Friday Night Lights

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

And here is where I die just a little bit. There are so many ways in which this show is just so smart. When Coach Taylor told J.D. that people depending on him is a freedom? And when Tyra just talked about how it feels to be on the inside, not the outside? Those sentiments are so fresh, so bracingly different from Juno indie Hollywood style celebration of being on the outside (which never feels or looks as good in real life as it does in outsider-turned-entertainment-insiders accounts of it), from misguided veneration of being "an individual" first and above all, community be damned. The show is so beautifully about being a part of something, how good that feels.

We move from Tyra and Landry in the truck to Tim and Matt strolling around in the park in front of the state capitol. Matt asks Tim if he's excited about going to San Antonio State. Tim says he figures he's just focusing on the right now, trying not to think about the future too much. There's an epic somewhere in Tim Riggins' heart. Matt sees a frisbee on the grass and picks it up. They start throwing it back and forth, and Tim calls out, "Last game, Seven" and Matt smiles: "No regrets."

Tami can't sleep in the hotel bed. Coach asks her if she's running in place or something, and she gets up and tells Coach to come with her outside. They sneak out a back door in their pajamas, and wander out onto what appears to be the roof of the hotel. Oh! Remember when they went out onto the balcony the night before State last time? And Tami told Coach she was pregnant? And his reaction was so perfect? This show is so rewarding of our time. They look out over the city, and Coach exhales, saying he has no idea what's going to happen tomorrow. Tami does (because she just does): "Well. You're gonna win. Or you're gonna lose. Either way, the sun's gonna come up the next morning." Coach puts his arm around her and pulls her close, as a pretty song starts playing in the background.

Tyra starts reading her essay in voice over, over shots of Julie rocking Gracie, of Lyla driving Angela, Mindy and Billy (the latter making out in the backseat) to Austin, of Tim and Matt horsing around with the frisbee, of Coach holding Tami close. Tyra says: "Two years ago, I was afraid of wanting anything. I figured wanting would lead to trying, and trying would lead to failure. But now I find I can't stop wanting." She talks about what she finds herself wanting now: to fly somewhere in first class, to learn about the world, to define herself instead of having others define her. She says, "I want to not be afraid of the unknown" as we linger on a shot of the Taylors, considering the unknown of tomorrow while they look across the city at the blazing Texas Memorial Stadium. The camera finally lands on Tyra in her hotel room, reading the essay to Landry, "I want to grow up to be generous and big-hearted, the way that people have been with me." She tears up. "I want an interesting and surprising life." The camera pans in Landry, stunned by the essay. Tyra says it isn't that she believes she's going to get all these things, it's just she wants the possibility of getting them: "College represents possibility to me. The possibility that things are going to change. I can't wait." She turns to Landry, tears in her eyes, and he quietly moves closer to her. He tells her that he thinks the essay is unbelievable. Tyra looks down for a minute and then looks back up: "I think it's great, too." Yes, girl. Believe in yourself! And because this scene is so beautiful, because Tyra just became an unlikely narrator for the show, because I am so damned moved, I not only do not mind, but I mentally feel like "YES! This is how it should be" when they lean in and kiss.

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Friday Night Lights




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