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All American - Victory Lap - Review: A Beautiful Episode Diminished by a Jarring Time Jump

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After a disappointing episode last week where Spencer went un-drafted in the NFL, tonight’s episode brought a bit of brightness, despite ending in a whirlwind. Fans were upset by Spencer’s draft day letdown, given his lifelong hardships, and felt he deserved a win. While the show is based on real-life NFL player Spencer Paysinger, who also went un-drafted, it could have deviated from reality to give Spencer a happy moment. Especially since the show is only loosely based on Paysinger’s career. TV shows thrive on drama, and this episode proved that viewers just need a little patience. In the end, things always work out as they should. 

Tonight’s episode, centered on Jordan and Layla’s wedding, delivered a lot of laughs and heartfelt moments, hallmark traits of the show. However, the unexpected ending hinted even more so at the writer’s taking a new direction for next season, which may or may not be a hot button issue with fans of the show. 

The episode opened with Spencer at his Crenshaw home with his family, Olivia, and his agent, steel reeling at the failed draft. Spencer’s agent revealed that teams were put off by Spencer's venting session at the combine, which someone recorded and leaked online, making him a liability to any teams interested in him. His agent advised him to wait out the storm and re-evaluate things afterwards. Olivia and Grace reminded him that he still has college and a Psychology degree to look forward to, but Spencer struggled to see past his NFL dream. 

Layla and Jordan, trying to avoid each other before their wedding, accidentally saw each other. As they stood back to back, Layla expressed how she wished her mom and Jordan's dad could be there, but Jordan reassured her that they would be there in spirit. Spencer and Olivia teased Jordan about his custom wedding shirt, adding comic relief to the episode. Michael Evans Behling has excellent comedic timing and his one-liners are always on point. Spencer was taken aback when Jordan asked him to officiate the wedding. It was a touching moment when Jordan stated that Spencer was the greatest gift his father ever gave their family. Spencer was honoured, and focusing on officiating would further distract him from the draft disappointment. 

All American - “Victory Lap.” Pictured (L-R): Daniel Ezra as Spencer James. Photo: Troy Harvey/The CW© 2024 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Another heartfelt moment occurred when Laura gifted Layla earrings made from her mom’s wedding day necklace, which touched Layla deeply. Olivia in turn, gave Jordan his custom wedding shirt with their dad’s number embroidered on it. The gifts were a great choice by the writer’s to honour two people who were so integral in the lives of both characters. 

At the James’ Crenshaw home, D’Angelo appeared for the first time this season, offering pearls of wisdom to Spencer. Spencer and Dillon reminisced about their Crenshaw home, promising to do what they can to keep it if their mom decides to move full-time to Oakland. 

Back at the Baker home, Patience planned to gift Layla her performance of her new single, but was nervous about performing live. Her choreographer, Colette, called to tell Patience that she had been offered a role in a Broadway musical without an audition, which was a huge accomplishment. Patience initially worried about Coop’s reaction, but Layla advised her to talk to Coop. At first, Coop acted on her fear of losing Patience again, and almost caused a rift between them. Eventually, she softened and told Patience it was time for her to make sacrifices for their relationship. 

All American - “Victory Lap.” Pictured (L-R): Samantha Logan as Olivia Baker. Photo: Troy Harvey/The CW© 2024 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

At the wedding, Layla walked down the aisle to Patience performing her new song. Spencer officiated brilliantly, with personal touches from Asher and Olivia, highlighting just how close the vortex has become over the years. During the reception, Olivia told Spencer she was proud of him for stepping up for Jordan and Layla, just like Billy would have. Spencer then informed her that her publisher called, and her book sales were skyrocketing. During Asher's speech, everyone started getting 911 texts. Asher told Spencer to check his phone—Coach Montes had drafted him to the New York Bobcats. The wedding guests celebrated his success. Hopefully, viewers disappointed by last week's episode will return now that Spencer finally received his moment in the sun. As mentioned, TV shows thrive on drama, and patient viewers are usually rewarded in the end. 

The episode took a turn when in the final moments, it suddenly jumped ten months ahead, showing Spencer playing with the Bobcats. His family and friends were in attendance. The abrupt time jump was surprising, especially when the announcer revealed it was the Super Bowl. It felt rushed and unrealistic that Spencer, recently drafted, was now the starting quarterback. He scored the winning touchdown and became the rookie MVP. After the game, a child asked Olivia for an autograph, and it was revealed her books are becoming a TV series. The intensity peaked when Spencer proposed to Olivia at the 22-yard line, and she accepted. 

All American - “Victory Lap.” Pictured (L-R): Cody Christian as Asher Adams. Photo: Troy Harvey/The CW© 2024 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The action felt incredibly rushed, and it felt like the show was plowing through major life events for the characters without giving them proper attention. Jordayla fans must feel cheated for not seeing the first ten months of their marriage, and now Olivia and Spencer will be getting married within the same season. With only two episodes remaining, it's hard to predict the writers' direction. It seems they are wrapping up the current characters' stories to introduce new ones. The rapid pace suggests the final episodes will conclude these characters' arcs. Hopefully, they'll remain in some capacity, as replacing the cast in a seventh season is risky. This is speculation, but all signs point to this shift. Hopefully, viewers will stick around if the show takes this turn.

Over to you, All American fans. What did you think of the episode and what are your thoughts on the time jump and the rush to get through important life events for the characters? Do you agree that the show might be focusing on a new cast next season? Share your thoughts below and engage with me on Twitter/X at @middleofcanada.

Cristina manages the site and reviews several shows. She is an Elementary School Counsellor by day and avid TV buff by night. True Crime, thrillers, dramas and dramedy's are her favourite genres. When she is not at work or managing SpoilerTV, she loves spending time with her two dogs, a Chihuahua Pug mix named Holly and Terrier mix named Penny. She also loves Travelling to visit family.

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