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All American - I Need Love - Review

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This week’s episode of All American gave me a bit of whiplash. The season started off with a Christmas episode in October, now here we are 5 episodes later and it’s Valentine’s Day in November. As usual, the CW is late announcing their fall and winter finale dates, but since the series was granted 20 episodes this season, the timing of the seasons in the series is quite frankly, very strange. But nevertheless, this was a Valentine’s Day episode and leave it to J.J. to help his friends make the most of the day, in more ways than one. 

It’s clear from the beginning that this Valentine’s Day will be an awkward one, with Spencer and Olivia still attempting to move on from one another, and Jordan and Layla’s not-so-secret romance. Cue J.J. to make things even more awkward, by twisting the arms of Spencer and Jordan to be a part of his fraternity’s speed dating event. J.J. Is about as subtle as a brick through a window, and in a roundabout way he makes it known to Jordan that he is aware of what’s going on between him and Layla. Jordan tells Layla that J.J. knows, but it doesn’t really phase her. Neither does Jordan’s participation in the speed dating event, since she has decided that they should have a low key valentines this year. This doesn’t work for Jordan, however, as he has fallen fast and hard for Layla. He begrudgingly participates in the speed dating event, but every question and answer has him referring to Layla, to the point where he finally admits to J.J. that he is right about them. J.J. promises to keep it a secret, but let’s be real, this is J.J. we are talking about. Interestingly enough, Layla feels bad about brushing off Valentine’s Day and turns to J.J. to help her plan something special for Jordan. She lures Jordan to her studio, where she puts him on the spot by asking him the questions from speed dating that J.J. gave her. The two confess their love for each other and decide to make their relationship official without secrets, because as mentioned, now that J.J. knows, they may as well tell everyone themselves. 

Aside from speed dating, J.J. also discovers that Asher has signed Jabari. It shouldn’t have taken Spencer and Jordan to make him realize that he’s been slacking and not taking football seriously, but it did. He tries to make things right by going to the gym on Valentine’s day, but when he was invited to attend a flip flop party, he ultimately chose fun with friends over working out. Asher sees this as the final nail in J.J.’s coffin, and this will likely cost J.J. his opportunity at Coastal California. It is unclear what will become of J.J. now, but he is headed down a bad path and hopefully he can get his priorities in order before it’s too late for his career. 

Spencer is also struggling on Valentine’s Day. He sees whatever is going on between him and Alicia as a budding friendship, so he has planned nothing to mark the special event. Coop offers him advice, telling Spencer that he should watch “Pretty Woman” and take notes on how to plan a perfect night for his girl. Spencer goes all out with a romantic dinner at the beach house, with roses and sexy music to top it off. Alicia ends up being uncomfortable with the whole vibe of the night, and gets Spencer to talk to her about what’s going through his mind. He came clean about the “Pretty Woman” lesson, and about sleeping with Olivia. Thankfully, Alicia was super cool with it because she also didn’t see their relationship as exclusive. They decide to do away with the romantic vibe of the night, and have a quiet night watching “Pretty Woman,” which ultimately leads the two to sleeping together for the first time. One thing Alicia noticed right away about Spencer, is that he is a relationship-minded guy. She wants him to just enjoy the getting to know you phase of dating and have fun. Hopefully Spencer can take a few steps back and enjoy the moment with Alicia. This could be a really great thing for him, and there’s no need to rush. 

Spencer’s failed evening benefitted Billy in a huge way. He forgot all about Valentine’s Day, and thanks to Spencer, he was able to give the red roses that Alicia didn’t want, to Laura. That was not Billy’s main focus this episode, however. Olivia has drafted her article and asks Billy to read it. He is very proud of his little girl and thinks she has done a great job. While Billy thinks her article will expose Coach Garrett and put pressure on him, Olivia wants it to hit harder than that. She wants Garrett fired. Olivia realizes that her article is missing something. She has interviews with two former walk-on players, but the public could just interpret them as disgruntled players who want to get back at Garrett. She needs someone with more credibility. Luckily Billy has a former teammate, Eric, who was Garrett’s former assistant coach. Olivia is eager to do the interview, but Billy tells her that he needs to approach this with care so that Eric will feel comfortable enough to speak. Billy meets with Eric and manages to talk him into meeting with Olivia. But before that can happen, Coach Garrett plays his hand by resigning, which came as a shock to absolutely everyone, including his assistant coach. So that leaves us to wonder, who tipped Garrett off about Olivia’s story, and will her story have enough impact to make it so that Garrett doesn’t get another coaching job? At first it would seem that Spencer and Jordan won’t be affected by the backlash from Olivia’s story now that Garrett has resigned, however the preview for next week suggests otherwise. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. 

Elsewhere in the episode, Coop attended an interview with a GAU law professor, to see if she can audit one of his courses. There is stiff competition to get in, including students with impressive volunteer work and internships on their resumes. The professor made it clear that there was tough competition, and Coop took that as a rejection and walked out mid-way through the interview. Meanwhile, Preach finally had his day in court. Coop attended the hearing, but you could tell how much it was killing her that she couldn’t help, since Laura took her off the case. It is quickly realized how much of a mistake that was, when Darius lost the case because he neglected to file some of the briefs. Coop was invested in the case and had a desire to get it done for Preach. Had she handled it, perhaps this wouldn’t have happened. Preach is devastated that he has to hand over his daughter for 30 days while the paperwork is properly filed. He is also rightfully angry with Coop, who promised this wouldn’t happen. A promise that Coop never should have made. Coop goes into Laura’s office and demands to be put back on the case and she doesn’t take no for an answer. This determination spurs her to walk back into the professor's office, and beg for another chance. Coop shares her life story and how she may not have an impressive resume of volunteer experience, but she has life experience and that should qualify her more than anyone else. The professor agrees to allow her to audit the course. It is great to see Coop fight so hard for what she wants. Her determination and passion to help people are going to make her a great lawyer someday. 

Over to you, All American fans. What do you think will happen with Olivia’s story now that Garrett has resigned? How will it impact Spencer and Jordan? What does the future hold for J.J.? Share your thoughts below in the comment box and follow me on Twitter @ms_c_almeida.

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