The premise of this episode is friendship, hence the title that I have chosen. Layla and Spencer get a handle on what they’re doing because they’re both confused at this point. Asher throws some serious shade and Coop gets a wake-up call that takes a turn for the worse.
The show opens and the homecoming dance is over. Everyone is going home. Spencer gets dropped off in front of his home in Crenshaw in a limousine and sees Coop sitting on the front steps. He can tell something is wrong. “Somethings don’t work out as we plan,” Coop and Spencer say to each other when they review the outcomes of their evenings: Spencer decided not to date Layla; Coop found herself and Shawn on Tyrone’s (Demetrious Shipp Jr.) bad side when her plan to help Shawn went sour. The situation with Tyrone doesn’t create a wider wedge in Coop and Spencer’s friendship, instead they become closer. They know that it has turned into a serious problem.
The next morning, Spencer takes the blame for the situation, but Grace reassures him that all he can do is make choices that will better his life and that he can’t save everybody else. That’s the demon Spencer keeps bumping into, but it makes sense because he deals with abandonment issues. He never wants to be the one to leave anyone’s side, even if he disagrees with their decisions, because he wants to help them make it right. That’s a lot of weight to carry as a teenager and that’s why he holds himself to such a high standard. Figuratively, Spencer is like the father he always wanted.
My Father’s Shadow
Since Coach Baker suspended Asher for the next two games, Asher’s father, Harold Adams, pays Baker a visit. Harold wants Asher on the field by any means necessary, but that goes against the Coach’s morals and ethics as he tries to teach the boys how to be “decent human beings.” Harold doesn’t care, though. Football is the only reason Harold wants to be in Asher’s life and he makes that apparent when he kicks him out and tells him to “figure it out” with his mother, who isn’t fond of him either. Ouch. And we all thought Jordan had major daddy issues.
Speaking of Jordan, he walks in from the night before barefoot and high and tries to stand up to Baker. But father knows best, “You have to figure out what’s important to you,” says Baker. Been there, done that. Life is hard and it’s easy to blame others for your unhappiness because of the perceived pressure to live the life others want for you instead of the life you want. Jordan needed to voice his frustrations but Baker was like, “cut that noise. This is your problem,” which caught Jordan a little off guard, and he felt a bit guilty. He thought he was putting his foot down, but nope! Ripley (Michelle Hayden) could be a bad influence but she can guide Jordan into putting his life into perspective, even if they break up.
There’s More to Life than Football
Jordan finds Asher in the restaurant while he’s on a date with Ripley. He confronts Asher about the homecoming fiasco. Asher feels guilty and embarrassed, of course, but Jordan suggests making things right. Repetitive dialogue is overkill for sarcasm and it was a bit annoying to hear the same line from different characters when they talked to each other. Meanwhile, Tyrone makes a visit to Shawn’s apartment and basically reimposes his threat. Apparently, he didn’t want the scrambled eggs that Shawn offered.
Gang life: hard to get in, but even harder to get out. Coop’s back is against the wall and she turns to Spencer for help. Spencer reaches out to Laura, who is an attorney, and she tells them to snitch on Tyrone. Coop is not having it because she knows that’s just asking to be killed. Who wants to live in witness protection? Even worse, who wants to be labeled as a snitch? Of course Spencer urges her to take the advice. At Shawn’s apartment, Spencer tries to convince Shawn as well but he isn’t too happy about it either, “I’ll get myself out,” Shawn responds to him.
On a lighter note, Layla and Olivia make amends. They both admit that they made some f*ed up choices. I commend them because most of the time on TV, when friends hurt each other they turn into frenemies so I like their friendship. In the locker room at Beverly Hills High, Coach Baker runs into Coach Sconick/Scottnick (whatever his name is), and he taunts Baker about his winning streak and how Malibu is going to win at the game. Again, Baker’s ethics around suspending his players for inappropriate behavior is tested but he holds his ground. Sconick/Scottnick was so arrogant because he believed that he was going to win.
Sometimes It Snows In April
Meanwhile, Shawn tries to pay off Tyrone with his personal savings from his payouts from doing ‘jobs’. I don’t know how much he gave Tyrone, but it was a lot of money. Shawn was so excited when he called Coop. He thought it was over and that he was going to live a free life with his daughter but before he could even make plans, a gang member from the other gang catches Shawn unexpectedly and shoots him in the chest. I was like, really? I wanted to see Shawn turn his life around.
Coop on the other hand was shellshocked because she heard the gunshots over the phone and watched Shawn die in the hospital. She was unable to wrap her head around what happened, but now it’s revenge time. Coop has been accepted into the gang because she wants to avenge Shawn’s death. Tyrone is going to use Coop until she has no choice but to run. I think Tyrone had something to do with Shawn’s death. He was the one that said to Shawn, “You think it’s going to be that easy?” and Tyrone pretended like he was pointing a gun at him.
Everyone that knew Shawn was uneasy about his death so the homecoming game against Malibu was a relief. However, during the game, Coach Baker realized Sconick had their plays. Malibu was giving it to Beverly Hills and it threw Coach Baker off. He had no time to create new plays on the fly so he decided to use Crenshaw’s plays with the help of Spencer and Chris. Jordan shined on the field without Asher, who stood in the stands, and he scored the winning touchdown. How does it feel to be a sore loser, Sconick?
Jordan knew that Asher gave their plays to the Malibu team because he was giving the Malibu players googly eyes when they stopped winning. Really Asher? I know you’re in a rough spot but why did you give up your team like that? You were only suspended for two games!! On the other hand, I know that Asher has trouble feeling accepted: his mother left and his father only cares about him playing football, so he’ll do anything to get that instant gratification, even if it means turning his back on the people that care about him. Why do Asher’s parents treat him like that?
Now to the gushy stuff: Layla and Spencer. I feel like Spencer was definitely giving mixed signals. I mean after he kept pursuing her, Layla finally opened her heart and Spencer was like, ‘nah, not right now’. Okay… when? It felt like he was going to be stringing her along and I wasn’t cool with that. Say what you mean and mean what you say. I will admit though, he makes her feel fearless.
She’s tired of being a good girl and we are too. Nobody is a hundred percent innocent and how do you learn about life by playing it safe? After the game, Layla magically appeared at the Baker’s house and in Spencer’s room. They have sex and at first it was going to be twisted into a mistake but Spencer finally admitted his feelings. So, Spencer and Layla are together now! My only downside is, why did sex have to happen in order for Spencer to be honest? What kind of message are you sending?
Coach Sconick just couldn’t handle losing. Coach Baker gets an anonymous tip about the players on the Beverly Hills team using drugs, so they have to do a random drug test. Jordan confesses to Coach Baker that he wasn’t clean’ As the tests are administered, Coach Sconick tries to turn Spencer against Baker by telling him that he can’t be trusted and Baker won’t stop at anything until he gets what he wants. As this is happening, Coach Baker steals Jordan’s drug test. Ooooo. That was a good one. What’s going to happen next week?
All American airs on The CW Wednesdays at 9e/8c.