All American – The Next Episode – Review: O Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore Art Thou Romeo?

Tonight’s episode of All American took on a different tone, returning to Crenshaw and evoking a true blast from the past. While the crew found themselves back at their high school stomping grounds, this familiar setting unexpectedly provided the perfect backdrop for the two main couples to advance their relationships. 
The episode opened with Preach’s daughter, Amina, introducing Spencer to her boyfriend, much to Preach’s displeasure. Ironically, the young couple was playing Romeo and Juliet in Crenshaw’s 24-hour Shakespeare production. Meanwhile, viewers were introduced to a struggling student named Khalil, who was part of Preach’s after-school program in an attempt to keep him out of trouble.
The vortex was all set for a couples trip, marking a clear time jump as Olivia mentioned completing her children’s book about her dad and needing a break to decompress. Unfortunately, Jordan booked the getaway for the wrong weekend, leaving them stuck in town. Seizing the opportunity, Spencer decided to volunteer at the Crenshaw after-school program, helping with their 24-hour Shakespeare production. The vortex proved to be excellent mentors, with Spencer focusing on preventing Khalil and Deion from clashing, eventually making them work together. 
When Khalil and Deion almost came to blows, Spencer and Jordan stepped in with words of wisdom. Spencer shared his regret about not reconciling with Shawn before his death, urging Deion to avoid similar regrets. Jordan revealed Deion’s panic attacks to Khalil, helping him understand Deion’s perspective. Initially, Khalil bailed on being Deion’s scene partner, forcing Spencer to step in. He delivered a stellar performance, which ultimately inspired Khalil to put his pride aside and apologize to Deion. 
One has to wonder why the show has been focusing so much on the Crenshaw students. Showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll commented last week that they are wrapping up storylines with the current cast this season, paving the way for new narratives to unfold next season. It’s possible that the Crenshaw students will take center stage in season 7, with the current regulars moving to the background, especially with Spencer headed to the NFL. After seven seasons, keeping a show fresh and interesting can be challenging. Introducing new characters and storylines is crucial, but viewers have grown attached to the current regulars. Hopefully, they will embrace the show’s new direction, if that is indeed the plan. 
“The Next Episode” – ALL AMERICAN. Pictured (L-R): Taiv Lee as Deion. Photo: Troy Harvey/The CW © 2024 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Amidst the Shakespeare drama, Layla and Jordan faced yet another obstacle on their path to marriage. They both received an email informing them that their dream venue had an opening next month. Both were hesitant to discuss it with each other: Layla feared Jordan would think that she was rushing to please him again, while Jordan worried that she would feel pressured by him. Despite their fears, they were clearly both ready to move forward. Spencer advised Jordan, and Olivia encouraged Layla to have an open conversation. However, they struggled to initiate the talk, so Spencer and Olivia stepped in to help. They arranged for Layla and Jordan to meet, where they finally expressed their feelings about the email. In a very fitting and romantic, Shakespearean moment on the staircase at Crenshaw, they agreed to get married next month. 
Elsewhere in the episode, Miko’s trial was finally taking place. The prosecutor offered Miko a plea deal, which she declined, confident in her ability to win the case. Laura advised Coop to focus on supporting Patience while she handled the legal aspects. Patience, however, was struggling with letting justice take its course, prompting Coop to take action. Inspired by Spencer’s speech about Hamlet, Coop tracked down another victim of Miko’s stalking and brought him to the courthouse. Confronting Miko’s parents, Coop threatened to expose Miko’s past, forcing her to accept the plea deal. Patience was relieved and thankful to Coop, who admitted that she hadn’t actually tracked down the boyfriend of the stalking victim, but rather she had paid a delivery guy to pose as him instead. Now that justice has finally been served, hopefully Patience can begin to move forward, heal and reclaim the confidence she had prior to the stabbing. 
Another sub-plot involved Asher and Jaymee, who opted for a staycation after the couple’s trip was cancelled. Finally having alone time, the two struggled to find topics beyond AJ, leading to concerns about their relationship’s romance. Seeking advice from Olivia, Asher realized the need to prioritize his relationship with Jaymee. They agreed to make time for each other, beyond their roles as parents. 
“The Next Episode” – ALL AMERICAN. Pictured (L-R): Daniel Ezra as Spencer James, and Taiv Lee as Deion. Photo: Troy Harvey/The CW © 2024 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Finally, Laura faced her first date since Billy’s passing, with Denise and Grace boosting her confidence. Distracted by trial updates during dinner, Laura texted Grace and Denise for an escape, but they encouraged her to continue. With their support, Laura gained the confidence she needed to enjoy her date.This marked the beginning of a new chapter for her. While she will always cherish her love for Billy, she deserves to be happy and hopefully, she will allow herself to find someone who can bring her the joy she deserves. 
Overall, the episode had a nostalgic feel, taking us back to the show’s early days. This seemed like a deliberate effort for the show to reconnect with its roots, keeping it fresh and relevant as the main characters transition into adulthood. It was a solid hour of TV, though definitely not a standout. Deion and Khalil have the potential to be likable characters, but it is uncertain if fans will warm up to a new cast, especially since they are so invested in the current cast. Only time will tell. 
Over to you, All American fans: What did you think of tonight’s episode? Do you think the show is bringing in characters like Deion and Khalil, in an attempt to shift the focus back to its roots next season? Are you worried about any of your faves leaving the show or being shifted to supporting characters? Share your thoughts below and as always, you can connect with me on Twitter/X at @middleofcanada.
Cristina manages the site and reviews several shows. She is an Elementary
School Counsellor by day and avid TV buff by night. True Crime, thrillers,
dramas and dramedy’s are her favourite genres. When she is not at work or
managing SpoilerTV, she loves spending time with her two dogs, a Chihuahua
Pug mix named Holly and Terrier mix named Penny. She also loves Travelling
to visit family.

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