'All American' Season 2 Episode 13 Review: Will death and drugs spell doom for Spencer, Asher and Coop?
Directed by David McWhirter and written by Jameal Turner and Micah Cyrus, the episode is one of the best in the season and literally keeps you on your toes
Spoiler Alert for 'All American' Season 2 Episode 13 — 'The Art of Peer Pressure'
Peer pressure can be daunting to handle. It can make you do things you don't want to. Friends, drugs, sex, gun violence — there's a lot at stake in your adolescent years and that's what defines what you become. Aptly titled 'The Art of Peer Pressure', this week's 'All American' episode puts the spotlight on all that and more.
With bits of gunshots, drugs, elections, racism, feminism and performance pressure, every scene keeps you on the edge of the seat. Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) is ready to get back to football in order to impress recruiters, but he needs to prove to Coach Billy Baker (Taye Diggs) and his mom Grace (Karimah Westbrook) he is not pushing himself before he is ready. Asher Adams (Cody Christian) tries to make amends for his lost time with Olivia Baker (Samantha Logan) and as they get along, it is time to face the truth.
Olivia blatantly asks Asher if he will stop using drugs to enhance his performance. Asher says yes because he doesn't want to lose her. But will he really comply with it? Back at the football ground before the game, both Asher and Spencer are pushing themselves too hard. One is letting steroids take control and the other is putting his health in danger to get into the groove.
It doesn't end well for either. In Spencer's case, he has an injury on the field and later apologizes to his team. Giving him his full support, the team decided to back him up and that's precisely when Spencer realizes, "A lion is only as good as his pack." Meanwhile, the after-effects of drugs are finally starting to show as Asher's mind spins out of control when he meets Olivia. Concerned about his well-being, Olivia confides in her dad Billy. Will that end well for Asher or will it cost him his career?
As if that wasn't enough, there is another gun war brewing in the backdrop. From behind the bars, Preach 'probably' (Kareem J Grimes) hires a hitman who shoots Tyrone dead with three bullet shots right in his chest. As investigations begin, the suspicion is on Coop (Bre-Z) who steals a gun from Patience's (Chelsea Tavares) house.
In the meantime, Laura Baker gets elected as the District Attorney after her powerful speech. "Often, a woman's silence is misconstrued as weakness," she says. Highlighting how it is not the case, she tells the voters to "elect her or not but to make the decision based on my track record."
Towards the end of the episode, there is a comeback. Remember Chris (Spence Moore II) — the quarterback at Crenshaw High and Olivia's old love interest. He returns to the Baker House to tell Spencer that Coop has been taken into custody. How will it affect Spencer and Coop's lives? Will this death spell doom for both of them? Only time will tell. For now, Patience has hidden the evidence by throwing away the gun.
Directed by David McWhirter and written by Jameal Turner and Micah Cyrus, the episode is one of the best in the season and literally keeps you glued to your seat. Not just the game, there is much more influencing the lives of all characters. By putting the focus on racism, gang wars and drugs, the showrunners address how peer pressure can wreck lives. It is a message to not follow the same trajectory and that truly does hit home.