It was a wonderful treat to return to Dillon, Texas during last week's season 3 premiere of Friday Night Lights
. The episode jumped ahead to the start of the new football season and reintroduced us to all of our favorite characters. Tim and Lyla are now happily dating, Tami is principal of Dillon High, Smash is dealing with a knee injury, Matt is feeling threatened by a hotshot new quarterback named J.D. McCoy, and Tyra is doing everything she can to make it into a decent college. As great as it is to see Tami (Connie Britton
) in a leadership role, her first major decision as principal didn't go over so well. Her choice to reallocate JumboTron funds to the academic department has serious repercussions in the second episode of season 3.
Friday Night Lights
kicks off with Tim (Taylor Kitsch
) and Lyla sharing a sexy moment in his bedroom. Billy bursts in with a letter his brother has received from Oklahoma State University, stating that the school has interest in recruiting him. Lyla is thrilled that Tim might have a shot at something bigger, but he appears less than excited by the prospect. Over at the school, a reporter interviews Tami about the JumboTron issue, asking if it caused any tension between her and her husband. Tami insists that they have a mutual respect for one another in their relationship. A silly thing like a JumboTron could never come between them, right?
Grandma Saracen visits her doctor, who tells her that her blood pressure is running high and she's at high risk for a stroke. Grandma insists that her medication dries out her skin and refuses to take it. Matt (Zach Gilford
) wants to get the meds so he can sneak them into her food, but the fact that he's a minor makes it impossible. Over at the Taylor house, Tami and Eric (Kyle Chandler
) see the article that was written about her in the local paper. The nosy reporter based the entire story around the tensions in their marriage, which causes Eric to run for the nearest bottle of wine.
Smash (Gaius Charles
) and Coach are still training every day, and in his free time Eric is calling nearby schools to help the kid get an interview. Smash's storyline this season is just jumping on my heartstrings. While Eric faces rejections from colleges, Buddy and the mayor drop in on Tami to ream her out about the JumboTron. The mayor thinks she's made a terrible mistake, but Tami believes she made the right decision. She also has the authority to make the call according to the bylaws, so it doesn't matter what the mayor has to say.
While Buddy and Lyla (Minka Kelly
) share a steak dinner, Buddy tells his daughter that he doesn't approve of her relationship with Tim. "He comes from white trash," he reminds her. "He's gonna bring you down." He also asks Lyla if she's using protection, which immediately sends her running out of the room. Tami experiences the same reaction from Eric over at the Taylor house when she asks him what she should do about the funds. It looks like there is some tension between the Taylors after all.
Tyra (Adrianne Palicki
) decided to run for student body president last week, and now she's busy posting signs and handing out fliers. After she sees that one of her signs has been defaced, she meets with Vice Principal Jerkface to get him to do something about it. He tells her that she got into the race "late and half-assed," and therefore doesn't deserve to be respected. Whatever, Jerkface.
Matt meets with a lawyer to find out what he can do about Grandma Saracen. He can either send her to a nursing home or become an emancipated minor and sign on as her guardian. Neither option is ideal, but Matt agrees to ponder the emancipation thing. The only problem is that he needs a parent to sign the paperwork, which is tough when his dad is still in Iraq. Matt heads to Applebee's with his grandma and makes a last ditch effort to get her to take her pills, but she refuses. He goes outside and starts kicking boxes around, which Julie (Aimee Teegarden
) sees since she now works at the restaurant. The two share a nice moment together that reminds me how cute they were as a couple back in the day.
Lyla takes Tim to a clothing store to buy him a fancy jacket for an upcoming dinner with Buddy and the McCoys. Mr. McCoy went to Oklahoma State, so Lyla thinks Tim should dress to impress. Tim, of course, couldn't be less excited about buying a dinner jacket and hanging out with Buddy. Meanwhile, Landry (Jesse Plemons
) helps Tyra come up with slogans for her campaign. The best he comes up with are "A vote for Tyra is a vote for hotness" and "Vote Tyra, get action." Tyra is reluctant to use her sex appeal to win votes, but her mother tells her to "smoke 'em if you got 'em."
Tyra goes to school the next day with a couple dancers from The Landing Strip, which gathers her plenty of male support. Vice Principal Jerkface wants to suspend her for winning votes through strippers, but Tami stands up for her and saves the day. She tells Tyra to go to the town hall meeting in the gym, where Tyra's meant to convince the students she should be student body president. She tells the crowd that nobody will get laid at the prom if they vote the other girl in, which riles up the students but leaves Tami feeling cold.
Eric visits Smash at the Alamo Freeze and asks why he still seems nervous on the field. Smash explains that he doesn't have a team backing him up these days, and he's feeling uninspired without anyone relying on him. Eric tells him to suck it up and deal with it like a man.
After the Panthers win the big game of the week, the Taylors head to Applebee's. Eric gets pressure about letting J.D. play while Tami gets the evil eye from half the people in the restaurant. She wants Eric to stop avoiding the topic and weigh in on the JumboTron decision, so he explains that he thinks her move was questionable. He doesn't care about the scoreboard, but he tells her she had to know how much trouble it would cause to go against Buddy and the Boosters.
Grandma Saracen is sad to discover that Cagney & Lacey
is off the air. After Matt heats her up some milk, she breaks down in tears while telling him what a good, responsible young man he is. That's when he decides to borrow Landry's car and head a couple towns over to visit his never-before-seen mom. His mom is shocked and excited to see him, but he just wants her to sign the paperwork for his emancipation. Matt's not up for bonding, but she agrees to sign the documents anyway.
Tyra visits Tami to gloat about her new role as student body president, but Tami doesn't want to hear it. Tyra sunk to the lowest common denominator to win over the crowd, and Tami tells her she better work on her self-respect and start acting like an adult. It's all rather harsh, but Tami has a point. Later that night, the Panthers show up on the field to practice with Smash. One of the guys whacks him in the knee and tackles him while he makes a touchdown, but the Smash remains unaffected. He's back!
News flash: Tim is smart enough to Google. He learned a few things about Mr. McCoy before meeting him for dinner. As soon as Tim arrives at the restaurant, Buddy pulls him aside to remind him he's not good enough for Lyla and that he'll pay if he dares to jeopardize Buddy's relationship with the McCoys. The nerves get to Tim, causing him to stumble during dinner conversation. He also orders rare squab for dinner, which doesn't sound appealing at all. Lyla confronts him about his behavior on the drive home, which ends with her storming off in a huff.
Buddy visits Tami at home and lets her know that the Boosters and the mayor met with the superintendent about her decision. The funds are now frozen and unable to be used for anything, which Tami isn't pleased about. While she deals with that setback, Eric delivers much better news to Smash: Texas A&M wants to meet with him in two weeks.
Tim arrives home after the dinner from hell, promptly removes his pants and grabs a beer. He doesn't even care that Tyra is hanging out on the couch while she waits for her sister and Billy to stop doing it in the other room. Lyla walks in a moment later with a cheeseburger, saying she feels bad about the terrible squab situation. They make up just in time for Tyra to run off with Mindy.
Matt shows up at Applebee's and offers to give Julie a ride home. He tells her that he visited his mom and had her sign the papers, and she jokes that being emancipated makes him seem kind of hot. Unfortunately, being emancipated doesn't allow him to smoke and drink and rent cars, but only to take care of old people. Julie has Matt pull over on the way home so they can take a look at the car she plans to buy with her Applebee's cash. As this week's Friday Night Lights
comes to a close, Matt and Julie share a laugh over the beautiful Toyota Celica that waits in her future. Aw, aren't they adorable together?
- Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)