'Friday Night Lights': Up to Now
By Christopher Gray,
3:52PM, Fri. Jan. 12, 2007
Real high school football may be over until August, but NBC's fictionalized account of the Dillon Panthers, currently airing Wednesdays at 7pm, is just heating up. Previously: Street's family sues the school - and Coach Taylor; Street and Lyla reconciled; Smash's date with Preacher's Kid interrupted by roid-induced nosebleed; Landry helps Tim see parallels between his own life and Of Mice and Men; Matt's dad comes home from Iraq and generally acts like a jerk, causing his son to get benched, but the Panthers win anyway to keep their playoff hopes alive. Now ...
THE PANTHERS: No game this week, hence episode title "What to Do While You're Waiting." Waiting for the results of a game in the next county, which unlike 99% of Texas high school football games, is conveniently on television. If heavy underdog Buckley wins, Dillon is in the playoffs. Guess who wins?
COACH TAYLOR: Coming to grips with the Street family's lawsuit, still turning over offer to be UT quarterback coach in his head. Tries to reach out to Mr. Street but is rebuffed. Forces team to attend rodeo fundraiser, is forced by wife to attend same. Notes, "I'm gettin' a lot of gray hairs this week."
MRS. TAYLOR: Cooks casserole for Matt's family to ease Matt's domestic burden. Says "something terrible must have happened" after Julie tells her she and Coach are "the best parents in the world." Looks hot in cowboy hat at rodeo.
STREET: Hates being part of lawsuit and what it's doing to his family (dad is currently sleeping on the couch). Begrudgingly admits, "Maybe they're all right ... the lawyers, my parents." Exchanges meaningful, regret-filled gaze with Coach across rodeo fairgrounds.
SWEET, SWEET LYLA: Offers Street unwavering moral support, one of episode's best lines: "Love makes us kinda stupid."
MATT: Asks Lyla's dad, Buddy Garrity, to give his dad a job selling cars, which he does, but his dad couldn't sell a fake ID to a UT freshman. Realizes that since he's no help around the house or with grandma, his dad is probably better off in Iraq. Dad agrees. He, Julie, Smash, and Preacher's Kid double-date at rodeo.
SMASH: Feigns interest in all manner of current events to impress Preacher's Kid. Is mostly interested in scoring touchdowns and referring to himself in the third person. Convinces PK to come on rodeo date but blows it when Julie says she and Matt and Smash all like to go to French movies. Enters arm-wrestling contest and wins - thanks, steroids! - but is off by PK after the following speech: "I love being a star. It's a beautiful thing. It's how God made me. If you don't like me for me, I gotta live with it because I gotta be the Smash."
TYRA: Issues ultimatum to mother (played by the femme fatale from Fletch) after watching stepfather go Ike Turner one time too many: either he goes or I go. Unexpectedly, mom chooses Tyra. Rebuffs, for now, Tim's offer of reconciliation.
TIM RIGGINS: Wants to get back with Tyra. Stares longingly at reunited Street and Lyla across fairgrounds.
BEST LINE: Buddy Garrity: "Thank you, Lord, for letting Buckley win. I know you are a truly powerful God for letting such a crap team win. If it's your will, let us win state. In Jesus' name, Amen."
NEXT WEEK: "Homecoming" episode repeats from October. Watch for the Gourds as the band playing homecoming festival at very beginning.