Life is precious, and relationships are irreplaceable.
Throughout the series, the Bringston students and faculty have become a "chosen family," and All American: Homecoming Season 1 Episode 13 highlighted the strength of those relationships as they worked to save Bringston and save one of their own.
Cory Hardrict deserved an award for his emotional performance as Coach Marcus when he had his emotional breakdown.
All American: Homecoming featured a realistic mental health storyline about a coach in the media. Coach Marcus would be ashamed if anyone knew he had bipolar, so he hid it and stopped taking his medication.
Marcus admired Amara, so he didn't want her to think any less of her, so that's likely why he never let her see him that bad either or why they indeed never reunited.
He didn't want to risk passing on depression or bipolar to his children.
Since Marcus thought of the baseball team as his children, it made sense why he opened the door to Mrs. Sims when he thought Damon was in trouble.
Surprisingly, she was the only one that got through to him.
This was going to be an impassioned plea to convince you to come back and coach, but I think ill save that for another time.Mrs. Sims
There was absolutely no shame in admitting he needed help or medication to regulate his bipolar disorder.
However, there is a stigma around asking for help for mental health issues. For Marcus, this was worsened because he used medication for pain in the past, and he was afraid to become dependent on meds again.
My son is a better man because you came into his life. You are a good man and you deserve to get better.Mrs. Sims
Hopefully, now that he realizes people care about him and he was a positive influence in other people's lives, he'll continue to get help.
With Marcus gone, JR's dad stepped in as the interim coach and caused numerous issues for the team. He still believed that Damon was the only reason the team would win the championship game, which alienated the rest of the team.
JR's dad: Sims, it's clear we'll be depending on your star power tomorrow.
Damon: A game isn't won by a single player. When we win, we'll do it as a team.
Since the beginning of the series, Damon has grown and believed in giving his teammates credit. It isn't easy to think that JR's dad didn't know that Damon was Seline's son when Damon confronted him.
Damon was a kid when JR's parents gave him away for adoption, making him feel like an unwanted child. Even after JR's dad told him about how he got that scar as a child and JR's anemia, it just left Damon feeling unloved.
I'm sorry I hurt you, but I had to protect my family.JR's dad
While JR's dad may have thought he was protecting his family, he lost his life, and he's going to lose JR too by keeping secrets and expecting too much from him in baseball.
Keena Sims is the only loving parent Damon has. Ironically if he had never been given up for adoption, he never would have met his mom.
His mom is organized and practical, keeping electronic records of medical tests. I feared Damon had memory issues after his mom mentioned his dad's Alzheimer's disease.
I never suspected that Damon was the biological son of both of JR's parents. Technically, at least his dad didn't hide something awful from him and his mom all these years.
However, how do you choose which son to give away? Damon won't forgive either of them for that anytime soon.
The students at Bringston have become a family, and Keisha was determined to keep them together.
It was most important to her "family," intact since she thought everyone important had left her. Keisha took it hard when Simone revealed she might transfer back to CA.
Keisha's speech was so inspiring, and so was her choreographed dance with Cam that they raised enough money to save Bringston. It finally felt earned when Keisha and Cam exchanged "I love you's" after the performance.
An anonymous donor added the requirement that Amara be promoted to the dean of students. You'd think our Bringston students would be happy with everything in place, right?
That would have been too easy. The Thea and Simone rivalry returned with a vengeance. It's never easy being second best. Thea felt like Damon only picked her because he thought Simone wasn't available.
That point seemed even more accurate when Damon confided in Simone again about his paternity issues. He then wondered why she didn't tell him about her breakup with Jordan sooner, making us wonder if Thea was the second choice.
Simone got Thea's spot on the tennis team to make matters worse since Thea got injured. Understandably, Thea was bitter, but I hate that she blamed her.
It almost seemed like a vicious game, like Thea was insinuating she took Damon since Simone took her spot.
Every series needs a set of frenemies and rivals, but I enjoyed the growth these two ladies shared as friends.
It's depressing to see them backslide this much. No one wants to see the same catfights week after week.
Hopefully, they'll move forward next season, and we can see a stronger single Simone.
Over to you, All American: Homecoming Fanatics. Were you surprised by the final twist in Damon's paternity saga?
Do you think Marcus will continue to get the help he needs? Are you tired of the Thea and Simone rivalry? Chime in below in the comments.
Remember, if you miss an episode, you could watch All American: Homecoming online via TV Fanatic.
All American: Homecoming will return with Season 2 in the fall on The CW.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.