Desperate to get back on the field, a frustrated Spencer stepped outside his comfort zone.
The outcome of these changes wasn’t readily apparent on All American Season 4 Episode 14.
All those around him were struggling with change as well.
All American is to be commended for dealing with issues that are facing modern athletes.
In Spencer’s case, that meant social media, rebranding, and NIL (name, image, and likeness), things with which he was only marginally familiar.
The catalyst for Spencer’s sudden immersion, in this case, was soccer player Dovita, who knew of him from when he ran over her high school team.
Spencer hadn’t gotten used to being one star among many on a college team. He used traditional methods such as memorizing his playbook and nontraditional pathways such as yoga, but they weren’t moving him up the depth chart.
Spencer was doing good things on and off the field, but he wasn’t getting noticed by Coach Garrett, who remembered his fumble in their scrimmage.
A marketing major, Dovita, suggested that Spencer reshape his narrative and help people forget the fumble through social media. He balked, but Jordan pointed out that he needed to think outside the box.
Isn’t it funny how Jordan has such sage advice for others but continues to make such bad decisions about himself?
Dovita wisely noticed that Spencer had lost his groove and had forgotten what he got out of football in the first place. So she had him film an Instagram story recalling what football meant to him. Also, she got him to attend the relaunch for the health club he represented.
This big mistake Spencer made was not looping Olivia into this new social media campaign and this new woman who was suddenly in his life. So, of course, she and Dovita did not hit it off.
Part of that was insecure Olivia’s irrational jealousy about a new woman injecting herself into Spencer’s world.
But she was correct that this rebranding effort wasn’t Spencer at all. And he realized that when she pointed that out to him.
Based on the trailer for the next episode, NIL arrangements, under which college athletes can license their images, will continue to be a storyline. So Olivia was smart to propose an article on the detriments of such arrangements.
Can Spencer keep from getting in over his head on this front? Only time will tell.
Spencer did make one positive move, offering to play on special teams for Garrett. At least it would get him on the field to rewrite his narrative that way.
There was a lot of rewriting of narratives in this episode. Initiative on Asher’s part served to recraft a couple of stories: his and JJ’s.
Mr. Coach Montes (JJ’s description) has slowly brought along Asher. But Asher stepped outside his gofer role to help JJ, who somehow managed to be failing film studies.
The first reason was that JJ plagiarized his paper, which college professors don’t appreciate. So Asher suggested that JJ get a tutor to look over his essay for him and suggest changes.
The tutor, Raj, reimbursed JJ because he found nothing personal in that essay and urged him to dig deeper.
After JJ’s housemates agreed with Raj, JJ opened up to Raj, sharing the story of a life-threatening car accident several years prior about which he hadn’t even told his friends.
Could this be the start of a more-open, multifaceted JJ? Don’t hold your breath. But it did qualify as a nice change of pace.
Also, Asher’s effort got him the opening he had been seeking as Montes offered to have him shadow the coach during a game, a step up from laundering uniforms.
Also reinventing herself was Laura, hoping to help out those in need with her new criminal defense practice in Crenshaw.
Only Laura didn’t realize that she was perceived as the face of white man’s justice from her brief tenure as district attorney.
At her first meeting, that point was driven home when Saffron, the mother of a first-time offender sent away for ten years by one of Laura’s ADAs, blasted her.
Afterward, Grace had to tactfully point out that it was a thin line between a white helper and a white savior, and it would take time to change people’s perception of her within the community.
Laura took the high road, setting up another meeting with Saffron and looking into her son’s case. After she offered Saffron names of other quality criminal-defense attorneys for the appeal, Saffron hired her because of her connections and her white face.
Billy got her to understand it didn’t matter why she was hired as long as she did the job, which would get her more cases down the road.
Things were troubled back at the Baker residence in Beverly Hills.
Olivia seemed offended that her housemates were off doing their own things rather than coming together to do something as a group. Liv, it’s a home for wayward girls, not a sorority house. Or are those two terms redundant?
Fortunately, in her new community-service role at a nursing home, Coop had an epiphany about change from General Hospital thanks to an elderly resident, which she shared with her housemates and Spencer.
To follow Spencer’s struggles, watch All American online.
Should Spencer persist with social media?
Is Olivia right to fight his new direction?
Are you glad Coop is branching out?