Billy Baker is dead.
So what will this mean for the All American moving forward?
One of the primary pieces of the CW series was taken off the board when Billy was killed attempting to save one of his players from a bus teetering over a cliff-side on All American Season 5 Episode 11.
Billy’s going out was exactly what he expected: to do some heroic deed for another person.
If you watch All American Online, you know that as much as Billy tries not to be at times, he was the social conscience of the series.
Billy uses the football to escape from Crenshaw. He then took it further, bringing his longtime friend Grace’s son Spencer from Crenshaw to Beverly Hills. Granted, that made their football team stronger. But it’s the thought that counts.
Billy then returned triumphantly to his alma mater, South Crenshaw High, at Spencer’s urging, serving first as football coach, then adding principal to his titles.
Kudos to the all-American powers that be for keeping Billy’s jerk ending a secret. It had more of an effect than just being tricked into social media.
Why is Billy gone? Taye Diggs told TV Line that he felt it was time for him to leave, while showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll informed Variety that it was a “strictly descriptive decision”.
The answer is likely somewhere in the middle. Whatever the case, Billy’s exit was in the planning stages since the middle of season 4, which is why this episode was simultaneously shocking and spontaneous.
There isn’t much gossip on social media about Diggs’ future plans. She has done all kinds of acting and worked as an award-show host. Maybe “Rent” will return to Broadway for the change of pace experienced.
By far, Diggs was the biggest name among the All-American cast. let’s face it; The series was lucky it hung on as long as it did.
All American has already been renewed for a sixth season. It may not be a coincidence that The CW’s new owners, who are saving its scripted programming roster, renewed the show just before its potentially most expensive actor left the cast.
Billy was a significant influence on both Beverly and Crenshaw. So let’s see what his death will mean for the rest of the characters.
Let’s start with the Baker family, specifically the child in most peril: Olivia.
Olivia, a drug addict, was last seen on All American Season 5 Episode 12 grabbing a bottle of fish from Billy’s desk drawer in his football office.
In the past, Olivia has said that her drinking didn’t fall off the wagon until she got into trouble. Since then, Olivia has been a model of sobriety.
But, after breaking up with Spencer and receiving little credit for her article that took down Garrett, the latest blow Olivia has been dealt with the death of her father, is she going to be able to stay calm? Is?
All American Season 5 Episode 13, airing Mondays at 9/8c on The CW, promises to tackle that question.
And what about Olivia’s twin, Jordan? He has a lot going on this season, not all of which he has handled well.
He and Simone break off their long distance relationship, then he and Layla secretly reunite. They have come out of hiding after Billie’s death, but how will being a public couple affect them?
Furthermore, after the scandal at GAU came to light, Jordan seriously considered relocating. Once Billy tells him he’s taking the GAU job, Jordan comes back on board. So what is he going to do next in his football career?
Jordan also needs to be the man of the house, something he’s never shown the ability to be before.
Finally, there is Laura, the matriarch of the family. Not only has she lost her soulmate, but she also has to protect it for her grieving children.
More importantly, Laura is the only regular adult character remaining. Billy is gone, and Grace moves to Oakland to start her new life with D’Andre.
Sure, All American focuses on the young men and women who are involved in the social group “The Vortex”. But there is also a need for adults to impart wisdom from their years of experience. And Laura also has a law practice to grow.
So, first of all, a new GAU head coach needs to be named. It’s likely to be Spencer’s favorite coach, Kenny. But a new face is always a possibility.
Another possibility is that one of the recurring adult characters – Grandpa Willie, Dennis, or the hermit – becomes a more than regular appearance.
And who’s to say that after a proper mourning period, Laura might be back in the dating pool after so many years?
Billy’s death is likely to have an impact on Spencer, the show’s titular character, and Billy’s other “son”.
Spencer is listening to Billy’s heartbroken voice on his phone when the others learn of his fate. Spencer is bound to feel guilty as he was feuding with Billy at the time of his death.
Here’s hoping this doesn’t propel Spencer into a funk where he questions the value of football and college. Also, kiss the idea of him and Olivia saying goodbye.
There is only one Billy Baker. But maybe some combination of new and existing characters could fill some of his many roles.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. follow him Twitter,