A time of transition is coming for the teens of All American.
That was the message reinforced on All American Season 4 Episode 6 by both the seniors enjoying Skip Day and the adults.
There were moments of clarity for both young and old characters throughout the episode.
It was an episode with blessedly little drama, a welcomed change of pace before the tension returns at the Senior Prom on the winter finale, All American Season 4 Episode 7.
It was kids being kids and adults getting a bittersweet reminder that they’re no longer kids.
Poor Spencer tried so hard to create the perfect romantic moment for his and Olivia’s first time having sex together. Only fate, in the form of every one of their friends, got in the way of his plans.
He really should have seen this coming. When he offhandedly throws up an open invitation to his friends to use the cabin, he couldn’t be shocked when they did. After all, it’s remote, and it’s free, so what’s not to like?
Also, as much as he wanted to surprise Olivia, Spencer should have clued her in a bit. Then he wouldn’t have ended up becoming the one who was surprised.
As they finally figured out, Spencer and Olivia put way too much pressure on themselves. They are the most together on any teen couples on the series (granted, that’s a low bar).
Spencer successfully got out on his commitment to Toledo State thanks to Billy’s hardball on All American Season 4 Episode 5. So now he and Olivia don’t have to navigate a long-distance relationship.
Olivia has her podcast, her L.A. Times internship, her being a sponsor in Narcotics Anonymous. She’s got all the extracurriculars that any nearby college would want.
So the fact that they haven’t had sex together yet shouldn’t be casting that much of a pall over them. As Olivia pointed out, they’ve got all the time in the world now. They’re not racing any separation clock.
It’s just taken time them the whole season to reach that realization.
And, in the end, once they took the pressure off themselves, the perfect opportunity popped up for them. And it was a sweet moment, with no unnecessary walk-ins or other interruptions. That should sure take the pressure off of Prom Night.
That pressure remained on the other two couples at the cabin, Jordan and Simone and Coop and Patience.
Jordan and Simone are facing a long-distance relationship.
He’s walking on to play football at a local school. She’s maybe going to Brinkston in Atlanta unless Princeton ponies up a tennis scholarship. After the setup in All American: Homecoming, that will not happen.
The problem is that Jordan is a bad boyfriend. She still supports his fantasy that he’s an NFL-caliber player, even though no one in the football industry seems to recognize that.
Yet, he freaks when she informs him about her great opportunity to play in a tennis tournament on Prom Night, mainly because all that tuxedo research would have been for naught.
He told her they were drifting apart and wouldn’t maintain their relationship when they ended up in different town zones. Maybe not. But that won’t be because Simone is building her tennis career. It will be because she tires of her emotionally needy hometown boyfriend. It will be on him, not her.
And with all the cute boys at Brinkston, that seems pretty inevitable once the spinoff starts airing next year.
They will have phone sex until that happens, although Jordan sucked at it when Simone tried it with him.
Unlike Jordan and Simone, Coop and Patience aren’t doomed, although Coop has been doing everything she can to sabotage their relationship.
The dynamic of their relationship has shifted; only no one spelled that out for Coop.
Before, whether Coop’s choices were good or more likely bad, Patience supported her despite any misgivings that she might have.
But now, especially after her successful tour, Patience is voicing her doubts about Coop’s recent questionable calls as she should be.
Fortunately, they have intrusive friends like Spencer and Asher, who won’t let them stew separately. They finally had the conversation they needed to have with each other this time. They still have lots of work to do, however.
And bravo to Layla, who put Jordan in his place when he questioned her taking care of her needs first. She indeed doesn’t her anyone’s approval to live her life as she sees fit after the year she has had.
Finally were the adults, running around South Crenshaw like they were kids, looking for the time capsule they had stashed 30 years before.
For Grace and Billy, and later for the scene-stealing Denise, it was a brief chance to recapture their youth.
Even Carter and Laura got into the spirit of the occasion.
It was a hoot to listen to the predictions of their future lives. Life indeed shot down those fantasies, didn’t it?
But hope springs eternal, as was evident in the video time capsule recorded by the current-day students.
To revisit Spencer and Olivia’s relationship, watch All American online.
Which couple are you enjoying most?
Which one is heading for heartbreak?
Did you enjoy the adults roaming the school’s hall?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.