Illegal recruitment, nepotism, and addiction -- All American Season 1 Episode 11 gave us a break from the gang violence to focus on a few other issues.
While Coop was missed, it was refreshing to spend more time on the football field.
It also gave other characters a chance to shine.
Olivia's determination to help Asher was hard for everyone else to understand, but it made perfect sense.
He's going through an incredibly hard time. He's hit rock bottom, and she knows exactly how that feels.
The difference is she had people around to help pick her back up. Asher desperately needed someone to give him the kick in the pants to pull his life together. Olivia was able to do that for him.
There's nothing romantic about it, and while I understood Chris' jealousy, I'm glad he was able to push it aside once Olivia explained her need to help him. It's not just about Asher, helping him also plays a part in keeping her sober.
Just because she's out of rehab and no longer using doesn't mean she doesn't still struggle with addiction. She has a handle on it right now, but it wouldn't take much for her to lose it.
Layla: I can't believe your emergency this morning was saving Asher.
Olivia: He's in a bad place right now. I mean I've been there and I was lucky. I mean what saved me was a family who forced me to get the help that I needed. We just need to be that family for Asher.
I'm not sure how I feel about him moving in with Layla, however.
That feels like a disaster waiting to happen. Spencer may trust her, but that doesn't mean things won't get awkward. They should be able to hang out at Layla's house without her ex hanging around making it weird.
Granted, I don't have a better solution to offer, but now that Asher is back on the team, it would stand to reason that his dad should let him back in the house. That was the reason he kicked him out in the first place after all.
It's a toxic environment for him though, and his dad would continue to drag him down. He needs people around him who support him. We'll see how these new living arrangements work out.
I was hoping we had seen the last of Grandpa Willy, but Jordan does need someone who will push him to be his best.
Billy has been coddling him for too long, and Jordan could benefit from some tough love on the football field.
Jordan shouldn't feel guilty about being invited to the combine.
While it's unfair that he got picked for the 7-on-7 over Chris who clearly outplayed him, there's more to scouting players than how they perform on one particular day.
Chris said himself that Jordan has the size and strength, and those are qualities that can't be taught. Players get picked all the time because they have the strongest arm, even if they don't always have the best accuracy. Coaches believe they can teach accuracy.
Jordan has skills, and he has plenty of room to improve. He has to seize any opportunity presented to him and not waste it, regardless of how or why he got it.
Yeah, he's the coach's son, but that only means he has to prove that he belongs. If he wants to make a career out of football, he's going to have to accept that this will follow him.
He's going to constantly get compared to his father which is why he needs to make his own mark.
Spencer's family is almost too perfect.
I seriously can't get enough of how much they love and support each other.
It's not surprising at all that Grace quit college to save money to send Spencer and Dillon instead. It's also not surprising that Spencer wasn't having any of it.
That doesn't mean he can't keep his options open.
There are plenty of schools in Southern California, and I'm sure all of them could use a star wide receiver. There's also no reason why he has to stay close to home so that his mom can finish school.
I know he feels he needs to so he can help take care of Dillon, but the kid seems to have that all figured out already, so Spencer can pretty much go wherever he wants.
Spencer: The same way you want what's best for me, I want what's best for you too. Ma, your dreams are important too.
Grace: Yes, our dreams are important, but not at the expense of who we are. You did the right thing not compromising yourself for a scholarship, but I'll be damned if I let you back down. Don't play that game. Play yours.
Grace and Spencer somehow always know the exact right thing to say at any given moment. It's a gift that must run in the family. There was no way Grace was letting Spencer skip the 7-on-7 because of illegal college recruitment.
It's ridiculous that college coaches are willing to risk these kids' entire futures by basically blackmailing them to commit to their schools. Spencer is too good to be brought down by them.
He made the right decision to give back the money, and he shouldn't want to play for a school that participates in illegal recruiting. He's better than that.
I did feel for Cameron from Crenshaw though. If it hadn't been for Spencer, he wouldn't have even gotten invited to the combine, so it's understandable why he would feel the need to accept the bribe and any scholarship that might come with it.
He doesn't have the same opportunities as Spencer, but he made the best of the one he got. He's taking a risk accepting the bribe, but it's also a risk not to accept. He may not get any more offers.
There are always other options though.
Not every NFL player can come from Alabama or Notre Dame. Talented kids from smaller schools get drafted too. Where there's talent, scouts are watching.
How do you guys feel about Asher's return to the team and living with Layla? Will training with Willy be good for Jordan? Let us know your thoughts and don't forget to watch All American online!
Stacy Glanzman was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in March, 2019.