Friday Night Lights

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: A | 3 USERS: A+
Black and White
Cut to the party, mainly attended by black kids. Jess goes to refill her drink when Vince sidles up next to her and tells her how good she looks. Jess isn't interested and tells him that she sees how he treats girls like they're disposable. Vince tells her that he only treats girls the way they let themselves be treated (Oh, Vince, no you did NOT just say that!) and maybe he's been talking to the wrong girls. He thinks she can't even front that she doesn't think about him, but she retorts that he wishes she thought about him. "I have a boyfriend." She winds back through the crowd with Vince watching as she rejoins Landry who's goofing off on the dance floor. She lets him dance behind her while she's looking back toward Vince. Bad Gold Chain kid comes out of nowhere and is like "She's with that weird Opie-lookin' kid from practice?!"

Coach and Buddy sit in a bar, Buddy bemoaning how he's no longer a Panther and he feels ill about it. Buddy apologizes to Coach for being part of the series of events that led to Coach also being a "former" Panther. Coach invites Buddy to join him and Tami for dinner with some former Lions players, but Buddy tells Eric that you can't fake boosterism. "It comes from the heart, that's the beauty of it." Less beautiful is the return of a truly Sweaty Buddy Garrity. Damn, that bar needs some air conditioning!

Outside of school, Vince tells Landry that he was surprised to see him at the party and Landry babbles about how it was fun even though someone spilled something on his shoes. Vince keeps fishing, asking Landry if he had a good time with Jess. Landry gets the gist of what Vince is asking and says that he was just her ride. Vince tells him that Jess said Landry was her boyfriend; Landry is horri-pleased-fused at this news and tells Vince that that is news to him. Vince kind of threateningly asks, "You're not lying to me, are you?" and Landry assures him that he knows nothing of this boyfriend business. Vince pats him on the shoulder and tells him he's good. As Vince leaves, Landry calls out, like a special kid, "OKAY!"

Coach walks into the Merriweather BBQ restaurant. Jess's dad asks him what it'll be. Coach asks if he is by any chance Virgil Merriweather, state championship quarterback, East Dillon Lions. Virgil, no recognition: "What'll it be." Coach orders some brisket and introduces himself. Virgil: "Eight fifty." Coach keeps trying, asking whether he rents the place out for events ever. Virgil: "No." Jess has appeared in the background, eavesdropping while sweeping. Coach then invites Virgil over for dinner with some other former Lions and Virgil cuts him off: "Nope." But Coach doesn't give up, telling Virgil that his kids could really use some words from a guy like him. Virgil just tells Coach that his brisket will be out in a few.

J.D. is driving Luke and some other rich kids around in his fancy S.U.V. They're listening to rap music and bitching about how Luke's wallet is still missing and Luke isn't doing anything to get it back. J.D. smarms that he knows East Dillon is like a prison, but he never thought Luke would become someone's bitch. Conveniently, they drive right past Vince walking on the side of the road. Luke tells J.D. to stop the car, and gets out. Vince shit talks a bit until Luke reaches out and knocks the paper plate out of his hands and Luke snaps into action and punches the shit out of Luke. They're on the ground grappling for a while when a police siren sounds and the S.U.V. boys all run back to the car and take off. Vince and Luke keep going at it (in front of a shack-y taqueria -- making everyone wonder once again where the Latinos are on this show about TEXAS) until the policemen drag them apart.

Commercials. The Taylors. Three black ex-football players are at the table. Tami makes conversation with Deacon about how long he's been at Bethel Baptist, when Deacon cuts the shit and asks Coach why they are there. The man next to him moans that he's just trying to enjoy his meal, but Coach -- with his "trust me, I've got this" hair on his head-- tells him that it's a good question. He starts to explain that he's been coaching at the school, which he imagines they think of as their high school, and that he's facing a lot of challenges and problems. Deacon doesn't let him go any further than that and tells Coach that with all due respect, "people from your part of town pretty frequently tell us about our problems." PREACH! He gives us all a quick lesson in how those problems came about: in the 80s, the west side got all the money, malls, and development, while the east side got forgotten. He tells Coach that he's going to pass on the lecture about their problems right now. Tami and Eric stare wide-eyed for a moment before Tami starts trying to smooth things over: "I'm sure nobody needs a lecture here!" she smiles. She tells them all she wanted was to get to know them and have them know her husband and how much he loves football and those kids. Coach just says that it's been hard playing football when nobody's in the stands to appreciate the effort. Deacon cracks, "You like losing with everybody watching?" and Coach tells him that that's what they're trying to fix. The doorbell rings, and moments after Tami goes to answer it, Eric realizes that it's Buddy Garrity. This does not seem good, right? Buddy Garrity? Symbol of white privilege? You see all that flit across Eric's face for a moment before one of the guests exclaims, "Is that Buddy Garrity?!?!" Buddy comes in to cheers all around; the former East Dillon players recall him fondly -- nobody could hit harder than Buddy Garrity! -- and they all clasp hands and greet heartily. Tami codes a comment to her husband, "Hunny, Buddy Garrity is here!" like "can you believe this shit?" and Eric is like, "I surely cannot!"

At Steers, the kind of sparsely populated gay bar outside of Dillon. I have been to my share of small town gay bars, having lived in a few small towns in my time, and they're getting this one just right. The not-full space, the slightly 80s vibe of the blue "nightclub" light, the patrons of all ages (when there's only one in town, oldsters and youngsters alike have to use it). Julie and Devin are sitting at the bar drinking sodas. Julie asks Devin if this is what she expected. Devin says she doesn't really know, but she does really like the lighting in there. Heh. Devin wonders aloud, and adorably, how anyone ever meets anyone. Julie tells her that she's asking the wrong person, which surprised Devin, since Julie's "got the forever boyfriend, though." Julie starts blabbering about her hetero-problems with Matt, how they're always snapping at each other, blah blah blah, and ten seconds in you can see Devin tune out because she's locked eyes with a dark brown bangs girl across the way. I really love when gay people tune out hetero people's problems; it's always one of my favorite parts of any given episode of The Real World, when whatever vapid straight girl thinks her new bestie gayboy friend cares a lick about the problems she's having with some flip-flops-and-jeans-wearing mofo but you can see the gayboy like mentally plucking his eyebrows as she goes on and on. Julie realizes that Devin's tuned out and turns to see what she's looking at. Devin: "Don't look!" Julie: "That's your type?!" Devin gets up to go to the bathroom, leaving Julie there on her own. Julie turns around at the sound of a voice behind her-- which on first viewing sounded like a harassing one saying "Almost a boy, huh?" like about Devin, but which on subsequent viewings I really don't think that's what happened -- but anyway Julie turns around -- and way to bury the headline Drunken Bee -- and sees Traub behind her playing pool. She just waves at him, because to her, it's no biggie, he's gay, straight, whatever, but Traub nearly goes white underneath his football field tan, turns on his heel and walks away. Oh, Traub! You just go so much more interesting! And your enthusiasm! Is gay enthusiasm, which is not nearly so annoying as apple polishing enthusiasm!

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Friday Night Lights




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