All American Fall Finale Recap: Coop and the Gang — Plus: Grade the Episode

All American Fall Finale Recap: Coop and the Gang — Plus: Grade the Episode

All American went into its winter hiatus with one very big win and one very big loss.

Wednesday’s fall finale brought a number of simmering storylines to a boil, resulting in major life changes for Spencer — and everyone in his orbit, for that matter. Let’s recap what went down in the eventful hour:

THE GANG’S ALL HERE | Much of this week’s episode focuses on Shawn and Coop’s continued involvement with Crenshaw’s gangs, a situation that’s been getting increasingly sticky for the teens all season. One morning, while Shawn is making breakfast for his daughter, gang member Tyrone shows up at his door, and he gives Shawn and Coop a worrying ultimatum: They either ride with Tyrone from here on out, or they’re going to be in serious danger.

Coach Baker’s wife, Laura, finally gets to flex her legal skills in this episode, and she offers to get Coop and Shawn the protection they need — provided that Shawn cooperates with Laura’s team and rats out Tyrone to the D.A., who has been looking for intel on Tyrone for quite some time. Shawn is adamant that he’s not going to snitch on any gang member; if he’s going to get out of the gang life, he’ll find a way to do it himself.

Later, Shawn eventually does come up with an exit strategy. He meets with Tyrone the following day and hands over a backpack full of cash — all of the money that Shawn has been squirreling away from previous jobs and visits to Alvin’s barbershop. He’s ready to give himself and his daughter a fresh start down in Louisiana, and he’s hoping he can buy his way out of the gang life… and, much to Shawn’s surprise, Tyrone accepts the offer. After realizing just how much dough Shawn is willing to fork over, Tyrone dismisses Shawn from his duties — but, because he’s also a jerk, he informs Shawn that he “overpaid” for his ticket to Louisiana. “You ain’t worth that much, Shawn Scott,” Tyrone says before driving off.

But Shawn’s happy ending is ultimately too good to be true. Just as he’s arriving back at his apartment, giddily telling Coop over the phone how thrilled he is to be getting a fresh start, Shawn is shot in the chest by a rival gang member. He collapses as the shooter drives off, then dies on the sidewalk. (It’s a testament to All American‘s writers, and Shawn’s portrayer, Jay Reeves, that I was ultimately heartbroken to see Shawn’s story end this way.)

Coop is understandably wrecked over Shawn’s death; after all, she was on the phone with him when he died, and she heard the gunshots loud and clear over the line. Patience, on the other hand, is admittedly glad that Shawn’s death is getting Coop out of the gang world for good… until Coop informs her that that part of her life isn’t over just yet.

Tags: All American

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