I don’t know if they’ve been doing this all along and I’ve just missed it, but last night’s episode of American Gladiators featured a cast list during the credits with the gladiators’ real names. The whole thing was at times intriguing (Justice’s real name is, in fact, Justice) and disappointing (Titan is just plain old Mike? Boooo), but the best stuff, as usual, came from Wolf, whose real name is….Hollywood Yates.
You ruminate on the awesomeness of that while I go ahead and recap this week’s Friday Night Lights.We begin this week with an unfamiliar sight. I actually do a little double take here. You mean Jason’s not buried twenty minutes into the show, only to emerge for five meager seconds? Fabulous. He and Herc are at a car repair place, and the mechanic is telling them, much to a lot of whiny dismay, that Jason’s truck is shot and it’s going to cost around 4-5K to fix it. Unsurprisingly, Herc sold him the truck in the first place and had told him it was in fine condition, so Jason gets pissed and they both get into a weird little slapping fight right there in the lobby. But as usual, Buddy Garrity is there to put a stop to the madness.
We cut to Jason sulking in Buddy’s office, and before either one of them open their mouths we all know what this is leading up to: an offer of employment. Does Buddy’s office exist for any other purpose really? Jason complains that paying to fix the car will cost half the money he has to his name. And sure enough, Buddy gets that little twinkle in his eye, the one we’ve all come to know and love, and asks if Jason’s ever thought about selling cars. So let’s review for a moment. Buddy Garrity has given jobs to: Matt’s dad, Tyra’s mom, Santiago, Coach, and now Jason. Does Dillon even have an unemployment office, or are all applicants just forwarded directly to Buddy Garrity?
Tim is accosted outside another Inconvenience Store by the Blob and his fellow pustules. Blob makes a little small talk at first, then knees Tim in the stomach, hits him over the head with a beer bottle, and demands the money by the end of the week. Now, no one likes to see our precious Timmy get beaten up, but I think one thing we can all can agree on is that Blobby and the Pustules is a great name for a band.
Dillon’s Most Eligible Bachelor
The police arrive at Smash’s house. Mama answers the door, and they tell her that they have a warrant for Smash’s arrest, on assault charges for beating up that snotty little Billy Elliot. Oh dear. Mama becomes totally panicked and confused, and Smash tries to calm her down with a wavering voice as he goes quietly. They put him in handcuffs and take him away, as Mama yells and screams after them and makes some disparaging remarks about smelling bacon.
Coach is buttering some toast for his dear wife, and also buttering her up about stepping in to coach the girl’s volleyball team. Symbolism! Tami says she’s far too busy, which, as we all have seen in previous weeks, she IS, but Coach reminds her that she said she wanted more exercise and that she would get to work with the girls. Julie, who for some reason has intimate knowledge of the records of lesser athletic teams, points out that the team is 0-7 for the season so far, but Coach persists and promises that it’ll be only a three week commitment, four at the most. The whole conversation is then derailed by a phone call for Coach about Smash. Though in my opinion the entire scene has already been derailed, once again by the incomparable faces of little Gracie Taylor.
“Smash got arrested??”
After a little getting-all-dressed-up-in-a-suit montage (a suit! I rejoice), Jason is introduced to the team at Garrity Motors. He puts on his Golden Boy Nice Guy face, but the rest of the salespeople sneer and mumble about getting competition from a kid in a wheelchair. Only the finest employees at Garrity Motors! They disperse and leave him alone to contemplate why in the world Buddy doesn’t have any sort of training program in place for new hires.
Smash, Mama, and Coach are in a meeting with a lawyer. He says if it goes to trial and they find him guilty, the judge’ll throw the book at him. Literally. “Green Eggs and Ham” will be hurled directly at Smash’s head. On the other hand, they might be able to cut a deal if Smash pleads guilty to a misdemeanor. Smash protests, but Mama tells him to shut up and do what the man says, talking through teeth that are clenched so tightly they just might fuse together. Cut to a press conference, where Smash makes a public apology to the media. Point of order: the local Dillon news teams may want to upgrade their equipment. It’s starting to look like Cloverfield all up in here.
“Yes, people are going to want to know how it all went down. Next question.”
Landry is doing physics homework with a girl who has an even more terrible haircut than Tyra, if that’s at all possible. Tyra interrupts to ask him about a question on her biology quiz, but the girl, whose name is Jean, jumps in to answer it instead. Tyra gets peeved. She goes on to tease Landry about the whole thing but I’ve already lost my concentration because I can’t get past how much this chick looks just like Garth.
Party on, Landry.
Lyla is rocking out at her crazy gospel-singing church. Everyone is dancing and having a pretty good time, except for this woman:
“I was told there would be a buffet.”
Lyla’s new boy, Chris, delivers a rousing sermon. The crowd luurves him. He’s like the J-Timbo of the church world. A bloody Tim arrives, much to Lyla’s horror. He brushes off the cuts on his face, nonchalantly mentioning that he was beat up by three meth addicts because he owes them $3,000. But there are more pressing matters here! He starts pestering Lyla to come by his place later, because he has to tell her something important. She eventually says yes, but only to get rid of him.
Tami is attempting to coach the volleyball team, but is finding that it’s difficult to do so when most of the girls are afraid of the ball. They suck big time, and no matter how many times she shrilly yells “TALK TO EACH OTHER!”, they don’t get any better. Tim, who is there for some reason, also disapproves.
Jason, meanwhile, sells a car to a couple who are clearly starstruck by his mere presence. I feel you, kids. Jason could probably sell me a bloated skunk carcass. In fact, I’d take four. Before he can get the paperwork, he is paged back inside by a woman henceforth known as Evil Hag. Evil Hag informs him that he is not following the Rules, which state that the person with the highest sales figures, her, gets first crack at any customers at the top of the hour. Jason apologizes, and she snidely runs back out to the couple to close the deal while he watches, disappointed. Though maybe he’s just hiding from Buddy, who has no doubt been chasing him around all day trying to get him to wear an American flag lapel pin.
Tyra, the lucky bitch, gets to have dinner with the Taylors. She not-so-subtly asks Julie what she knows about Garth/Jean, and Tami yells at her husband for not being completely forthcoming about how terrible the volleyball team is. Though she cheers up a little once she notices Tyra putting some chips away in a high cabinet above the refrigerator that I would only in my wildest dreams be able to reach. So during dinner, Tami just flat out tries to recruit her. She says it would look great on her college applications, and that she would make a great spiker. Tyra looks reluctant but we known she’ll give in, probably because she’s desperate for a plotline that does not include Landry. Also, the girl is a friggin’ giraffe.
Lyla breaks off a date with Chris, telling him that she has to babysit. Wow. Cheating on Jason with Tim, and now lying IN church. What low won’t Lyla sink to? She later arrives at Tim’s house, where he has lovingly prepared some chicken and a candlelit table with flowers. Aww. I defy anyone to not be in love with Tim Riggins right now. Lyla notices the candles and he apologizes, admitting that that’s not really him and he doesn’t know what he was doing. She tries to leave but he chases her into the front yard, where he confesses that he loves her. She does not reciprocate. He gives a nice little speech about how Chris couldn’t make her feel like he made her feel, that he doesn’t know her like he does. Tim says that if she can honestly look him in the eye and say that she no longer has feelings for him, he’ll leave her alone and move on. She does. He is crushed.
Tyra is rocking the volleyball court, repeatedly spiking the ball with ease and a sour face. Tami instructs her to really put some power behind it, perhaps by picturing something in her head that she just wants to smash. Tyra glances over at Tim, who’s daintily picking something off of his shirt. God, I love that kid. Tyra smirks and proceeds to pound ball after ball, directly at Tim’s head.
Jason attempts to sell a Toyota Product Placement to a wishy-washy guy who eventually decides to leave and think it over. Buddy later corners Jason during his lunch break to see how his first day is going. Jason says that it’s horrible, that he just spent two hours talking to a guy who left, and he also messed up the point system. Buddy winces and tells him that there’s no such thing as a point system, that his employees were just teasing him. I think the word you’re searching for is “douchebags”, Buddy. He reassures him that the guy, Gerald, comes in at least twice a week to look at cars and never buys any. He then gives him a little pep talk, saying that some days are better than others, it’s just like two-a-days, you don’t know why you’re doing them but they’ll all pay off in the end. Yeah, just what Jason wants, football analogies. Those’ll sure get him psyched about his present situation. Thanks, “Salt-In-The-Wound” Garrity.
“I left Mexico for THIS?”
Landry and Jean are having lunch at Applebee’s. Landry! How dare you cheat on Tyra in her house of worship? Sure enough, she arrives to take their order, with Landry mumbling something about how he thought she didn’t work today. Ha. Jean and Landry then launch into a conversation about death metal that I can’t quite follow, my street cred level not being quite high enough. Okay, I’m sick of her already. Go back to the set of Juno, my friend. You’re too indie-precious for Dillon.
Lyla and Chris are playing the most wholesome game of all, miniature golf. Chris putts the ball into the whales mouth, then is devastated to discover that it has rolled back to where it started. Okay, calm down, Chris. You may not be ready for the rigors of this demanding sport yet. You’re certainly in no shape to tackle the windmill. Lyla confesses that she lied about babysitting, and that she has a bit of a history with the bloody guy who ruined his sermon. Uh oh. Might want to put the putter down for this one, Chris.
“I’LL KILL YOU, WHALE!!”
Noelle arrives at Smash’s house to apologize for everything and see how he’s holding up. Noannie, meanwhile, gets a call from some anonymous dipshit who harasses her over the phone. Once she threatens to call the police and hangs up, Smash demands to know what they said. She sadly replies that he said he heard she puts out to white boys, and then starts crying. Smash makes her promise to tell him if they call again. Yeah. Big Brother’s protection worked out real well last time. How about you tell, oh I don’t know, MAMA? Her wrath is far scarier than anything Smash could dish out.
Lyla has just finished telling Chris that she slept with her paralyzed boyfriend’s best friend. He is shocked into speechlessness, perhaps contemplating a jump into the pirate waterfall. She begs for him to say something, and when he finally does, he says he was just thinking about how hard it must have been for her to tell him all of that, and that he’s glad she did. Aw. Damn you and your charm, Jesus boy. He then asks if she still has feelings for him, meaning Tim. Or could be Jason? So many to choose from. You’re really going to have to specify there, kiddo. Lyla, assuming he means Tim, tells him that she doesn’t. And I believe her. Despite the fact that she made out with both Jason AND Tim just a few weeks ago. But we won’t tell Chris that, lest his putter rage return. They make out some more, and Lyla looks genuinely happy.
The next day, Evil Hag informs Jason that Gerald has returned, and that as the lowly new guy he has to talk to him. Jason steels his resolve and demands to know why Gerald won’t let himself buy the car. Gerald, now completely frightened and a little offended, tries to argue. But Jason says that he knows he loves the damn thing, so sack up and buy it already, prove to everyone that a decision is possible, because life is too short to just keep waiting. Eventually he turns feral and just keeps barking “Buy it!”, so poor Gerald really has no choice other than to comply.
The Panthers are all hanging out at, where else, Applebee’s. Jean arrives to give Landry a heavy metal mix CD, and once she leaves Matt and Tim go all oooooh on him. Don’t these guys have anything better to do? Steal three thousand dollars or bang a Guatemalan or something? An interview with the little Billy Elliot pissant comes on the screen over the bar, and as Smash glares at his whiny face, a camera crew assaults him and the Dillon equivalent of Wes Mantooth demands to know what really happened that night. Smash starts to blow up and pushes the cameras away, but then vehemently shouts his version of what happened. The interviewer keeps pushing, and eventually Smash yells that the kid didn’t deserve an apology, that he deserved much worse than what he gave him. Cut to the coaches watching in Coach’s office. They disapprove. See, the problem with high school football teams is that they’re filled with teenagers.
Jason returns home and tells Herc that he sold a car. Herc becomes loud and celebratory and uncharacteristically obnoxious, but Jason just isn’t feeling it. He looks rather depressed about the entire thing. Herc tries to reassure by reminding him that it’s just for now, just to make a little money. He convinces him to head over to the rec center and play a game of pickup rugby, then pick up some chicks. Jason reluctantly agrees, then informs Herc that dinner is on him. Which begs the question, what on earth does Herc do for a living? And shouldn’t he be in China or somewhere far, far away from us? Could we maybe shoot him into the sun?
Billy and Timmy are lounging about the house, shooting some shit about playing the stock market. Haha. If there’s anyone who could crash the entirety of Wall Street, it would be these two. Someone knocks at the door, causing both of them to shit their pants. Billy answers the door with a baseball bat in hand, but alas, it’s just a very confused Lyla, who asks to speak with Tim. When he comes to the door, she gives him an envelope and tells him that it contains the three thousand dollars for those guys, because she doesn’t want him to get beat up again. Also, this is the last time she’ll be coming around here, because Chris makes her happy. Tim refuses to take it, so she throws it into the house and walks away. Now, I had secretly been pulling for these two to get back together for some time now, but for once I’m just glad that Lyla is happy. She’s no saint, and I’ve certainly had my fair share of hatred for her in the past, but she deserves to be happy. And we deserve to see more of Tim in all of his brooding glory. Keep the Riggins boys as unhappy as possible, and you’ve got yourself a good show.
Game time! Oh, but not football. That would be foolish. It’s the big volleyball match! The Panthers are winning 13-6, but the opponents catch up and eventually it’s tied at 13 with a minute to go. Coach and Julie look bored to tears. There are about 50 people in the crowd, which, recalling my own volleyball days, is about 48 too many. Tami gives the team a great little pep talk, and long story short, they win. Sorry, it’s just too hard to make volleyball even marginally exciting. Tami hugs Tyra, who is forced to admit that she had a good time. From the bleachers, Julie sulks and says that their record is still 1-7. “But your mom is 1-1!” exclaims Coach. “Oh my God, where did we put Gracie??” neither of them yell.
Tim and Billy interrupt an “Ideas On How To Be More Disgusting” workshop at Blob’s house to give him the money. He waves a gun around and makes them come inside while he counts it. Once he determines that it’s all there, Tim starts to leave, but Billy demands that Blob never touch Tim again. He becomes more and more insistent until Blob gets pissed and they start fighting. Tim pulls him out of the house and they’re just barely able to get into the truck and speed away as Blob and his goons chase behind them and break a window.
Dillon’s World-Famous Glee Club
And finally, Coach shows up at Smash’s house to inform him that the board has decided to suspend him for the next three games, which is the rest of the regular season. We end with Smash wondering how he’s supposed to get to the playoffs, and then state. Maybe if you just start chanting WE GOING TO STATE roughly 548 times, it’ll happen. Worked last year!
I liked this episode. I like how the Smash story is progressing, they finally found a way to make Smash’s ego bite him in the ass. It’ll be interesting to see how he takes it. I loved Tim’s little profession of love, but I’m glad Lyla shot him down. I’m sure that the relationship between her and Chris will be destroyed somehow, but for now it’s nice. I hope Blob is gone forever. I was quite ecstatic to see so much of Jason, though the car selling made me cringe a bit and I hope he moves on from that job fairly quickly. Might be fun to see him on a whirlwind tour of all the careers that Dillon can offer him. Arctic Freeze Manager! Applebee’s Shift Leader! The possibilities are endless. I hope the Landry-Tyra thing is on it’s way out as well. I’m glad to see him moving on, even if it is with the proud owner of the Mirth-Mobile. I miss the old Landry, the one who had no real plotlines and just made snarky comments to Matt. Where is he? Some say he burned up with that station wagon of his. Or so the legend goes…
Sorry, I’m delirious after too many Strange Wilderness trailers. Though I sure do get a kick out of that laughing shark. Anyway, what did we all think?