‘All American: Homecoming’ Recap: ‘Ready Or Not,’ Here I Come In Season 3, Episode 1

(WARNING: Spoilers for this week’s All American: Homecoming episode will be found in the recap below.)

All American: Homecoming is back with a season three premiere episode “Ready Or Not” and the series wasted no time bringing the drama. The episode opens with Damon Sims and the Bringston baseball team in the middle of their championship game, where the team is down 10-4 and at risk of losing a very important game. Thankfully, JR, who missed the last eight months battling aplastic anemia, showed up to support his squad and give Damon and the team a much-needed confidence boost as they went on to win 11-10. As all of this is going down, Bringston leaders received word that the school plans on shutting down two athletic programs in a pivot to become a more academic-focused institution. To the surprise of everyone, the baseball team, despite the championship, was listed as one of those two teams.

As a result, Simone and Damon’s relationship, which has gone on for about a year, is now at risk as Damon has to find a new school to play at in order to fulfill his last year of eligibility before a jump to the MLB. Thanks to help from he and JR’s dad, Damon lands on an opportunity to go pro with a team in the Dominican Republic. He initially believes that he and Simone can continue their relationship once he goes to DR, but Simone notes that the distraction of a long-distance relationship is not something they can afford to deal with right now. Damon initially pushed back at the idea of breaking up, but he eventually accepted it. What ends up happening between them (as well as Simone and Lando) remains to be seen, as the episode concludes with a time jump to Simone’s junior year as she moves into Amara’s now-old apartment with Nate and Keisha as her roommates.

Elsewhere in “Ready Or Not,” we see that Amara and Marcus did not recover from the surprise appearance from Marcus’ ex-wife, whom he was still technically married to. Despite repeated apologies from Marcus, Amara refuses to give him any time of day for any conversation that wasn’t about Bringston. It doesn’t seem like the two worked things out as Amara took on a new gig in The White House, making it practically impossible for her and Marcus to have a real relationship. Marcus and Damon also got into a heated argument after the former confessed that he knew for quite some time that the Bringston baseball would get shut down, but by the end of the episode, the two are able to patch things up.

We also learn that JR fully recovered from battling aplastic anemia, but it didn’t come without some complications. Keisha stepped up to be his bone marrow transplant, but the operation came with complications that sidelined Keisha from her dance career for some months. It’s something she hid from JR initially, but came clean about once he found out and confronted her. Oh, and family dinners are back! Thea made a surprise appearance, which seemed like it would be awkward with Simone and Damon’s relationship, but she seemed completely fine with them dating.

Now that you have a quick summary on this week’s episode, let’s dive into some final thoughts we have after watching “Ready Or Not.”

Marcus Got Himself A Brutal Lesson On Transparency

'All American: Homecoming' 301 episode image w/ Cory Hardrict as Coach Marcus Turner

'All American: Homecoming' 301 episode image w/ Cory Hardrict as Coach Marcus Turner

This week was a tough one for Coach Marcus. He’s yet to earn the forgiveness of Amara following the season two finale where his ex-wife made a surprise to him and Amara. Then he gets into an argument with Damon after he confesses that he always knew that the baseball program would get axed at Bringston. The heated conversation ends with Marcus trying to apologize to a frustrated Damon, who storms out of the coach’s office in front of his teammates.

Marcus is eventually able to apologize to Damon and earn his forgiveness, but he didn’t have the same luck with Amara, who is still upset with him over his ex-wife’s surprise visit. Though Marcus believed that their divorce was finalized, he knew a year prior to his ex-wife’s visit that the paperwork was not complete — just like he knew that the Bringston baseball program would have its funding rerouted. If Marcus learns anything from these situations, it’s that honesty is the best policy. The faster you rip off the band-aid, the sooner you’ll heal.

Amara Moved Out, But Did She Move On?

Speaking of Marcus, we return to All American: Homecoming where we reconnect with Amara, who is as stressed as anyone can be as a college president. News that Bringston will shut down two athletic programs has her scrambling to find a way to save them both. All of this goes down as Marcus makes some attempts to reconnect with her, but she makes it clear that she wants to be nothing more than colleagues. By the end of “Ready Or Not,” we see that Simone, Nate, and Keisha live in Amara’s old apartment, which she presumably moved out of for her new gig in The White House. Yes, Amara moved out, but how has she moved on? Is she angry with Marcus? What is her role at Bringston currently? Is she still there? All are questions that need answers, but we’ll get those in the next few episodes (hopefully).

Simone & Damon Can’t Afford To Be Distracted

'All American: Homecoming' 301 episode image w/ Simone, Rhoyle Ivy King as Nate, and Netta Walker as Keisha

Just as we were ready to get used to Simone and Damon’s new relationship, the two have a wrench thrown in their relationship that tears it apart. The baseball program is one of two athletic programs that were shut down at Bringston, forcing Damon to salvage his career by going pro with a team in the Dominican Republic. Damon hoped to continue their relationship as he began his career in DR, but Simone rightfully said that a long-distance relationship is the last thing either of them needs to deal with at this point in their lives. Damon needs to make the most of his year in DR so he can make the jump to the MLB, while Simone has a crucial tennis season ahead of her. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but a long-distance relationship will only lead to Simone and Damon resenting each other as it will pull them away from the respective paths they need to be on. Plus, it didn’t work with Simone and Jordan, what’s to say it will here? Even if it could, the time and energy to make it work is extremely limited on both sides.

JR Owes It To Himself To Fight

JR surprised his friends in “Ready Or Not” by showing up to the championship baseball game following his battle with aplastic anemia, which sidelined him for eight months. Despite fears about whether he was emotionally ready to handle watching his close friends and teammates play, JR knew that he owed it to himself to show his support and watch his team play, regardless of if they won or lost. In the same sense, JR owes it to himself to fight back from his health scare and get back on the baseball field. He didn’t fight through aplastic anemia for nothing, and now the chance to make that more than worthwhile comes through suiting up for a baseball game. The truth is, if JR doesn’t put forth this fight, he will always regret the decision. His teammates and friends always fought for him, and now, it’s time for JR to do the same for himself.

New episodes of ‘All American: Homecoming’ are available on CW TV on Mondays at 9 pm ET/PT and on the CW app and website at 3 am ET/12 am PT.