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All American - Hate it or Love it - Review

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The build up to the fall-out of Coach Garrett being exposed for his bounty plays has been brewing since the beginning of the season, and viewers have been left wondering what would become of Spencer and Jordan’s football careers, and how would it affect their relationships with Olivia, who wrote the article. Viewers need to wonder no more as this episode focused on the key characters dealing with the aftermath of the article being released, including Jordan making a surprising move while the fate of the GAU football team hangs in the balance. 

The episode began with a press conference in which A.D. Barnes addressed the media about the article. During the press conference, Spencer and Jordan were in the locker room as many of the players, including the new recruits that they had worked so hard to sign, decided to quit the team. Barnes confirmed that the NCAA will be conducting an investigation into what occurred with coach Garrett, which will take time to complete and could mean a death sentence for the program. Can anyone really blame the players for looking out for themselves and walking away? Spencer, however, decides that GAU is his home and he is willing to put his career on the line to fight for the team that he loves. He manages to get Jordan on board to stay and help him try and save the team, but it is apparent that Jordan is not as sold on the idea. Spencer believes the key to saving the program is to have Coach Kenny promoted to head coach. Spencer, like a lot of other players, has a connection with Coach Kenny and having him stay on for continuity makes sense. Jordan, however, does not feel the same way about coach Kenny and is worried about his own future with the team. He is especially flattered when Wilmont reaches out to him and offers to build their team around him. Asher pipes in and also puts Coastal into play. The reality is that Spencer is the star of GAU and that will never change as long as he commits to staying. GAU was the only team that gave Jordan a chance after his injury, so of course he signed with them. Now, other teams have realized Jordan’s talent and are interested in signing him. This is Jordan’s chance to be the star of his own team, so you can’t really fault him for being interested. He speaks to Layla about it and she makes him feel better about deciding to sign elsewhere, because she isn’t going to leave him even if it means working through a long distance relationship. 

Meanwhile, Spencer’s mom has come into town to spend time with the boys and cook up some home cooked meals. She is also there to support her son, as he goes through this difficult time with GAU. Spencer asks his mom for advice, and shares that Jordan has been blowing him off. She tells him to ask Billy for help with speaking to A.D. Barnes about promoting Coach Kenny, because Billy and Barnes were teammates at South Crenshaw. Billy agrees to help and they meet with Barnes, who is not convinced that Kenny is the answer, but agrees to meet with him anyway. It is good that despite the writers moving Grace to Oakland, they understand the importance she plays in Spencer’s life and how meaningful it is for her to be there for him during difficult times. Grace also served up a gumbo dinner at the beach house that Billy, Laura, Asher, Spencer, Coop and his girlfriend attended. Coop had attended her first audited law class, and felt dismissed by the professor when she attempted to respond to a question with an opinion rather than facts. The adults were able to provide some much needed advice to Coop, that she should focus on facts that can’t be disputed rather than her opinions. Coop took their advice and impressed her law professor with a do-over the next day. 

Elsewhere in the episode, Olivia was doing her best to hide from everyone, worried about the repercussions of her article coming out. Her boss and co-workers at the LA Tribune surprised her with a cake and congratulated her on having the most viewed article in the paper's history, but Olivia had a hard time accepting the praise. Even though she ran the story under an alias to protect Spencer and Jordan from individual fall-out, she still put the team in jeopardy and it is difficult to celebrate an accomplishment, when people you care about are negatively impacted by it. Laura spoke to Olivia and told her to bite the bullet and speak to Jordan and Spencer, because she deserves to be celebrated for her work. Olivia heeds her mother’s advice and is relieved when both Jordan and Spencer tell her that they are proud of her and give her their blessing to celebrate her accomplishment. Olivia has to feel lucky that it turned out this way. While it was important that Coach Garrett be exposed and prevented from coaching on another team, did Olivia have to be the one to do it? She knew that Spencer and Jordan would be affected by her article, but she still chose to be the one to write it instead of passing it on to another writer at the paper. It is hard not to think that Olivia chose her career over her loved ones. It is good that she feels some guilt as this was definitely a learning experience for her in her new career. 

It was easy for Jordan to forgive his sister, because her article ultimately paved the way for him to accept a better opportunity with another college team. He has been lost in Spencer’s shadow his entire football career, and now he finally has a chance to be the star and he doesn’t want to pass that up. Spencer goes to the GAU locker room and finds Jordan adding his jersey to the pile of players that have left the team. Spencer understands Jordan’s decision and congratulates him. He tells Jordan that he plans to remain at GAU, as it is his home and he wants to do whatever he can to keep the team alive. Meanwhile, Billy is surprised when A.D. Barnes shows up at his office. Barnes shocks Billy by offering him the head coaching position at GAU. This is definitely flattering for Billy and a huge opportunity for him, but viewers will have to wait until the season resumes in January to find out whether or not he accepts the job. 

The episode also featured Layla in a confrontation with Clay over Patience’s new video. The teaser for the video dropped on social media and Clay feels that the new image that Gia has created for Patience, masks her talent. Patience doesn’t make it easy for Layla to smooth things over with Clay. She gets into a full blown argument on a live social media video, with people who are making negative comments about her. At first, Layla is on damage control but then she realizes that Clay planted the trolls to make negative comments in an attempt to provoke Patience and she confronts him about it. Yes, Layla used Clay last summer and hurt him, but he won out in the end when Layla’s dad promoted him instead of her to run the record label. It is time for him to move on, especially now that Layla has. 

Over to you, All American fans. Do you think Billy will take the job at GAU? Will Jordan change his mind if his dad takes over as head coach? What do you think GAU’s fate will be? Share your thoughts by commenting below and follow me on Twitter @miss_c_almeida.

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