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Friday Night Lights Review S2E14

Leave No One Behind

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.

  • Matt is back to caring for his grandma while balancing everything else in his life.
  • Eric is trying to prepare Julie for her driving test. She is responding like every teenager would, with sarcasm.
  • The news breaks that Smash is suspended and Matt finds out over the radio. At the same time, his car dies and he’s stranded on the inside of the road.
  • Matt is snapping at his art teacher, giving her attitude and calling her a name under his breath. Then he leaves school for the day.
  • Landry’s new girlfriend (Jean) confronts Tyra to make sure nothing is going on and she assures him they are just friends. However, when Tyra sees them together, she can’t help but be a little jealous.
  • At dinner, Tyra shares all the gossip on the volleyball team. And Julie is feeling like a third wheel in her own family as Tami is more into talking with Tyra.
  • Tami tells Eric how satisfying being a coach is for her and how she enjoys having teenagers listen to her. Eric points out that Julie may be envious of Tami’s relationship with Tyra and others.
  • Matt goes to look at motorcycles instead of going to school. Tim shows up in his truck, saying he always skips Wednesdays. Matt joins him to go drink.
  • At the restaurant, Tim goes over to Lyla and her boyfriend. He goes to introduce himself.
  • Then Tim says it’s time for practice. Matt is worried he will be too drunk/hungover to practice.
  • While practicing driving, Tami decides to have a more serious conversation with Julie about playing volleyball.
  • Smash comes to sit with Matt and Landry, likely because they are the only ones who won’t ignore or yell at him. However, Matt is still being a rebel and they both try to help him.
  • At the volleyball game, Tami and the team are bonding as they win another game. Tami has a victory party at her house with the team, much to Julie’s surprise when she gets home.
  • Julie is upset and Tami calls her out for being jealous. Julie then reminds her she promised to be at the DMV and she didn’t show up so Julie couldn’t take her test.
  • Tami drives over to try to get a test right before they close and talks the worker into allowing her to test before he closes.
  • Meanwhile, Tyra and her mom discuss two girls competing over a guy as she tires to figure out how she feels about Landry.
  • Tim takes Matt to the Landing Strip and Matt is having a great time. He gets Tyra’s sister and some of her friends to give Matt a lap dance. Matt gets a phone call and runs out.
  • It was his grandma. She fell and hit her head and is in the hospital. One of the strip club dancers gives him a ride since he can’t drive.
  • Tyra intentionally runs into Landry and Jean on their date and asks to talk to Landry. Jean knows what it’s about. Tyra tells Landry she likes him and wants to give them a chance. Landry stands up for himself and Jean, saying she likes him for who he is and how Jean isn’t embarrassed to be around him. Tyra admits she was confused and isn’t now. Jean couldn’t be happier at the outcome.
  • Smash is taking down all his TMU stuff in his room and tells him mom what happened. Smash expects her to say I told you so. But instead, she says “I love you and I believe in you.”
  • Eric comes to the hospital to meet them as well. Matt’s grandma is ecstatic to see him and he says he’s gonna drive them all home. He then scolds Matt for acting carelessly and not thinking. He makes sure she gets to be and she tells him Matt needs his help.
  • Matt tries to blow him off and instead Eric pushes him into the shower and turns the cold water on. Eric tells him how selfish he’s being and how many people he’s letting down in his life. Matt yells back at him, saying how Eric and no one else cares about him. Matt opens up about everyone who has left him this past year. Eric for a new job, Julie for a new guy, his dad for Iraq and Carlotta for Guatemala. He wants to know what’s wrong with him that people keep leaving him.
  • Eric responds, “There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you at all.”
  • Landry calls Jean from the car while she’s at the diner. She comes out and quickly understands what he’s going to do. Landry explains it isn’t fair to Jean to be with her while he has these feelings for Tyra. She tells him he’s making a mistake.
  • Landry then goes to Tyra’s house and without saying a word, kisses her.
  • Julie passed her driving test and her and her mom seem to be getting along.

Coach Taylor’s speeches.

  • “This is about more than football, gentlemen. This is about adversity and how we stand up to it. No one is going to hand us the playoffs. What we are going to do is work, adjust, and work some more. We are going to turn that adversity into an asset and ride that asset all the way to the damn playoffs.”

Football observations.

  • At the film session, players are already complaining about various things. Not being able to make playoffs without Smash, blaming Smash, complaining about complainers. Smash is trying to defend himself but Matt snaps at him to stop talking.
  • Landry is out for a while after tripping over a curb
  • Matt ditches practice
  • Smash shows up to try to help the team but Coach Taylor tells him he needs to not be at practice today as the team has to adjust without him.
  • Matt is struggling to practice, acting too giddy and slap-happy while not reacting well. Coach Taylor realizes what is going on and tells him to get it together right away. He decides not to turn him in.
  • Smash comes in late at night to see Coach Taylor. TMU rescinded his scholarship due to the suspension and Smash breaks down and cries. He doesn’t know what to do now. (Keep in mind his mom tried to tell him all year anything can happen to his future and now he realizes it).
  • In the locker room before the game, Smash walks in. He addresses the team, saying good luck. He tells Matt to kick some ass and tells them they al have to do it because it might be the team he ever plays on. Smash goes to leave and Matt tells him to wait. Matt tells Coach Taylor he doesn’t care what the district says and if they need to forfeit, Smash is a part of the team and he wants him to play. The other players agree, but Coach Taylor reminds them he can’t play. Smash says the best thing they can do for him is win. To get to the playoffs so that he can return and they can make a run to state. That they all play hard and they are the state champs. Smash inspires the team and they have a renewed sense of passion.
  • The team runs out onto the field, leaving Smash alone in the locker room. With no one around, he breaks down crying.

Unanswered questions.

Plot holes.

Quote(s) of the episode.

“We are going to turn that adversity into an asset and ride that asset all the way to the damn playoffs.” - Coach Taylor

“I love you. And I believe in you.” - Corrina Williams

“There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you at all.” - Coach Taylor

Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t Lose. official counter: 20

Texas Forever official counter: 7

Riggins quitting the team official counter: 3

Coach Taylor calling Landry ‘Lance’ official counter: 7

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