‘All American’: A Not so Happy Birthday, More Billy/Spencer Drama

Everyone needs to follow Layla Keating’s lead because she’s absolutely killing it. So much positive messaging from her this season.

Layla had a not so Happy Birthday.
Everyone wanted to celebrate Layla, but she wanted to let the day go by with no fuss. (The CW)

It was Layla’s (Greta Onieogou) 18th birthday, and she just didn’t seem to be into it. I thought that it could be because her mom wasn’t there to celebrate with her, but that wasn’t exactly what it was. It turns out she feels like she never got a childhood, and 18 was closing the door on ever having one. That has to do something with losing her mom too.

All everyone wanted to do was celebrate Layla. Even JJ Parker (Hunter Clowdus). But JJ went over the top — a pinata that looked like her and a dancer. Even someone who loved celebrating their birthday would find that a bit much.

Once again, Layla smiled and acted like she was okay with everything. It was a little different than just saying, “she’s fine,” though she did some of that too. How could she be ungrateful for what all her friends were doing for her?

Then, she told Olivia Baker (Samantha Logan) that she wasn’t being heard. It was a good talk about speaking up for what you need and not caring about if people like it or not. That led to an awkwardly funny conversation with her father, telling him she didn’t want to be called princess anymore. And why she didn’t want to celebrate her birthday. It did get annoying every time he called her princess, and he even got her a tiara. He still sees his daughter as a little girl.

I just love how much Layla has grown. But I did feel a little uneasy about her shooting that gun. Maybe it was healthy since his father did that when he turned 18. But I don’t know. She said she didn’t feel safe, and now she’s shooting a weapon. But, of course, everything can’t be perfect. There’s supposed to be drama.

While Billy and Spencer ignore each other, Coop had her own issues to deal with.
Will Coop be able to rap again? (The CW)

And All American definitely brings it. Tamia “Coop” Cooper (Bre-Z) and Asher Adams (Cody Christian) were both dealing with big traumas. Coop is still recovering from getting shot, and her lungs haven’t healed yet. They still could. She’s how many days out of the hospital? It’s not long, right? I’m as worried as Patience (Chelsea Tavares) is. Without music, it looks like she will go back to gang life. Coop really does need something in her life to keep her out of trouble. It’s heartbreaking but not necessarily surprising.

Ash had hope that the last doctor he went to see would give him some good news. But, instead, he found out it wasn’t a genetic heart defect. It was self-inflicted because of taking steroids. This breaks my heart as well because he’s been through so much, he learned his lessons, and he’s still paying for it. Whereas Jordan Baker (Michael Evans Behling) didn’t learn his lesson, and now he’s living the high life.

As much as it hurts to see Ash and Coop going through this, I loved seeing them bond over their mutual pain. These are two characters we haven’t seen interact much. I hope that changes. But I didn’t like that they had entirely given up on hope. If you don’t have hope, what do you have?

The drama with Billy Baker (Taye Diggs) and Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) is alive and well. He just won’t let this go. Primarily because, as everyone has pointed out, he expects more from Spence, so he’s even more disappointed. Everyone makes mistakes. I’m so over this storyline now. Yeah, it did lead to Jordan calling Billy out on it and Laura Baker (Monet Mazur) as the voice of reason, all great scenes. But I miss the Baker/James family dinners. They were an extended family. I want that back.

But the promo for next week’s All American says Spence may leave for college early. He can’t do that, right? That also makes me think about where the show will go after this season. We already know they won’t end up at the same colleges. So, do they jump forward like One Tree Hill and Riverdale did? What does the future of this show look like? Something to ponder during this season.

Do you think Billy and Spencer can get past this? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandyTTCarr or comment below.

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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