Last night, our beloved Dillon Panthers tried to battle their way back to State, Coach and Tami learned about a move that could dismantle the storied team, Matt and him mom had to make some tough decisions about Grandma Saracen, Landry helped Tyra plan a bridal shower, Buddy tried to get Lyla back home and tensions rose higher than ever in the McCoy household.
It’s impressive that all of those things happened in an hour (well technically 45 minutes or so), and none of the storylines felt rushed or slighted. Not that it’s any surprise since this is a fantastic show, but last night was another solid episode of “FNL.” There was a lot at stake last night, and not just on the football field, which is why this show is so good. I know there are naysayers who think the show should focus more on the football, but the game is only part of the story that this show is trying to tell. If all you want is high school football drama, watch the movie. The whole point of the show is to deeper into the characters’ lives away from the gridiron.
OK, I’m rambling. How about I get off of my soap box and recap last nights show…
I love Grandma Saracen. She’s one of my favorite characters on the show along with Coach, Matt, Riggins and Buddy. So, it’s very tough for me to see her declining mentally. It was a really bad sign when she hopped out of a moving car. It was even a worse sign when she demanded Matt bring her the slippers she had on her feet.
I loved Matt’s dedication to his grandmother, but after the slippers incident, I couldn’t help but I feel the doctor was right. Luanne needs to be under constant care, more than Matt and his mom, Shelby can give her. Although at the end, I’m not sure what they decided. Matt said that he didn’t know how to take care of her anymore, and Shelby said she didn’t plan on leaving. So….they’re going to continue to take care of her? Unless I blacked out for a second, or missed something, I don’t think they made it clear what they were going to do. For one, I hope that Grandma Saracen is staying right where she is. She’s too good of a character to cut loose. I mean how great was it when she told Shelby she wanted to be back home in time to see Oprah because she was doing a new makeover show?
Riggins and the Garrity’s
So, it looks like Lyla is still made at her dad for squandering her college fund on a bad investment. I can’t say that I blame her. Although, I felt it was strange that rather than work with her dad on a solution, she opted to play video games and get drunk at Tim’s place. She was so drunk in fact that she was too hung over to go to school the following day. That seemed out of character for her in my opinion. I understand she’s upset at Buddy and worried about how she’s going to pay for school, but Lyla seems like the type of person who’d be figuring out away to fix things. She doesn’t seem like the pity party type of person. Just when I was about to get tired of her near the end of the episode, I began to feel a little empathy for her when she said she was all alone and had no family.
Thank goodness Tim Riggins was there for her (And on a smaller scale, Buddy. How great was their little car ride yesterday) last night. Wow, how often can one say, “Thank goodness for Tim Riggins” off of the football field. He’s been the voice of reason the last couple of weeks, first with Street, then with J.D. and now Lyla. He told her what I’ve been screaming at the TV ever since she found out Buddy lost her college money; there’s a such thing as scholarships and financial aid. She was mad, I get it, but by now she should have taken a deep breath and realized there are other ways to go to school than Daddy’s wallet. And like Tim said, if all else fails, she can attend San Antonio State with him. Since they professed their love to each other last night, maybe attending college together is the logical move. Riggins is in love, who would have thought?
Tyra and Landry
Tyra having to plan her sister’s bridal shower was the weak link in this strong chain of storylines last night, but that’s OK. There were plenty of head scratching and laugh-out-loud moments involved that the story wasn’t terrible. It was just not as good as the rest of them.
I was definitely puzzled that Tyra’s sister, Mindy, wanted to have a tea party for her bridal shower. All of a sudden, she wanted to be classy? I did get a kick out watching her and Billy registering for wedding gifts. Does Billy really expect someone to get them a leaf blower?
Anyway, it was Landry to the rescue when he offered to help Tyra put together the shower. I couldn’t help but laugh when they were setting the tables and saw the sign for “Sugar,” only to find out it was one of Mindy’s friends’ names and not a spot for the sweetner. I also loved that Landry postponed his departure from the Collettes’ house so he could gander and Mindy’s “exotic dancing” co-workers. He’s great.
Of course, the best part of this storyline was the pep talks to Tyra. I liked Landry telling Tyra how proud of her he was for working so hard to get in to college, when a lot of girls as attractive as her would just try to get by on their looks. The better, and most surprising talk, came from Tyra’s mother, Angela. Wow, she blew me away. Up until last night, I always felt she was kind of an airhead. But her talk to Tyra about her potential was really powerful stuff. If she were that kind of mother more often to Tyra, maybe she’d be in a better position educationally. That pep talk was right out of the Tami Taylor school of parenting.
Dillion to be Re-District-ed????
Since this season’s premiere episode, it’s been no secret that Dillon is in desperate need of state funding. Well, it looks like the only way they’re going to get it is to re-district the town and split Dillon High in to two separate schools: Dillon and East Dillon High. Of course with two schools, that means two football teams and bye-bye to the powerful Dillon football team. That is not if the boosters have anything to say about it. No matter how many episodes I watch, it still blows my mind how seriously this town takes high school football. The boosters sitting around a table with a map of Dillon and figuring out how to draw up a new boundary so all of the best players would stay with the Panthers was madness.
Eric lying to Tami about not knowing what the boosters were up to surprised me. They are the moral centers of the show. Why in the world would Eric feel the need to lie about that? My only guess is that he’s secretly hoping the boosters find a way to keep the Panthers together and if he told Tami about what was going on, she’d get in the way somehow. I hope that doesn’t come back to bite him….
Joe and J.D.
Last week I said, I felt the McCoy’s storyline was filler, but it turned out to much more than that. It was foreshadowing for the disturbing showdown they had last night. Joe was obviously still upset that J.D. is thinking about things other than football, and it didn’t help matters when J.D.’s QB coach, Wade called Daddy to tell him he was making time with Madison during a water break at practice.
Joe took “overbearing parent” a new level last night. His pre-game advice about running the football in miserable weather conditions was bad enough. Last time I checked, he wasn’t the coach. Things got much worse after the game, when J.D. didn’t heed his advice and the two got into a shouting match, which led to Joe hitting J.D. in the Applebee’s parking lot. Thank goodness Coach and Tami were there to help break it up. Who knows how badly Joe would have hurt J.D. if they weren’t there. I’m trying to rack my brain for a more disturbing scene in this series than Joe hitting J.D., and I can’t think of one, with the exception of Tyra getting attacked in Season One. It’ll be interesting to see how the McCoy family gets through this.
Two thoughts about this:
1) I’m not sure why Joe was so mad at J.D. for throwing the football. He was just running the plays that Coach Taylor was calling. If he wanted to be mad at someone, it should have been the coach. It’s one thing if J.D. was audibling out of run plays to throw, but I don’t think that was the case.
2) I don’t excuse what Joe did—at all. But a kid should never say, “Screw you” to his or her parent. Especially a freshman in high school. I’m 28 and wouldn’t say it to my mom or dad.
Dillon’s going back to State! I have to say, I knew the Panthers were going to win the game. I saw a link about a “Friday Night Lights” casting call a couple of weeks ago, and it was extras for the championship game! Talk about a major spoiler. Still, I don’t think it was a surprise to anyone that they won the game. I did have some issues with game though. I find it hard to believe the Coach Taylor would go with a passing game plan in a downpour. Like him or not, Joe McCoy was right when he wanted J.D. to hand the ball off. My other issue was that there’s no way a coach would go for two in that spot. They were in the state semifinals. Kick the ball and force overtime, especially in that weather. A two-point conversion is too risky with so much at stake. If that play failed, the Taylor family would have been run out of town. It did work though, and the Panthers are going back to the state title game for the second time in three years.
So, those are my thoughts. Friday Night Lights is off for the next two weeks for the holidays, and will return with the penultimate episode of the season on Jan. 7. What did you think about the show? Will the McCoy family work things out? Will the boosters be able to stop Dillon being split in half? Comment below!
Joe Dyton can be reached at email@example.com.