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Friday Night Lights Review S2E11

Jumping the Gun

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 wakes up with a hangover. Eric apologizes for putting her in the situation with Tim. She appears too sick to tell him what actually happened.
  • Eric finds Tim sleeping in the training room and tells him he can’t be in there.
  • Smash’s mom tells him he took his phone and he needs to refocus on school and making smart decisions. Smash says he’s going to do it his way.
  • Shelly gets her exam results and she passed, getting her real estate license. Everyone is happy for her. Although she says she wants to open her business out of the house.
  • Tim goes back to his brother’s house, only to find it in shambles with a delinquency notice on the door.
  • An assistant coach from Oklahoma Tech meets Corina Williams at the grocery store. He is offering to buy her groceries and relocate her to the town the school is in, as well as get her a job at the hospital with weekends off. She is having none of it. Tami sees her and helps her get the coach away.
  • Eric continues to be upset at Tim and Julie continues to become silent.
  • Julie then goes to see Tim to apologize and admit that she hasn’t been able to tell the truth. She also thanks him for helping her out with Riley at the party.
  • Tim sees his neighbor (Jackie) packing up to move and asks what happens. She tells him that she and Billy broke up. She also says that Billy lost his job and then things got to be too much.
  • Shelly taped over game film for the week and Eric is furious at her. He snaps at her and says they want her to get a place of her own.
  • Tami comes home to find Shelly leaving to go to a motel and indicates that she feels like she is unwanted.
  • Tim comes home to find Billy on the lawn because he lost his keys.
  • Tami asks Eric if she kicked Shelly out of the house. Tami isn’t happy with Eric about it.
  • Billy is venting to Tim and is talking about them having no money. Billy then apologizes to Tim for everything he did and being selfish. But the problem is they need $2000 in over the next two weeks and don’t know how they will get it.
  • Julie finally finds the courage to talk with her dad and tell the truth about the other night with Tim. She admits it was her fault, not his. That she was drinking and Tim saved her from trouble and was sneaking her in and how he saw them at the wrong place at the wrong time. Eric is basically speechless.
  • Billy and Tim go to the place Tim was staying to get the rest of the things he left there. No one is home so they go inside. They are about to leave when Tim knocks his gun over. When he goes to pick it up, Tim finds a ton of cash. Tim sees it’s enough to pay the mortgage and they decide to steal it. Which couldn’t be more stupid, as it would be easy to track them down, but they do it anyway.
  • Shelly and Tami discuss finding a place to stay and work. Shelly says she has been looking for the best place for her and she will be moving to Dallas. They leave on good terms and are much closer now than they were when Shelly initially came.
  • Eric stops by to talk to Tim. Eric apologizes for jumping to conclusions. Tim tries to say it’s fine but Eric says it’s not. He goes on to say he handled it as poorly as possible, that Tim has never complained for all the things Eric has put him through lately, and then how honorable he acted in helping his daughter.
  • Eric talks to Julie about his disappointment in her for lying to everyone. He says he won’t be able to trust her again anytime soon. He also tells her that everyone makes mistakes and he will always love her.

Coach Taylor’s speeches.

Football observations.

  • Smash is getting an in-home visit from Alabama and many other schools. He calls his girlfriend Noelle, who is driving hard bargains. All of them are searching for a verbal commitment from him. Smash’s mom isn’t happy.
  • All the talk is on the big game between Dillon and Laribee. News leaked out about the scuffle in the locker room. Coach Taylor tries to clear the air but Coach Dickies blows him off. He also talked to the volleyball coach about moving in there, without speaking to Coach Taylor first.
  • Chip tells Smash he got an offer and committed to TMU. He tries to get Smash to join him (in a teasing way) and in order to one-up him, he tells him he is going to Alabama. The look on his face says he made a rushed decision in the heat of the moment and isn’t sure if he really wants to go there.
  • Smash comes to talk to Coach Taylor and brings Noelle in with him. He is trying to convince him to wait on TMU. He explains the Alabama depth chart to Smash and it’s clear he hasn’t done all of his research. Coach Taylor also encourages him not to make any emotional decisions and to listen to his mother.
  • Coach Dickies is getting a rough phone call (but we aren’t sure what) when Coach Taylor comes in because he found his playbook on the field. It appears that he look at it before returning it.
  • In the game, it’s a shootout. Neither offense seems to be able to stop the other.
  • Coach Dickies is appears to be getting more frustrated at his team.
  • With under 2 minutes to go and down by 5, the Panthers have the ball on a big 3rd down and they are sacked. With a do-or-die 4th down. Both coaches are trying to out-smart the other, playing a chess match as they study the tendencies of the game so far.
  • Coach Dickies seems to know exactly what Coach Taylor will call and his defense is set up to neutralize it. However, Saracen ends up passing to a wide-open Riggins right before he’s sacked, catching the defense off-guard. Riggins has a ton of open space as he runs down the sideline, poised to score. Until he is tackled by... Coach Dickies. In the spirit of Woody Hayes, he takes Riggins down and then celebrates and yells at his players, seemingly losing it as the crowd is completely stunned. The refs call the game in favor of Dillon and Coach Dickies calms down enough to realize what he just did.
  • Coach Taylor goes to talk to Coach Dickies, who is now silent and without all the biting remarks from earlier this episode and the previous one. Coach Taylor demands an apology to the school and the players after all they have done for them to try to be accommodating.
  • Coach Dickies considers that his wife has three months to live and he doesn’t have a gameplan for that and knows he won’t be coaching anymore. He knows it’s not an excuse but it’s clear where his mind is at. He goes out of his way to tell Coach Taylor that Riggins is a great player and he is deeply sorry.
  • A TMU assistant coach comes to find Smash at the diner to offer him a full scholarship and ask for his verbal commitment. Smash is taken back and asks him not want to rush into a decision and the coach makes his pitch. They shake hands but before the coach leaves, Smash tells him it’s always been his dream to play for TMU. When he asks if that’s a verbal commitment, Smash looks around to everyone watching him and says he’s going to play for TMU. He then goes to leave to talk to his mom.
  • Smash comes home with flowers and tells her he is going to TMU. She asks if that’s what he really wants and then is excited and proud of him.

Unanswered questions.

  • Why does the show have a mix of some real and some made-up colleges? They talk about Alabama and Georgia, but then also have fictional ones like TMU (seemingly a combination of Texas and SMU), and Oklahoma Tech.

Plot holes.

  • Coach Dickies (who Coach Taylor said he’s known for a long time) was Coach Gainey from the Mud Bowl episode in season 1.

Quote of the episode.

“I apologize.” - pretty much everyone this episode.

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,