All American Season 3 Episode 11 Review: The Bigger Picture

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A timely episode examined the impact of policing on the black community.

A week after the George Floyd verdict, All American Season 3 Episode 11 tackled the difficult subject.

With multiple police shootings of blacks during and after the Derek Chauvin trial, it couldn't have gotten much timelier.

Drastic Measures -- Tall - All American Season 3 Episode 11

It was only logical that this topic is handled through Olivia.

It was natural that Olivia felt a connection with Tamika since both were young black women who stopped cars and encountered police.

Impactful Event - All American Season 3 Episode 11

Only Olivia, who crashed her car after drinking on All American Season 3 Episode 8, got off scot-free since she was the white district attorney's daughter.

Tamika ended up being shot and killed by the police.

Olivia's sponsor, Nurse Joy, cautioned Olivia about throwing herself into someone else's problems to ignore her own. And while Olivia meant well with her efforts on Tamika's behalf, that's exactly what she was doing.

That's not to dismiss Olivia's visceral reaction. She was feeling guilty that she got a ride home while Tamika ended up dead.

Also, Olivia has always used her podcast to address social justice issues, and this certainly qualified.

Making a Point - All American Season 3 Episode 11

But her decision to release the damning body-cam footage, while admirable, was simplistic. As Laura noted, such situations are complicated.

And Olivia's choice is certain to have ramifications in her mother's hard-won position as D.A., something to which Olivia didn't give sufficient thought. 

Coop shone with her rap at Tamika's vigil. Layla should have been recording that for Coop's album.

But Layla was too distracted even to help her star client study for her G.E.D.

It's hard to blame her after she learned of Olivia's relapse. It was understandable when Layla was angry at Olivia for stealing Spencer from her, although she was likely more upset with Spencer.

Speaking Out - All American Season 3 Episode 11

Layla was so busy wallowing in self-pity that she missed the significance of Olivia returning the Wonder Woman pin.

She tried to remedy that misstep by returning the pin to Olivia, even if Olivia was too involved in her justice-for-Tamika campaign to truly notice.

Hopefully, Layla can shake off her funk and return to being the confident, dynamic character she has been since completing rehab.

Coop made another smart move, hiring the surprisingly well-rounded Preach to be her tutor.

She's going to need him by her side when Mo reveals what she's really up to. Mo was just a concerned community activist in this episode.

Old Friends Talk - All American Season 3 Episode 11

The other half of this episode was, not surprisingly, about football, specifically recruiting games.

This was accomplished through the return of Billy's old South Crenshaw teammate, Coach Barnum, who was scouting Spencer for Texas North Tech. His visit turned out to be educational both for Spencer and Billy.

Spencer learned that his desirability for recruitment wasn't just about his abilities on the field. No, it had to be a story that could be sold on social media.

Barnum decided that Spencer being shot by a gangbanger might indicate that he was a bad boy and could be marketed as such.

Scholarship Strings - All American Season 3 Episode 11

Spencer, who was getting worried because Barnum was the only college coach to show up to recruit him, waffled about taking the scholarship even if he had to pose as someone he wasn't.

Then Coop, even though she was still estranged from him, decided to do him a solid by reminding him who he was with that video of young Spencer.

Coop is softening on Spencer. How long before Layla does as well? After all, Spencer is a genuinely likable guy whose biggest liability is caring too much for those around him and not taking care of himself.

Coop's reminder enabled Spencer to stand up to Barnum and tell him to "take me as I am" or not, showing that he wasn't willing to play games.

Recruiting Changes - All American Season 3 Episode 11

Billy also discovered that recruiting was a lot more complicated than it used to be, largely thanks to social media.

His talk with Barnum was what compelled him to create a class in financial literacy for his players. Those lessons should also pay off for the 90 percent of his players who don't play collegiately.

Barnum also reminded Billy of the day he beat up Carter, which had totally slipped Billy's memory (can you say "TBI"?). The upcoming conversation between Billy and Carter should be intriguing.

Carter finally got humanized in this episode, as it was revealed that he was more than just a snooty bureaucrat with an ax to grind.

Family Outing - All American Season 3 Episode 11

He's still all those things. But he's also a widower in over his head as a father to a tween daughter. It was helpful to see him as a more well-rounded character.

And he and Grace actually got along for the better part of a day. Them being more than sparring partners isn't likely to come to pass, however.

It's hard not to feel bad for Laura. She's saddled with a recovering addict/social-justice activist and a sidelined football player now in a funk.

Jordan was busy feeling sorry for himself, not just because his football career was likely over but also because his marriage may soon be as well.

He snapped at everyone who tried to help him. But he eventually came around. Maybe he could take over Asher's role as a volunteer coach.

Depressed Jordan - All American Season 3 Episode 11

To follow Olivia's fall and recovery, watch All American online.

What has Olivia started?

Did Spencer do the right thing?

Did you like how this episode addressed police shootings?

Comment below.

The Bigger Picture Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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All American Season 3 Episode 11 Quotes

Can you make some noise the next time you approach?

Coop [to Preach]

Fixating on other people's problems to avoid your issues, that can be an addiction too.

Nurse Joy [to Olivia]