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 Netflix (and Peacock), and you can follow along each week (on a Friday, of course) as a different episode from season three will be discussed, from the opening episodes with an up and coming freshman QB all the way to the big game in the season finale.
Random thoughts in live-tweet form.
- The season opens five days before the first game with the radio guys discussing whether or not Coach Taylor is the right man for the job after getting knocked out in the playoffs last year. They said Smash injured his knee in a game and Coach Taylor had no back up plan.
- We find out Landry and Tyra broke up over the summer but they are still hanging out.
- Buddy is waking Lyla up for the first day of her senior year. We find out that Lyla stayed in Dillion while her mom and siblings went to California. Also... Tim is in her bedroom and they are together.
- Tami is now the principal and before she even gets to her office there are already multiple issues.
- At school, Tim and Lyla tell people they are friends and not together.
- The guidance counselor tells Tyra she can’t get into the schools she wants to. He is very different from Tami and is more combative and negative toward her.
- Buddy comes to Tami with a huge check to get a jumbotron on the football field while she is trying to figure out the school budget and mentions they had to cut four teachers this year.
- The Riggins brothers are at the Landing Strip, and we find out that Billy is dating Tyra’s older sister Mindy.
- Tami makes her opening speech to the teachers and tries to be optimistic, but the teachers lay out their list of demands, like supplies and new books, and other reasonable requests.
- Tami runs into Tyra as she is walking out of school, upset that she won’t be able to get into the schools she wants. She accuses Tami of filling her head with dreams that weren’t possible. Tami tries to support her but Tyra walks out for the day.
- Julie takes advantage of an overwhelmed Eric without Tami there and tries to convince him to sign off on getting a job.
- Lyla gets jealous of a girl throwing herself at Tim, who is enjoying all the attention. Lyla asks how she can take him seriously when he doesn’t take himself seriously.
- Tami and Eric commiserate together about their tough days at work. Then Tami figures out that Julie tricked Eric. Julie tells her mom it’s too late to change it and Tami says she can because she’s the principal.
- Billy proposes to Mindy at a bar in front of everyone. Tyra then comes to Tami’s house saying she doesn’t want to end up like her sister and she wants so badly to go to college and wants Tami to keep helping her. Tami invites her in so they can get to work.
- Tyra walks into the guidance counselor the next day with her application to Texas ready to go. She also announces she will be running for student counselor president and that she will be going to college and he can either help or stay out of her way.
- Tami tells Eric he was right about Julie and her English class. Then Tami sees all of the perks the athletic department/football team is getting, like new computers for the second year in a row and working air conditioners.
- After the game, everyone goes to Garrity Motors to celebrate. Buddy is telling everyone about the jumbotron and Tami tells Buddy that there are basic needs for the school that should come first. Tami tells him that she is going to reallocate the funds for those needs instead of the jumbotron.
- Tim thanks Lyla for motivating him and he is okay with whatever she wants their relationship to be. They kiss in public as a sign they are together. Buddy sees and does not look happy.
- JD’s dad thanks Eric for putting his son in the game.
- Buddy puts on highlights of Dillon football team’s throughout the years and when it shows Smash, Eric decides to go talk to Smash and they play racketball together. Smash has a great line about it being “the whitest sport in history.”
- Smash is going all out at racquet ball but says he can’t play football anymore. Eric says he doesn’t buy it and maybe he has to change his game but they will figure it out and he won’t stop until he gets there if he wants it.
- Eric tells Smash there is nothing wrong with his knee but he can’t want it for him.
Coach Taylor’s speeches.
- At the opening press conference, the media fires off questions while we see cuts of practice. Coach Taylor is giving neutral and positive answers but the practice clips show the team isn’t looking great.
- Riggins is moving from fullback to tailback in an attempt to replace Smash.
- They reference JD McCoy, a freshman QB who comes in with a lot of hype.
- Coach Taylor is working Smash out in the morning as he continues to rehab. Smash questions why he’s helping him and Coach Taylor says he wants him to be on a college team.
- At practice, JD McCoy is looking good. He has great fundamentals. On the other hand, Saracen is struggling. McCoy’s dad is watching with Buddy in the stands.
- The doctor tells Smash he is on the way to a full recovery and he lost his scholarship due to his injury. Smash asks that he is a second slower on the field and the doctor says it’s not a guarantee his speed fully comes back.
- Coach Taylor tells Saracen and Riggins that if they don’t figure things out he will replace them both. Meanwhile, JD’s dad got a smoothie truck for all of them as a treat but Coach Taylor sends the truck away.
- Riggins tells Smash he isn’t doing well in his spot and that he’s reminded everyday that he isn’t Smash. Smash says he is reminded of that every day too.
- JD’s dad comes in to apologize for the smoothie truck and tries to apologize with a bottle of scotch and Cuban cigars. He then smooth-talks him by sucking up to him and his schemes. He says he moved JD to Dillon from Dallas to be coached by Eric and that his son is the real deal and a future star.
- Coach Taylor is waiting for Smash, who shows up late and not dressed to work out and says he isn’t going to keep trying to come back. If he can’t be who he was, then he needs to start living his life at Bryan, not the Smash.
- Opening night is finally here and the Panthers are having no issue moving the ball. Riggins is running great down the field. Saracen is making great decisions on the option and for one of the few times in the series, the Panthers have a huge lead with no struggles.
- Coach Taylor puts in the second string late in the game. JD McCoy comes in and is very impressive passing the ball. Saracen looks worried as Mccoy throws a huge TD pass hitting the receiver in stride and the crowd goes wild.
- What happened to Santi? The character was a casualty of the writer’s strike, but we never got an explanation for what happened to him.
Quote of the episode.
“I have one question for all of you. Are you ready for Friday night?” - Eric 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,