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Friday Night Lights Review S2E4

Backfire

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.

  • Jason and Tim cross the border into Mexico and seem like they couldn’t be happier...
  • ... until Jason is told he can’t get the surgery at the clinic.
  • Lyla goes to a juvenile detention facility in an attempt to help or share her testimony with those residing there. Predictably, the residents don’t respond favorably. Also, Lyla realizes she was not prepared for the interaction.
  • Julie attempts to act normal around Tami but it turns into another fight and she leaves.
  • Tim wants to live it up in Mexico, Jason is still focused on waiting for the doctor for the surgery.
  • Landry and his parents have Tyra over for dinner. It seems to be going well. Until his dad (who is a cop) gets a phone call from the police station about finding a dead body in the river.
  • At church, Landry begins feeling guilty about covering up the death. He talks to Tyra about it, who wants to continue to keep it quiet.
  • Lyla sees one of the residents (Santi) walking out when she is leaving. He tells her he is out on probation. She pulls over to give him a ride, saying “I’m putting my money where my mouth is.”
  • Santi says he will go to school, and try to get a job. However, it will be hard for a criminal record and his parents gone, as they got deported a few years ago. He stays with an uncle, who is in and out of his life.
  • Tim tries to talk Jason out of the surgery by asking him the success rate and other questions that cut to the truth of how big of a risk this is. They get stopped by the police, and Tim thinks he is looking for a bribe. Instead, Tim is arrested and Jason has to bail him out with some of his surgery money and Jason is pissed at him.
  • Eric gets home and Buddy comes over before Eric can even get in the house. Buddy tells him McGregor got a lawyer and things may be more complicated than anticipated. Eric tells him he better have a job because Buddy said it was a done deal.
  • Lyla is trying to find ways for Santi to make money. She asks her mom about him painting and her mom says no because he is an ex-convict. Lyla feels defeated.
  • Driving lessons do not go well with Julie and Eric.
  • The doctor finally comes in and tells Jason they can do the surgery in a few days. He seems optimistic and confident in the surgery. Tim is still not convinced.
  • The police show up at the diner and come to the table with Landry and Tyra. At first, Landry is scared they are coming for him, but they just come to talk about the football team.
  • At the hearing about Coach McGregor, the lawyer argues there was no cause for the termination. Buddy states his case and lays out his points of all the changes and how they have had a negative impact on players, the program, and the school.
  • Tami and Eric talk to Julie and try to clear the air. Julie tells them that the paper has already reported Eric is the Dillion Panthers head football coach again.
  • Julie and Tami try driving lessons. It goes just as well as it did with Eric. Tami takes a break to let Julie know about her experience with older boys.
  • Buddy learns about Santi needing a job and says he will take care of it. He ends up hiring Santi at his dealership. It appears like he is doing that in order get back into Lyla’s good graces.
  • Julie shows up at the Swede’s house (apparently his name is Anton). He forgot they were supposed to hang out. He isn’t showing her much attention and Julie is uncomfortable and beginning to realize that her mom was right about the situation. When she gets home she is crying and Tami is there for her.
  • Jason finally hangs out with Tim and they hop around the bars and do karaoke and have fun.
  • Tyra gets a call from the police and comes down to the station for questioning. She identifies the dead man as her attacker. He was wanted for rape in two other states. She is also surprised that they just wanting her to confirm that is was who they thought he was and not asking her about the death.
  • Tim calls Lyla from Mexico to express how worried he is about Jason and how he might die and asks her to come down to help him talk Jason out of this.
  • Coach McGregor comes by to congratulate Eric before he leaves town. He says this was the first time he was screwed by another coach and tells Eric he has a family to and he should remember that because they will cross paths again.

Coach Taylor’s speeches.

Football observations.

  • The Panther defense is getting carved up. And the opposing defense is selling out against the run and it’s working, neutralizing Smash.
  • Coach McGregor refuses to change his game plan. Matt tries to in the huddle, but Smash tells him to run the play that’s called. They get destroyed and the crowd boos them.
  • Buddy and the school fires Coach McGregor after the game, citing the need to go in a different direction. Buddy says they will pay him for the season plus a severance package. Coach McGregor is understandably upset.
  • Immediately after, Buddy calls Coach Taylor (right before a game of his own) to tell him there is now an opening back at Dillon.
  • After his game, Coach Taylor goes to resign from his position. The head coach isn’t happy and says it can be effective immediately.
  • As Eric goes into the locker room for his first practice, he sees the sign that says “character is who you are when no one is watching” and it’s not sitting right with him.
  • He addresses the team and gets right down the business. The team seems to embrace him right away.

Unanswered questions.

  • Lyla’s line of “I’m putting my money where my mouth is” was the wrong phrase to use in the moment. Her whole plot is about her and her faith. Why didn’t the writers have her say “I’m putting my faith into action”, which would’ve been much more appropriate for her character?

Plot holes.

  • This is the last time we see Coach McGregor and nothing else ever comes of the way he was fired.

Quote of the episode.

“And you’re speaking for everyone here?” - Lawyer

“You bet your ass I am.” - Buddy

Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t Lose. official counter: 18

Texas Forever official counter: 7

Riggins quitting the team official counter: 2

Coach Taylor calling Landry ‘Lance’ official counter: 2

Jason’s job aspirations: quad-rugby player, football coach