Friday Night Lights
Wind Sprints

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: A | 2 USERS: A+
When The Hurlyburly's Done

They pull the school bus up to a hill, in front of which is a stream bed full of water from the downpour, and Coach Taylor yells out, "Wind sprints! Up and down the hill! Let's go, let's go!" and the boys reluctantly start running through the rain. Taylor takes this opportunity -- in the rain and with a backing track of ponderous guitars -- to give one hell of a speech: "You think you're champions because you wear the Panther uniform, you're wrong! You think you're champions because they give you a piece of pie at the diner, you're wrong!" The boys run and slog, and Taylor keeps screaming about champions, telling them that champions don't complain or give up, that champions "give 200%!" Up from 110% earlier in the episode, and the soundtrack understands the import of this statistic as the ponderous guitars shift into full-on INSPIRATIONAL guitars at Taylor's 200% figure. Everybody is yelling at the boys, who are just scrambling and huffing, their physical performance not pretty or admirable. They file back around Coach Taylor; we cut to one kid vomiting into the stream around his ankles. Mac suggests to Taylor that the kids have had enough, but Taylor says that HE will say when they've had enough, and then we cut away to all the main boys' faces -- Matt, Riggs, Smash -- mouths open in exhaustion, and then to Taylor's face, his lips pressed so tightly together it looks like his jaw has imploded. Taylor stares at Smash and Smash stares at Taylor until the boy realizes that he has got to SACK UP, and it takes all his strength to overcome his own cockiness but he does it. Quietly at first: "Clear eyes, full hearts -- " and Matt Saracen is the only one who responds, hoarsely, "Can't lose." And then Smash, again, a little louder, and this time the team, weakly: "Can't lose." And then again, and again, and again, until the inspirational guitars tell the kids to go! go! go! and they take off up the hill again, bumping into Coach Taylor as they run. He nods almost imperceptibly in satisfaction. These boys, they need this coach. This scene is so unbelievably cheesy and great; I can't believe this show can do both the groundbreaking stuff -- exploring racism and disability with small, beautiful gestures -- and the majestically cheesy stuff like an inspirational team-building scene in the rain.

Commercials. In the grey, depressing hospital, Lyla packs up depressing tupperware while Jason asks her how depressing, exactly, she found her birthday. She swears it was exactly what she wanted, and that next year, when he's better, they'll go to dinner. The problem with Lyla is that she can't get it through her head that, indeed, they could go to dinner next year, but it wouldn't exactly be "when he's better." They'd go to dinner, and he'd be in a wheelchair, and that's the way it would be. Jason scoffs at her -- FINALLY -- "Huh. When I'm better." Lyla gets in Jason's face and tells him that all this is just a hiccup, that in one year he'll be back on track, he'll go to Notre Dame, blah blah blah, until Jason literally shouts at her: "STOP!" She looks like a dumb, hurt, puppy. Jason tells her his legs won't ever be better. She looks like a confused, dumb, hurt puppy. She starts talking about cases again. He tells her that those cases are not him, that he can't even use his hands right now, and then demands, "How can you not see that? What the hell is wrong with you?" The million dollar question, my friend. He tells her that every night he dreams he can walk, which means that every morning he has to accept his paralysis all over again, and when she comes visiting all happy and chirpy like nothing is wrong, it kills him. He says that it's all over, that they aren't getting married, and then he asks her to do something for him: "Get out." And then when she continues her dumb, confused, hurt, yelpy puppy dog thing, he shouts "GET OUT." Wow. She turns her back and proudly tells him that she'll be back tomorrow and then leaves.

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Friday Night Lights




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