This week on Friday Night Lights, we learned that Mexico + alcohol + teenage boys = hilarity. In fact, I’m heading down there right now. I’ve kidnapped a couple of good-looking adolescent lads, pumped them full of Jack Daniels, and plan to spend the next 48 hours being endlessly entertained by their antics. Go, drunk kids, go! Tim and Jason are roadtripping it down to meet some miracle doctor that Jason learned about from Mark Zupan. Hey, genius, if Mark Zupan is so smart, why isn’t he himself dancing around in a “I Went All The Way To Mexico And All I Got Was This Lousy Ability To Walk” t-shirt? Sadly, Jason has severed all ties with our old friend Common Sense, and is now storming into a run-down office and demanding to see said doctor. The bored-looking secretary informs him that the doctor is on vacation and might not be back for another week. Jason goes all ballistic screech monkey on her, his voice raising several octaves in the space of five seconds until only dogs can hear him.
Back at Panther Stadium, it’s Friday again already? Didn’t the boys head out to Mexico right after the last game? Whatever. They’re supposed to be in college by now too. I’m done with this show and realistic timelines. Anyway, the team is stinking up the field with all of Coach Asshat’s terrible plays. Even Grandma Lorraine is furious. They eventually lose, with Buddy Garrity waiting in the wings, swishing his cape and twirling his mustache. The next day, he fires Asshat, who is none too pleased about all of this.
But the real fun begins when Buddy gives Coach a call to give him the good news. He calls in the middle of a TMU game, and Coach wonders how he even got this number “Oh, you know me,” Buddy says saucily. He goes on to tell him that “The Eagle has landed,” (ha!) and that Asshat is gone. Just like that? Please. I know this show. There’s gotta be a catch. Coach can come back, but only if he voluntarily infects himself with some incurable disease. That’s just how things work out around Dillon.
Lyla is giving a Jesus talk over at some juvenile detention facility. The boys are slightly more interested in her, uh, earthly pleasures than what she has to say about the Bible or whatever. One guy who seems pretty hellbent on James Francoing all over the place, asks her why bad things happen to good people. When she can’t provide a decent answer, he says that if she ever saw him on the street, she’d just run the other way. But we all know Lyla and her penchant for chiseled bad boys. He’ll be putting her drunken father to bed in no time.
“I will kill Spiderman.”
Julie barges into the living room and demand that her mother take her driving. She just got her permit and she needs to practice. Tami patiently explains that she can’t go right now, she’s watching the TMU game and Gracie is trying to sleep. Julie, also a fan of Screech Monkey Mode, starts whining and busts out with the gem: “I’m still your daughter too, just as much as little blob.” Guess she’s been reading Angelina Jolie’s Book Of Baby Names. They continue to bicker, Gracie wakes up and starts crying, and Julie storms off, saying that she’s going to go date The Swede just to spite her mother. Ah, a relationship based on spite. Really something to tell the grandkids.
Tim and Jason are lying around the hotel watching some Mexican game show. Tim, apparently not a fan of fabulous cash and prizes, tries to convince Jason that they should be out making memories. Jason correctly senses that this will require money, so he snatches his bag o’ cash away and tells Tim that they are there for one reason and one reason only – to see El Doctoro Misterioso and get his spine back. Tim, never one to take no for an answer, drags Jason out of bed amidst many useless protests and throws him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Comedy gold, my friends.
Coach is quitting his TMU job, and it is Uncomfortable. He tells the head coach he’ll stick around for the next two games, in order to make the transition a little easier and all that. But the dude’s just not hearing it. He says if he wants to leave, he can do so right now. And thus ends Coach’s illustrious career with TMU. Now let us never speak of it again.
Tyra is having dinner with Landry and his family, and it is adorable, as we all knew it would be, with Dad telling a story about a cat named Mr. Puddles. Sadly, this riveting tale is interrupted with a serious phone call, as Dad finds out that a body has been found in the river. He has to leave to go deal with it. Worried glances start flying around the table, ending with one of Landry’s patented blank-but-bordering-on-creepy stares. “He looks like an albino,” my mom helpfully suggested in an urgent phone call last week.
“You should have seen the very first body that little Landry threw in the river. It was this big!”
The next day, Landry is fidgeting in church as the preacher drones on about guilt and sin. What is it with Dillon’s religious community and its ability to create sermons that relate exactly to what its followers are going through? It’s uncanny! Later, in his room, Landry tells Tyra that he can’t take it anymore, that he’s going to turn himself in and just hope that they’ll let him off easy. Tyra correctly says that that’s not going to happen, and that he better keep his mouth shut or she’ll bludgeon him with a wrench. Or at least, that’s what she was thinking.
Lyla arrives at Landry’s future home, the State School For Boys, to continue her fruitless Jesus work. She notices James Franco leaving, pulls the car up next to him, and makes a couple lame jokes. He wisely ignores her. But Lyla is nothing if not feisty, so she keeps at it and manages to lure him into the car. She drags his backstory out of him – his parents got deported to Mexico, he got busted for selling drugs, and he needs a job now that he’s out on probation. Once they arrive at his trailer park, she asks for his number. Lyla, when will you learn? Bad boys only bring you personal ruin and sorrow! On the other hand, they’re pretty great in the sack. So I guess it’s a trade-off.
Speaking of belligerent Mexicans, Tim and Jason have taken to the streets. Jason is yet again trying to convince Tim that this surgery is no big deal, that it’s only illegal in America because it hasn’t been approved yet and that will take too much time. Tim, in too much of a drunken haze to properly realize that he needs to talk him out of this, starts crossing the street, leaving Jason at the curb yelling at him to come back and get him. It’s pretty funny. Eh, I guess you just had to be there. Eventually a cop pulls them over and asks for their IDs. Jason starts to freak out, but Tim stays cool: “He wants memories as well, Six. He want a night on the town, he wants some seÃ±oritas.” Tim tries to pay him off and immediately gets arrested.
Cut to the police station, where Jason is using part of his surgery stash to bail Tim out. Haha. Poor Jason. I love him to death, but sometimes when he gets pissed off, it’s hilarious. I also love how his vocabulary turns into that of a twelve-year-old when he gets mad. “You go ahead and get loaded tonight, catch…syphilis or…whatever skanky jailbait or…random hooker or whore you can find on the street, but I’m going back to the hotel!” “Can you at least buy me a couple tacos?” Tim yells after him. Foolish Tim. If you had just stayed in America, you could have gotten one last Tuesday at Taco Bell for free! I got mine. Thanks, Red Sox!
Jacoby Ellsbury stole that base so that fine, upstanding American citizens such as yourself could receive a free taco. And this is how you repay him, TIM?
As Coach finally arrives at home for good (yay!) a happy reunion takes place out on the driveway. Gracie is especially happy to see him.
“I have a dad??!”
Of course the whole moment is ruined when Buddy Garrity, who was apparently watching from behind some bushes, pops out to have a small talk with Coach. Tami is priceless here, telling Buddy not to take too long because Coach JUST GOT HOME, doing that hilarious thing where she vehemently tries to yell at someone while also being as polite as humanly possible. Classic. Buddy tells him that Coach Asshat got a lawyer and that he’s not signing anything yet. An emergency board meeting has been called, so Coach doesn’t technically have the job yet. Coach becomes irked, yelling that he signed a no compete form that says he can’t take another college coaching job for two years. Again, yay! Buddy reassures him that everything will be fine, And how can you not trust a used car salesman with a PANTHR license plate?
Lyla is trying to convince her older sister, I mean mother, to let James Franco do some chores around the house, since having a job will help with his probation. Pam is not too comfortable with having an ex-convict running around with her younger kids present, so the answer is no. Oh, come on, Pam. You’ll let that tofu-loving hippy in your house but not an ex-con? I call hypocrisy. And bad parenting.
Julie is in a practice driving session with her father. He asks about The Swede, and she predictably freaks out and starts yelling and not watching the road. He calms her down, and then asks about the two of them “carrying on in the driveway”. Haha. I love when Coach busts out with old-timey language. He continues to needle her, forgetting that at the slightest provocation Julie goes into can’t-do-anything-but-screech mode. She forgets to watch the road and almost swerves into another car, prompting the other driver to give her…the index finger? Guess they do things a little differently down in Texas.
Jason finally gets his appointment with Dr. McSleazy. He tells Jason that he’s a perfect candidate, that they can do the surgery on Thursday, and that it will involve injecting shark stem cells into his spine. Come AGAIN? Tim, the wheels slowly, sloooowwwly turning in his head that this might just be a bad idea, asks McSleazy why this isn’t legal in the US. “Because the FDA are a bunch of crybabies,” he replies. Well why didn’t you say so! Sign me up!
Landry and Tyra are hanging out at the other restaurant in Dillon that is not the Arctic Freeze or Applebees. But they’re not with each other. Landry is telling Matt that he needs a new girl as a rebound from Julie, and Tyra is with her sister and her stripper friends, discussing some sort of business venture that involves girls walking around people’s lawns naked. No, really. The two young murderers watch in horror as a couple of uniformed and serious-looking police officers walk over to Landry’s table. It is tense for a moment, then they demand to know why the Panthers are losing. Close call. Landry quickly puts away his revolver, and Tyra hides her…rope. There. That’s all the Clue weapons. Where’s my complimentary game, Parker Brothers?
Over at the board meeting, Buddy is running down his laundry list of reasons why they fired Coach Asshat. Asshat has a shrill attorney at his side, and while she makes a couple decent points, she is no match for the hurricane that is Buddy Garrity. She asks if he speaks for everyone on the board. “You bet your ass I do,” he says.
Buddy Garrity: Purveyor of Smug Smirks
Tami and Coach call Julie into their room to have a talk. They have decided to tentatively (very very VERY tentatively) revoke her grounding, as long as she agrees to behave like a normal human being from now on. She says thank you and flies out of the house, congratulating her father as he goes. Confused, he grabs the newspaper to read the headline “MacGregor Fired – Taylor To Replace Him.” The multitudes rejoice.
Later on, it’s poor Tami’s turn to teach her little hellion how to drive. They’re practicing parking, and, as expected, it’s not going well. She makes Julie turn the car off and just sit for a minute. Then she decides it’s time for a Talk. She tells Julie about a guy she liked when she was a teenager. He was older than her, she had a big crush on him, she proceeded to lose her virginity to him, and the next morning he barely remembered who she was. She voices some concern about The Swede, saying that Julie may like him but he might not like her. Julie insists that he does. “Well, he doesn’t love you. And that’s the difference,” Tami says. LOVE. HER.
Buddy drops the kids off with Pam, and she tells him all about Lyla’s attempt to hire the ex-con. Buddy, seeing this as an opportunity to get back into Lyla’s good graces, tells Pam he’ll take care of it. Cut to the dealership, where Buddy is walking the kid around with Lyla, asking if he has any experience with sales or cars or people or anything at all. It’s a no. But Buddy hires him anyway, much to Lyla’s delight. So let that be a lesson to all you deadbeat dads out there: you can win back your daughter’s love and affection by hiring her ex-con friend to work for you. It’s so simple!
Julie arrives on The Swede’s doorstep, which is covered in beer cans. How is this guy not friends with Tim Riggins? He answers the door in his underwear, clearly having forgotten that they were supposed to “hang out” tonight. Julie’s face falls. Oh, but the disappointment doesn’t end there. As she sits among empty pizza boxes and old bong juice and overall squalor, The Swede tells her he’s going to meet up with some other friends tonight. Julie finally gets it through her head that this guy is a douche, so, holding back tears, she says she doesn’t feel good and runs out the door. She arrives home not soon after and Tami, seeing that she’s crying, gives her a big hug. Aw. I hope this means The Swede is gone for good. I could smell his funk through my television.
Jason has finally agreed to get smashed. He and Tim are at a bar, doing shots and toasting to John Wayne and to walking. “Hey, you probably shouldn’t get that creepy shark surgery,” Tim fails to say, as he infuriatingly continues to humor him. They move on to an outdoor karaoke bar, where the debauchery continues. Jason is now bombed out of his mind and is dancing (sort of) and singing karaoke with a handful of random women draped over him. Also, he’s wearing a humorous hat. And the boozing continues and it’s all pretty funny…until Jason starts drunkenly singing about how he’s going to walk again and the whole scene screeches to a grinding halt, suddenly becoming extremely sad and depressing. There is much wincing going on all over my face. I will never stop marveling at how this show does that. I’m smiling and laughing, and then all of a sudden I’m outrageously sad and want to die. Not many other shows can do that. The Wonder Years comes to mind. DuckTales, too.
It’s a little pitchy, dog. Only okay for me this week.
Tyra’s mom bursts into her room to inform her that the police called and they want to see her down at the station. When they get there, the cop shows Tyra the dead guy’s license, and she admits that she recognizes him, that he was the one who tried to rape her. Mom, who was apparently never told anything about this, freaks out and hugs a teary Tyra, who’s mostly just relieved that she’s not a murder suspect…yet. The cop tells them that this guy was wanted in two other states for rape, that she did a good job with the description, and that they’re closing this case. This rape case, or the death case? More info to follow on that, I’m sure. Landry’s dad walks by and he and Tyra eye each other. Probably over the Mr. Puddles thing.
Tyra’s a creepy eye-bleeding Hero too! Quick, where’s Alejandro??
As Jason lies passed out on the hotel bed, Tim finally, FINALLY, gathers up enough sense to realize that this shark surgery is a terrible idea. He calls Lyla and begs her to come down to Mexico and help him talk Jason out of it, since he won’t listen to him. She thinks he’s nuts or drunk or both, but he says please like fifteen times, and he’s making those Fuck Me eyes so hard she must be able to see them over the phone. Hey, kids, I have an idea. It’s similar to my advice to Tyra and Landry. Why not get some ADULTS involved in this? Jason has parents, and, as Lyla points out, they’re worried sick. Perhaps they could be of some assistance? If Tim is thinking rationally enough to contact Lyla, or if she has any amount of logic in her own head, then there’s really no excuse this time. Call his friggin parents. This isn’t something simple like murder or the disposal of a body, this is a matter of life or death!
Asshat shows up on Coach’s doorstep to congratulate him, and also to snark that everything worked out exactly the way Coach wanted. Come again? Asshat says that this is the first time he’s ever been screwed by another coach and that he knows Coach had something to do with it. He also reminds him that he has a family, too. Ouch. Good point. He says he’ll be seeing him again. I predict this will be something of the Voodoo Tatum variety, wherein this guy will come back later on in the season as the coach of a rival team or something. Or he could be back next week, I don’t know. I don’t watch the previews. Either way, Coach shows up the next day and starts coaching the Panthers again. Huzzah!
Interesting episode. I can already tell that with Coach finally around, there will be much adorableness and hilarious awkward parenting with little Gracie. I look forward to that. And maybe we’ll be seeing a little more of toned-down, normal Julie. I’m quite worried about my Jason, though. He’s gonna get really hurt either way here. And that whole Coach Asshat thing – just another brilliant way that this show illustrates the gray areas of every single potentially favorable event. There’s no such thing as an unambiguously happy ending.
What do we think? Would you rather have the stem cells of:
a) a shark
b) a bear
c) Keith Richards