[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Monday's episode of All American. Read at your own risk!]
Things are about to get real on All American. Olivia (Samantha Logan) is getting back on the wagon with her sobriety, and with her new clarity, she has found a new cause. She's decided to reinvest herself in her podcast after hearing about the death of Tamika Pratt, a young woman killed by police when she was found sleeping in her car. Tamika had been drinking but pulled over to sleep it off once she realized she was intoxicated, and yet she still paid for it with her life. Meanwhile, Olivia drove drunk only a couple of weeks prior, got into a car accident, and got a ride home from the cops because her mother is the district attorney.
Needless to say, Tamika's death hit really close to home for Olivia. However, Olivia became frustrated with the lack of outcry for Tamika's case, as well as with the fact that the police officers' bodycam footage hadn't been released to the public. Olivia believed the footage would ensure that the cops were arrested for Tamika's death. To get the justice the community wanted, she broke into her mom's computer and posted the bodycam footage showing how Tamika died.
The release of the footage is obviously going to have huge repercussions for Olivia and her mother, but showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll says the impending fallout from Olivia's actions is going to impact a lot of other characters on the show. Carroll spoke with TV Guide to set up what's coming next and tease how things are about to get very complicated in the Baker house.
Let's start with Olivia releasing the body cam footage. In terms of the case, that it is really, really bad, so what happens next after she's blown this up?
Nkechi Okoro Carroll: I mean, literally, she did it. Let's just say... there are going to be major repercussions to what she did. There's going to be a fallout both personally and within the Baker family, and more publicly with regard to justice for Tamika Pratt and the case and all of that. She opened a can of worms.
Is the pressure and attention that will undoubtedly be coming her way after releasing the tape going to test her new sobriety?
Carroll: The truth is as a recovering addict, and as a recovering alcoholic, it's a daily battle for her, whether it's high-pressured situations, or it's just she has school the next day. Every morning, she has to wake up and make an active choice to stay sober and make an active choice to just get through the day. It's a day-at-a-time thing. For Olivia, her survivor's guilt over her very similar situation in terms of driving a car under the influence -- and, as she says so clearly in the episode, Tamika actually did the right thing, which is the minute she realized that she was under the influence, she pulled over and tried to sleep it off. Olivia kept driving and put lives in danger, including hers and Spencer's, and got to walk away because of the privilege of who her mother was. For her, that survivor's guilt -- living with that and not doing anything about it is almost more dangerous to her sobriety than the can of worms.
Who else is the tape going to affect?
Carroll: It's going to be tough for all of them in that Baker family, because it has repercussions for Laura and the case. It has repercussions for Olivia personally because it's going to have repercussions for Spencer and Billy and the entire Crenshaw community, which is where Tamika came from. They're going to be feeling the ripple effects of this for a while.
Olivia and Spencer had to hit the brakes on their relationship after the car accident. Is this going to bring them closer together or pull them farther apart?
Carroll: Spencer and Olivia care about each other. They are two people who love each other, but also recognize that getting together now while they are both dealing with healthy representations of themselves and conquering their demons [is a bad idea]... They put in the work over the seasons to be self-aware, and especially Spencer with therapy this season, to be aware enough to be like, "Oh, I do need to put up boundaries and make [me] whole and healthy before I can be a good partner to someone else." So we'll see that they are finding and navigating their way around their feelings for each other and their friendship for each other, which is what it all started as. There's always going to be their solid foundation, while also trying to continue to work on the healthiest version of themselves.
One thing that these teens are really good at is recognizing the stakes of a situation and recognizing when something is just kind of high school silliness and when something is life and death. When something is life and death, they rally around each other. It's what this group does best, and it's one of the aspirational qualities of the show. One of the things I love most about these characters is no matter how much drama and how much craziness is going on, when they need each other they're there for each other.
Switching gears a bit, we found out a couple of episodes ago that Mo actually is up to no good, so how worried should we be about Coop?
Carroll: I would worry. Mo has been very strategic and she has been very convincing. She has shown that she has a lot of patience and she has a long game plan. Anytime you have someone that can be that patient and that strategic about their revenge, it should give you pause.
This is all very stressful. Are there any joyful moments we can look forward to in the upcoming episodes?
Carroll: Despite whatever stress and craziness may be going on, the one thing they do beautifully is rally around each other. [This] is a group of friends who might bend and who might curve, but never really break even when you think they do. We're going to see a lot of them coming together and a lot of the strength [in those] friendships. One of my favorite things coming up is what we're calling our "Friendsgiving" episode, where they all get together for a celebratory dinner to celebrate their friendships and to celebrate Patience's return from tour. She really wanted her village back together, the way they were. It's honestly one of my favorite episodes and is one of the reasons why I love this group of friends so, so much. That's coming up in the back half of the season, and should be a lot of joy.
And what can you say about Billy and his feud with Principal Carter? When are we getting the full story of what went down between them in high school?
Carroll: That is coming up very soon, and the ripple effects of that aren't quite what everyone is going to think they are. What we will find is that sometimes the greatest enemies, with some conversation and understanding, can actually turn a corner. We're gonna see new and very interesting insight into both Billy and Carter, and their interactions with each other.
All American airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.