All American Season 1 Episode 9 Review: Keep Ya Head Up

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Even after his death, we're still adding layers to Shawn's character. 

Through flashbacks on All American Season 1 Episode 9, we learned why Spencer is still harboring guilt over Shawn's fate. 

Did Shawn really choose his own path, or was it chosen for him?

Speech Tall - All American Season 1 Episode 9

Up until now we've been led to believe that Shawn chose the gang life, and Spencer chose a different path, but that turned out to not be quite true. 

Shawn's older brother dragged him into the life from a very young age, before he was old enough to make his own decisions. Spencer felt like he had a chance to stop Shawn from seeking revenge after his brother's death, but his attempts proved futile, and that was the beginning of the end for Shawn.

That was his turning point, and once he passed it, there was no looking back. 

Spencer: It just don't feel right, celebrating right now, with everybody here in pain.
Grace: You don't have to feel guilty about accomplishing something great. You earned this Spencer. You chose your own path and it's paying off. Shawn Scott chose a different path.

Spencer is obviously not to blame for the direction Shawn's life went, but he realizes now that he's faced with a similar situation with Coop, and he's not about to let her make the same mistake Shawn did. 

Related: All American Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Homecoming

Coop is hell-bent on revenge for Shawn's death. She believes if their positions were switched that Shawn would get justice for her. She might be right, but I don't think that's what Shawn would want for her. He would want her to get out now while she still can, like he was trying to do before he died. 

Spencer and Billy Talk - All American Season 1 Episode 9

This whole time we thought there was this animosity between Shawn and Spencer because it seemed like Shawn was jealous of him and angry at him for getting out of Crenshaw. It turns out that Shawn has been Team Spencer for years. 

When Tyronne told Spencer that Shawn was always protecting him, and that he made those chide comments about him always having something better to do to keep him safe, it brought tears to my eyes. 

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Shawn's been rooting for Spencer to make Crenshaw proud, and that's exactly what Spencer intends to do. 

His speech was powerful and heartfelt. HIs mom told him that it's how he uses his success that matters, and he took that to heart. He seized the opportunity to bring attention to the tragic outcomes of so many members of his community. 

It doesn't matter that they were gang members. They were human beings and they deserve to be remembered. 

Spencer when I left, it wasn't because I didn't have love for my community. I couldn't carry that burden anymore. I couldn't. So yeah, remember who you are, remember where you came from, but don't let the burden of your community weigh you down.


Billy has a lot of secrets. 

Honestly, they're exhausting. I seriously hope that we're done with them now. Billy has proven that he deserves Spencer's trust, and I'm done with that trust constantly being called into question. I don't know what made Spencer's dad leave town, but I don't believe Billy had anything to do with it. 

Yes, his switching out Jordan's urine sample was a little shady, but he did it to protect his son, and I believe he'd do the same for Spencer. 

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It's obvious that Billy truly does care about protecting Spencer's future and helping him reach his goals. It's hard for him to watch Spencer being torn apart by his dream to play professional football and his feelings of obligation towards his hometown. 

Billy eventually had to make the hard decision to focus on himself, and ultimately, Spencer needs to do the same. He'll be able to give back so much more to his community if he fulfills his potential. 

Practice - All American Season 1 Episode 9

I'm going to call out that reporter for blasting a high school kid he's never even met. What if he really did have a family emergency? He has no idea what's going on in his life, and it's abhorrent that he would hurt a kid's chances for his future to spin a story. 

One thing is for sure though, if Spencer continues to play at a high level, colleges are going to look at him. They'll talk to him and give him the chance to tell his side of the story before taking the word of some loathsome reporter. 

Why are Spencer and Layla in a secret relationship?

I doubt it's for Asher's sake. They should go public. It won't be long before people start to suspect considering how much time they spend together. Plus, if they had gone public, it could have saved Asher from that moment of embarrassment trying to win Layla back.

For a guy already scraping rock bottom, that was an additional blow that he didn't need, even if he does deserve most of what has happened to him. 

Concerned Jordan - All American Season 1 Episode 9

I don't know if Asher will be able to redeem himself, but he's not off to a great start. Even if Layla wasn't dating Spencer, he hasn't done anything to show he's changed. Apologies aren't enough, he needs to find a way to make up for the things he's done if he wants to earn his way back onto the team, or into his friends' good graces. 

Between the flashbacks, the scenes in church, and the parallels between Shawn and Coop, this may have been the strongest episode to date. It packed an emotional punch and set us up nicely for the remainder of the season.

Just when we thought Spencer had gotten through to Coop, she runs right back into Tyronne's arms. She doesn't have anything she needs to prove, but unfortunately, she hasn't figured that out for herself yet. 

Her support system is still behind her, but if she's not careful, she could lose Patience. I wouldn't want to be involved with someone who could be shot and killed at any moment. 

Your turn! Did Shawn's past have you tearing up? Let us know your thoughts on the midseason premiere and don't forget to watch All American online!

Keep Ya Head Up Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (6 Votes)

Stacy Glanzman was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in March, 2019.

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All American Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

Coop: He always says the same thing.
Patience: Well maybe if kids stop dying then he'll change his material. I don't want him reading your name.
Coop: I'll be all right.
Patience: No, not if you keep talking all that the revenge stuff.

Spencer: It just don't feel right, celebrating right now, with everybody here in pain.
Grace: You don't have to feel guilty about accomplishing something great. You earned this Spencer. You chose your own path and it's paying off. Shawn Scott chose a different path.