It took Spencer long enough to figure out who he was.
Both his and others’ identities were at the heart of All American Season 4 Episode 16.
The theme that adjusting to being an adult is challenging continues to be a big part of the narrative.
As the titular character, Spencer was omnipresent but more in the background for a change. After all, how many viewers spend a lot of time worrying about their brand?
Instead, it was conflict among other characters that came to the fore.
After being timid much of the season, Jordan got into it with almost everybody. Layla also has been building up to an eruption.
However, it was Olivia who lit the fuse in Jordan’s case. Hellbent on getting her first byline, she targeted star quarterback Wade.
The same Wade who Garrett held out of the last game for skipping practice to sign his NIL deal, giving Jordan a chance to win it on the last play. Wade is an arrogant jerk and deserves all the abuse that can be shoveled his way.
But Olivia was oblivious to the optics of the situation. It did look like she was going after Wade to clear a path for Jordan, just like Wade accused her of doing. And poor Spencer got caught in the crossfire because she didn’t bother to alert either him or Jordan.
It’s perfectly legitimate for Olivia to write about Wade’s self-centered maneuver.
But she had to give Wade’s teammates Jordan and Spencer a head’s-up first so they could be braced for the inevitable fallout. So Olivia earned that blast from her twin.
Olivia should have stuck to being a podcaster. There’s no hierarchy to deal with there, unlike at her current job, where she has to pay her dues just because those in power had to pay theirs.
Patience played that same role for Layla. Patience is so worn out from carrying Coop all those years that she’s gotten extremely lazy, even about her music career.
No, Patience, your launch party isn’t just going to happen. There’s a ton of prep work to do. And you aren’t a big enough star that your support staff will take care of it.
It was hilarious to watch Patience fangirl over Sabine. How was it possible that the two hadn’t overlapped at Layla’s studio in the past few weeks? Probably because Patience has been chillin’ in Beverly since finishing her album.
So, yes, Layla has had to suffer through Patience’s diva behavior. So she was entitled to be a little snarky with Miss Whatever.
And did Patience think her roadie would bring her guitar to the party? Artists for small indy studios aren’t provided roadies.
Jordan and Layla storming off from Casa Baker was an accident waiting to happen, and that occurred.
Let’s step back and consider why weren’t there knobs/handles on the inside of the studio doors? Don’t people occasionally need to get out?
It wasn’t pretty, but Jordan and Layla needed to hear what the other had to say. They’ve both been shoving down their feelings all season long.
After her near-death experience, Layla has been throwing herself into her studio and pushing everyone away, too busy for human companionship.
Jordan’s favorite cheerleader, Simone, moved halfway across the country to carve out her own identity. Meanwhile, Jordan has been content to play Walk-on Guy, of whom nothing is expected.
His plan has been to take shit from the upperclassmen, such as Wade, and hope fate will create an opening for him. So far, that plan surprisingly has been working, as suspension and injury have helped him move up the ladder.
Mostly, though, the two-time state champion quarterback has lost his mojo and is happy to be that guy on the sidelines for a major college program. But Layla was right when she told him to grow a pair.
Only good friends can speak the kind of truth those two did when trapped in the studio.
Hopefully, the open discussion after Layla’s much-needed freakout will prove therapeutic for both.
However, they missed all the drama at the launch party.
Coop somehow landed on her feet after the breakup with Patience, attracting the attention of a hot influencer. Coop may be a convicted felon doing community service and a failed rapper, but she’s got swagger.
It’s bad form to bring a plus-one to your ex’s big event. But Skye’s presence was Layla’s idea in the name of publicity, so blame her for what followed.
Sabine gave Patience solid advice: to focus on her career and put the relationship drama with Coop behind her.
Billy discovered that he may have bitten off more than he could chew between being principal and football coach. Preach was sage in encouraging him to figure out what was most important to him and then delegate the rest.
Spencer managed to kill two birds with one stone. He found a way to include Dillon in his new life while taking care of his branding problem at the same time.
Now Dillon has a better idea of how Spencer felt following football legend Corey.
To revisit Spencer’s struggle with branding, watch All American online.
Will Spencer and Layla rediscover themselves after their argument?
Have Coop and Patience truly moved on?
Has Olivia learned a lesson about ambition?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.