What a pleasant change of pace, with minimal drama for once.
It was a night out of fun for all of the gang on All American Season 3 Episode 15.
Actually, most enjoyable were the alcohol-soaked adults.
Best of all was the odd pairing of Billy and D’Angelo Carter, who had been nemeses all season up until now.
The principal even had a good reason to barge into Billy’s office in the late evening: a parent complaining about Billy cutting her short, slow son. Billy had a great retort that “They all can’t be Rudy.”
Then Billy’s bottle, hidden in his desk drawer against all regulations, helped their inhibitions to dissolve, and they were off on a wacky trip down Memory Lane during an ongoing battle of oneupmanship.
And along the way, they discovered they had more in common than they realized.
First was BIlly’s simplistic solution of having D’Angelo punch him so they’d be even.
But instead, they were off to the weight room where Carter could show off how strong he was now (“That’s good for a regular person”), only to be crushed by Coach Baker, the former pro football player.
Then it was off to find the 1990 South Crenshaw yearbook, so D’Angelo could show Billy his cool Urkel look (newsflash: There was no cool Urkel look.).
That led the coach to reminisce about his beloved late mother, whose rapid decline in hospice resulted in him lashing out at those around him, including Carter.
Billy was shocked to find out Mrs. Baker was D’Angelo’s favorite teacher, who inspired him to go into education.
When they took to the stage, the highlight had to be when Carter on piano accompanied Coach Baker on “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.”
It only took the better part of three seasons, but there was finally an organic way to have Taye Diggs, best known for his role of landlord Benny in the original production of “Rent,” sing.
No wonder D’Angelo punched him. He’s that hunky, and he can also sing.
There were no hard feelings as Billy pushed Carter to act on his obvious crush on Grace, who accepted his offer for a date.
Grace had herself a night, as did Laura, two single mothers who needed to cut loose.
This wasn’t quite as bizarre a combination as Billy and Cater. At least they had Billy in common. Damn, he does get all the women, at least for a time.
Sure, Olivia just wanted to get Laura out of the house before her playdate with Layla. But having Laura, who was looking to set up a practice helping underserved communities (i.e., Crenshaw), meet with Grace, who seemingly has connections everywhere, did make sense.
It turned out that they also had an appreciation for wine.
But things didn’t really take off until they were cornered by seeming maneater Denise, who they were gossiping about earlier.
Only they discovered there was more depth to Denise than either had suspected. She had taken in her late sister’s two daughters and was growing weary of the singles bars. That’s why she was so picky all evening.
Thanks to shot after shot after shot, they eventually bonded and were giggling like teenagers when Carter’s (Billy’s) text to Grace came through.
The best moments came when they stumbled in to find their teens waiting up for them. Grace handled Spencer’s scolding with dignity before passing out.
On the other hand, Laura looked sheepish and guilty, largely because she was sneaking in Billy behind their twins’ backs.
Before Coach Baker set about fixing D’Angelo and his problems, he assigned a boys’ night out for Spencer and Frausto, who have been jealous of Spencer’s success all season.
It was asking a lot to expect this forced date to work, but against all odds, it did. That’s because the South Crenshaw pair teamed up against a pair of country club boys in Jordan and Asher.
They should have known better than play the Beverly natives in a leisure activity such as pool. At least they avoided golf. It didn’t help that they were getting on each other’s nerves the whole time.
It took Jordan and Asher pointing out that Frausto acted just like Spencer did a couple of years ago, acting all tough and having something to prove.
That was when they calmed down and got on the same page, winning their money back.
For the final contest of the evening, Spencer suggested William Tell, which mostly required an iron will. He got in Asher’s head, and it was all over.
The only melancholy event was Olivia’s evening to repair her relationship with Layla, which was ruined when Layla showed up with Carrie.
Carrie did everything she could to trash the evening, and she succeeded in the end.
Olivia didn’t help herself by not rolling with the punches. Instead, she exploded at Carrie and stormed off. First, Layla begged her indulgence concerning Carrie.
Then Carrie aggravated Olivia during their one-on-one conversation.
By the time Olivia expressed her concerns about Carrie, Layla was in no mood to hear it.
It was surprising that the episode ended without Carrie, or Layla, in some kind of peril. Surely that’s coming because Olivia was right that there’s something off about Carrie.
To following Layla’s fall and rise, watch All American online.
How did you like this change-of-pace episode?
Have Billy and Carter made up? How about Spencer and Frausto?
Are Grace and Laura buddies now?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.