Look out all future opponents; the Beverly Hills team is finally gelling!
They began All American Season 1 Episode 3 at each other's throats, but by the end, you couldn't pull them apart.
A team can have all the talent in the world, but if they can't play together, they'll never be successful.
Chemistry is important. Even professional sports teams will consider how the atmosphere of the locker room might be affected before executing a trade.
If you're a cancer to your team, it doesn't matter how strong you are or how fast you can run. Talent is everywhere, but finding the perfect fit is key.
Spencer didn't fit in at Beverly High the way he did at Crenshaw. He didn't feel accepted, but as Coop was quick to point out, he wasn't exactly welcoming his new teammates with open arms either.
He planned to show up, put in his work, and go home, but that just wasn't quite enough if they wanted to develop the type of chemistry that could put them over the top.
All I'm saying man is, physically, you're at Beverly, but in your heart, you're with a whole other team.Coop
Spencer was putting in the time. He was going to their beach days and everything, but his heart was never in it, so it was as if he wasn't really there.
Spencer wanted to spend his weekends at home with his family (understandably so), so Jordan decided to bring the team to him.
Jordan's first time in Crenshaw was an experience.
At first, everything seemed to be going okay. The cookout was a success, Jordan proved he has good taste in music, but it wasn't long before the claws came out and bets were on the table.
That's when the team came through for Spencer. One text from Jordan and they all dropped whatever they were doing to have their backs, including Asher.
If they were trying to make him out to be the villain, it's over already. That's refreshing. I'm glad they didn't drag out this competition between them longer than necessary.
Spencer: Can I ask you something? Why you ain't never talked to Jordan about dealing with the police? By the time I was 8, my mom made it clear. Cops like that, they see my blackness as a weapon. You know, see me talk slow, you do as they ask, you keep your hands visible. You never run. How come you ain't tell him that?
Billy: I guess I thought I had time. I fought so hard to get up out of the hood. I honestly thought that with all this...I honestly thought I had bought Jordan a little more time before he had to face the ugly side of being a black man in America.
Jordan's real introduction to Crenshaw happened when he and Spencer were pulled over.
They were doing nothing wrong, but that didn't stop the police from harassing them. While Jordan demanded to know why he was pulled over, Spencer stayed quiet with his hands visible.
They were pulled out of the car and arrested, and they were lucky. We've seen too many instances where this could have ended tragically.
Billy had hoped that moving to Beverly Hills meant he could shelter his kids, but the sad truth is talking with them would have been the best way to protect them.
It's incredibly sad that it took an experience like that for Spencer and Jordan to form a bond.
It took watching Jordan's face pressed into the pavement and his hands forced behind his back for Spencer to realize that he and Jordan aren't all that different after all. They may come from different backgrounds, and they may not know each other that well, but once you go through a terrifying or traumatic experience with someone, you're bonded for life.
Crenshaw will always be a part of Spencer no matter where he lives, and it's evident that if he becomes a rich NFL player, he'll be someone that gives back to his community.
He's already doing it by giving his old teammate tips on the guy who replaced him. Spencer may have felt he had a better chance to succeed at Beverly, but he wants to do everything he can to ensure those he left behind have a chance, too.
That kid is all heart.
Tackling racism and homophobia in the same installment may have felt a little heavy, but they did it well.
Coop has always felt that her sexual orientation is distinct, and to most it probably is, but parents tend to have a way of looking at their kids through rose-tinted glasses.
The thing is, deep down, they almost always know the truth, but until it's said out loud, they can choose to ignore it and hope it goes away.
Until now, Coop had never said it out loud before.
Mrs. Cooper: I'm sorry I can't condone this. So if you cannot abide by our rules, you cannot live in this house.
Coop: Well then I guess I don't live here anymore.
No kid should be kicked out for being honest by about who they are, but again, sadly, the reality is that it happens. Sometimes people react harshly in the moment, but then later have a change of heart once they've had a chance to think it through.
Hopefully, Coop's mom will come around and realize she was wrong because they appeared to have a very close relationship before this. It would be a shame if she threw that away.
It was heartbreaking to see Coop telling Spencer's mom she didn't have anywhere else to go. Thankfully she has a best friend with an understanding mom who will help her through this. Maybe she'll even talk with Mrs. Cooper and try to get through to her.
Until then, Coop needs to lean on her support system, and not get even further involved with Shawn and the gang life. This is the sort of thing that can push teens in the wrong direction.
Okay, so we learned that Leila doesn't know that Asher and Olivia slept together. That explains why she hasn't broken up with him. It's also a little clearer why their friendship fell apart. Olivia's downward spiral with drugs is probably what came between them, rather than the affair.
I'm very curious what caused Olivia to turn to drugs in the first place. We're getting the idea that her life fell apart because of the drug spiral, not before it, so what happened that made her risk all that she had?
Whatever it was, she was in a dark place for a while, but she's finally finding her way out of it. She initially pushed Leila's attempts to reconcile away, but now she's letting her back in.
Of course, that pesky hookup with Asher is probably going to come out eventually and destroy it all over again. If she truly wants to repair her friendship, she's going to have to come clean and ask for forgiveness.
We keep getting these little hints that lead us to believe that Billy is Spencer's dad. Am I the only one that thinks it's too obvious? It's starting to feel like they're beating us over the head with it, only to pull the rug out from under us with some bombshell later.
Some final thoughts:
- Spencer's kid brother is so cute! I loved him teasing Jordan.
- It's dangerous to play a scrimmage without pads or helmets. They were all risking their futures with one injury.
Your turn! Were your hearts broken by Coop's coming out or Jordan's experience with the police? Do you still think Billy is Spencer's father?
Let us know and be sure to watch All American online!
Stacy Glanzman is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.