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TV Review: The CW's All-American Season 3, Episode 4 (SPOILER-FILLED)

All-American is a 2018 sports-drama TV show created by April Blair. The show has aired for thirty-three episodes on The CW. The show stars Daniel Ezra and Bre-Z. It was not nominated for any Primetime Emmys.

"Home is where you make it." -Spencer James


After Spencer James and Billy Baker both leave Beverly High for South Crenshaw High, tensions rise between friends and family. Jordan feels betrayed by Spencer, Olivia continues to ignore him, and things with him and Layla aren't as clear cut as they should be. Meanwhile, Coop's fears come true when Tyrone's sister comes to town in search of something unknown. As all of this happens, Spencer must deal with his continuous arm injury to play through the season.


Episode 4 "My Mind's Playing Tricks On Me" Review

And...All-American reverted back to the bad aspects of the show.

Episode 3 was a solid episode and one that left me more optimistic for the rest of the season. However, episode 4 went back to what the first two episodes have been, which isn't good. It has the same exact problem that these last two have had: an unfocused narrative and too many revolving plot lines that aren't given enough screen time to be interesting.

I've now invented a new term, specifically for All-American: plot-hopping. Plot-hopping is when it goes from storyline to storyline without any warning and throws you in the middle of a scene for about three minutes until going to the next storyline that needs to be covered. This episode does a ton of plot-hopping. There isn't a main plot for this episode; there are three. That resolves into half-baked plot beats that feel out of place and make this show so frustrating.

I do think that the Jordan plot line payed off very well. Throughout the episode, he has all these emotions boiling up and has to choose between the team and Simone, which is a very tough decision for him. Billy tells Jordan he needs to talk to someone, and he talks to Spencer for the first time since the season premiere. This was a nice moment between the two of them, and I was weirdly surprised when Jordan went to talk to Spencer. In a good way, though.

I also thought that Simone's change throughout the episode is good. She is also conflicted on whether she should take her biological son back, and it made fort an emotionally powerful moment near the end of the episode. It was some good acting by Geffri Maya, and that would've been a better ending to the episode than the one that we got.

The, it's terrible. It's so confusing and so off-putting. Why on Earth would Spencer all of the sudden blame Coop for his getting shot? It's a really nasty way to cap off a not so great episode, leaving you with a sour taste in your mouth.

The acting in this episode is strangely terrible. The acting in the show has been bad throughout it's run, but something was not right. The good cast (Daniel Ezra, Samantha Logan, Bre-Z, Da'Vinchi) were good. However, the meh to bad cast (Taye Diggs, Cody Christian, Michael Evans Behling, Greta Onieogou, Jalyn Hall) were all at a low point. The scene where Grandpa Willy and Billy have a confrontation in Billy's office is the worst acting that I've seen in this show so far. And that is a very low bar.

It's almost unfair to do this to All-American, but I'm going to compare it to the two other shows that I'm watching right now: WandaVision and Smallville. Both exceed All-American by a mile, and both are considered relatively good shows. WandaVision is almost cinematic with its cast, production value, and movie-sized budget, but I'm watching it week to week so it's easy to compare to this. I'm always incredibly pumped for the next episode of WandaVision, and I remember almost everything from the previous episode. It does a fabulous job of building intrigue and mystery while also providing very memorable and well-written scenes that add to my enjoyment of it.

Smallville is much more on All-American's level. It is a CW show that has all the cringy dialogue and weirdly cliche drama. But every episode has a main plot line that follows our main character. It's also a Superman show, so that makes it already better than All-American. Every episode of every season is building toward a climactic finale that usually pays off exceedingly well. The show is loads of fun and doesn't take itself seriously.

All-American is the polar opposite of both of these shows. It takes itself way too seriously. It barely builds any mystery. Nothing in this season has been memorable. And every episode feels like a waste of time. There are too many storylines in each episode. You don't have enough time to breathe and consume what you just watched before you skip to the next storyline. Seasons 1 and 2 had a much more clear plot line that was being built up to the finale. Season 3 is just meandering through boring and uninteresting plot lines.

I shouldn't be, because my expectations for the season should've been low, but I have, so far, been disappointed by All-American Season 3. It's been sadly boring and hasn't captured my attention. I will keep watching, though. We are now a quarter of the way through the season. Hopefully it picks up soon enough.

Fun Factor: 5.5/10

Acting: 4.5/10

Story: 5/10

Characters: 6/10

Quality: 5/10

"My Mind's Playing Tricks On Me"

Daniel Ezra as Spencer James

Bre-Z as Tamia "Coop" Cooper

Greta Onieogou as Layla Keating

Taye Diggs as Billy Baker

Michael Evans Behling as Jordan Baker

Samantha Logan as Olivia Baker

Geffri Maya as Simone Hicks

Da'Vinchi as Darnell Hayes

Cody Christian as Asher Adams

Karimah Westbrook as Grace James Monet Mazur as Laura Baker

Brent Jennings as Willy Baker

Jalyn Hall as Dylan James


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