During the offseason, we are continuing our 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.
- In a somewhat funny opener, Tami and Julie out-vote Eric on what to listen to in the car, and it’s a talk show with Dr. Q. But they use the line “you are in control of your own destiny” to motivate Eric.
- Mac listens to Dr. Q, saying he “lives by her” which is a funny moment
- Smash’s mom finds his steroids and she is not pleased one bit. She marches down to the field to confront Smash and Coach Taylor. She accuses Coach Taylor, but Smash owns up to it himself.
- Buddy sets Lyla with a friend’s son, under the assumption that they are discussing a paper.
- Eric wrestles whether or not to report Smash and is trying to do the right thing for both Smash and his morals.
- Tyra and Mindy convince their mom to apply for a receptionist job at Buddy’s dealership.
- Jason doesn’t love the idea of Lyla meeting up with the college kid, though Lyla insists it isn’t a date.
- The Taylors have dinner with the mayor, who asks Tami to be her running mate in the upcoming election.
- Smash is yelling at his mom, saying she ruined his life. She counters that she is trying to save it and kicks him out of the house for the night.
- Smash meets with Coach Taylor, pleading that it was a mistake. Coach Taylor reframes him, saying it was a cowardly dumb choice.
- Tyra’s mom wants to get back with her ex as she stresses about paying the bills.
- Coach Taylor announces that Smash will miss Friday night’s game due to a personal issue and tells them to respect the privacy of that matter.
- Matt’s dad announces to the family that he will be shipping back out and will end his leave before Friday’s game.
- Smash comes to Coach Taylor’s house late at night, fearing he has been kicked off the team. Coach Taylor reminds Smash how much he is risking for Smash and how important it is that this doesn’t get out.
- Jason and Herc go to spy on Lyla and her meeting/date.
- Tyra gets Tim to help her appeal to Buddy on behalf of her mom.
- Smash finally comes home, appearing more humbled by his time away. He faces up to his poor decision and vows to make past it. He breaks down about feeling like he ruined his future and his mom (who is one of the best characters) tells him there will be another opportunity and he shouldn’t have to feel all the pressure to succeed in order to help his family.
- Jason is waiting in Buddy’s driveway when he gets home and confronts him about setting Lyla up on a date. BUddy admits he wants Lyla to have a great life and doesn’t see that happening with Jason anymore.
- Everyone goes to see Matt’s dad off at the bus station, and at first Matt can’t bring himself to say goodbye, but then he breaks down into an embrace as he lets his dad walk out again.
- Tami decides to join the election campaign. Eric is against it because it could have negative effects on them. Eric “there’s never a dull moment with you” Tami “that’s why you married me sugar.”
- Tyra and her mom try to change the tire, which is used as a metaphor for being self-sufficient and being able to make it on their own.
- Matt expresses his gratitude for Coach Taylor believing in him and listening to him (probably because he doesn’t get that a lot).
- Tyra walks right up to Buddy at the celebration party to explain what happened with the car. He starts to tell Tyra he filled the position and then sees Tyra’s mom and changes his mind, saying he can spare time now to do the interview. There is a throwaway line where Buddy says “Reg if you see Pam...” to which he responds “I got you.” File that one away for later.
- Coach Taylor takes Smash with him away from the party.
- Tyra’s mom gets the job.
- Smash and Eric go out for burgers. Eric sets the rules for remaining on the team, including mandatory drug testing. He tells Smash to not listen to the outside noise, but instead to listen to those who love him. Smash tells Coach Taylor he won’t let him down again.
- Jason is again waiting in the Garrity’s driveway, this time for Lyla. It appears like he is breaking up with Lyla but he ends up proposing to her.
Coach Taylor’s speeches.
- Pulling from the talk show his family made him listen to, Coach Taylor tells his football team that they are in control of their own destiny following the Arnett Mead loss last week. If they win this week, they go to the playoffs.
- Matt is watching film and notices a flaw in the defense. The safeties don’t move when the offense shifts into a different formation, exposing the middle of the field. He gets excited, but his dad tells him to let the coach call the plays.
- Buddy tries to get Eric to leak the info about Smash. During this, Matt comes in with his info but Eric is too stressed to really look into it and dismisses it.
- The coaches are scheming Riggins to get matched up 1v1 with a linebacker and the key is to beat that matchup.
- The game picks up in the 4th in a scoreless game. Both teams are struggling to get anything going.
- On 4th and 8, Coach Taylor finally decided to go to what Matt noticed on film (why didn’t he do this earlier? At least in the second half). Coach Taylor gives some pushback but Matt is certain he can do it. Low and behold, Matt executes the play to perfection, Tim breaks a tackle and runs for the score. The Panthers win and go to the playoffs.
Quote of the episode.
“Don’t listen to the Grady Hunts of the world. You listen to the people that you love and you listen to the people that you trust. And most of all, you listen to yourself. ” - Coach Taylor.
Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t Lose. official counter: 12
Texas Forever official counter: 4
Riggins quitting the team official counter: 1
Coach Taylor calling Landry ‘Lance’ official counter: 2