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Friday Night Lights Review S1E2

Eyes Wide Open

Due to the MWC postponing their season, we’ve been forced to think outside the box a bit in terms of our content. One of those things we will be bringing out is a weekly series discussing thoughts on arguably the best football TV show ever in Friday Night Lights. If you haven’t seen it, there is no better time to start. If you have seen it, there’s no better time to rewatch it. And if you’re like me, and watch an episode or season every year in preparation for college football, you’re right on track. Regardless of which category you fit into, it’s on Hulu, and you can follow along each week (on a Friday, of course) as a different episode from season one will be discussed, from the heartbreaking cliffhanger of the pilot to the final nail-biting game.

Random thoughts in live-tweet form.

  • Buddy Garrity putting pressure on Coach Taylor after church to find another QB
  • Lyla is trying to be the eternal optimist for Jason, convinced he will walk and play again. This is mirrored by Tim, keeping quiet and not talking about it with anyone. He watches the film clip over and over by himself, which is one of the first times our heart’s break for Tim Riggins.
  • Radio talking heads blasting Matt because he’s not Jason. They don’t even bother to pronounce his last name correctly.
  • Tammy goes to the book club, which turns into her getting bombarded with football talk as the ladies have advice for her to pass along to Eric.
  • Matt seems completely uncomfortable getting his own rally-girl.
  • Smash is dealing with this by letting his confident personality almost seem like he’s enjoying being the star without Jason. Riggins throws something at him, breaking a window. Those two do not get along one bit.
  • Coach Taylor is getting everyone’s opinion at the booster luncheon.
  • Smash and Riggins get in a fight during practice. We all saw this coming. It probably had to happen, but Coach Taylor sees his world fall apart piece by piece.
  • I forgot Smash and Tyra hook up while Smash’s mom and sisters come home. And Smash’s mom is a fantastic character.
  • Coach Taylor goes to visit Jason in the hospital. He tells Street that they are saving his spot, however long it takes. It’s a hard promise but a significant one at the moment.
  • Jason has a lot of insight into Matt, considering we haven’t seen them interact on camera before. Says he doesn’t need a roadmap, he’s creative, and he believes he can be okay with the proper coaching. Coach Taylor came in to inspire Jason, but Jason ends up doing the same for him.
  • In probably the most touching moment thus far, Jason says he’s sorry if he let Coach Taylor and the team down. Eric responds by saying he didn’t let him down. It’s simple but powerful and brings Jason to tears.
  • Matt tries to compare him and Jason to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and doesn’t make a good comparison for himself. Having him talk to the media this week probably wasn’t the smartest idea.
  • Lyla is asking Tim how he’s feeling. She is trying to support him, too, and probably try to find someone who knows what she’s going through.
  • Jason finds out he won’t walk again, and it’s devastating news to everyone.
  • Tammy is breaking the news to Eric that she got a guidance counselor job at “his” high school. “I didn’t realize you bought the school, honey.” Her responses are perfect.
  • Coach Taylor has to deliver the news to the team on Thursday before practice. The day before the game. The timing is never right, but it’s especially bad trying to keep their minds on a game, and he’s trying to hold on to the mess that is becoming his life. He also does the right thing by canceling practice.
  • I like that he tells them to reach out to him any time day or night to talk. Riggins takes the news as we’d imagine and walks out of the room. This time around, I noticed Smash seems more genuinely sad. Reality is set in, and he seems to feel for Jason, as this isn’t just a few game absence anymore and now is a terrible reality.
  • Landry is trying to help Matt learn the playbook while Matt tries to work his shift at CoolTreats. Probably not great that anyone there can see the QB doesn’t know the playbook.
  • Jason has a tough talk with Lyla, as he tries to get her to come to reality with his news. She seems to be trying to hold on to the fleeting dream that everything will work out for them.
  • Eric goes to Tammy with his feelings of being overwhelmed and not knowing how he will win this week. She speaks encouragement into him, how he’s molded QBs before, and will do the same now.
  • In a move true to Eric Taylor’s character, he stops by Matt’s house late Thursday night to get to know him. He meets his grandma, gets a feel for Matt’s life, and how much he has on his plate each day.
  • The moment when Coach Taylor says to Matt, “I know you didn’t want me to step inside your house tonight, but you should feel proud.” I love this because he sees who Matt is and tells him that he’s good enough as a young man and recognizes and validates all his responsibility. I get the feeling Matt doesn’t get told that enough.
  • His goal is to get all of those distractions and responsibilities out of his mind during the game so he can focus in the game. He’s molding him into a leader. Eric recognizes that Matt has the ability and the knowledge of the game, but lacks the confidence and is distracted. He focuses on simplifying his mindset, developing his leadership, and believing in him as a person. Those things are the heart of the show.
  • The song Devil Town playing is odd but really catchy.
  • Lyla bringing cookies to Jason in the hospital as all the other rally-girls make their deliveries is great.
  • Matt doesn’t run out of the locker room with the rest of the team. Coach Taylor goes to him and asks if he’s up for this and on his game-winning pass if his eyes were open or closed. It’s the perfect way to unlock Matt’s inner confidence as he gives a smile of assurance saying, “My eyes were open. My eyes were wide open.”

Coach Taylor’s speech.

  • He hits right into the player’s emotions. They may be scared or angry due to their loss. He also tells them this team is more than one player, and every player is needed to overcome their loss. Coach Taylor (or the writers) have an uncanny ability to speak directly to the core of the moment and situation.

Football observations.

  • Matt struggles mightily in practice, and it seems clear he doesn’t do well when he’s frazzled. Mac (the OC who wasn’t in the pilot but will be a feature from here on out) doesn’t seem to be putting a lot of time into helping him develop.
  • The defense is dominating in practicing. Where was this during the game last episode?

Unanswered questions.

  • Why is Matt working alone? He is doing the register and working the fryer.
  • Tammy said he’s molded Jeff Porel in Macedonia, who didn’t know the difference between a skinny post and an up and out route and became the best QB in the league. How did Coach Taylor coach Jason Street most of his life and also coach another kid in another town?
  • What is a rally-girl? The same or different than a cheerleader? Do schools really have rally-girls?

Plot holes.

  • Buddy says he’s known Eric a long time since he was a salesman here, and he was a junior high coach. But didn’t Buddy open the new dealership in the pilot?
  • Buddy goes on to say he’s glad Eric is back here. Was Eric with another team last year or the OC with the Dillon Panthers?

Quote of the episode.

  • “This is all yours for the taking. Depends on how much you want it. It’s yours for the taking.” - Coach Taylor

Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t Lose. official counter: 2

Texas Forever official counter: 2