TV Recap: Friday Night Lights - How The Other Half Lives

Football is back on FNL, after becoming a bit of an afterthought in last week’s episode. Coach Taylor is still getting pressure from Buddy, the Boosters and J.D. McCoy’s father to dump Matt and put J.D. in as QB. We also back away from the storyline of Tami as principal, and refocus on Tami as the coach’s wife.

To that end, she’s planning the annual beginning of the season cookout, but now that she has a job and whatnot, she’s feeling the pressure. After the grocery store loses her rib order, trying to give her two instead of twenty slabs, Tami is more than ready to accept some help in the form of Katie McCoy, J.D.’s mother.

Since the McCoy’s are crazy rich, the party ends up being less of a down-home barbeque and more of an Academy Awards after party. There’s valet parking, uniformed staff, a live band, and the biggest house in Dillon—outside of The Saracen Manor, as Matt points out. Eric is, of course against this entire idea. With everyone scrutinizing him and trying to take away the decision of who his quarterback will be, the last thing Eric wants to do is lose one more thing that should be his.

Eric isn’t the only one feeling the pressure. Poor Matt Seracen has to deal with everybody talking behind his back about how this fifteen-year-old kid would be a better quarterback than he is. As was pointed out in a previous episode, Matt doesn’t exactly have a ton of natural talent; he’s been molded into the player that he is by Coach Taylor. Matt has had to claw his way to where he is, and he’s not about to let some kid undo all of the work he’s done, especially not in his senior year.

When Friday night comes, Matt clearly puts his all into the game, becoming a human punching bag. He takes so many uncalled-for hits, that I begin to think that McCoy has some how paid the other team off so that Matt will get injured and not be able to play. This doesn’t seem to be the case, but regardless, Matt gets the crap kicked out of him on a regular basis during this game. He also plays amazingly well, but at the end, when it seems he makes the game-winning touchdown, he loses control of the ball, giving the other team possession and losing the game.

While this is obviously a crushing defeat for Matt, at least he has Julie to hang out with and talk about anything other than Football. She’s trying to reignite the spark between her and Matt, but unlike the last time she attempted this, she’s going about it in a very nice, subtle manner. It’s kind of nice seeing them together, and I think Julie is better prepared to be Matt Saracen’s girlfriend than she was before. I’m rooting for them.

While Julie is having a nice night, she’s the only Taylor who is. Since this is Dillon, Texas, nobody remembers that the Panthers always lose to that team; that not even Jason Street ever won against them. The fact that Matt led his team and they came so close to winning should be celebrated, but predictably, Coach Taylor comes home to a lawn filled with “For Sale” signs. You stay classy, Dillon.

Also classy? Mindy’s wedding vows for her upcoming wedding to Billy. She’s practicing over at the Riggins’, and as I’m watching, I’m struck by how weird and ridiculous she sounds. What Lila is struck by is how Mindy got her wedding vows from Finding Nemo.

Now, I understand why Lila burst out laughing when she heard this, because, come on: her wedding vows came from Finding Nemo, for Pete’s sake. But Lila had to know that saying, “I thought it was a joke!” over and over again couldn’t have been a good move. I don’t think that Lila is stuck-up or unlikeable, but I can Understand why Tyra’s family isn’t a huge fan of her.

Tim was supposed to run interference for Lila, but kind of failed in his duty, since he got caught up in Billy’s latest scheme. He’s trying to afford his wedding and create a good life for himself and Mindy, so he makes the obvious choice to make money: stealing copper wiring from an abandoned power plant.

He convinces Tim to be his wingman and steal the wiring with him. Not only do they narrowly miss being attacked by dogs and arrested, but it takes such a long time, that Tim ends up standing Lila up at the Barbeque. Buddy, Tyra, and probably everyone else figures Tim got waylaid by a six pack and a Rally girl, so Lila kind of looks like a sucker. After Tim finishes committing his felony with Billy, he goes over to Lila’s house to apologize. Buddy doesn’t even want to let him in, but Lila talks to him and just reminds Tim that he’s a good guy and pleads with him not to make a fool out of her.

Friday Night Lights is still working for me this season, but the dropped storylines are kind of weird. I know that there’s not much to do with Jason Street, but I think it’s weird that we haven’t seen him at all this season. I also still want to know what the hell happened between Tyra and Landry. I was excited by that relationship and I feel like we got gypped out of it.

What do you guys think of this new season? Was FNL worth hanging on to, or should we have just let it die at the end of last season? Are there any storylines you’re missing? Feel free to post your thoughts below.