Friday Night Lights

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: B | 38 USERS: A
I'm Too Busy Crying to Come Up With A Clever Title

Nighttime, Coach Taylor drives home listening to disheartening commentary on the radio, complaining that he'll probably rely too much on Street on Friday, that he passes too much ("This ain't the West coast, this is Texas football!"), and that he under utilizes Smash Williams as running back. He furrows and frowns.

A ticking clock takes us across town to where the kids are hanging out, having a bonfire. Street and Lyla recline together as Tim Riggins holds a little bit of sad court. The topic they discuss is a little depresso -- how Tim just wants to stay in town, waiting for Street to get done playing college and then pro, getting a ranch ready for business so when Street comes back they can run the ranch together. Street is all big smiles back at Tim, and he is sincere, but you can tell he already has all kinds of expectations for his life that Tim Riggins doesn't have, so he's just humoring Riggins's modest little dream. But the kids at least seem relaxed here. A little beer goes a long way. It does not, however, go quite far enough to make one forget the slight cringe one feels when Tim caps his little Street 'n' Rig Sittin' In a Tree fantasy with the declaration that "Here's to God, and football, and 10 years from now, Street, good friends livin' large in Texas. Texas forever. Yo everybody, listen up. Let's do it! Let's touch God this time boys, let's touch God." Okay, there's only so much sincerity and grandiosity one recapper can take, and that line just about sent me over the edge.

Friday. GOOSEBUMPS! The camera drives through town, all the stores are closed for game day. Sunset. The lights flash on the field. Shots of the uninspiring streetscapes of Dillon. Locker room. Saracen sits dejectedly in his blue hoodie. Crowds and cheerleaders file into the stadium (and it is a serious stadium; big money here). Tim Riggins sits hunched over, his legs bouncing up and down in either nervousness or bloodlust. The soundtrack builds, Smash tapes his wrists, Street stands tall and handsome, shots of more shaking feet. The radio hosts tell everyone to "sit down and shut up, cuz it is game time people, woo!"

Cut the soundtrack. Coach Taylor stands in front of his team and addresses them in a quiet and preacherly tone. He's prepared tonight's locker room sermon on the theme of "expectations." He tells the kids that he doesn't "expect" to win, because he knows they will. He tells them that he expects them to not take the game lightly, he expects them to play football. Pause. And then quickly, "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose." The boys screw their faces up into contortions and respond to his call, "CAN'T LOSE!" and then file out of the locker room, touching the "P" decal on the cinder block wall for good luck. All these talismans.

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Friday Night Lights




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