Friday Night Lights

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: B+ | 2 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
I Pity The Fool

Now this -- Matt's meltdown and ensuing redemption -- is an arc I could have enjoyed over the course of more than one episode. This season just has some pacing issues; the murder dragging on, Julie being a bitch for too long, Smash and Noelle springing forth out of nothing, Matt melting down and then rising back up too quickly.

Landry is reflecting in his truck (when did he get a truck?), sitting outside one of the many dive restaurants these kids frequent, looking at Jean inside. He calls her, and she asks if he isn't supposed to be getting ready for a football game. He tells her that she's wearing a snazzy sweater (only Landry could do such a stalkerish thing and not have it come off creepy ["although, given what he's about to say, maybe leading off with a compliment is kind of a dick move" -- Sars]), and she laughs and gets up to go say hi. When she shows up at his car window, looking real cute in jeans and Chucks, her smile melts off her face when she sees the look in his eyes. He says he doesn't know how to say this, and she asks him not to say it at all. She asks him not to do this; Landry tells her that he can't just ignore things and pretend like they're not there. Jean tells him, simply, that he's making a mistake, and walks away.

Cut to Landry walking up and knocking on Tyra's front door. She answers, and he grabs her and kisses her. He pulls back and tells her that he actually has to go right now, he has to get to the game where there's a spot on the bench with his name on it. She quietly says she'll see him after the game, and I don't know what it is, but something about that scenario -- making a plan to see a boy after the game -- just takes me right back to high school, getting butterflies over a guy who is so totally wrong for me. They kiss some more.

Over at the stadium, the usual pageantry. Tami stands and watches Julie try to back into a tight parking space. She's screaming at her daughter, who is cool as a cucumber; Julie tells her that she's got it; after all, she only missed two on her test. Tami shuts up and watches Julie park the car without incident.

The buzzing locker room goes quiet when Smash comes in the door. He tells them he just came by to tell them to kick some ass tonight. He singles out Saracen, and then tells them that "this might end up being the last place I ever play." Coach has wandered in, and listens silently to this depressing speech. Smash starts to leave and Matt stands up, declaring to Coach that he doesn't care what the Board says, or about the rest of the games this season, that Smash is a part of the team and should play tonight. The rest of the players murmur in agreement; Coach tells them that it's not going to happen, and the players protest that Smash didn't do anything wrong. Smash puts a stop to it all by saying that he knows he can't play, that they just need to get the team to the playoffs and then he'll be back with them. He tells them they can do this, "you got Saracen, Riggins," then jokes about Bradley not being able to catch a ball and Brooks being the slowest brother in Texas. He says again that they can do this, reminds them that they are state champions. The boys are pumped, and Coach looks satisfied and shouts at them to move it out. They file out -- a big, blue sea of nearly-exploding bodily power -- all reaching up to touch the Panther P to one side of the doorway. They're all shouting and jostling and ready to go. Coach brings up the rear; we see a shot of his middle-aged hand reaching up to the P and then a shot of him leaving the locker room. The camera then wanders back into the room to find a small-looking Smash standing with hunched shoulders. He slowly crumples onto the bench behind him and, silently underneath the soundtrack, his face screws up in anguish and he sobs and sobs.

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Friday Night Lights

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