This All American review contains spoilers.
All American Season 3, Episode 8
All American just doesn’t quit when it comes to prioritizing mental health, and we love to see it. We’re reeling from the aftermath of what happened in Vegas, and what this means for Spencer (Daniel Ezra) and Olivia (Samantha Logan) and even Layla (Greta Onieogou). But first, we take a mental health day.
I really loved how Laura decided to give the twins a “mental health day” to regroup. They take the day off from school to focus on themselves and their relationship. These types of moments are important to see on screen, especially when they are geared towards teenagers. Seeing Olivia and Jordan (Michael Evans Behling) go to karaoke and watching him ask her how she’s doing is nice. I sometimes forget the fact that they’re twins and seeing them have their own bonding moments, being open and vulnerable with each other, reminds you of that unique connection. Jordan has his moments, but the way he cares for his sister shows you how much he’s concerned for her and her happiness.
Are Layla and Olivia at their end?
So, this bit was hard to watch. Layla and Olivia have a complex friendship where both of them have their own flaws that have caused them to hurt each other and they both know that they have. Their problems are not just about Spencer. That may be one of the sources of tension, but it’s more than that between them. I’ve wondered before if Spencer and Coop’s (Bre-Z) friendship can be salvaged, but what about Olivia and Layla’s? The way Olivia claps back at Layla for coming at her in the way she does was completely valid because Layla wasn’t really there for Olivia as much as Olivia has been there for her, especially when it comes to her depression. Olivia’s character has always been the best friend that helps the people she loves, even when it means sacrificing her happiness.
The issue that comes into play most with their friendship is a lack of communication and transparency. Female friendship tends to move towards that route when roadblocks appear. If the root problem or tension is not addressed head on, the buildup of it can become destructive. Greta Onieogou bodies this episode with how she relays her emotions. The way she carries herself reminds the viewer just how much all of this has been affecting her.
After going through her depression and finding a way to cope with her mental health, Layla has become more resilient and firm in the way she interacts with her friends and especially with how she is with Spencer. You can see that shine with her personality this season and the way she owns up to everything. She has a reason to be mad at Spencer for how he decided to get with her right after he confessed his true feelings to Olivia in Vegas, when he was in a vulnerable state. It’s valid.
But the whole Olivia/Spencer/Layla dynamic has always been complex because Olivia had her sights on him first, but didn’t say anything. Layla even tried to have Olivia and Spencer get together in Season 1 in an unconventional way but then realized that she wanted Spencer instead (while she was still in a relationship with Asher). So both are at fault when it comes to Spencer, but their problem with each other is not only about “fighting over a guy,” but like I mentioned, it’s more so that they haven’t been able to communicate and be honest with each other.
All American is giving us true teen drama this season, that’s for sure.
The new love birds can’t seem to catch a break
Ah, that final scene with Spencer and Olivia. I saw it coming. Confessions made in a car while someone is driving never seem to end well. Especially when you get into a car crash and know that you won’t pass the sobriety test. There was something up with Olivia this season and nothing was revealed, but there was suspicion in the way she has been acting. (And remember how she almost confessed something to her mom?) She has showed signs that either she was using again or might have started drinking again and it has been evident that she isn’t doing fine. I wish it was revealed in a way that didn’t involve being in a moving vehicle.
Relapses happen, but I wonder how this will have her move forward with her sobriety and will it affect her new relationship with Spencer. And will Spencer take the fall and switch seats with her to protect her? Lots to think about here.
I find it bizarre that Billy can’t seem to recall any of the things Principal Carter is saying that he did to him when they were younger. Does Billy have some sort of memory loss? He’s adamant that it wasn’t him.
I know Jordan and Simone are “married” now, but you can’t tell me there isn’t a lil somethin’ between Jordan and Layla. He’s always so kind and genuine with her, not to mention he smiles ear to ear when talking to her. Hmm…
Coop has quit school, what does that mean for her now?