Previously on Friday Night Lights
, Riggs (Taylor Kitsch
) pined for Lyla (Minka Kelly
); Jason Street (Scott Porter
) got lucky with the waitress who saved him from his date from hell; Smash (Gaius Charles
) lost his scholarship to TMU and was suspended for three games.
There's a lot of church in tonight's Friday Night Lights
. Riggs is attending Lyla's megachurch regularly now, even dragging Billy along with him. On this particular Sunday, Riggs pokes Billy to pony up some cash for the offering basket that Lyla is toting around. At Smash's church things are more energetic with an electric keyboard as opposed to the crusty old organ. Smash leaves to make some calls to the other schools that were courting him. Not looking good, though. He even stalks the Alabama coach to beg him to take him back. Sadly, no cigar.
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I love Friday Night Lights
and I think it is one of the most realistic shows on TV right now, but Smash's storyline seems a little contrived to me. If he is as good as he's supposed to be (and getting recruited by all the top schools is a good indication that he is), then I'm positive TMU would have looked the other way instead of revoking his scholarship. Hell, Willie Williams was arrested more than a dozen times but still got a scholarship to Miami. Anyway, the only people interested in Smash anymore are the Arena League (also unrealistic, as they tend to recruit people who were cut from the pros or played in Europe) and Whitmore University, the historically black college that Mama Smash (Liz Mikel) wanted him to consider before. Smash is loathe to entertain either of these options, especially Whitmore with their 2-8 season last year.
Eric (Kyle Chandler
) convinces Smash to visit Whitmore, where Smash finds out that the head coach has been following his football career for the past six years, ever since seventh grade. Smash gives an official verbal commitment to play with them next year. Mama Smash is awesome with her son this episode. She knows he's disappointed that he has to settle for a little school like Whitmore, but she knows he'll get a good education there and will be the star of the team. And even though I am sometime frightened by enormously large bosoms like Liz Mikel's, I can't say enough how much I love Mama Smash, especially when she doles out pearls of wisdom right before frying up some chicken.
Jason is making the hard sell at his new job at Buddy Garrity's dealership when the waitress, Erin, comes by. She hasn't been returning any of his calls, and is only now looking for him to drop the bombshell that she's pregnant. Herc is mistrustful of her, thinking that she's only showing up now to bilk Street out of his new car salesman's salary, and chides him for not “wrapping that puppy” in the first place. Jason didn't wear a condom because he thought his boys weren't supposed to be viable due to his spinal cord injury (and obviously didn't even consider the possibility of contracting an STI). After staying up all night and doing some research on the Internets, he finds out that with his injury, he only has a 20% motility rate, so if the tyke is his, than it's really a miracle child.
Jason corners Erin at the restaurant where she works and asks her to keep the baby because it might be his last chance at becoming a father. He's overzealous in stating his case and kind of makes a scene. She makes the classic pro-choice argument: it's her decision, her body, they are both 19 with no money, and it wouldn't be prudent to have the baby. Nor does she want to have a baby with a man who was supposed to be a one-night-stand and who is a handicapped car salesman who didn't go to college.
As part of his plan to get Lyla back, Riggs gets a call-in show about football at the Christian radio station where Lyla and Matt Czuchry work. Riggs has a great time and does a really good job too. Half of the calls are about football, and the other half are girls trying to get a date. Matt Czuchry corners him after his first show to make it clear that Lyla is his girl.
Lyla meets Matt Czuchry's family, and she finds that they are all the type of WASPy and wealthy Texans, with big hair and accents, that W wishes he were. The polar opposite of Riggs' white trash background. After dinner, Lyla and Matt Czuchry get down for what starts out to be chaste kissing. But when things take an un-Christian turn, Matt Czuchry excuses himself so that Lyla can put her sweater back on with a disappointed look on her face. Maybe Rigg's trashiness is the way to go, after all, because at least he puts out.
Tami (Connie Britton
) runs into Mo (played by Peter Berg, no less), her old high school sweetheart. He's a big-time real estate mogul now and is in town looking at some property. He invites Tami and Eric to a hospital charity benefit. Eric is not happy to hear that his old rival is back in Dillon.
Tyra (Adrianne Palicki
) and Landry (Jesse Plemons
) are now officially Lyra, holding hands in public. Matt (Zach Gilford
) makes Landry feel insecure about his sexual inexperience, feeling the need to rain on his friend's parade because his Guatemalan nurse left him. But Matt makes up for it at the football game that Friday night. The Panthers are trouncing their opponents, so Coach puts in some second-string players, including Landry. QB1 Saracen calls a play that allows Landry to walk into the endzone for a touchdown. At the end of the game, Eric switches up his defense to mercifully let the other team get on the board, and Mo passive-aggressively ribs him for giving up a shutout.
Mo invites Tami and Eric out to dinner, and the two men waste no time before whipping their little men out to one-up each other. This leads to throwing back shots of whiskey, to airing past football grievances, to Mo accusing Eric of stealing Tami from him way back when, to Eric and Mo throwing down and getting into a full-on brawl. A pissed-off Tami storms home.
The next morning, Eric can't get up to go to church. Although Julie (Aimee Teegarden
) was barely in this episode, she does get to have this great exchange with her father:
Julie: What's wrong with your face?
Eric: I was defending your mother's honor.
Julie: With your face
Meanwhile, Jason, after getting some advice from Coach, tries again with Erin. He asks her to think about it and to contemplate the life that is growing inside of her. He hopes that she's carrying the next Bill Gates or the next Peyton Manning. Nobody ever wonders if their child is going to be just a regular Joe, but at least Erin thinks that there's a possibility that she might give life to the next trainwreck of a Britney Spears. He promises that he'll be there for her, day in and day out, no matter what, and earnestly pleads with her to keep the baby.
And because this may be the last episode if Friday Night Lights
ever (sob!), we may never find out Erin's decision.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)