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S05.E17: Mask Off

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It’s Spring Break for GAU, but the well-deserved break brings some big changes when an old friend surprises Spencer and Jordan, Olivia searches for the courage to share her truth, Patience has a decision to make as her career skyrockets, and Layla has an eye-opening conversation.

Airdate: 04/24/2023

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Arguably, Layla's arc is the most fantastical.  How many last-second switcheroos has she had to do?  Those are super costly, as will be jettisoning the Patience campaign already well under way.  Also, if she really were a talented producer, she would have 1) Seen how miserable and listless Patience was about 2.0 and 2)  Would have asked for a stripped down version of the single.  Now, daddy coming back has been heartwarming to this point.  I'd bet a lot that he is gonna grab the company back from her in the near term.

Coaches still aren't around the building at GAU.  That's nuts.  Spence's sincere welcome and favors for Marco rang true to me.  Marco's misgivings about his home way away from home are a familiar story in college athletics.  And maaaaaaaybe there is a major issue at that place regarding acceptance of gays.  Yet, it sure seems that the younger generations have more quickly and fully found such acceptance.  If Marco competed as advertised, there would almost certainly, imo, be no real problems in how his teammates and school would react.  But again, seeing Spence at his authentic best is very cool.

Has Olivia done any single thing worth mentioning journalistically since the great coaching scandal?  The type of publication she is now at is typically all about quantity and not quality.  That's true for most student papers, as well.  There's white space to fill and deadlines that must be honored.  That's the world, Olivia.  

This was another placeholder ep.  There better be some major and new arcs in the final three eps of this season.

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Even though it worked out in the end, I didn't buy that Grace--who just decided to move back to L.A. and have a long-distance marriage because Spencer was struggling badly very recently--would dismantle Spencer's room without telling him ahead of time and dismissively tell him to sleep on an air mattress.  They could have said that she had talked about changing the room at some point and had Spencer then react when he saw the changes, only to then apologize and give the go-ahead like he eventually did.  It just seemed out of character for Grace, especially when Spencer was staying over at the house quite a bit just a few episodes ago (but who knows how much time has passed?).

I really don't believe that voluntary practices with no coaches because it's spring break are a real thing.  More like they weren't paying Coach Kenny to be in this episode and that was the best they could come up with.  (They could have said he had an out-of-town emergency, not that he just went away which seems unlikely with the shaky status of a program for which he was just hired as head coach.)  Even though Olivia told Jordan he had helped her enough, I still thought he was staying with her and was confused when he was suddenly at practice, but they probably didn't want any extras filling in at QB even though Jordan wasn't really needed in that scene.

I didn't understand why Alicia was at the awards ceremony either.  She didn't even seem particularly concerned by any of the exchanges between Spencer and Olivia.  I wonder if finding out that Olivia prodded Alicia to reunite with Spencer will make him think Olivia didn't really want him or something like that.

Sky would probably be better with Patience than with Coop (I knew they weren't really split for good), but it would also be weird, so good for Patience for shutting that down.  (Though they'd probably fit right in with the history of the vortex.)  I still hope something bad will happen to super-creepy Miko.  Coop will probably get mad at Patience when the video comes out, even though she didn't do anything.

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