When The CW Network’s All American concluded its third season, the series did not hold back in ending with massive cliffhangers. When “Surviving the Times” had finished, lives were at stake. In the season 4 premiere, “Survival of the Fittest,” All American reveals the answers to some of season 3’s biggest questions.
Starting with Layla, whose fate had been uncertain, “Survival of the Fittest” quickly reveals that Layla is alive. However, she is struggling after what occurred between her and Carrie on the edge of a cliff.
All American does not stop at simply showing Layla is alive and moving on. Instead, the episode takes time to draw out the tension and reveal the truth about what occurred between Layla and Carrie in small snippets.
Layla and Carrie’s scenes are heartbreaking and filled with tension as the question hangs in the air of what happened to Carrie. But, in the end, All American shows that Layla stays and convinces Carrie to walk away from the ledge.
In the present day, though, Layla struggles with the memories of that night and eventually relies on Jordan as her main confidant. The events of the episode encourage Layla to have a devastatingly honest conversation with her father, revealing that she does not feel safe living with him, which leads Layla to move in with Jordan and Olivia’s family.
As for football, “Survival of the Fittest” tackles the Championship game between Crenshaw and Beverly. Although the score ended with the official win going to Beverly, it was also important to acknowledge that Jordan did not suffer any injuries while playing, which was a risk going into the game.
However, the overarching mystery of the premiere follows the question of what happened to Coop. Yet, All American avoids giving a direct answer early on or for most of the episode.
Instead, the premiere goes on to give vague hints about Coop’s condition. The audience knows Coop had been shot, and All American doesn’t hide that the results may be harmful. “Survival of the Fittest” doesn’t reveal the truth until much later.
Coop survived the bullet wound and the surgery, but the question remained as to when or if Coop would wake up from her coma. Luckily, Coop woke up a few days later and was happily received by Spencer, Patience, and Preach.
“Survival of the Fittest” answered plenty of season 3 questions while simultaneously preparing for what is to come in season 4. With all the various conflicts and character dynamics at play, season 4 has set up the potential for many different storylines.