So this is it, kids. Last episode of Friday Night Lights until…I don’t know. Now that the strike is over there are some disturbing rumors floating around that it won’t make it back. Hopefully they’ll be able to bang out some more for the spring or summer, or, failing that, at least return next fall. God, I hope so. Perhaps we can just WILL them back onto the screen like we did at the end of Season 1. Just keep saying your prayers. Three Hail Tamis and an Our Father Who Art In Dillon.
Speaking of God, we begin this week with a little church action. Lyla is passing around the collection basket at church, only to find the Riggins boys sitting there like perfect little angels. Tim grabs a dollar from Billy and puts it in the basket with a giant puppy dog face. (His face, that is. The basket doesn’t have a face.) Lyla scowls. I think this is so hilarious. I feel bad for Lyla that Tim is so annoying, but whenever he gets under her skin it just makes for great comedy. Have I mentioned lately that Tim Riggins is my new hero?
Meanwhile, Smash is at his own church and engaging in that most sacred of rituals – text messaging. He gets up and goes outside, much to the outrage of Mama. Once there, he calls up the University of Alabama and leaves a message for the Coach begging him to call back, as his position with TMU has changed and he would now prefer to play with Alabama. Then he pulls out a handwritten list with a bunch of other school names on it. Ooh, the excitement of telemarketing. Edge of seat!
Smash weighs his American Idol audition city options.
Jason is over at Buddy’s dealership, selling cars, which still pains me. He catches a glimpse of One Night Stand Waitress outside, so he runs (figuratively) out to meet her. She apologizes for not calling him back, and Jason is really cranking the Adorable Meter up to eleven here today, saying that he probably shouldn’t have left her ten messages and he doesn’t really know what to do in this type of situation. She flirts back a little, and it’s all cute and all until she blurts out that she’s pregnant. This gets a “That’s impossible,” from Jason and a VERY audible gasp and an admittedly overdramatic clap of the hand over the mouth from me. How dare he engage in the art of procreation without consulting my loins.
Tami runs into FNL writer and executive producer Peter Berg in a parking lot, which is not all that odd except that he’s wearing a cowboy hat and sunglasses and acting like a ridiculous human being. Oh, he’s playing a character. Good for him! He’s Moe McArnold, Tami’s old high school sweetheart, and he’s in town buying up some mall real estate. He lays it on real thick with her, crooning and fawning and smarming it up until he eventually invites her and Coach to a charity benefit that he’s doing tomorrow night at the hospital. Tami looks delighted, while Gracie tries in vain to make a dramatic escape.
“Mom!! He smells like a gas station!!”
The Dillon Panthers are playing dodgeball. I don’t know why, I don’t know how this contributes to football, but I’m certainly not going to be the one to stop them. Smash sits out on the sidelines, not because he’s suspended, but because he hates this game. Meanwhile, Tim and Matt and Santiago and various other luminaries pummel the crap out of each other. Coach asks Smash how he’s doing, and Smash tells him about all of the calls he’s been making. Coach doesn’t look all that interested. Okay then. I’m pretty sure this scene only exists for fun.
Arriving to suck any remaining traces of fun right out of the air is our old nemesis Herc. He’s shouting all sorts of unhelpful things at Jason, who now realizes he probably never should have told him about it because he’s “an idiot”. Dude, I’ve been saying this from the beginning. You need new friends. Or, failing that, your old friends. I miss the days of Tim and Jason. What happened to Texas Forever? Why did I even bother getting that tattooed across my chest? Anyway, Herc doesn’t think the baby’s even his, but Jason yells back that she hasn’t been with anyone else in the past two months, and that he didn’t use a condom because everyone told him that this was impossible. So if she is pregnant, and it’s his, then it’s a miracle. Aw, Jason. You would have a miracle baby. Then he mutters that there’s nothing that he can do, and that she’s just going to have it taken care of.
Speaking of miracles, Tim is currently blabbing over the airwaves at the Christian radio station. A horrified Lyla arrives to find him auditioning for a talk sports show. Tim gives her a jaunty wave.
“Hey guys! Want some Funions?”
Over at the Taylor household, Tami fills her dear husband in on the details of her run-in with her old flame Moe. Coach gets that jealous little irked look that we’ve all come to know and love, while Julie giggles about the whole thing and Gracie makes yet another ridiculous face.
“Dad’s jealous?? That’s so unlike him!!”
Coach jokes that the best man won, and Tami chirps that she’s his prize gurnsey? I think I need someone from Texas to explain that one. She tells him that they’ve been invited to the hospital benefit and Coach starts in on the whining with a sarcastic “I think that’d be really nifty!” and a complaint that the guy talks too much. But we all know who’s going to win this one. Julie, meanwhile, is laughing throughout this entire thing, which I think is a nice touch. I hope she has come to realize exactly how adorable her parents are. Just look at this face.
Melt away, ladies. Melt away.
Noelle and Smash are in a car, stalking the University of Alabama coach. She insists that this is a good idea, that they need a face to put in front of the customer, that’s just basic sales. Dear lord, this girl is just screaming to be cast in The Apprentice. She gives Smash a little pep talk, shrieking that he is SMASH WILLIAMS and anyone would jump at the chance to have him, and that when he gets back he’ll definitely get laid. Ew. I hate Noelle. Especially since she rescinds that a second later, saying she’s PMSing. So are you a crazy slut or a frigid bitch? Make up your mind, woman! She shoves him out of the car and he approaches the coach, who couldn’t care less that Smash wants to come back to them. He’s already signed another kid from California, and nothing Smash says is going to change that. Sorry, kid. Looks like you’re not getting laid tonight. Or maybe you are? What’s the bigger punishment?
Hey, remember school? Apparently these teenagers gather there sometimes, to hang out. Crazy, I know. Landry and Tyra are walking around all hand-in-hand and lovey-dovey. We are informed of this through many gratuitous shots of their asses and hips. Tim tracks down Lyla to tell her of his big radio premiere. She congratulates him testily. He asks how her boy is doing, and she happily informs him that it’s going great and she’s going to stay at his family ranch this weekend. And it’s going to be even better because Tim will be unable to find them. I think Lyla underestimates the power of Tim Riggins. Ten bucks says he’ll somehow descend upon that ranch in a SWAT team helicopter.
Time for some delightful Clarke action. Papa (who never got into trouble for destroying evidence, for some reason) demands that Mama not wash the bowl she was cooking with, as he has every intention of licking it. Sometimes I think a show about the parents of Dillon would be just as entertaining as the current one about teenagers. Just imagine the Taylors, the Clarkes, the Garritys, Mama Smash, Lorraine Saracen, and Angela Collette all living in one house. Oh, and throw in the Streets, they can be the ones always crying in the corner. Think of all the parties thrown, the hot tubs used, the lampshades worn (Lorraine, I’m looking at you)! That’s entertainment, my friends.
“Who’s up for a keg stand?”
Anyway, Landry and Matt arrive with Guitar Hero in hand. Landry not-so-subtly asks if Matt heard about him and Tyra. Matt plays along like a good friend and says that yes, he saw them together. Landry informs him that Tyra is dynamite in the sack, to which Matt replies that it’s probably because she’s had a lot of practice. Dudes, Mrs. Clarke is five feet away in the kitchen. Is this really the sort of thing you want her to be hearing? She’s making a casserole, for heaven’s sake.
After staying up all night to do a little research on the internets, Jason tracks down Erin the waitress at her restaurant. He may have also taken a few snorts of something, because a massive nonstop biology lesson starts spewing out of his mouth, as he claims that there’s almost no chance that this could have happened and that it really is a miracle. He chases her through the restaurant as she tries to escape the furious barrage of erection facts, quadriplegic sex trivia and anatomical charades that he’s performing, attempting even to illustrate the sperm being deposited into the semen by poking her in the ovaries, which she does not seem to enjoy.
She attempts to calm him down, but then he says that one of the worst things that happened after his injury was that people told him he could never be a father, and now this is his only chance. She counters that that is not his decision to make and that he was just a one night stand. “It was one of the greatest nights of my life,” he says quickly with a lovesick puppy look. She correctly looks at him like he’s crazy, then tells him to go home and runs off to touch up her “I’m washed out!” makeup.
Smash is in a meeting with a guy trying to sell him on arena football. I know nothing about this sport, but the feeling I’m getting from Smash is that it’s a joke. Especially when Smash says, “It’s a joke.” That was my first clue. But then the guy starts throwing around all sorts of crazy figures and promises of pro football, and Smash’s face lights up like a Christmas tree again.
Tami and Coach attend the benefit and watch as Moe dedicates the new helicopter to the hospital. After, he meets up with them and toasts to Coach’s State win. He keeps talking and acting generally inappropriate with Tami, while Coach looks on and mutters forced pleasantries. Moe says that he will be coming to this Friday’s game, and Tami bubbles that he can sit with her. This results in a fantastic look from Coach. Moe bounds off to the helicopter, where he has the honor of taking the inaugural flight. Tami watches him in awe, while Coach watches her in fury.
“I’m gonna bag me a prize gurnsey!”
“I will devour your soul.”
The next day, it’s like the joys of Christmas and my birthday and Flag Day are all rolled into one, as we are blessed with a Coach-Jason scene. At Applebee’s, no less! It’s a Dillon miracle! Jason is asking Coach for advice on this whole baby thing, which is new to Coach because he usually gets kids asking about it the other way, in that they do not want to keep the thing. “I can tell you that your children and the mother of your children are the two most important things in life,” says Coach. He asks how old Jason is and how old the girl is, and I have a hearty chuckle at the answer that they’re both nineteen. Yeah, and I’m the queen of England. Jason insists that she’s a great girl and that he’s in this for the long haul, but Coach looks dubious. He says that they need trust and honesty, but that he can’t give him any easy answers, that he’ll have to do it himself. Jason, as usual, looks just about ready to cry.
Is the camera man stalking them from the ceiling? Or does he just really appreciate the priceless art that is the Applebee’s glass lampshade?
It’s time for the Rigs Show! Timmy is blaring over the airwaves and taking calls from drunken idiots all over the county. Chris listens in and talks to the producer, who says that most of the calls are girls just looking for a date with him, but, let’s face it, can anyone blame them? Case in point, the next caller is some young chippy who wants to go with him to a movie because she likes his long hair and it makes him look like Jesus. He cuts her off. The next caller wants to know his thoughts on the Smash scandal. Tim admits that Smash did what he had to do, and that he would have taken it even farther, since it’s okay to sometimes hit people. The producer cringes.
“Rape and murder are fine as well!”
After the show, Chris corners Tim and calls him out on just doing this show to get under his skin. He says it’s not going to work, that Lyla is over him. Tim shows no sign of this affecting him in any way, and continues to snark at Chris as he walks out the door. To be fair, Chris sends some snark back his way as well. I’d like to see these two in a caged death match.
Coach pulls Smash into his office to inform him that they will both be going down to look at Whitmore University tomorrow, as it is one of the only colleges that’s still standing behind him. Smash tries to protest but Coach is in a Mood, and he is not taking no for an answer. He wants Smash to listen to him this time, there’s no reason that he can’t live up to his potential and get drafted even from a school that hasn’t had any pro football love in ten years. Smash resignedly says that he’ll think about it. What’s to think about, Smash? This is your chance to get away from crazy Noelle.
Game time! The Panthers are crushing South Pines, 31-0, so it’s time to send in the sucky players. Landry heads out onto the field, much to the joy of his adorable parents. And Lorraine as well, with her new boyfriend, Santa Claus.
Ho ho HO, indeed.
Matt calls a play that will allow Landry to show off for Tyra, which sure is a nice thing to do. I love me some Matty Saracen. Sure enough, Landry scores a touchdown, prompting his father to yell for the eighty-fifth time this season “That’s my baby boy!” I’d like to think that if Papa Clarke were around at the time of the murder, standing there on the convenience store sidewalk as his son blugeoned a man to death, he would all the while be yelling “That’s my baby boy!” at the top of his lungs.
Meanwhile, Coach glares into the bleachers, where Moe is holding his baby daughter and throwing her up into the air as Tami laughs. The score is now 45-0, and while South Pines has a chance to score, we all know that’s not going to happen. So Coach, the saint that he is, changes the play and spreads the defense out so that the middle is wide open. They easily score, and the South Pines fans go nuts as Coach grins. What a wonderful man. Not wonderful: Moe, who snaps that they could have had a shutout and in a blind rage almost punts little Gracie Belle right onto the field.
The next day, Smash and Coach road trip on down to Whitmore University. They are met by Coach Deeks, who some of you may remember as Coach’s friend (or former Coach of the Panthers? I’m not quite sure) from the pilot in Season One. He tells Smash that their team might not have the size, but they have the heart. Just like Smash! Deeks says that he’s been watching Smash ever since he was in seventh grade and always knew he was going to be a star. Okay, that’s a little creepy, but we’ll run with it. Deeks continue to Morgan Freeman all over the place until Smash, won over, gives him a verbal commitment. Man, Smash will give a verbal commitment to anything that moves. Deeks is pleased, not in the way that a coach would be if he were to suddenly acquire one of the best running backs in the state, but in the way that one might be if offered a nice spot of tea. He introduces Smash to the team, then hightails it to Mexico to go meet up with his old prison buddy.
Lyla is at Chris’s ranch, laughing it up with some of the whitest people I’ve ever seen in a rather strange montage full of flutes of champagne and large blond hair.
Tami and Coach and Moe are eating dinner at a nice Italian restaurant, and it would appear from the looks on the Taylors’ faces that it’s been a long evening. Tami tries to make an escape, but Moe orders a bottle of whiskey and challenges Coach to a good old-fashioned pissing contest. This should be: awesome.
Later, Lyla and Chris are sitting up in his room, drinking tea and rehashing the evening. She loves his family. They love her. So much love. She asks if they are alone and they start to make out. Lyla starts making those classic “make love to me while my paralyzed boyfriend lies alone in a hospital somewhere” eyes that worked so well on Tim, but Chris isn’t biting. He says that he loves what they have together and he doesn’t want to ruin it by making any rash decisions. Lyla is PISSED. Honey, his parents are in the next room over. You really want your first lovemaking session to be interrupted by Dad searching for the plunger?
Wall deer disapproves.
Many, many whiskey shots later, the restaurant is empty and Tami is begging for the boys to stop. Finally, Moe accuses Coach of stealing Tami away from him in high school, and that’s that. They get in a fight, right there in the middle of The Olive Garden, or wherever they are. Tami storms out.
The next day, Julie informs her mother that if Dad isn’t going to church, she isn’t going to church. Tami says, “Well, you can go on in there and tell him, if you like. Let’s all go!” So she and Julie and a crying Gracie barge right into his bedroom. A bedraggled and bloodied Coach squints back at them. When Julie asks what happened to his face, he groans, “I was defending your mother’s honor.” HA. He begs for some aspirin, but Tami quickly whisks her girls out of the house, instructing Julie to yell goodbye at her father as loudly as possible. Oh, those Taylors. I want to kidnap them and make them perform for me in my basement dungeon. Tim Riggins, too. Oh, I want them all. If the entire cast of FNL should suddenly disappear under mysterious circumstances, you’ll know exactly where to find them.
The next day– ahh!
Death comes for us all!
The decrepit old Panthers fan from season one makes a cameo appearance at Lyla’s church and succeeds in scaring the bejesus out of me once again. He chats it up with Tim, who’s turning into a regular Ned Flanders. Lyla swings by to inform Tim that she highly enjoyed her time at the ranch, then asks if he’s going to be coming to church every week. “Whatever it takes,” Tim smolders. Then he hugs a random old woman, giving her the vapors. Honestly, Tim Riggins could cause a corpse to swoon.
Smash is crying in his room. Aw. Mama comes in to tell him how proud everyone is of him. He’s going to college on a full scholarship, and even if it’s not exactly what he had in mind, it’s God’s plan. She then spouts a number of terrible God-football metaphors that are far too corny to reprint here, but we get the point. Mama is awesome, and Smash finally thinks so too.
Jason and Erin are out having pizza together. How he got her to see him again after punching her in the ovary, I’ll never know. He apologizes for the way he acted the other night, and begs for her to not make any rash decisions. She whines about how her body is already starting to change, which Jason explains away by saying that there is a little person in there, describing all the little fingers and toes and heartbeats and the way it’s all scrunched up in a ball. And good Lord, it’s adorable. Anyone would be putty in his hands at this point. He could easily tell her to stick her head in the pizza oven, and she’d do it. He makes a few more lovely and fatherly pleas, promising to be there for her through the whole thing, no matter what. By the end, she looks just about convinced. I sure am. Heck, I’ll adopt the thing.
Impossible to resist. I have proved this, using science.
So. That was unexpected, huh? I like this. Not just because it means more Jason screen time, but it’s actually a story with some sort of substance and I am intrigued to see where exactly they’ll take it. Though I highly doubt we’ll ever see anything of that baby, since there’s no way it could out-face Gracie, and also because of the official Dillon law that Jason Street is not allowed to be happy, ever. Same goes for Smash, whose plot I actually liked this week and thought it was a nice way for that whole thing to end. The Taylors were delightful as always, and Tim continues to be hilarious in his pursuit of Lyla.
Oh, and one final thing before we leave for our little dimensional hiatus. I’m a rather crafty person, and as of late I have been making and selling a bunch of crocheted handbags. As some of them are FNL-themed (please don’t bother pointing out how much of a dork I am, it’s already engraved on my future gravestone), I thought it only fair to offer them to you, my fellow fanatics. They are royal blue with the white and gold Panther P, and if you should so desire, I can also put your favorite Panther’s number on the back (I’ve already begun stockpiling Riggins 3′s). Email email@example.com for prices and pictures. I don’t mean to be shamelessly hawking my wares like that guy who sells his own hair on the subway, just wanted to offer in case anyone’s interested or currently bagless.
So that’s all for now. Thanks again for reading, and I hope and pray that we’ll be seeing some more of our beloved Panthers real soon. If not, there’s always my bitchin’ dungeon.