Friday Night Lights: Episode 3.3 "How the Other Half Live" Recap
Friday Night Lights: Episode 3.3 "How the Other Half Live" Recap
This season of Friday Night Lights has truly pitted the Taylor family against the town of Dillon.  Eric has been under pressure to replace Matt with the supposedly great new quarterback J.D. McCoy, while Tami has clashed with everyone from Buddy to the mayor over her decision to use the JumboTron funds for academics.  Also in last week's episode, Tim failed to impress Joe McCoy at a fancy dinner party, Matt and Julie started talking again, Tyra became student body president, and Matt visited his mom for the first time in years.

On this week's episode of Friday Night Lights, the annual football BBQ causes lots of tension for the Taylor family.

This week's episode kicks off with the Collette girls and the Riggins boys enjoying some dancing, steaks and beer on a wild night out.  On the way home, Billy stops at some guy's house for a "business meeting," which seems rather shady.  He claims he's getting some money together to take care of debts.  The next day, Coach assures Matt (Zach Gilford) that hotshot quarterback J.D. won't be replacing him.  Of course, Joe McCoy once again corners Eric to drop hints about how great his son is on the field.

Tami (Connie Britton) and Eric are throwing a party for the football fans, but even that hospitality hasn't stopped the Boosters from pestering the coach about his choice of quarterback.  Tami is tired of having these big parties at the Taylor house, but Eric easily woos her into taking on the task.  At Smash's place, he learns that his mom is taking on a second job to pay for his college education.

While Tami argues with the butcher over ribs, she runs into J.D.'s mother, Katie.  She wants to meet with Tami about donating money to academics, and also wants to throw a few fundraisers to raise extra cash.  She definitely knows the way to Tami's heart.  Meanwhile, Tim (Taylor Kitsch) asks Lyla to come over the next night, but she's worried that Mindy and Angela hate her.  He thinks she's paranoid, and promises to stand up for her if anyone treats her poorly.

Tami tells Eric (Kyle Chandler) that Katie offered to throw the BBQ for the football fans at her place.  Tami's thrilled, but the coach is upset over the change, saying he doesn't want to be scrutinized in someone else's house.  He thinks she's being played by the McCoys, but Tami is convinced Katie is just being nice.

Everyone is worried about J.D. McCoy.  Mac wants Coach to give him some time as quarterback, which Eric refuses to do, and Landry (Jesse Plemons) is convinced that the new kid is too "hip" for Matt to compete with.  Matt opens up to Julie about the game coming up on Friday.  Not only are they facing off with a school that they've never won against, but he's also stressed about J.D.

The head of Alamo Freeze wants to know if Smash (Gaius Charles) will consider being regional manager.  He'd make $10,000 a year, but the thought of being stuck at an ice cream shop is just too depressing if you ask me.  At the Taylor's, Katie figures out that Eric is upset that the BBQ has been moved.

Lyla (Minka Kelly) heads to the Riggins house and immediately puts her foot in her mouth when Mindy reveals that she stole her wedding vows from Finding Nemo.  I'm pretty sure I'd laugh over that too, so I can't blame Lyla for chuckling.  After Billy's friend shows up unexpectedly, Billy tells Tim that he planned to steal some copper wire from an old power plant and sell it for cash.  Instead of talking him out of it, Tim suggests he take a different escape route to avoid the cops.  It's not long before the Collette girls leave, offended that anyone would fail to take Finding Nemo seriously.

Eric is grumpy while pulling up to the massive McCoy house, which he thinks looks like a sanitarium.  They even have a free valet service out front!  Buddy drives Lyla to the shindig while Tim helps his brother steal the wire, which is an adventure that has its fair share of problems.  The boys run into guard dogs, but thankfully the dogs flee without causing any damage.

Matt and Julie (Aimee Teegarden) stumble upon the shrine dedicated to J.D. while at the party, and the teen finally gets his first lines when he catches them mocking his trophies.  He makes a joke that his parents bronzed his first diaper, then wanders off and leaves things awkward.  Meanwhile, Billy convinces Tim to help him get the last few spools of wire, which he agrees to do even after the cops speed by and freak him out.  Billy feels this is his only chance to make something of himself, which is definitely a sad state of affairs.

Buddy, Joe and Wade try to convince Eric to put J.D. in the game.  Eric doesn't like being pressured, and he also feels more comfortable with Matt since he's known him for years.  After the Taylors get home, Eric and Tami share one of those sweet moments together that always make me collapse with joy.  He tells her he misses the coach's wife, and she says that she can't wait to meet the principal's husband.  I love those two.

Friday night is here and the big game has begun.  Not only do the Panthers lose, but they lose after Matt fumbles the ball while trying to make a touchdown.  Factor in the massive amount of hits he took during the game, and it looks like Saracen has failed to impress.  Julie meets with him afterwards, and comforts him a little bit by agreeing to discuss anything but football.

Smash tells his mom that he's turning down the Texas A&M visit to take the job at Alamo Freeze.  Momma Smash tells him he's made the worst decision ever, and she plans to help him go to college whether he likes it or not.  Smash doesn't like the idea of taking her charity, but she assures him he can worry about supporting her and buying her a house somewhere down the line.  Meanwhile, Tim apologizes to Lyla about abandoning her at the BBQ.  She begs him not to prove her wrong about her constant claims that he's a good, stand-up guy.

As Friday Night Lights wraps up, Tami and Eric come home to find that douchebag football fans have placed For Sale signs in their front yard.  Tami rests her head on Eric's shoulder after they go inside, becoming the coach's wife once again.  I have a feeling Matt won't be the star quarterback for much longer.

- Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)

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