Patience’s heart was in the right place.
But Friendsgiving at Layla’s mansion was an event with uneven results on All American Season 3 Episode 16.
That wasn’t the only tension in Beverly Hills and Crenshaw, as there was plenty to go around.
Kudos to Patience for trying to do something about all the drama that had taken place in her absence. Everyone else was just dancing around it.
Poor Spencer was the nexus around which many of these anxieties revolved.
It’s only partly his fault as it took him a long time and quite a few sessions with therapist Dr. Spears to understand that self-care is important and that he can’t solve everyone else’s problems.
Spencer’s lifelong friendship with Coop was the first casualty of his commitment to self-care as he blamed his trying to protect Coop from thug life as the reason why he got shot.
Which was probably true. But Coop took that accusation badly because he never asked Spencer to protect him.
But the ice had been melting as people on both sides continued to push them back together. Spencer’s acts of kindness, such as organizing Coop’s GED study session/birthday party, certainly didn’t hurt.
But when Patience made the suggestion to Coop, it finally took. Coop was clear that she would be there for Spencer’s family while he was away to college.
That was Spencer’s current dilemma. After the joy of getting a full ride to Toledo State wore off, he discovers how far away Ohio was. This gave him second thoughts.
Spencer [and Dillon] need to realize that Grace is the head of the James household and doesn’t need any man [or boy] to take care of her.
Besides, the season isn’t over yet, and Spencer will likely have other options pop up, including those closer to home.
Then there was Spencer and Olivia. That relationship fell apart as soon as Olivia got caught drunk driving with him in the car.
They both went through their activist phase together. His didn’t seem to hurt his college chances, while hers ended Laura’s career in the D.A.’s office.
Now they’re friends with no benefits, and the awkwardness was palpable at the party, although that was mainly because they’d both done Layla wrong.
It was big of Layla to let her client Patience use her place for the event.
Olivia and Layla made baby steps toward restoring their BFF status. Still, Olivia had to make it clear that she and Spencer had met up in the driveaway.
It might have even gone better except for Carrie, Layla’s live-in single white female, who monopolized her time. Then she turned away Olivia later and wouldn’t even tell Layla that Olivia had stopped by.
Carrie is going to be trouble for Layla, or Olivia, or both.
Spencer made less headway as Layla hadn’t quite gotten past his betraying her with Olivia yet. And it’s hard to blame her for that.
It could be worse for Spencer. He could be Jordan, with a secret marriage and a diminishing football future.
Football future first: Jordan finally got medical clearance to play, only to find out Montes was sticking with that muscle-bound punchline J.J.
Jordan was a good teammate and gave J.J. not one but two inspiring pep talks, and J.J. led Beverly back for the win.
And Montes still isn’t going to start Jordan because they’re playing South Crenshaw and Coach Billy and Spencer know Jordan’s game too well.
So Jordan’s football career is circling the drain. At least he has his upcoming wedding on which to focus.
You know, the wedding that he neglected to tell his parents about until after the invitation has shown up. That’s bad form, Jordan.
Not that Billy and Laura have a leg to stand on, since they got married young against their parents’ wishes. And they made it work for around 20 years.
The best argument that Laura, the eloquent attorney, could come up with is “Marriage is hard.”
The next episode is the backdoor pilot for All American Homecoming, in which Jordan, Simone, Spencer, and Olivia visit the HBCU campus of Simone’s aunt in Atlanta.
Since Jordan isn’t among the characters for that series, I’m betting this marriage problem takes care of itself by the episode’s end.
Even Asher apparently has more of a football future than Jordan, although that’s hard to believe. Every sports show needs a Rudy, doesn’t it?
Isn’t it convenient that Montes’ husband is the defensive coordinator at Asher’s dream school? Fortunately, Asher showed up for the second half of that playoff game, enough for him to rate an introduction.
Boy, didn’t Dillon turn into a moody teenager overnight? Of course, it’s understandable, as his mother is dating the high-school principal and his big brother is about to leave him.
The Grace-and-Carter relationship has been coming all season. She’s told him exactly what she thinks, especially when she thinks he’s doing something wrong. And she’s helped to make some good change at South Crenshaw.
Dillon is just going to have to deal. His father is dead, and Grace should still be able to have a life.
I figured she would get back together with Billy, but Billy and Laura haven’t quit each other yet, just their marriage.
To revisit Spencer’s long year, watch All American online.
How long before Carrie goes off?
Who does Layla forgive first, Olivia or Spencer?
When is Mo going to make her move on Coop?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.