extent. I’d also like to think there are humanoid extraterrestrials sipping on Mai Tais while floating in the Indian Ocean. It makes them seem less insidious and malevolent. Perhaps there are aliens among us, and they merely want to be left alone.
JACOB: He better watch it. You know, Night Jacob, he’s got that dog in him.
This line from Jacob made me cackle like a hyena. As someone who’s, unfortunately, chronically on Twitter, I imagined the meme with the chest X-ray and the dog. If you’re on Twitter, you know the one. Jacob has some fantastic lines in this scene with Gregory alone. He follows this ridiculous, very Jacob-esque statement with a landscape pun (“beating around the bush”) and the sweet sentiment that something extraordinary might be on the other side of Gregory admitting his feelings for Janine.
This scene undoubtedly showcases Jacob at his most layered and nuanced (and friggin’ weird). I love my awkward baby Jacob.
JANINE: So, for how long did you like me? Like, how long?
GREGORY: Pretty much since the first day I got to Abbott.
JANINE: Really? Me too.
Granine shippers, “Franklin Institute” collectively broke our hearts, mended them and tore them asunder again. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, folks. I love that this scene takes place next to a massive human heart model. It’s rather fitting, given the subject matter discussed. Finally, Janine and Gregory confess their reciprocated feelings to one another. Jacob and Ava attempt to push them together multiple times in the episode. However, when we think they might act on their emotions, Janine shuts it down.
I understand her fear of potentially ruining a friendship, but what if she and Gregory took that chance? She might regret it down the road. At the same time, I’m glad Janine is taking time for herself. She’s allowing a little selfishness to seep into her life. That’s been an overarching theme for Janine this season as she learns to prioritize herself as a chronic people pleaser (this profoundly resonates with me).
This is a traditional sitcom slow burn. I have no doubt we’ll get plenty of Granine moments in future episodes. Who knows? They may pull a Pam and Jim and get married in a later season. Here’s hoping.
What are your favorite quotes from “Franklin Institute”? Sound off in the comments below!
Abbott Elementary Seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Hulu.