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All American - Feel It In the Air - Review

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The Santa Ana winds set the stage for an episode filled with tension, angst and a brewing storm of emotions put into play by Billy’s choice to accept the GAU head coaching position. The torment of simply choosing was difficult enough for Billy, now the consequences of his choice are hitting him like a ton of bricks. 

Whether it was the aura of excitement clouding his judgment or plain naivety, Billy clearly did not understand the impact of coach Garrett’s actions on the GAU program before he took the job. He seemed clearly stunned by the severity of the NCAA investigation, which was finally underway in the episode. It is difficult to understand how Billy could be so unaware of the mess he was inheriting. He was heavily involved with helping Olivia uncover bountygate, and he clearly understood the ramifications that Olivia’s article would have on Spencer and Jordan. In any case, Billy may have scored his dream job, but at what price? He is also potentially driving a wedge between him and Spencer by not being honest with him about the job. It is clear that Billy is afraid to have the difficult conversation, and Laura calls him out for being too afraid to rip the bandaid off. 

Billy made the decision to tell Jordan first, which was a huge mistake since based on past experience, Jordan can’t keep a secret to save his life. To his credit, he didn’t come right out and tell Spencer the news, but he did tell Spencer that he’s staying at GAU without providing an explanation, leaving Spencer rightfully suspicious. Jordan was so excited to forge his own path at Willmont, Spencer knew that there had to be a reason that he chose to stay. Spencer confronts Layla, in the hopes that she will fill him in on what made Jordan change his mind. She acts suspicious enough for Spencer to put two and two together and figure out that the two are dating. Luckily for Billy, his job isn’t the only secret that Jordan is keeping. Spencer assumes that Layla is the reason Jordan decided to stay at GAU, and Jordan doesn’t deny it. The guilt of lying to his best friend isn’t sitting well with Jordan, so he gives his dad an ultimatum: either he tells Spencer the truth or Jordan will do it for him. Billy won’t get the opportunity to tell Spencer on his own terms though, A.D. Barnes runs into Spencer and inadvertently shares the news. The fall-out of Billy’s choice not to tell Spencer the truth from the beginning, is sure to set the scene for a dramatic episode next week. Regardless of the timing, Spencer was going to feel betrayed because of his loyalty to coach Kenny. The level of betrayal is now much deeper for Spencer, a man who values honesty more than anything else. 

Spencer’s love life is also about to get a lot more complicated. After seeing Spencer with Alicia at Billy’s birthday roast, Olivia decided that maybe it was time for her to take steps to move on as well, leading her to ask Noah out on an official date. Thanks to the Santa Ana winds knocking the power out, the two enjoy a candlelit dinner at the Baker mansion. However even a romantic setting couldn’t stop Olivia from thinking about Spencer. To make things even more awkward, Spencer walks in on their date, and assumes that things between Olivia and Noah are a lot more serious between them, leading him to make a rash decision. He decides to go all in with Alicia and take their relationship to the next level. 

Olivia confides in her mom that she’s not over Spencer and she wishes she would have fought harder for their relationship. Laura suggests that Olivia try to get Spencer back, and Olivia decides that maybe it isn’t too late to fight for her relationship with Spencer after all. With all the drama on the football field, the last thing Spencer needs is a love triangle. It is clear that he loves Olivia deeply, but even he stated that the reasons that they broke up in the first place haven’t gone away. The right thing to do isn’t always what the heart wants, but ultimately Spencer will have to decide if he should leave Olivia in the past and move forward with Alicia, or try and make a fresh start with Olivia. 

Elsewhere in the episode, Skye took her jealousy of Patience to the next level, by offering to help her combat social media trolls, and present herself in a more favourable way online. It is clear that she has ulterior motives, and Coop was immediately suspicious since Skye recently confessed her jealousy of Patience after trying to talk Coop into moving out of the Baker home. Coop is trying to remain focused on her chosen career path and has made it clear to Skye that she isn’t interested in having a serious relationship right now. Skye’s backhanded plans to sabotage Patience may just be the last straw for Coop and could be detrimental to Patience’s already shaky career. 

Asher and Jaymee were noticeably absent from the episode, considering just last week Jaymee was being rushed to the hospital with chest pains. Asher has been somewhat of an after thought so far this season, so perhaps the writers assumed the viewers wouldn’t care enough to have an immediate need to know what happened. J.J. was also absent from the episode again, having not been seen since before the holiday break. It is unclear what the plans are for J.J.’s character, but some closure to his storyline is definitely needed. 

Over to you, All American fans. How do you think Spencer will react to Billy being named head coach of GAU? What impact will the NCAA investigation have on the team? Share your thoughts on the episode below and follow me on Twitter @MiddleofCanada.

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