Ah, Wednesday. The day the world catches its breath. Well, no, not really. It’s really the day with so much television on that my poor little Zenith with-built in VCR can barely handle it. But it enables me to catch up with my boys over on Friday Night Lights, so I guess I won’t be kicking it to the curb anytime soon.
After a rather long intro recapping pretty much everything that has ever happened on this show, we begin this week’s episode with a cookout at the Garritys’. I’m hoping that Buddy has personally shot and killed every single thing they’re eating, including the potato salad, but alas it never comes up. Why? Because Jason starts to describe his burgeoning wheelchair rugby career, which Buddy responds to with, what else, snark. And when Buddy dons his patronizing asshole hat, you know shit’s gonna get ugly. He says that it’s only a hobby and it’s no way to make a living, and since he’s all pissed that the kid’s family is suing the team, there’s clearly just no reasoning with this man. Jason goes ballistic anyway, as he is wont to do, and somehow decides he’s going to win this argument by announcing that he and Lyla are getting married. Apparently Lyla hasn’t divulged this little nugget of information to her hapless parents yet, so the entire party disbands, which is a real shame because it looked like a potentially rockin’ shindig.But there’s no room for sadness over at Applebee’s! That’s right, we’re treated to a LIVE expositional radio sports show edition this week, as “Talkin’ Panther Football” is being broadcast right out of our favorite Product Placement Restaurant of Wackiness. Once again, everyone is there, as the population of Dillon only travels in packs when they eat. I like to think that there’s some sort of phone tree system in place, where someone decides that dinner tonight is either going to be at Applebee’s or the Alamo Freeze, and the rest just follow. Anyway, Matt and Julie are having a nice little dinner, where we find out that Julie is an aspiring journalist and wants to join the school paper. Matt is genuinely interested but is kidnapped by the dickhead radio guys to talk about the upcoming game on the air.
Hours, possibly days later (Applebee’s every other night, remember), Matt emerges to find Julie waiting for him outside. He apologizes profusely, but before they can really even talk about it Tim and his football cavemen friends drive around and literally throw Matt into the car. He protests, but they’re teenage boys so I’m guessing they don’t understand the profound loss of an Applebee’s dinner date. So they continue to kidnap him anyway, and poor Julie is left all alone without a way home. Tyra has just finished up her shift and offers her a ride, which Julie refuses at first but eventually accepts. She doesn’t know Tyra very well, so I’m assuming that she’s just hoping to score some free Fiesta Lime Chicken. That shit is AMAZING. Tyra says she doesn’t mind at all, but that they just have to swing by to pick up her sister at work. And by work she means a strip club. No, really.
Someone call in the Riot Police! Dillon is OUT of CONTROL!
Over in the locker room, Coach yells at Smash for folding the towels wrong. I’m sorry, Coach, but last time I checked, your TOWEL TEAM wasn’t going to the playoffs. He then gives Smash a binder full of plays to go copy, and when Smash acts all surprised that someone is asking him to do some work that doesn’t require a helmet Coach takes him on another magical journey down Guilt Trip Lane. Smash gives him his drug test results, to which Coach replies in a hilariously chipper voice “That’s good! Congratulations!” Truly an inspiration.
Tim’s over in traffic court because he failed to show up at a speeding ticket hearing. The judge agrees to let him pay the fine and let it go if it’s okay with his parents. Except the only problem is that he doesn’t have any around at the moment. Tricky thing, that. Since his brother isn’t his legal guardian he has to get it signed by his father or his license will get taken away. Which would be a truly horrible thing because then who will take over as the resident Dillon Kidnapper?
Tyra and Julie are actually hanging out at a store together. How are these two friends? Julie is really interested in the strip club for some reason, which makes me worry because the Corruption of Julie Taylor is just about the last thing I need in my life right now. They’re already getting to Matt, I can’t take it if they take my precious little Julie away from me too. Case in point – after Julie tries on some lipstick but admits she doesn’t have enough money for it, Tyra slips it into her pants and leaves without getting caught. Julie is shocked, and so am I. I thought everyone always finds out about what Tyra slips into her pants.
Billy is pissed that his little bro is going off into the big world to find their dad. He offers to fake the signature, but Tim is clearly hell-bent on seeing his father. Billy relents and gives him some money, which is NOT to be given to dear old dad, then sends him off with a cute tap on the head. Aw. I like this family. To quote Lilo and Stitch: “It is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah. Still good.”
Julie is begging her mother to let her go to a concert on a school night, which Tami shoots down immediately. She continues to grovel, even offering to stay home on a Saturday and suffer through a family fun day. Tami finally says yes as long as she’s home by eleven, and she insists that she break the news to her soon-to-be stewing husband herself. See, I think Julie really won twice here. Not only does she get to go to the concert, but Taylor Family Fun Day? SIGN ME UP.
Tim shows up at the last known address of his father, which happens to be the home of a rather unkempt and shrill woman who allegedly kicked him out six months ago. She gives Tim some cryptic directions to a golf course, but sends him off with this little nugget: “I want my Conway Twitty back! They don’t haaaave it at Taaarget anymoooore.” I love this show so much, I may marry it.
“This shit is bananas!”
Tim drives over to said golf course and finds his hairy father, who some of you may recognize as the evil shish-kabobed-by-Ana-Lucia Goodwin from Lost. They hug and head over to the clubhouse, where Dad happily signs the ticket and mentions that he’s been sober for six weeks now. They make some more small talk and it’s clear that Tim wants to stick around for a while, so Dad suggests that they go get something to eat. They get up and leave but aren’t they already sitting in a restaurant? The Rigginses are pretty but they’re a little slow.
Jason and Lyla are sitting in a Heavy Discussion Jeep. It’s like the Situation Room, only mobile. Lyla apologizes for not telling her parents about the proposal, but confesses that she had planned things out a little differently. She wanted to wait a few years to get married, probably go to college, develop some sort of a personality, etc. She’s also wondering what his plans are, since all he ever talks about is rugby and his hetero life mate Herc. He insists that he’ll also go to college and that they’re going to have the wonderful life they always dreamed of, with the big house and puppies and whatnot (yes, he specifically mentions puppies). Lyla insists that she has a life too and she doesn’t think he realizes that. To be fair, I hadn’t realized that either until she just now said it, but I digress. She just doesn’t want to make a mistake, and Jason predictably gets moody and offended and this conversation is OVER.
Football. Coaching. Yelling. Buddy Garrity is hovering over Coach’s shoulder like a goddamn mosquito and whispering sweet nothings into his otherwise occupied ears. He’s trying to convince him to appear on some sort of gabbin’ bout football television show. Coach is reluctant, but I’m getting excited because Coach on TV might just be the kind of awesome I need right now. Garrity continues to annoy so Coach wisely ignores him. Buddy. Go home. That bucket of chicken waiting for you there isn’t going to devour itself.
Over in the school library, Matt is breaking the news to Julie that he will also be appearing on said television show. Really? Matt? Why would anyone put that stuttering mess on television? Anyway, due to this ensuing trainwreck he will be unable to go to the concert that she so desperately begged her mother to allow her attend. This irks Julie but she reluctantly lets him go, just as long as he realizes that she is the “coolest and most understanding girl in the world.” Oh, but one more thing, Julie. Can you take care of crazy Grandma too? SURE. WHY THE HELL NOT.
Tim and GoodwinDad are bowling. Huh. Maybe they got confused on the way to the restaurant and somehow ended up there instead. Anyway, some random waitress approaches and tells Tim that his father talks about him all the time, always giving updates on his football career and the girlfriends he’s stealing and the best friends he’s betraying. Aw, he’s just so proud of little Timmy! Tim realizes that maybe a little more time spent with Dad might be just the ticket, it’s not like his team is practicing for the PLAYOFFS or anything, so he says that as long as they’re still going to be getting a bite to eat later (glad they’re keeping abreast of that plot point) he may as well spend the night. GoodwinDad agrees and then polishes his bowling ball using that thing that always makes me giggle. Ah, good times.
Hehe. Ball polishing.
It’s time for “The Eric Taylor Show”! Not going to lie, I’m pretty psyched. Coach, however, is not, as he and Matt awkwardly sit in front of a television, presumably to review plays and whatnot. But hold the phone. There’s a problem with the clicker. THERE’S A PROBLEM WITH THE CLICKER! Coach repeats this about seventeen times, then stands up and hits his head on the boom. I’m on the FLOOR. As is Matt. The poor production staff just tells them to move on to the interview. Matt the Moron asks Coach if Smash is going to be playing on Friday, and Coach loses it once again. Note to friends and family: I’d like the entire season of “The Eric Taylor Show” on DVD for my birthday.
I smell an Emmy!
Meanwhile, Julie is taking care of crazy Grandma. She asks if it’s okay that she bring a friend over, which I think is a little presumptuous but Grandma’s always ready for a party so why the hell not. As it turns out, it’s Tyra, and all three of them are soon getting liquored up and painting each other’s toenails. No, really. Tyra gives Julie a little advice: if you want to keep Matt on his toes, you have to let him know you have other options, such as the basketball team (shudder). It’s time to “elevate your game”. Grandma AGREES.
After the local television trainwreck, Buddy corners Coach to rehash our favorite “I hate Jason Street” speech. He starts off with “Jason’s a quadriplegic now, I know it’s not PC to say that.” Actually, Buddy, it is. You didn’t call him a gimpy honky nancy boy cripple queer or anything. He gives him the same crap about his precious daughter and the stupid marriage proposal and makes Coach agree to talk to him, since Jason looks up to him so much. Coach agrees, and Buddy tells him that he did a great job on the show. Coach gives him a hilarious Look. I hope that’s an extra on the DVD.
Mama Williams is yelling at Smash because he’s late and “IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR LENO!” But Smash doesn’t have time for Leno, because he’s been working so hard he feels like he’s about to keel over and die. Mama says he just needs time to wean himself off of the massive amounts of chemicals he’s been introducing into his body, but Smash doesn’t have TIME, he repeats yet again. Who does he think he is, Jack Bauer?
And here’s Smash, practicing for the role of SATAN.
Tim and GoodwinDad are reminiscing over a campfire. Tim gets wasted while Dad chews gum. See, this is what family reunions are all about. Tim says that Billy says hi, which Dad knows is a total lie. He regrets what Billy had to see and deal with, but Tim points out that he saw it all too. Dad takes a swig of something and asks if Coach is okay with Tim missing two practices. Tim says no (duh) but that it’s worth it. Really? Coach hates every other father in town (Mr. Street, Mr. Garrity, Mr. Saracen) so I guess Mr. Riggins might as well jump on that bandwagon too. Since he appears to be falling off another kind of wagon.
The next day, they decide to play a little game of golf. Tim. Coach is going to KILL you. They strike up a little deal. If Tim wins, GoodwinDad has to come see his game on Friday. If GoodwinDad wins, Tim will have to keep quiet to that crazy bag lady about where he really lives. YES. The Conway Twitty CD will be SAFE. Tim swings and the shot lands somewhere in the next county. He starts to tee up for another one but Dad stops him. Looks like someone doesn’t enjoy the delicate ballet that is high school football.
Football. Coaching. Yelling. Coach pulls Smash aside because he’s stinking up the field. Smash is full of excuses and sass, so Coach sends him off to the end zone to do twenty suicides. I really hope this isn’t leading up to some sort of health-related Smash disaster in the playoffs. I like Smash, but I’m more concerned that it would totally destroy Coach, and I hate when any of my precious Taylors are in strife.
As if taking a cue from, well, me, Tami descends upon her husband to try and get him to relax. She insists that he stop taking out his anger towards Smash on Smash because it’s eroding his confidence and that’s going to be a problem come playoffs. She suggests that they have a little chat. I assume it won’t be as amazing as the infamous Matt Chat, but I suppose it will have to do.
Over at the golf course, Tim is kicking ass and taking names. He asks his father if he’s feeling the pressure, but GoodwinDad is still too much of a moron to see that Tim really wants him to lose so he’ll come to the game, so he instead makes a snide remark about his awful putting skills. Oh SNAP.
Smash is sitting out on his front porch watching some kids playing football, conveniently enough on his front lawn or something. Coach shows up and sits down next to him. He points out the one cocky kid who keeps scoring and says that he remembers someone just like that in his neighborhood. Smash, aka Captain Obvious, points out that that was him. Ohhhh. I get it. Coach gives him the whole spiel about being part of a team and apologizes for riding on him too hard. Cocky kid approaches and tells Coach to remember his name, because he’s going to be there on the first day of practice in 2014. Coach tells him to give him a call once he gets out of pee wee, and the kid says “I’ll do that, sir.” Hehe. Then he asks Smash if he wants to play, and he and Coach round up the kids and start a game that ends in mirth and slow-motion frolicking. Yes, it’s wicked corny, but it’s also pretty damn cute.
Fievel joins the cast of Friday Night Lights
Back at the Golf Course of Familial Metaphors, Tim’s game has fallen apart. His father takes one last putt to win the game, and he proceeds to viciously shove it in Tim’s face. Poor Tim grumbles, “If you didn’t want to come to the game you could have just said so, it would have been a lot easier.” GoodwinDad says that him coming back to Dillon isn’t as easy as it sounds, and Tim says that Billy was right and proceeds to walk away. GoodwinDad turns into a ten-year-old right before our very eyes, says that he won fair and square, and demands that Tim return to shake his hand. Tim leaves in disgust. Well, what did you expect when your father is a FILTHY OTHER?
Tim returns home to an incredulous Billy, who can’t believe that he spent the night. Before they can get around to another passionate Riggins heart-to-heart, a carful of rally girls pulls up and burst into the house to kidnap Tim, who goes along without a fight. Meanwhile, another team of sluts is doing the same thing to Matt, who does put up a small fight, but Grandma is all too happy to shove him out the door so that’s the end of that!
Cut to a raucous football party with alcohol and hot tubs and senseless teenage debauchery. Tim establishes that they’re taking pictures for a calendar for charity, which Matt is clearly uncomfortable with no matter how many whales they save. But then some random ho drags him off to undress him, saying that he’s going to be Mr. November. He ends up in the hot tub with a multitude of girls around him and of course the cameras are going off. He doesn’t appear to be putting up much of a fight now. This can only end well.
Playoff day! But first, some legal matters. Coach is getting ready for the big Street hearing, and Tami is begging to go with him. Coach insists that while he may need her in the future, today it’s just going to be him but he loves her and thank you for asking. I think he should bring her anyway, all she needs to do is flash that patented Tami Stare of Death at the judge and case closed.
Over at the courthouse, Coach sidles over to Jason, who’s looking quite dapper and not sweaty for once in a nice button-down shirt. They’re not really supposed to be talking to each other, but Coach wants Buddy off his back so this is going to happen. He says that marriage is a huge commitment and that he better be damn sure. Jason says he is sure, but Lyla isn’t quite there yet. Coach says he’s not trying to stop him or anything, just that he should give it some time and feel it out a little first. Then they start to make fun of Buddy’s misery and have a good laugh until Jason’s parents show up and it’s PARTY OVER. Coach starts to walk away but Jason stops him and apologizes for making him do this on game day. Aw.
Matt catches up with Julie at her locker. She asks him what he did last night and he says he just went to work and then went home. But Julie has that look in her eye that means that I’m going to be cringing very soon. She says that she saw the calendar, and Matt stutters a bunch of apologies and says that nothing happened. “Then why’d you lie about it?” poor Julie asks in a choked-up voice. Caught in a WEB OF LIES! She sobs that she doesn’t appreciate being lied to, and that he should just go off with his football friends and rally girls and leave her alone. Other than the fact that this was a beautifully acted scene by little Julie, I say NOOOO. WHY does this show insist on breaking my heart every week? What’s next, the Taylors get a divorce? That may just kill me.
Smash bursts into Coach’s office during a meeting. Coach says that he’ll be starting tonight, and Smash just stares at him like he’s made out of steroids. “What, you want a hug or something? Get out of here.” snaps Coach. Hehe. After he leaves the office, Smash starts applauding himself and we cut to later on that night, where he is leading a team prayer in the locker room. Then a rousing round of “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” and we’re off!
“Dear Lord, please improve our ratings.”
On the way out of the locker room, Billy pulls Tim aside to tell him that Dad’s here. Probably to impersonate one of the Tailies again. FILTHY OTHER!
Another slow episode but I have a feeling it doesn’t matter because playoffs are next week! I assume so, anyway. The previews show something a little more controversial so I don’t know what’s going to happen. Thoughts? Comments? Conspiracy theories regarding GoodwinDad? (Hint: The island is located entirely within the confines of Kyle Chandler’s hair. Discuss.)