The following post contains major spoilers for All American‘s Feb. 13 episode. Proceed with caution!
The All American cast and crew has been keeping a whopper of a secret for nearly a year, and viewers were finally let in on it Monday night: Billy Baker is no more.
TVLine can confirm that Taye Diggs, who has co-starred as the reliable football coach and father figure since All American‘s pilot episode, has exited the CW series, with Monday’s episode serving as his formal sendoff.
During the sentimental hour, titled “Time,” Billy and the South Crenshaw football players participated in a combine that allowed the Crenshaw men to show off their skills for college coaches. On the way home from the event, the bus carrying Billy, Asher, Jabari and the other Crenshaw players blew a tire, causing a crash that left the bus teetering dangerously on the edge of a cliff.
Billy initially got out safely and helped the rest of the passengers climb out, too — but when Billy later realized that Jabari was still trapped on the bus, he went back to help him, and that good deed ultimately led to Billy’s demise. Viewers didn’t see the actual moment that Billy perished, though: Instead, Grace and Jordan (who were at the scene of the bus crash) came home and broke the devastating news to Laura, Olivia, Spencer and Coop, just as Spencer was listening to a sweet voicemail from Billy that aimed to resolve their current discord over Billy potentially leaving Crenshaw for GAU.
Below, in separate interviews that have been combined and condensed, Diggs and All American showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll walk us through how Billy’s exit was crafted, including the possibility that he’ll return in some capacity during Season 5’s remaining episodes.