All American Season 5 delivered a powerful episode with a shocking twist at the end. Is Taye Diggs actually leaving, and why has it happened now?
Caution: This post contains major spoilers from All American Season 5, Episode 11.
We said goodbye to a character on the new episode of All American. This is a permanent exit, with Billy Baker dying. He’s died off-screen, but the death is real.
It turns out that this was not just some random creative decision from the writing team. Taye Diggs made the decision to leave the show, and it all came down to how his character was going to exit. Considering Billy’s storyline, death was the only real option, and that’s what we got in the new episode.
Why did Taye Diggs want to leave All American?
There is no bad blood between Diggs and the show. According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he shared that he was just ready to move forward in his career. He loves the show and the character, but as an actor, he felt like it was time to bring this character’s story to an end.
"“I had done all that I could and this chapter had kind of closed and I was willing to try something else.”"
Showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll looked at all the ways to make the exit happen. She took time to craft the storyline that we saw, with Billy’s death happening off-screen. What’s interesting is we don’t get to find out if he saved the student he was going into the bus to save. And we’re left to assume that the bus went over the cliff as it was teetering on the edge.
This ending certainly leaves a lot open. There has been such a huge storyline between Billy and Spencer, and the episode ended with a voicemail Billy had left Spencer, explaining why he wanted to be Spencer’s coach again. Now those storylines will never be wrapped up in a neat bow, but that’s the important thing about the exit and this show. Not everything has closure in life, and this is one of those times.
What did you think of Billy’s exit? What do you hope to see for Taye Diggs next? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
All American airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.