Friday Night Lights
Black Eyes & Broken Hearts

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: B+ | 5 USERS: A+
Of The Souls Of Strippers

Outside, the Panthers walk the sidewalk between their locker room and the bus, Cardinal fans pressed up against a chain fence pelt them with debris and boos. It's pretty frightening. The kids get on, looking scared. Cut to the bus ride where nearly everybody is dozing off in their seats. That is, until police sirens wake them and force the bus to pull over.

Coach Taylor tells the kids to stay calm and goes out to see what the problem is. Mac follows him out. The kids crane their necks to see what's going on outside. Two sheriffs strut up with their flashlights and stupid hats and tell Coach and Mac that they need Smash Williams, as there are "witnesses" saying that he threw the first punch and that they need to bring him in for questioning on an aggravated assault claim. Bullshit. Taylor is disbelieving that they are trying to blame one of his players for what happened on the field. The sheriff is surprisingly straightforward when he says this doesn't have anything to do with football. Right, it has to do with MURDEROUS THUGGERY. Inside the bus, Smash has his head in his hands. This is a really terrible scene. I hate it. In case you didn't GET. IT., Murderous Thug informs Coach that if he doesn't get Smash for them, "we will go in there and drag him out ourselves." Key word being "drag" I guess. Coach is bizarrely tongue-tied, and so Mac has another Very Special Moment. He informs the Murderous Thugs that they need a warrant to get on the bus. One of the Murderous Thugs says that he can go get a warrant, which is probably one of the worst bluffs in the history of law enforcement bluffs, and Mac calls him on it. "That's fine. We got all night." The Deadwood music starts up as the Murderous Thugs decide to move on to another bus full of innocent young boys to terrorize. But not before saying, "We'll get you next year, Coach." They get back on the bus, and it moves on down the lonely road back into Dillon where they are met by a cheering crowd. Coach gets off without fanfare, muttering to Mac that he'll see him at 10AM for game film.

Smash gets off the bus and catches Mac to ask him what happened with the cops. Mac says, "They made a mistake, son, just like I did." Smash nods and looks confused before finding his mom in the crowd and hugging her. I'd be confused, too, if that were the resolution to my Racism in High School Sports story line. Because not only did they pull one hell of a bait and switch here -- where verbal and assumptive racism gets subsumed under the spectre of racial violence, as if the only racism that matters is the kind that results in dead or beaten bodies -- but they also allowed a white character to be redeemed by drawing a parallel between his "mistake" and those two police officers' chilling abuse of white power and privilege? I mean, does Mac really think the two "mistakes" are equal? He really is simpler than we could have imagined, then.

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Friday Night Lights




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