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 Netflix (and Peacock), and you can follow along each week (on a Friday, of course) as a different episode from season two will be discussed, from the opening episodes with a new coach at the helm to the sudden cliffhanger caused by the writer’s strike.
Random thoughts in live-tweet form.
- Julie is laying around in bed upset about Matt. At Matt’s house, he is in the hallway when the caretaker is coming out of the bathroom in a towel.
- Tim wakes up and sees Billy and their neighbor (his girlfriend) in the kitchen. Tim decides he can’t be around and packs a bag and moves out.
- Tim goes to Tyra’s house first and she agrees to take him in 48 hours and no more.
- The cool young teacher Noah (Shane West) who is also the faculty advisor for the school paper meets Tami and she remarks about how young she is.
- Landry fills Tyra in about him and his dad setting the car on fire and how it is over now. She is at least talking to him.
- Tami recruits Tyra and Lyla to help her with the Pantherama event and schedule the entertainment. She doesn’t take no for an answer.
- As luck would have it, Julie is at the meeting for the school newspaper and impresses Noah for her idea for a story about where the money from Pantherama goes.
- Tami meets with Santi and says his grades are good considering his transferred five times. He opens up about his family and his parents being deported. Tami wants to have a meeting with his uncle and Santi is evasive about him coming in person. He finally confesses his uncle hasn’t be home in 10 or 11 months.
- Matt and his new girlfriend Laura are making out in the hallway. Julie sees and runs into a classroom, that happens to be Noah’s class. She tells him all about the situation and he offers her food.
- Tyra comes home to find Tim and her sister drinking beer on the couch. She tells him sleeping with her sister is strictly off limits.
- Laura knows a lot about cards and offers to help Matt while he looks to buy one. She is a smooth talker and knows her stuff.
- Tyra and Lyla have no one signed up for Pantherama. Tyra, being bold as ever, storms into the football locker room with Lyla behind her. Tyra reminds the team that they provide the entertainment and convinces them all to sign up.
- Noah helps Julie with her article and edits it for her and tries to get across that it’s good and it can be great. Julie likes the individual attention.
- Matt comes home with a new car and his grandma is excited. She wants to go for a ride but Carlotta is still laying down the law a bit.
- While practicing for the Pantherama, Lyla and Tyra try to get some dance choreography going for the team. They aren’t having it. Tyra has an idea about a light-hearted strip-tease with some simple dance moves.
- Julie is spending a lot of time in Noah’s office and sharing personal stories and Tami walks into their office and is surprised to find them there. She plays it cool but is clearly uneasy about it.
- Matt is practicing the dance moves at home and Carlotta teases him about it. She then tries to help them relax his hips and feel more comfortable dancing.
- Tyra wakes Tim up by pouring water on his face and says it is time to leave.
- Eric discovers Julie’s article. Tami is excited about it but Eric is not happy because it paints the football team in a bad light. Tami says she makes some good points.
- Tami doesn’t like that Julie calls her teacher Noah.
- At the Pantherama, Lyla gives the team a pep talk and offers her support if they get nervous while performing.
- The crowd goes wild when the team takes their shirts off, then their pants. But Tami is horrified. Tyra and Lyla try to act surprised.
- Carlotta tells Matt how well he did and he said it was because of her. He kisses her and she doesn’t initially pull away. The next day they have some polite conversation and she puts her hand on his shoulder when giving him breakfast.
- Tim finds a place to rent and stay at. The guy seems doesn’t seem great and tells Tim he will have to help take care of the ferrets.
- Julie goes to see Noah and asks about her next assignment. He tells her to read the paper every day to learn more about what is a good story.
Coach Taylor’s speeches.
- It’s a big day to start the episode. It’s the first day college coaches can have contact with high school players (which for those who follow recruiting now know how late this is, consider it’s a month into the season of senior year), and Smash’s house phone is ringing off the hook.
- Coach Taylor makes it very clear about the ugly nature of recruiting and how quick things can go wrong and players can become ineligible. He also says all recruiting should go through him to make sure things are okay.
- A host of coaches great Smash on his way to practice. One coach in particular from Miami Southern arranges a random visit between Smash and an attractive girl, Noelle, who is the younger sister of a former Panther who now plays at that college.
- On the field, Santi is progressing along on the field. Coach Taylor sends him to Tami to make sure he qualifies academically.
- Tami doesn’t want Santi playing football until his family/personal life is more stable.
- Smash has an in-home visit with a HBCU school. He makes a strong pitch based on education, having a formative life experience for four years, and being a key part of the team. Smash isn’t interested and cites their 2-9 record and a lack of an NFL path. He comes across as pretty rude and his mom chastises him.
- Buddy and Coach Taylor come to talk to Tami about Santi. Buddy offers to have Santi move in with him in order to provide a “stable” living environment. Tami wants him to go through social services and follow protocol.
- Noelle comes over for dinner at the Williams house and tells Smash and his mom recruiting stories about her brother. Smash eats it all up, thinking he too can get the best offer and he starts believing that nothing will ever go wrong. His mom however has lot of doubts.
- Smash and his mom talk about Witmore (the HBCU school) and Smash tells her she has no idea how it all works. Smash says it’s all about getting what he wants. She is concerned with about getting hurt and Smash sees that as not believing in him.
- Smash comes back home and apologizes to his mom. But then he says he is telling Witmore no to their offer and how he is going to go pro and he will be going to his recruiting meetings alone from now on. They are both sad.
- Tami and Buddy talk about Santi and how he needs a home and that it can’t just be about football. They both want him to have a chance.
- Mrs. Williams comes to see Coach Taylor to talk to him about Smash and his recruiting. He tries to reason with her but also acknowledges he can’t make the decision for Smash. She states how this is an area that is harder without his dad in the picture.
- Coach Taylor finds Smash and the Miami Southern coach out at lunch and crashes it. He calls the coach out and says he sure hopes he’s not committing any recruiting violations. He then calls Smash. Smash says he doesn’t need the hand-holding. Coach Taylor tells Smash he is one of the best athletes he’s ever coached and tells about his relationship with his dad and how they always butted heads. He then reminds Smash that he buys his own meals.
- Tami comes and inspects the apartment to approve of Santi living with Buddy. Santi confesses this is the first real bed he’s ever had. It’s so great to see him just needing an opportunity and is willing to work hard to have a chance for a better life for himself.
- Is the Pantherama is such a big deal, why wasn’t it discussed last season?
Quote of the episode.
“Don’t let writing something good stop you from writing something great.” - Noah
Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t Lose. official counter: 19
Texas Forever official counter: 7
Riggins quitting the team official counter: 3
Coach Taylor calling Landry ‘Lance’ official counter: 6
Jason’s job aspirations:
quad-rugby player, football coach,