Friday Night Lights

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: A+ | 8 USERS: A+
On the Inside

Commercials. Locker room. Silence. Tim and Matt stare impassively. Tami and Julie and Tyra and Lyla and Billy and Shelby are all in there with them, silent as well. Coach explains that he wanted everyone's family and friends to be in there to hear this: "I have never been more proud of a team than I am right now. I am in awe of each and every one of you gentlemen." Coach breathes heavily and audibly as he chooses the words that really don't help. He assures the boys that they played great football, and that this is the game that people will talk about for years to come. This is the game they are going to talk about. "There's not a single person in this room that's ever going to be the same. You be proud of yourselves. Cuz gentlemen, you are champions."

Tim's face does the work for us. His expression slowly changes from hard and blank to soft, the slightest smile passes his lips and we see him realizing (or at least willing himself to realize) that everything is going to be all right, and that things might actually be a little bit better now that he can leave this behind. A sweet singer-songwritery song starts playing and we cut outside to the waiting bus, the sugary bubble letters soaped onto the windows "ON OUR WAY TO STATE" looking sad and inadequate now. Tami leans against it waiting for Coach. He comes around the corner and they just look at each other, kiss and sink into one another. No words, but the look Tami gives her husband as he boards the bus is nearly too much for me: absolute heart swelling bursting love and admiration.

Coach walks onto a dark bus which brings back an intense sense memory for me of trips back from a game in the dark, everyone in their own seat, listening to a Walkman (gah! so old!), gazing out the window and imagining life as a music video. Ah, teenagers. He asks if everyone's on, Mac tells him that Riggins isn't on yet. Coach says they'll give him a minute, he'll be there soon.

Cut over to Tim Riggins, walking down the tunnel from the locker room to the field, one arm in his lined jean jacket, one arm in a sling. His cleats dangle from the extended fingers of his good arm. He makes his way onto the field and pauses. The music cuts out and we're left with just ambient noise, which of course makes it all the more raw. Tim looks at his cleats, takes a minute to turn around, looking up around him at the stadium, then kneels down, places his cleats neatly on the turf, turns around, walks off the field. The empty field, the empty night noise, and we cut to black.

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Friday Night Lights




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