Please move Friday Night Lights to another time slot. If it stays where it is right now it’s going to die a slow painful death due to American Idolitis. Granted, I enjoy this horrific disease as much as the next glutton for punishment, but I’m just not ready for it to take the life of my innocent young sapling. I would like to be able to enjoy both programs, and for that to happen you need to do something about this little pickle we’ve found ourselves in. For Pete’s sake, swap it with Deal or No Deal over on Mondays before Heroes. Everyone wins, except for Howie Mandel, which means that we win even more.
We begin this week with a delightful Taylor family scene. Is there any other kind? They’re in the car and not listening to the expositional sports radio show for once. Instead, they’ve got some sort of call-in Dr. Phil crap going, much to the chagrin of a helpless Coach. He tries to change it, but the Taylor women doth protest too much, insisting that his sports shows are just “stress in a bottle.” Coach, realizing that he’s been estrogenically licked once again, gives up and lets the advice wash over him like so many bottles of hair gel. Cut to the field, where Coach recycles that very same advice to his plucky team of playoff hopefuls.Over at Casa Williams, shit is about to go down. Mama Smash is cleaning up her filthy son’s room, when she discovers Smash’s very own My First Steroid Kit. Next thing you know, she’s barreling through the locker room, grabbing Smash on the way. She drags him into Coach’s office, where she demands to know what kind of team he’s running. Poor Coach has no idea why this screaming woman has invaded his Awesome Zone, so she whips out the bag of drugs and throws it at him. She continues to rant about how she thought he was a Christian man and how could you do this to these kids and boy this woman can act. Her chin is quivering like a terrorist on Bauer Torture Day. Coach insists he had no idea, and when Mama finally realizes that her dumbass son was the only one behind all of this, her heart almost visibly breaks right there on the screen. Off to another cheerful start!
I love the Allstate Commercial where Dennis Haysbert describes the different kinds of neglectful drivers. There’s just something about President Palmer saying “the guy who changes his pants while driving” that makes my heart smile.
Buddy Garrity regales his family with a tale of some nitwit who came all the way back into town to buy a car from him. Incidentally, said nitwit’s son is a psych major at SMU who happens to be writing a paper on cheerleaders (seriously?) and sure could use an interview with Lyla for his “studies”. In fact, much to Lyla’s confusion, Daddy already set one up, Thursday at 1:00 at that new Oriental place! “I’ve heard it’s real good,” says Mom. Someone in this family is eventually going to snap in a bloody bloodbath of bathic proportions.
“I ate an entire species once.”
Coach and Tami are getting all dolled up for a dinner with the Mayor, which Coach is not looking forward to. Plus he’s all stressed out over the whole Smash debacle. If he reports him, the kid’s career is over, but if he doesn’t, it’ll go against everything he stands for. Why must Coach encounter a ridiculously difficult moral quandary each and every week? I had no idea high school football coaches’ lives were so compelling. But it can’t be all bad, since Tami has laid out an impressive spread of ties for him to choose from.
A veritable buffet of fashion!
Over at the Arctic Freeze, Tyra is happily chatting away with…two trashy blonde friends? Oh how silly of me, it’s just her mother and…I don’t know, a wacky aunt. They’re teasing her about Tim Riggins (who happens to be sitting two tables away), insisting that he is VERY CUTE. How very Notes on a Scandel of them. Tyra reads her mother an ad in the paper detailing a receptionist position at Buddy Garrity’s car dealership. But oh ho, MamaTyra can’t fake a typing speed of 50 wpm! Her white whale, if you will.
Seven feet away, Lyla and Jason are rockin’ some delicious milkshakes. Jason is complaining about the fact that Buddy set up his daughter on a date and that she always does exactly what he tells her to. Lyla, who has apparently built up an immunity to Jason’s brooding, replies that she won’t go if he doesn’t want her to, but of course he relents and says it’s fine, which of course means that it isn’t. Another seven feet away, Lyla’s friends (I guess she made new ones since three weeks ago) beckon to her, and she abandons Jason for the less depressing table. So every single person in Dillon is in the Arctic Freeze tonight. Oh God. Who’s watching Landry?!
Tyra sees an opportunity and swoops in to chastise Jason for taking Lyla back. Jason matter-of-factly (and even touchingly) says, “I love her.” Sigh. He loves her, there’s no getting around it. The kid has made up his mind. Lyla returns, and Tyra gets up as if to leave but instead just pulls up another chair. Haha, awesome. She starts grilling Lyla about the receptionist position, as if Lyla would have any idea how much typing is required. I doubt she even knows what her father does for a living.
Ah, dinner at Mayor Rodell’s. More fun than a barrel of neckties. The Mayor is gabbing away about something or other, and sits down on a couch opposite the Taylors. Also on that couch is another woman, who puts her hand on the Mayor’s knee. This is funny for two reasons. One – it is clearly making Coach extremely uncomfortable, which he illustrates by constantly attempting to loosen his fashionable tie. And two – the first time I watched this I must have missed the hand on the knee, because I wrote in my notes “Mayor – lesbian?” as a joke. But the joke’s on me! Ha-HA! Anyway, Lady Mayor asks Tami to join her reelection campaign team. Tami is surprised and flattered, and Coach looks as if he’s going to be sick.
Smash returns home and attempts to run up to his room, but that’s just not happening. Mama tries to talk but he blows up, yelling about how stupid she was. He yammers on about how he’s going to get kicked off the team and lose all of his scholarship offers. Oh, and one more thing: “You ruined my life, Mama.” WELL. Mama explodes, shooting back that she’s trying to save his life, and that the reason she went to the coach was because she didn’t want to believe that her son was stupid enough to have done this himself. Smash lays some more misplaced blame upon his poor mother, who finally has the good sense to kick him out of the house until he can learn some manners. Imagine if Mama Williams and Dr. Bailey got together for a Happy Hour or something. I’d pay to listen in on that. There’d be so many OH HELL NOs and MMHMMs flying around, someone would lose an eye.
Now might be a good time to dismantle that Smash Shrine.
The next morning, Smash shows up in Coach’s office to tell him that he made a mistake. No, says Coach, this wasn’t a mistake. It was a “stupid dumbass cowardly act.” Poor Coach, you can tell this is very hard for him. He continues to yell and demands that Smash tell him all of the shady details. The scene ends there but I have a feeling the whole conversation wrapped up with the worst thing a teenager can hear from a parent figure: “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.” Gah. It hurts just thinking about it.
“This is why we can’t have nice things!”
Tyra returns home from school to find her mother curled up on the couch, yet again. She asks if she called about the receptionist position, and Mama Trainwreck replies that she doesn’t think she can make it without Punch-Happy Bob. Tyra patiently asks again about the job, so Mom moans that she did but so many people applied she couldn’t even get an interview. This sucks but all I can think of at the end of the scene is how long Tyra’s neck is. That girl is a giraffe.
Coach makes the unhappy announcement to the team that Smash will not be playing in Friday’s game, and that everyone WILL respect his privacy and not ask him about it. Because if there’s one thing teenagers are known for, it’s their aversion to rumormongering.
Well, Grandma Saracen is none too pleased about any of this. “We got Brian ‘Smash’ Williams benched, not playing. Mysteeeerious circumstances.” Oh, grandma. Love you. Matt (how have we gotten twenty minutes into this episode without him?) is watching a tape of one of their opponent’s games and finds a hole in their defense that he believes he can use, even without Smash in the picture. And then he gets all excited, which is adorable but sad because any time Matt Saracen ever gets happy about something, a large thunderstorm of gloom and doom strikes him down almost immediately. Dad tells him that he’s not going to be able to make the game because he’s shipping out on Friday morning. Matt, polite as always, says it’s all right and that he understands. Damn, Matt could repeatedly be shot in the face by a drunken Dick Cheney and still be like, “Naw man, it’s cool.” Grandma makes the excellent suggestion of trying to get the game aired over in Iraq. If they can get the Super Bowl, surely they can get high school games from Texas!
Coach and Tami are in bed watching the Mayor on the news. It’s at this point that Coach mentions that she has an alternative lifestyle and I smack myself in the head. Tami tells her loving husband that she did look over her website and admits that she really likes her education plan. But can you handle this, says Coach, with “everything you got on your plate, Julie and me, and my needs and demands…” Fantastic. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door! I hope it’s Landry!
Alas, it is only Smash. (Where IS Landry? On tour with Cruicifictorious?) He apologizes yet again and demands to know if he’s off the team for good. Coach reminds him that he is risking his job by not reporting this, that he has a wife and daughter to support and he needs to think about them too. He’s not sure what he’s going to do but he’ll inform Smash as soon as he decides, as long as he can keep his mouth shut until then. And I have to say, despite all the stress and moral dilemmas Coach is facing this week, he is looking fabulous. Somewhere between the Jason Street lawsuit and the Tim Riggins academic suspension problems, he must have gotten himself to a spa or something. Those ever-present bags under his eyes – GONE.
After giving some sort of press conference regarding Smash’s absense, Coach is assaulted by Buddy Garrity, who demands to know what the hell is going on. He follows him into his office, where Coach stands his ground and fights off the hungry car salesman with a rolling pin. Well no, but Matt does interrupt them and Coach waves him in, happy for the distraction and kicking Buddy out in the process. Matt tells Coach all about his strategic theories for the game, and he even drew a few neato diagrams. But our fearless leader is too distracted by other things at the moment and doesn’t have time for Matt’s refrigerator drawings, no matter how many gold stars they have.
Jason and Inspiring Yet Irritating Buddy Herc are on a little joy ride. Jason instructs him to pull the truck over outside the aforementioned amazing Oriental restaurant, where Lyla and College Boy are inside chowing the mein. Jason asks Herc if it looks like a study session or a date, and Herc, unaware that this was to become a stalking expo, admits that with her track record it looks like a date. He goes on to make fun of Jason, who gets embarrassed and tells him to drive away. As they do, Herc waves and honks and yells hello to Lyla, who looks out the window to see a mysterious truck loaded with wheelchairs. Who could it be?!
Tyra grabs Tim and asks him for a favor that will not involve sex. Tim says it’s not all about sex for him. Yeah right. Cut to Tim in front of Buddy Garrity, in a conversation that goes a little something like, “Sir, I realize that I banged your daughter six ways from Sunday while my best friend and her boyfriend was in the hospital and I nearly ruined both of their lives but if you could just find it in your heart to give my ex-girlfriend’s druggie mother a job I sure would appreciate it.” Now, I sure expected Buddy to, I don’t know, eat him or something, but since Tim threw in a couple “you’re a big man”s in there, Buddy tells him that he’s a good kid and that she can come by to see him tomorrow. Also, does he know anything about Smash?
Speaking of the Smashster, he returns home to have a talk with his Mama. He apologizes for disgracing himself and his family. He’s absolutely humiliated and is terrified that the only thing he cares about will be taken away from him forever. Mama gives him some kind words, saying she wishes he wouldn’t put so much pressure on himself and would try to just be a kid more often. Then some I love you’s and kisses and hugs and aww. Good mother.
Jason is sitting in the dark on a street somewhere when a large truck pulls up in front of him. And out steps Buddy Garrity, causing me to say “Uh oh” right out loud. Jason demands to know why he set Lyla up on a date with College Boy. Buddy dances around the issue a little bit until Jason just comes out and says that it’s because he doesn’t want his daughter to be dating the town cripple and can he please be honest with him about this. Buddy finally admits that yes, that’s true, and then launches into a rather scorching speech about how Jason’s future is so uncertain – is he going to college, can he have children, if so can he take care of said children, and if not then Lyla’s just going to end up being a caretaker for everyone. Plus, since Lyla loves him so much, she’ll follow him no matter what, but is Jason really sure he wants to put her through all that? Gah. Not only was that whole thing quite painful to hear, but now poor Jason looks like he’s not sure of anything. Except maybe how much Buddy spittle he’s receiving.
Fun Fact: Spinal cord injuries lead to better haircuts.
Tyra and her mom are on the way to the interview, Mom ripping into the Garritys the whole way there. Yeah, might not want to bring up how much you hate his wife, Mom. Just a little career tip. But it looks like she won’t have to worry about it anyway, because a tire blows and they get stranded on the side of the road. See, God is clearly on Buddy’s side. Must be all those ridiculous football prayers.
The Saracens plus Julie are gathered at the bus stop, ready to say goodbye to Bad Actor Dad. Grandma is quite jolly, and reminds him to watch the game. Oh grandma. Matt is understandably upset, but hugs him and waves goodbye with a pained smile. And judging by the somber soundtrack and the tearful group hugs, I have a feeling that dear old Dad won’t be returning. Which pisses me off because someone just give this poor kid a break. He makes his grandmother cookies, for chrissakes.
Tami pulls Coach out of a coaching meeting to tell him that she has decided to join the Mayor’s reelection campaign. Coach feigns happiness for her but ultimately confesses that he doesn’t like the idea of her getting into politics, especially since the lesbian thing might slip out and blow up in everyone’s faces. Basically he’s uncomfortable with it, but Tami doesn’t really care because she’s going to do it anyway and leaves her defeated husband with nothing left to do but awkwardly laugh and mutter, “Never a dull moment with you.” “Well, that’s why you married me, sugar.” “I guess so, I don’t quite remember why…” And then they kiss. THEY’RE DELIGHTFUL.
Tyra and TyraMama are struggling to repair the flat, but are failing miserably. Mom AGAIN mentions how much easier everything would be if Bob were still around, and Tyra blows up and spits out the exact same speech from the last episode, if my memory serves me. She says that if they don’t change this tire right now, they’re both doomed. I kind of think they’re doomed anyway, but their way ends in a fixed tire, so I’ll just shut up.
Jason and Herc are getting drunk over at some abandoned speedway. Jason regales him with the Buddy Garrity story, and admits that it’s gotten him to thinking. He says he’s been so selfish since the accident (WHAT?!), and that since Lyla’s eventually going to be defined by being with him, maybe it’s just better if he let her go. Wise old Herc tells him not to let Buddy get in the way, because guys like that “are a cancer” to guys like them. It’s like an after school special, except with alcohol and crushed dreams and a crazy homeless wheelchair guy.
Football game! The sports radio guys are still flummoxed over the lack of Smash, going so far as to call it “a mystery wrapped in an enigma, hogtied and shut up tight.” Yee haw! Of course, they’re in the last quarter, so I don’t know why they’re just bringing it up now. Perhaps they’ve been busy spending the whole game coming up with that interesting enigma description. It’s not looking good for our Panthers, so Coach calls time and pulls Matt over to discuss his plans. Coach is wary but Matt is confident that he can do it, so the game starts up again and…oh there’s no suspense here, of course they win. The Panthers are going to the playoffs!
“I’m a pretty princess!”
At the afterparty (?), Matt thanks Coach for trusting him. I’m sure his Dad was thinking the same thing while watching the game over in Iraq. Tyra sidles over to Buddy to explain why her mother missed the interview. Buddy of course doesn’t know what she’s talking about, but tells her the position has been filled. But Mom decides to interrupt at that very moment, all done up and real purty lookin’. Buddy, who was previously unaware that Tyra’s mom is a MILF, realizes that he’s made a grave mistake and takes her off somewhere to “interview”. Two minutes later, Angela flits out, giddy because she got the job! But what about her lack of experience? Does she get any benefits? Well, they didn’t really talk about any of that. Egh. I don’t know what happened in there but I’m guessing it wasn’t a typing test. Tyra congratulates her mother and suggests that they both get drunk. Yay! Beer tastes better when mom is buying!
Coach steals Smash away from the party and drags him off to a burger joint. He agrees not to report him as long as he gets clean immediately and submits to voluntary drug testing. Smash thanks him, but Coach brushes him off. He points out the loser flipping burgers behind the counter, who just happens to be a former football star who got caught with drugs. What are the odds! Smash promises never to let Coach down again. “You best damn not.” Ha.
“I can still talk about myself in the third person, right?”
Lyla returns home from the game to find a creepy Jason emerging from the shadows. He apologizes for stalking her at the restaurant and launches into a speech about how wonderful she is and how much potential her future holds. Lyla realizes where this is going and asks if he’s breaking up with her. He ignores this and tells her that he has been inspired by Herc, who chose to become a better man after his accident. I don’t really see this, because Herc seems like a dipshit to me, but never mind. It’s a lovely and heartfelt speech anyway. And for the first time it really seems like Jason is actually talking like a real teenager. He’s had to grow up so fast but here he is, stumbling over his words and repeating himself, and it’s just wonderful. He tells her he loves her more than life itself, and…proposes. BWAAA?!! She bursts into tears, they kiss, and the episode ends. For the record, she did not say yes.
Good episode, not one of their best but still better than most of whatever else is on television. I have to say I did not see the proposal coming at ALL, although looking at the episode title now (Little Girl I Want To Marry You) I think I might have been able to crack that code given a little more time. I don’t know what to think about it. I’m happy they’re so in love, but I just wish Jason would find someone with an iota of personality. Ah well. Thoughts? Comments? Any cool parties this weekend?