Friday Night Lights
I Can't

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: A | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Decisions

Nighttime. Tami sits up with Gracie and whispers to wake up a sleeping Coach. She wants to know what Julie would do if she got pregnant. Coach kind of sleepy-whisper-alarms "WHAT?!?!" and Tami quickly whispers that she's not pregnant! But she is worrying about what she'd do if she were -- would she come to them? Coach is not in the mood to talk about Julie and her hypothetical pregnancy at 3 a.m.

Luke is up in the middle of the night, too, down in the kitchen. His dad comes in and says he's noticed something is bothering Luke but he hasn't wanted to pry. He asks if it's football. Luke says no. "I'm your dad. If something's bothering you, it's bothering me." It's like Luke was waiting for the tiniest signal in the world, because he doesn't take long to unburden himself here: "There's a girl and I got her pregnant." His dad takes a big breath and Luke, of course, switches quickly into self-castigation: "I really didn't mean to disappoint you, I'm sorry."

Commercials. Lions practice. Coach calls Vince over and tells him that he doesn't need to worry about the plays; if he sees something he likes, he should take it. Coach gives some hand signals, presumably to Traub, who tells his defense to run a slant and go after Vince. They don't understand at first, and he clarifies: sack him, and if they can't "you really are a bunch of junkbutts." Can we please go back to the gay bar with Traub? The boosters sit up in the stands gawking. Vince takes the snap, easily evades the sack and throws for a completion. Coach glances at Big Merri who nods knowingly.

Luke pulls his truck up after practice and walks into his house. His mom and dad are both sitting there waiting at the kitchen table. Nothing worse, when you're a teen, than TWO parents at a kitchen table. His mom says that she knows what's happening but rushes to reassure him: "It's okay, Luke. Mary and Joseph thought they were in a situation at first, too." Of all the misguided words of affection. Is she implying that they may give birth to the savior? Luke quickly points out: "Becky and I are not Mary and Joseph, mom." But his mom is just happy to know her name is Becky. She wants to meet her and tells Luke that then they'll figure out what to do. The Caffertys are nice, quiet people. But they aren't particularly helpful either.

Julie and Ryan climb to the top of the Dillon water tower. It's beautiful up there and Julie is taken. Ryan says everywhere he goes he tries to find the highest place and go up there. Then he blabs something about how the tower is higher than anyplace in some town in Costa Rica. Julie sits down to enjoy the view and asks what's the best place he's ever been. He says that's easy: Senegal, West Africa. He shows her some pictures on his camera, and then does some quick calculations about Senegal being 9,000 miles that way and Oaxaca 1,000 miles that way and New York 1,500 miles that way. He wonders where she's headed eventually. Julie says she doesn't know. Ryan asks if she hates it there. Julie says she used to hate it, but then it kind of changed. Then she says that she just really wants to see the world, but then, embarrassed, says that sounds really clich├ęd. The hoodie and the chucks don't help, Julie. Ryan snaps a photo of her and tells her to look: "That's you, seeing the world." She looks at him and then looks back out across the gorgeous Texas horizon. They lean in and smooch.

From the apex to the nadir. Here we are with the Riggins brothers digging a hole out in a desert. Tim thinks this is the stupidest thing they've done and tells Billy that this hole is never going to be big enough. Personally, I think literally standing in your own grave while you dig it is just kind of obvious. They start yelling at each other; Billy thinks Tim has a bad attitude, and that they're doing everything they can to get out of a bad situation. Tim finally snaps at Billy that he's done, they've made their money. "Promise me we're out. We're done, it's over, Billy." Tim just wants to fix cars! Simple! Like a Coors Light commercial! Billy, breathing heavily, gives his promise that they're done. Tim decides to take it a bit further if they're busy promising: he wants Billy to stop yelling at him for not going to college, and he wants to be a partner at Riggins' Rigs. Billy offers him his hand and they go back to digging.

Becky listens to sad music and looks at a picture of her mother and her as a baby. Cut to Coach answering a knock at his door late at night. It's Becky, and Tami quickly comes out and invites Becky in. At the kitchen table, Becky tells Tami that she has an appointment for an abortion tomorrow and her mother is coming with her. But she wants to know why she feels so weird. And Tami tells her it's cuz it's a hard thing, a hard situation. Tami wonders if Becky has thought about what she wants. But, and this is the heartbreaking thing, abstract talk about decisions like this supposes that a person, given time and reflection, gets to a place where there is clarity and surety. But how could Becky ever get to that place? She is surrounded by people who have expectations and preferences, voiced or not, and then there are the million things that are often cast as trivial -- like not having any money, significantly, the first concern she voices to Tami -- but really are not trivial concerns when it comes to your own life, and what you want for it. So when Tami asks Becky what she wants, Becky can only give her reasons for why she isn't in the position to have any clear wants for her life at all: they have no money, she's only in the 10th grade, this was her first time, and she doesn't want to throw her life away. Then she confesses that it is obvious that her mother wants her to have the abortion, because -- and she knows this -- Becky was her mistake, and she has struggled and hurt her whole life and she wants better for Becky. But Becky rambles on, thinking aloud that maybe she should stop thinking about what her mom wants and think a bit about what she wants, and that maybe she could have this baby and take care of it and love it and be there for it. But then what if she had the baby and spent the rest of her life resenting him or her? And ultimately, even there, that isn't Becky thinking through what she wants, it's her, all tangled up with her mom's shit, spinning out some fantasy alternate life for herself, with a mom who rose above the impossible situation.

Becky wipes some tears from her eyes and asks Tami: "Do you think I'm going to hell if I get an abortion" and Tami looks at her with such tenderness and says "No, honey, I don't." Becky asks her what she would tell her daughter and Tami takes a minute to think it through. "I would tell her...to think about her life, think about what's important to her, and what she wants. And tell her that she's in a real tough spot. And then I would support whatever decision she made." And as the pretty sad song ends in the background, Becky looks at Tami, and I guess she has reached as much clarity as she is going to: "I can't take care of a baby. I can't." It isn't really a clear sense of what she wants, but the more real and more pragmatic sense of what she can and cannot do.

Commercials (ahem, tissue break). Tim is groggily getting out of his truck, apparently back from a long night of digging a hole, when Becky and her mom are getting into the car. Becky tells Tim that they'll be okay, and I believe it.

Pop Warner football game. Jess is wild-eyed on the sidelines, shouting instructions to her little brother. Big Merri slowly walks toward the sidelines, just in time for both of them to be screeching crazy football instructions about sweep plays to a 7 year old. I guess this is family bonding?! Jess goes quiet, her mouth agape, as she registers her father's presence. He runs out to Caleb and gives the little kid a tap on his helmet, "Have fun out there!" Jess, hands on hips, gives her father a wide-mouthed smile and chuckle.

Vince sits with his mother on a fancy leather couch, getting the lowdown on visiting hours from a counselor. His mom says that she'll be home soon, but Vince cuts her off a

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Friday Night Lights

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