This All American review contains spoilers.
All American Season 2 Episode 3
Ultimatums, ultimatums. This is what Spencer (Daniel Ezra) has in store for his dad in “Never No More” and you can’t say that I blame him for it… but, at the same, it is a ridiculous one. The beef between Spencer and his dad doesn’t concern Darnell (Da’Vinchi), because he foreshadows the situations Spencer was once in. Asking his dad to make Darnell leave town in order for Spencer to join Cory’s (Chad L. Coleman) team didn’t sit right. It’s a moment where Spencer is still trying to process it all and he makes a judgment without a clear head.
The parallels between Darnell and Spencer are not lost in this episode and, when you understand where Darnell is coming from, it automatically makes you think back to how all this started: Coach Baker (Taye Diggs) taking a chance and being there for Spencer like a father figure, just like Cory is to Darnell as his mother is not around a lot. It doesn’t excuse the things that he’s putting Spencer and his family through, however, the episode does a good job in relaying that everyone does deserve a second chance. It’s not going to be easy, but through time it’ll get better. I hope.
It was a good call on his part to choose Cory as a father right now and not as his coach. Spencer deserves a relationship with his father and healing what was broken. The warm embrace between them show you how much this relationship means to Spencer.
My favorite parts of the show is when they switch back to the scenes down in South Crenshaw, because All American authentically showcases the community. It’s nice to see how aspects in the Crenshaw community are portrayed, especially the scenes in which Coop (Bre-Z) is a part, keeping you engaged. Her character is intriguing; the best friends of the leads are always so interesting.
Coop tries so hard to not let the negatively get the best of her, to not let it consume the good she puts out. But that rap battle turned from sweet to sour real quick. Being blindsided by that rapper who pretty much dragged her through his lyrics about what’s happened to her thus far was uncool. It was uncalled for her but at the end of the day, the rap battle game is no joke. They will read you for filth however and whenever they please in order to make a point and keep it all entertaining (somewhat).
“You’re the grim reaper of the hood.” Ouch.
I like the way Coop comes out of this; she’s a strong girl. She has her support system behind her and she doesn’t shy away from picking herself up from something that makes her look bad. A career in music? I say go for it Coop. Besides, her fire lyrics never disappoints.
Know who else doesn’t disappoint? Olivia (Samatha Logan). She continues to be that light on the show and her storyline this season is making sure of it. She’s come so far from her addiction and her rough past. She’s working towards being a person that wants to help others and being there for them. I mean, she does it quite well with Spencer most of the time. I’m not sure if Olivia still has a big crush on Spencer, or if she’s over it, but she’s so supportive of the people around her. As she reluctantly joins the So Cal Muse group, even though it’s a group that’s not her cup of tea, she finds a way to see if it’s something she might learn from.
Olivia says she feels like all her life she’s been tethered to things: her addiction, being the daughter of an Ex-NFL star, and a half of a twin pair. She wants more for herself and I can’t wait to see what the season has in store for her so we can explore more on how she tackles it all.
Now if only she could read through the signs, because Layla (Greta Onieogou) is on a spiral.
The show is handling Layla’s depression in the most honest way: it’s not unrealistic and it’s overdramatized where you can’t even understand what is going on. She’s going through the stages, but I just wish someone would notice it a bit quicker, quicker than Spencer at least. Those are cut marks and I really wish Spencer found a way to convince himself to staying in the car a little while longer than noticing those scars as she drove off. What is happening? How can she be helped? There is a lot to be discussed the next time they see each other.
Coach Baker and Cory are two different types of coaches and seeing the way they work in the first few minutes of the episode was interesting to watch.
Spencer and Asher (Cody Christian) are the team captains for now. Good call on Coach Baker, and this also is a chance for Jordan to step his game up.
Where is Dillon (Jayln Hill)? We still need answers on who his biological father is!