All American: Homecoming (2022) s01e07 Episode Script


1 Which is more important Nurture or nature? That's been a hard question for me to answer, Professor Moore.
I don't know how much my nature influences me because I don't know where I come from, at least not yet.
I made it to the top ♪ Started from the bottom, hard times, yeah, I got 'em ♪ But I made it to the top ♪ - What's up? - What's up? Yo.
Hey, you heard anything from the - From the medical center? - Said the DNA test could take a week.
Only been a few days.
You got to chill, man.
That's easy for you to say.
Look, I'm with you.
I'm, um I'm free this weekend, though, if you want to, - you know, chop it up.
- Naw, I can't do that.
Got stuff to do.
I mean, am I a beast on the mound because I inherited my skills or because I worked my ass off like the best athletes? I made it to the top ♪ Started from the bottom, hard times, yeah, I got 'em ♪ But I made it to the top ♪ All right, listen up, everyone.
Listen up.
The tournament this weekend is do-or-die, ladies.
We are going to be playing against some of the best players in our conference.
Now, for those of you who can impress Coach Loni and land at least fifth place, you'll be moving up the team rankings.
Your opponents are listed outside of Coach Loni's door.
You're dismissed.
I made it to the top ♪ Started from the bottom, hard times, yeah, I got 'em ♪ But I made it to the top ♪ Yeah, I made it to the top ♪ Hmm.
- Ooh.
- Heh! That doesn't sound good.
Who'd you get? Oh, I'm not worried about me.
You're playing Helena Adams.
She is the number-2 player in our conference, literally the only player who made me sweat last season.
Get ready.
Nature or nurture? I wish I knew which one was more important 'cause when life throws stuff at us, when we face our biggest challenges, it would be nice to know which part of our identity to draw from.
And I thought Thea and I were trading in our frenemies bag for a full-time friend one, but she literally tried to psych me out today.
Key word is "tried.
" A bad bitch cannot get psyched out, and you, my friend, are a textbook bad bitch.
I receive that.
Thank you.
Keish? You here with us, girl? Yeah, I'm just not hungry, I guess.
- This Chinese food is not it.
- Mmm, OK.
You want to try again? You really want us to believe this mood has nothing to do with Cam? Have you talked to him since you stood him up? No, but this mood's not about him.
It's not entirely About him.
This is your mom? Yeah, her birthday's on Sunday.
In Filipino culture, birthdays of someone who's passed away are a big deal.
We go to their grave and we celebrate them.
'Cause of work, this is the first year me and my dad can't fly back to Detroit for her birthday.
Does not help that he and I aren't speaking right now, either.
Keish, I'm really sorry, but you're not alone.
You got us.
- Thank you - Mm-hmm.
But I think I really need to fly solo this weekend, so Oh, if you think we're gonna let you sulk alone, then you must have us confused with your less cute best friends.
OK, fine, but, no, I I really do have to go.
I promised Dr.
that I'd help her set up for the summit, so Love y'all.
- Love you.
- Love you, too.
So two days is enough time to research and plan a traditional Filipino birthday celebration, right? I've done medium-sized box braids in under 3 hours.
There are few things I cannot accomplish.
- OK.
- Heh heh heh! Period.
Ha ha ha! OK.
It looks good.
Thanks so much for your help, Keisha.
Yeah, of course.
Oh, wow.
Look at this.
How can I help you, Coach Marcus? Hey, hey.
Actually, I want to see if there's anything I can do to help you.
That's very sweet, but I think we got it covered.
I'mma go anywhere but here.
- Uh - Bye.
Since the blackout, look, I know things between us have been heh! Weird.
Calling it weird is a gross understatement.
Look, whatever you want to call it, there's distance between us now, and I don't like it, and we're supposed to be friends, Amara.
You and I have never been anything as simple as friends, Marcus.
It doesn't mean we can't try.
Look, who knows? - Maybe this'll lead us to, you know - I really need to get back to work.
You OK? Feels like someone is doing the cupid shuffle on my stomach.
I bet you it's that Chinese food.
I told you that 4-star rating wasn't legit now.
Actually, it was a 4.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
- Oh, 4.
3, oh.
- Heh! - You can stop dragging me now.
What exactly is your assignment, anyway? I got to do this project on the nature vs.
nurture theory, like what shapes us into who we're gonna become.
Is it the family that we're born into or our environment? My mom knows as much about my adoption as I do.
My dad, um Yeah, my dad, he has Alzheimer's, so, you know, I can't really get answers from him.
- I didn't know that about your dad.
- Yeah.
Well, look The assignment is proving which part of the theory you find more impactful, right? Your professor didn't say you had to use your own personal experiences, so maybe you could interview people.
Like a mini - Documentary-type thing? - Yes.
That's actually kinda dope.
I know.
All right, whatever.
I got to go meet the team, but after my tennis tournament tomorrow, you can interview me.
All right.
Heh! Appreciate your help again.
You know what? You know who really could help you? Yeah.
- Damon, listen.
- Listen, I've al Damon, listen.
Yeah, um, that guy wants nothing to do with me right now.
DNA test just probably got him shook, and if you are brothers, I mean It'll change everything.
Y'all talked about what that could mean? Think about it.
Wes! Unless you want flies setting up shop, don't uncover the potato salad yet.
My bad.
Dude, we're setting up for Founders' Day weekend, not high tea.
Hey, Q.
, when the last time you checked the brisket? J.
, relax.
- This is mad casual.
- Uh, no.
We have our O.
brothers rolling through.
We need to show 'em that we not just about parties and step shows.
If it isn't my favorite K.
little brother.
What are you doing here? Well, you know, I'm still an active member of the beta chapter.
No, I know - Whoo! - But we just assumed, under the circumstances, you'd sit this year Founders' barbecue out.
Now, why would I do that? This whole weekend is about K.
brotherhood, so Let's leave the animosity out on the diamond.
Speaking of, how my team doing? I wouldn't know.
I quit.
Now, Marcus was always a blockhead, but him letting you quit, well, that's shocking.
You want to talk it out? Naw.
I'm good.
Our discussion at the beginning of the semester was "keep a low profile.
" Given everything, the prudent thing would have been to cancel this.
Look, you can cut my classes, whoever can tag my door or slander my name online, but y'all can't prevent me from engaging our students in crucial discourse.
That's not exactly true.
You're on school property.
Your permission to hold this event here in the hall of the HBCU alumni is revoked.
Zeke, you can't do this.
The summit is tomorrow afternoon.
I'm not going to be able to find a new venue on short notice.
That's the point.
You have to lay low.
Um, please tell me I did not just hear my dad correctly.
You can't cancel the summit, Dr.
- I know.
- Hey.
You guys OK? My ass of a father just pulled the venue for the summit.
If I need to host the event on my roof, I will.
You know what? I maybe have a place for you to hold your event tomorrow.
Heh! And I knew that Coach Loni is so for Black female empowerment, so I knew she'd be down to let you use the tennis courts.
She's happy to take on Allen.
Please tell her I said thank you.
And was Damon and friends your doing, too? Uh, no.
I think that was Coach Marcus.
You know what? Let me just let me go before I make a mess.
- You should go.
- Ha ha! I love you, baby girl.
- I love you, too.
- So, you ready to kick some butt at this tournament? That's the plan.
You know you got this, right? You're gonna kill it.
Heh! Go show those girls who you are.
- Thanks.
- Mm-hmm.
Well, if it isn't Bringston's almost queen of the court.
So "hello" just isn't a thing anymore.
Oh, my bad.
I'mma wipe the court with you today.
See ya out there.
A warm welcome to the Marietta Tennis Invitational.
Our first match up today, we'll see Helena Adams versus Simone Hicks.
Simone, we're here.
Go get 'em, boo! How embarrassing for Bringston.
Who taught her to swing? A bad bitch cannot get psyched out, and you, my friend, are a textbook bad bitch.
Go show those girls who you are.
She is psyching herself out.
Ha ha! Yeah, that's what I was saying.
Ah! Come on.
Ha ha! Hey.
Hey, what's Coach Shaw doing here? It's Founders' Day.
He's an active member.
Better question why are you here? Uh, look, it It don't matter, man, all right? I just got this psychology class thing, and I wanted to interview you.
Um, thought I could learn some stuff about your parents.
Now, what the hell happened to you chillin'? They're my parents, man.
You don't even know if we brothers yet.
Dude, it is just for a class.
It's like you're already trying to carve out a space in my family.
It was you who started this whole "I think we brothers" campaign.
So if you didn't want a brother, bro, you shouldn't have came looking for one.
Man, it sure is good to see you.
Everything OK here? Yeah.
I'mma leave y'all to y'all little Reunion or whatever this is.
Helena Adams is up, 5-2.
The score is love-30.
Yes! - Foot fault! - Wait.
What? It's giving loser of the court.
If I were her, I'd never show my face on the court again.
Oh, my God! Shut up! Racket abuse.
Point penalty Hicks.
Game, set, match Adams.
All right, Yara.
Let's start this thing off.
What's been your biggest challenge as a Black woman in journalism? For me, it's all the systematic ways they try to keep us from excelling in the field.
I hear that, so how do we rise above? - We don't have any other option.
- Hmm.
No matter how much we don't have, there were generations of Black women before us who had even less.
We're standing on their shoulders.
It's my job to make sure that this generation goes further than mine did.
That why you broke the rules with those paper classes? - 'Cause that ain't help anybody.
- All I did is use the same tools white folks use to stay ahead and keep us behind.
There are rules for us and rules for them, and of course, we are judged by a higher standard.
Which is why we need to remain above reproach.
We can't get distracted by other things.
You tarnished the legacy of Bringston baseball, not for us, but for you, see, with victories come money, and with money comes power and opportunities that many folks don't want you to have.
I know that you may never believe that everything I did was so that you boys could have the athletic success that I knew you could achieve, but it's true.
And as far as our legacy is concerned Everything just fine till that reporter print up that article.
The worst part is all the ways they try to silence us, or worse, punish us for speaking truth.
All right.
It's no secret you're taking some heat for exposing the former baseball scandal here.
Look, I love this University with my entire heart.
It has given so much to my life both personally and professionally.
But I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that as a Black woman, I haven't always been given - the same opportunities or respect.
- Mmm.
But just because I have tough moments does not mean it's always going to be this way.
That is why we do this work, so we soldier on.
Heh! Boom.
All right.
What do you think has influenced your identity the most Your environment and experience, or genetics? Huh.
Um I guess my experiences.
Yeah, I've spent my entire life working hard on courts all over the world to be the best; specifically, a Black girl who's the best.
And how do you see yourself outside of sports? Um, well I I I don't know.
I, um, Yeah.
Off the courts, I guess I'm still trying to figure out who I am.
Uh heh! Maybe part of me is afraid to discover who I am without a racket in my hand.
Oh, you you can, like, erase that part, right? No, not a chance.
OK, I think your 5 minutes is up, so Oh, hey, something tells me that whoever you become off the court, she'll be equally as dope.
Thank you.
Yeah, thanks.
Oh, Simone.
Perfect timing.
You ready for your interview? Heh! Cool.
Uh, you can sit right here.
All right, cool.
So when you think about who you are as a person, what do you think influences you more Nature or nurture? I, um I don't know.
I, uh I don't.
Uh, not anymore.
I lost my match today, and even worse, I showed my ass on the court, so I I don't know what happened, and I, uh, I don't even recognize that version of myself, so I'm sorry.
Wait! Simone! Simone! Now, you showed me something a little earlier.
Well, being honest, you showed me something, too.
Heh! You don't seem like the same young man I used to coach.
In a lot of ways, I guess I'm not.
Well, listen, you need to talk, just know that I'm here.
We are K.
brothers, after all, hmm? Do you mind? Hmm.
Quick rundown: My parents are divorcing, I spiraled, started getting drunk, high, quit the team, and now I'm beefing with my closest friends.
I always thought baseball was my dad's thing.
At some point, baseball became something I was doing for me.
I miss it, and I need it.
Son, forget about baseball.
Look, there was a reason why I had you riding the bench.
You was a decent catcher, but you wasn't never gonna go pro.
Focus on the things that will sustain you: school, Now, this is the brotherhood that needs you now.
This is you.
Running a mile a minute isn't gonna help you figure out what happened today.
I used to get really bad headaches before matches because I let my anxiety get the best of me.
That's what happened to you today.
I was ready for that match.
I had everything under control, and then I stepped foot on the court and it just I don't know.
I haven't felt like that since The panic attack the first week? Yeah, I overheard you and Keisha talking about it one day.
I encourage you to discover your inside voice.
- Look - Thanks for the tip.
Simone, if you had a panic attack once, what made you think you couldn't have one again? Because I'm not like some of these girls who can't handle pressure, Thea.
Helena's strength is her ability to pull the anxiety out of her opponents, and every single time that you walk out onto that court, you have to be mentally prepared for anything, and you and I have had some version of this same conversation since you visited Bringston last homecoming weekend, so when are you gonna finally hear me?! Having anxiety doesn't make you weak, Simone.
The weakness comes from refusing to work with the anxiety.
So what do I do? You tell me.
I meditate before matches to control my nerves.
When Becca chants the ABCS as loud as humanly possible, that's her way of getting into the zone.
Yeah, we all have our thing.
You just have to figure out what gets you into your zone.
Look, the consolation matches are tomorrow.
If you place fifth, you'll still be able to move up the ranking.
Don't waste the shot.
Ha ha.
Look at you, man.
No judgment, but, uh, ain't doctors supposed to eat better? Heh! Typically, yes.
It's Aurora's birthday.
I'm so sorry.
Every year, on her birthday, I eat some of her favorite foods.
Aurora was an incredible woman.
Well, ain't this a treat? Coach Shaw, to what do we owe the unexpected and unwelcome visit? Oh, well, I'm just checkin' in on some frat brothers and some old friends like you.
Enjoy your day, Coach Shaw.
I know the stresses of first-year head-coachin'.
Well, it's a lot, I mean, even for the best of 'em.
I just want to make sure you're OK 'cause if one of my players had up and quit on me heh! I'd probably feel some kinda way about that.
Team lookin' a little thin there, Marcus.
You keep this up, you gonna be pickin' up players off the street.
Look, Zeke, I got everything handled, OK? Trust me.
I hope so because your funding, and thus your program, is at stake.
So I begged my coach to put me in on special teams.
And when I scored that 85-yard touchdown return, I knew couldn't nobody make me feel bad about myself.
And that is that's great, man, but, I mean, you still haven't answered my question.
Well, you asked me what's been more influential, right - Nature or nurture? - Yes.
Well, my identity is tied to how hard I worked at football.
Look, just follow me for a second, all right? I come from a family of singers, but I don't see myself as a singer 'cause I don't have to work for it.
I'm the first person in my family to get out of South L.
and go to college 'cause I worked to be the best wide receiver I could be.
Football was my way out.
The only thing that I worked for is gone.
Guess I don't even know who I am no more.
Uh, break that down for me.
So you know where you're from.
Like, how can you not know who you are, bro? Heh! Knowing your family tree ain't everything.
I mean, it's a part of you, but it don't complete you, so I still got to figure it out, attach myself to something new.
Anyways, I guess I'm team nurture over nature.
Real talk, in your case, I I think you need both.
The nature, it's the gift, and the nurture, that's what you do with it.
I don't know.
I think you should take singing seriously.
I mean, what if you poured into, you know, singing how you do football? That thing that you're looking for, that missing piece It might have been right in front of you this whole time.
Welcome back to day two of the Marietta Tennis Invitational.
OK, girl, let's find yourself.
Today, we have Simone Hicks versus Sovale Murray.
OK, this is stupid.
Come on.
That shot coulda been better.
You know, tennis is a game of both mental and physical fitness.
You'll never make it if you keep being so easily psyched out.
How embarrassing for Bringston.
It's giving loser of the court.
Oh, my God.
She's going down again.
Match is tied, 3 apiece.
Murray serves Hicks with advantage 40-15.
Good girl.
Yeah! This next one's for the match.
Hicks serving Murray, 40-15.
Yes! Yes! Whoo! Congrats on pulling out that win! I really couldn't have done it without you.
Uh, all I did was yell at you, which is my new favorite thing, by the way.
You're a badass on the court, but what you did for me, that was Thea Mays off the court, and it turns out she is freakin' dope, too.
Don't thank me yet; You still have another match to win.
- Are you ready? - Hell yeah.
I got this.
I'm Keisha, and I guess I'm a part of the nature camp.
I see myself as a strong Black and Filipina woman, and although I'm proud to be from a two-culture household, there are still parts I don't know about both sides of my family.
When my mom moved to the States and married my dad, a lot of her family cut her off, and my dad was a military brat, so he moved around so much that his parents never really planted roots deep enough to truly grow, so But in the absence of those parts of my identity, I cling to the parts that I do know.
My love for dance Comes from my mom and Her culture, and my need to serve and take care of people comes from my dad.
And I think that's more than enough from me.
Heh! Uh Yeah.
All those little things, those little parts of my identity, make up who I am today, so Yeah, think you're right.
You know, we always focus on What we don't know instead of focusing on what we do.
- Uh, thanks.
- Yeah, yeah.
Yo, look, I know not knowing your biological family means that there are parts of you that you don't have, and that sucks, but focus on the parts that you do know.
You're an incredible athlete, and you're kind and funny, sometimes And loyal.
You have two adoptive parents who adore you.
Double down on those parts of your identity.
Heh! Yeah.
- A'ight, a'ight.
- A'ight, a'ight.
- What? - Bro, we mean this in the nicest way possible, but you need to take your ass back to baseball.
I told y'all I was done with that.
That's cap, J.
, you need baseball.
Everyone can see how miserable you are without it.
I overheard you talking with Shaw, how he tried to talk you outta getting back on the team.
Bump that dude.
Listen to your heart.
Yo I'm not gonna say I don't miss it, but I just can't go to Coach to tell him I want back in.
Maybe not, but you won't know unless you try.
Question is, do you still love the game enough to fight for it? Oh.
Heh! OK, I know I was a little harsh on you earlier, but is this entirely necessary? Yes, it is.
Now, hush.
- Oh.
- OK.
Open your eyes.
Y'all remixed family dinner into a traditional birthday party for my mom.
Since you couldn't celebrate at your mom's grave, we brought the celebration to you.
We wanted to make this as authentic and honest as possible.
We hope it's OK that we did this.
It's incredible.
Oh, I don't know what I did to deserve y'all.
Thank you.
I love you.
We love you, too.
Excuse me.
I love you, too.
I know I'm not your favorite person right now, but we should be together today.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
Oh, cheers.
Ah, you were such a firecracker, just like your mom.
There would be times when the two of you would share a look and just laugh telepathically, in sync.
That's what I miss most Seeing you with her.
I'm sorry for the way I acted and distance between us.
You letting go of medicine was like losing the last piece of your mom.
She was so excited that you wanted to go into medicine.
It's one of the last things we talked about.
I thought, if we stayed on the path the way we planned, the pain would stop, but it hasn't, and I let that pain overshadow being a better father to you.
For that, I'm sorry, too.
It may take me a minute to get fully on board with this dance thing, but I'm gonna try.
It's a good start, Daddy.
Yo I heard you placed fifth in that tennis tournament.
Heh! - I did - OK.
Heh! Which is just good enough to get me to jump up to the eighth-place position on our team rankings.
- Oh, that's what's up.
- Mm-hmm.
Look, I'm sorry I was such a hot mess yesterday.
Look, it's all good.
I got what I needed.
I promise.
So everything went well with you and J.
? Uh, nah.
Heh! I'm sorry.
Don't be.
I'm gonna define my identity on my own terms, and there ain't one thing that DNA test can do to take me off of that path.
Believe that.
What you want, Keisha? To apologize.
For which part Standing me up or not answering my text and calls? OK, yeah, I Deserve that.
My mom died when I was 9.
I'm sorry.
No, no, it's it's OK.
Um It's her birthday today, and For the first time, I think I'm truly realizing the effect that loss had on me, and I don't just mean the loss of my mom and what we had; I mean the effect of watching my dad lose a piece of himself.
I think I'm just So afraid of Experiencing the pain that he's feeling, the pain of A loss of a great love, that I Push away any chance of it.
So What you saying? I guess I Have some stuff to work on before I can even consider getting into a relationship, and I'm not gonna ask you to wait for me, but I would Really like to not lose a friend, if that's OK.
You know, I usually cut sidepieces off But for you, I'll make an exception.
Nature or nurture I wish I knew which one was more important because when life throws stuff at us, when we face our biggest challenges, it would be nice to know which part of our identity to draw from.
I know the stresses of first-year head-coachin'.
Well, it's a lot, I mean, even for the best of 'em.
At least that's what I used to think.
The truth is, it doesn't matter which part of our identity we draw from, as long as we develop an identity to draw from.
We have to know ourselves, and as someone who doesn't know their birth family, I always felt like there was, you know, something missing, I felt incomplete.
I thought that without knowing all of my identity, I couldn't have any of my identity, and a smart person reminded me today that the pieces that we do have, those will always be enough for the now, and there's resilience in that.
I mean, just look at Black Americans.
So much of our our culture and our connection to our ancestral homes was taken from us, and because of that, you can argue that we have this innate lack of our own nature.
But just look at the culture and identity that Black Americans have nurtured, an identity that was born from nurturing the innate gifts within ourselves.
So Allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Damon Sims.
I am the adopted son of Xavier and Keena Sims.
Um, apparently I am a Pretty loyal and decent friend, I'm a baseball player destined to break down barriers, and I am a proud member of the HBCU legacy.
And until I know what my nature holds That'll be more than enough for me.
Thank you for what you all did for me and Keisha tonight.
I know I haven't exactly been, uh, - favorite person of late, either.
- Well - But the trustees, they just - Mm-mmm.
Let's keep Bringston business off the table for tonight.
- Bet.
- Mm-hmm.
- Consider it done.
- OK.
Oh, excuse me.
Look, I loathe this university with my entire heart, that as a Black woman, I haven't always been given the same opportunities or respect.
That video was edited and taken out of context.
I didn't say I I mean, not like that.
This is not who I am, Zeke.
You know that.
In about 20 seconds, my phone is gonna start blowing up because someone's gonna have to handle this.
Yeah, it's, uh, it's open.
What are you doing here, bro? Look, man, I was wild for how I reacted to you asking for help on your project.
Now I feel like maybe I owe you an apology for a lot of things.
Maybe another time.
And just so you know, baseball is important to me.
Not being on the team has been like walking around with a piece of me missing, and I'mma fight like hell to get it back.
That's good for you.
I'm glad you figured that out for yourself, bro.
But as important as baseball is, family Now, that's everything to me, knowing that I might have a sibling out there.
It's like walking around with a piece of you missing.
And that's why I came looking for my brother.
I just want to say I hope I found him.
DNA results already.
Well? Heh! Let's do it.
Let's do it together.
OK, um "based on analysis" and "Results of your test are" "negative"? Wait.
That means that we're Not brothers after all.

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