High school graduation is a right of passage in most people’s lives, and it always seems to be portrayed well on TV. It’s about saying goodbye to the last 13 years and looking towards your future and possibilities. The characters of All American got their turn at that in “Walk This Way.”
I will admit, until the promo came out, I didn’t realize that we were at the high school graduation episode. I felt like we still had some time left in senior year. But given that the spin-off, All American: Homecoming, premiered right after this episode, it all makes sense now.
I like graduation episodes. They are a lot of fun and filled with hope. Sometimes sadness like Dawson’s Creek or an attempt at a takedown like Gossip Girl, but they have a lot of the same themes.
We last left off with Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) taking the fall for stealing the trophy, even though he just brought it back. Sometimes his need to be the hero all the time gets on my nerves, especially when his entire future was riding on it if he got expelled or not.
He has a point, though. Why should some students’ futures be expendable because they’ve made mistakes? They are just products of a system where no one believed in them. But at the same time, there was a lot of damage done, so someone does need to be held accountable. But maybe, if the students were believed in on day one, there weren’t be as many mistakes. But let’s not forget, privileged kids, get into trouble too. They just have money to get them out of it. The system is broken, and it makes me so happy to see D’Angelo Carter (Lamon Archey) want to go into politics to help change it. It’s a shame he had to lose his job, but they needed someone to blame, and they got it.
It’s incredible how brave Spence is for standing up for what’s right. But once again, he hasn’t learned the lesson of accepting help, but maybe after this episode, he will. Ah, who are we kidding? This is not a lesson he’ll ever learn. But it was emotional having everyone walk in saying they had done it. Of course, he didn’t want to take their help, but in the end, it felt good to have his friends have his back. And then Carter was the final piece to make sure he could graduate. Unfortunately, he wasn’t allowed to walk, but his friends came through with a special ceremony all his own.
This is not the first time a character almost didn’t graduate. Think, Pacey from Dawson’s Creek. A teacher came to his aid to ensure he passed his last test.
A lot of this episode had the air of uncertainty. Layla Keeting (Greta Onieogou) was shook when she met with her dad’s friend when he said she didn’t have enough music theory experience. We know she’s incredibly good at what she does. And how she’s overcome everything she has, started a business and became valedictorian, I will never know. She has strength like no other. I’m glad one of her artists and an artist she admires brought back her confidence. Layla is such an inspiration. I love watching her be a badass every week.
While Layla was getting back her confidence, Asher Adams (Cody Christian) was getting the chance to go after his dreams, even if he didn’t react too well at first. It was bold for Jamie (Miya Horcher) to ask her boss for $200,000 for Ashe to go to college and pursue coaching. She’s probably been the best girl for Ashe so far. I hope we will get to see more of them together. And I’m glad that Asher took the money, as a loan, that is. It broke my heart that his football career was over, and it fills me with so much joy that he now has a new avenue for it.
Then there was Olivia Baker (Samantha Logan) trying to figure out what Journalism School to go to. Of course, we all knew she would end up at the same school as Spencer. But turning down Georgetown and NYU is a lot. Those are two excellent schools.
College is always tricky. Do you create a fictional college like Beverly Hills 90201 or send everyone to a nearby city with fictional colleges in Dawson’s Creek? Or skip the college years and jump forward five years like in One Tree Hill? It looks like All American is doing college, but what will it look like?
What did you think of All American’s graduation episode? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandyTTCarr or comment below.