Friday Night Lights 3.2 “Tami Knows Best” Recap

fridaynightlightss03e02Welcome, my friends, to The Best Show on Earth. Don’t believe me? Dillon may not have Cylons, mytharcs or Jon Hamm, but it has heart in abundance, and I’m grateful to Kripke Owns Me for passing recapping duties on to me. It’s an honor, and I hope to do the show justice. With that said, let’s get to it!

We open with Tim and Lyla giggling in bed, and I make a mental note to send Peter Berg flowers. Have I mentioned my undying love for Tim Riggins? They are giggling, I kid you not, about Tim’s inability to unbuckle his new belt buckle. Lyla giggles for Tim to “take it off”, and who am I to argue? Billy kills the moment, however, by storming into Tim’s room. Lyla practically launches herself away from Tim, but Billy doesn’t notice; he’s focused on the letter of interest from Oklahoma State, addressed to Tim, that he found wedged in the couch. Tim looks pained that his daily of agenda of beer, sex and football has been sidetracked, particularly when Lyla leaps from the bed like a gazelle to type up a response on her laptop. Billy, bless him, is joyful and oblivious.

Tami “Awesomeness Personified” Taylor is dealing with massive fallout from her decision to channel the massive funds for the Jumbotron to things that a school might actually need – like, oh, say, TEACHERS – by setting up an interview. Oh, Tami. A reporter? Really? Look, I am one, and that’s a rookie mistake. Tami deflects questions about how she and Coach manage their professional relationship as well as their married life, but doesn’t realize just how far south this is gonna go.

Dillon Hospital. A doctor examines Lorraine “Grandma” Saracen, who’s trying to charm a doctor into ignoring the fact that she won’t take her pills. The doctor takes Matt outside to talk some sense into him about Lorraine’s condition, but Matt’s inherited the denial/bargaining two-step gene, and he won’t listen either. “She’s no longer able to handle her own affairs,” the doctor says kindly, and Matt shifts his weight, ducks his head, and looks everywhere but at the doctor. Poor Matty!

Tami, bless her heart, is refreshing the local newspaper’s web site at midnight so she can read her interview. Coach wakes up to talk her into coming back to bed, which, of course, is when the new edition pops up. Tami’s excited for a nanosecond until she realizes what she’s reading. “New Principal Vows to Shake Up Establishment” is the headline, and individual pictures of Tami and Coach, both looking angry, are placed to imply that they’re yelling at each other. Oh, honey. You are living in a Devil Town, Tami. Did you forget? Tami covers her mouth in horror, and Coach looks ready to spit nails. Tami slams the laptop shut, and takes a long drink from her wine glass. Coach does not miss a beat: “I’ll get more wine.” Good man!

The ever-awesome credits. Sway with me people! You know you want to!

Panthers Field. Smash runs and dodges and dashes around the cones like a record on 33RPM. That is to say, for you kids who missed out on actual vinyl records, the Smash is in Slo-Mo, and it’s not one of Peter Berg’s cinematic effects. Coach asks what the hell he’s doing, and worries that Smash is in pain. Smash says no, he’s just getting used to it; also, it’s time for both of them to go to work. By which he means their day jobs. Smash hesitatingly asks what the game plan for all this is, and Coach handwaves that Smash’s job is to get strong and fast, his job is to handle all the calls of interest that will be coming in. Smash lumbers off, and we cut to…

The Panthers locker room, wherein Coach is desperately trying to remind a caller who the heck Smash is. Hee! I’m sorry, I know Smash is awesome, and I love his storyline, but his ego has always given me a case of the eyerolls, and it’s nice to see some reality regarding a once-amazing, but currently injured and unimpressive athlete. Coach is giving Texas Tech the hard sell, but they’re not buying, and Coach hangs up, dejected.

Dillon High Administration Offices. Oh, this is not gonna be pretty. Tami walks in, and Clint, who I assume is the school VP, tells her the phones have been ringing off the hook. Tami tries to duck in to her office, but the ambush is set: Buddy Garrity and the Mayor are both waiting for her. After some painful small talk, the Mayor gives Tami the skinny: “You’re new. You’re excited… but what has happened here is that you’ve made a mistake.” Her face hard, she tells Tami to admit the mistake and fix it. Tami says – and I have to pause to give credit to this character, in that she believes in this decision so much that she is willing to take a bold, thoughtful, and ultimately doomed step – that she doesn’t believe she has made a mistake. Mayor O’Dell takes off the gloves, pointing out that the money was raised for something specific and shouldn’t be re-routed, using phrases like “unilateral decision”. Buddy, it should be noted, stays completely out of the argument by inspecting the blinds and ceiling tiles. You can’t say he doesn’t have survival skills. Tami makes the compelling argument that she’s actually on the right side of the matter, and suggests that the Good Mayor, et al should be on the bandwagon along with her. “I’m really sorry to hear you feel that way, Tami,” the Mayor says, walking to the door. “I hope it doesn’t turn ugly.” Tami is stunned that someone might threaten her over something football-related, and I am shocked – shocked! to find gambling going on in here. Cut to…

Buddy Garrity’s Sad Bachelor Apartment. Buddy has cooked steaks and baked potatoes for himself and Lyla, “pan-fried in butter, the way God intended.” Hee! Buddy asks Lyla to join him and the McCoys for dinner on Saturday, and Lyla accepts, adding that she’ll see if Tim can come. Buddy suggests that Tim’s not right for Lyla; Lyla counters that Tim’s a good guy and is going to college. Ah, higher education: the great equalizer. For dating Lyla Garrity. Buddy utters my second-favorite line of the episode: “Tim Riggins going to college is like me teaching yoga.” Lyla suggests Tim just needs someone who believes in him – excuse me while I fistbump Lyla through my TV – and Buddy rightly counters that most of the female population has “believed” in Tim. Not the most effective tool in your arsenal, there, O Cheating Dad of Disappointments. After calling Tim white trash – and again, do you recall your time with Angela Colette, Mr. Garrity? – Buddy asks if Lyla’s using protection. Lyla ditches her napkin and goes to her room, shutting the door. As you do, when your dad is being a hypocrite who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and also kind of has a point.

Taylor Bedroom. Tami complains about the Dillon Football Mafia; Coach grunts noncommittally until Tami flat-out asks him what he thinks. Coach twitches for a moment, terrified, and then literally springs from the mattress when he hears Baby Grace cry. Excellent timing, Gracie.

Dillon HS. Tyra and Julie are passing out flyers for Tyra’s Student Body President campaign, with the marketing slogan, “Tyra 4 Change.” Eeeagh. Julie takes some flyers to hand out in the quad and leaves; Tyra hears Landry repeatedly protesting that something’s not funny, and goes to investigate. She breaks through a crowd of people, and finds Landry blocking one of her posters, and I think we all know what’s coming. When she finally gets him to move, she finds a defaced picture of herself, with the obligatory “For a good time call” written on it. Honestly? I expected much, much worse. She and Landry take the defaced poster to Clint, the VP, but he’s unsympathetic: “You can’t get into the race late and half-assed and expect people to respect you.” Ohhhh, dear. Tyra tries her best Coach Taylor glare, but it needs a little work; deep down, she knows he has a point. She’s got a lot of history to live down.

In a nondescript lawyer’s office, Matt is trying to figure out a tolerable solution to Lorraine’s predicament. The lawyer suggests emancipation so Matt could take care of her; Matt protests that he can’t do that, as he’s trying to go to college next year. The lawyer suggests Matt’s dad, but we already know how useless he is. Matt’s looking down when the lawyer suggests that Matt put Lorraine in a home, and it’s a beautifully-framed shot: the lawyer’s shoulder blacks out 2/3rds of the screen and frames Saracen’s face, showing how absolutely he is trapped. I mention it because Matt glances up at the lawyer in flat refusal and disgust: “I’m not. Doing. That.” The lawyer explains he’s just giving Matt all the options, and gives him the paperwork for emancipation. It requires his parent’s signature.

Panther Field, on which Smash and Tim Riggins are running drills with Coach T! Yes! Hello, Guns of Tim, I have missed you. Smash, um… your headband is fetching. Sorry, I got nuthin’. Anyway! Smash dodges Tim once, but Tim locks him up the second time, and the third time, Tim knocks him to the ground. Smash takes it personally, asking why Tim hit him. Tim clarifies that he pushed Smash, and tells Williams to relax. Smash completely snaps, throwing the ball at Tim hard, and yelling that he doesn’t know why they’re out there in the first place. He storms off the field as Coach looks after him, frustrated.

Applebee’s. Matt bargains with Lorraine to take her pills, but Lorraine refuses, saying it dries out her skin and makes her look like a mummy. Hee. Um, Lorraine, that’s not the pills. Sorry! Sorry. Mea culpa. Moving on. Matt persists until she snaps at him to leave her alone. Matt walks outside, completely frustrated at the Suck Options he has to choose from, until he spies a handy bunch of innocent boxes and charges them, kicking them all over the place. Yes! Take that, thousand island dressing! He is in mid-massacre of The Cardboard That Totally Had It Coming when Julie opens the back door and nearly gets clocked with a box. Hee. Matt deflates immediately, and apologizes. Awkward! “You, uh… you work here now?” Matt asks, and I nearly snort milk out of my nose laughing. Julie says she’s saving up for a car, and asks what the boxes did to deserve such salt-and-burn destruction. Matt explains Lorraine won’t take her meds because they make her look old, babbling and recapping every single scene he’s been in this episode, btw, and I’M THE RECAPPER, Matt, thanksverymuch. Julie watches him, and listens until he runs out of steam, and then utters my third-favorite line of the episode: “Would now be a bad time to tell you that Lorraine’s yelling at the line cook to make her some chocolate pudding?” HEE! I take it all back, Lorraine, I adore you. You knew that all along. Matt almost shoves Julie to the side so he can get to Lorraine, but Julie breaks into giggles, because she was totally joking! Julie apologizes for being rude, and Matt grins that it was kinda funny, and eee they’re so close zomg! He beams this huge smile at her for a full second that makes my heart hurt, and then it’s awkward again. Julie has to get back to work, but not before reminding Matt to re-pile all the cardboard. Ah, the Truth and Reconciliation approach. Wise, Julie, very wise.

Random Dillon Store. Lyla is dressing up Tim Riggins. Lyla, I thought we had talked about this; you’re supposed to take the clothes off. OFF, Girlfriend. I thought you were smart! Anyway, Lyla’s shopping for a blazer for Tim. I never cease to be amazed at how this gorgeous, stunning model of a guy can look completely uncomfortable and like a complete dork in an ugly blazer. Tim complains that he knows how to dress himself. Lyla: “No, Tim, you know how to put on a plaid shirt and button one button.” HEE! Oh, I love snarky Lyla. Also, what’s wrong with that, Garrity? A million fangirls can’t be wrong. Tim grumps that he doesn’t even want to go to the dinner, and Lyla rightly points out that if Tim only did what he wanted to do, his life would only be about beer, football and sex. Lyla, you see, Has Plans; it’s a good chance for Tim to spend time with her Dad, and McCoy went to Oklahoma so maybe he can help Tim out. Tim asks if he’s supposed to schmooze with McCoy, and I would pay good money to watch Tim schmooze anyone. Not seduce or charm them; that’s different. Tim hates the whole idea, but Lyla puts a near-Olympic spin on it; it’s dinner and football. Who doesn’t like dinner and football, Tim? Tim asks why they’re really doing this, and Lyla ‘fesses up, telling Tim she cares about him. Meaning, ‘I want this to work’. “You wanna know why I’m doin’ this?” Tim asks. “Because you care about me?” Lyla asks. “Maybe just a bit,” Tim says, and Lyla jumps up and kisses him. Awww.

Colette Trailer of Quiet Despair. Landry brainstorms marketing strategies with Tyra, as Mindy and Angela flip through a magazine. His masterpiece? “Vote Tyra… for Action.” Sweet baby Jesus, Landry. Tyra vetos anything to do with action, or hotness, but Angela scoffs that Tyra’s hot; and there’s no denying it. She suggests, and I quote, “Smoke ’em if you got ’em.” Tyra blinks, and thinks, and then she gets an idea. An awful idea. A wonderful, awful idea…

Dillon HS quad. Amidst Blow Pops and “VOTE TYRA” flyers, a tarted-up Tyra sits at a table wearing a ripped-up shirt that reads “Tyra Gives Good Government”, while Mindy and her stripper friends are doing a free go-go girls show. The male population of the school is out in full, slack-jawed force, and I just… it’s so… oh, TYRA. Clint breaks through the crowd, shuts off the boom box, and tells them to clear the grounds or he’s calling the police. Tyra starts to argue, but Tami “Badass” Taylor has just arrived on the scene, and cuts through the crowd like a hot knife through butter. Tyra, I would trade out those pumps for some running shoes, girl. Tyra protests that her competition was giving out cupcakes on the exact same spot the day before; why can’t she have her friends help her? Clint snarks back that Tyra’s not that dumb, and Tami snaps for him to “watch it.” Go, Tami! Clint tries to read Tyra the riot act, and Tyra has the gall to look stunned and offended; Tami actually does something useful and tells everyone to get to class. Clint announces that Tyra’s suspended, but Tami pulls rank, telling Clint that she will deal with it. She sends Tyra to class, and Clint storms off, outraged.

Alamo Freeze. Smash calls chores to some grunt in the back (dirty!) as Coach walks in. Smash asks if Coach wants something to eat, but Coach isn’t having it. He tells Smash that he’s been calling everyone he knows, telling them that Smash is back and ready to play. “Should I not be doin’ that?” he snaps. Smash looks away, knowing he screwed up, and then tells it straight; he’s never been afraid, not once, not even when Jason got hurt. I take a moment to miss Street, who I know is only going to be in seven episodes this season, but still. His injury started this whole series, you know? It makes me nostalgic. [Note from Kripke Owns Me: Only a true lover of all things Friday Night Lights can get nostalgic for an injury that resulted in paraplegia. Also? I’m right there with you, Whiteotter! Carry on!] Anyway, Smash admits that the problem isn’t only his knee. “I think I was only great because I was a Dillon Panther,” he says. “Now I’m just a guy playin’ by myself on a high school field.” I have to say, that’s some cutting insight, especially for Smash. Smash stares at Coach and sends some straight talk of his own: “You’re having a hard time finding a tryout for me.” Coach shifts his weight and says he’ll get Smash a tryout, and then utters my favorite line of the episode: “Suck it up!” Smash’s eyes nearly bug out of his head. “That’s what bein’ a man is,” Coach finishes. He tells Smash he expects to see him on the field in full pads on Saturday night, and glares his way out of the Alamo Freeze. Smash looks gobsmacked. C’mon, Smash! I never thought I’d be telling you to get in the game, but Get. In. The game!

Dillon HS Basketball Court, which is serving as a school auditorium. A headband-wearing preppie girl, fresh-faced and brightly scrubbed, professes she has experience to lead, and everyone applauds. Tyra, sitting on the platform of hopeful future politicians, soft-claps in false admiration. A question from the audience for Tyra, who goes to the microphone, and… oh, dear. She’s wearing a ripped-up jeans mini-skirt, the same ripped tee from the Quad Debacle, and her makeup is on Full Tart Mode. An indian girl – okay, random – eloquently asks how Tyra will deal with her dearth of experience. “Wow, that was a long question,” Tyra smarms. “I don’t think I remember half of it.” Ah. So we’re going with the Mindy Colette “We All Know This is a Joke” School of Politics, then. In the audience, Tami brushes at her cheek, unable to watch Tyra tear down all the hard work the both of them have done on her self-confidence over the last two years. Tyra says that the election is really all about choosing who will plan their prom, and asserts that no one will get laid if Jenny, the articulate candidate who just spoke, holds the prom in the gym. Tami stares in horror and disbelief as the students rise in a standing ovation, and we cut to…

Friday Night! The Panthers lead 42-0. Saracen throws a short pass to 33, who runs like a zillion yards to the end zone without anyone even coming close to him, and… we cut to the after party. OMG, shortest game ever, Peter Berg! I don’t watch regular football, but I love my FNL football! Sigh. Anyway. Applebee’s, cheerleaders, Boosters, football players, and Taylors. Tami looks exceedingly uncomfortable because no one is talking to her, and Coach is annoyed because despite a 49-point win, people are still asking when JD McCoy’s gonna play. My response would be “When I damn well feel like it”, which explains why I’m not living in the south or a coach. Tami complains that everyone hates her because she won’t give them their precious Jumbotron. Coach: “Did they change this menu, or what?” HEE. Tami pushes Coach to weigh in on her decision, and Coach says he doesn’t want to because he loves and respects her, but he thinks it was “questionable”, and spells it out for her. The Boosters always get what they want, and Tami knew that better than anyone else from the start. Tami argues that a teeny-tiny bit of all that money should go to academics, and Coach can play that game, saying there’s a difference between “teeny-tiny, and Jumbotron”. Tami is stunned to hear that Coach isn’t with her on this, as we cut to…

Matt, pouring a glass of milk in the Saracen kitchen. Lorraine flips channels until Matt brings her her microwaved cup of milk. She starts to reminisce about how Matt was as a child, calling him a “sweet, sweet baby.” Matt stares at the television. “But here you are all grown up and taking care of everything,” Lorraine says, her voice breaking. “I don’t know what I’d do without you,” she says, reaching for his hand. She tells Matt she loves him. Matt says it back to her softly, and there’s that ache in my heart again. Lorraine starts to cry, and Matt kneels down beside her, telling her it’s alright. “You are such a good boy,” Lorraine says. “That’s because I was raised by you,” Matt says. YOU ARE KILLING ME, SHOW. Lorraine thanks him, and Matt watches Lorraine and thinks, as Lorraine starts to rock herself back and forth, staring at the television. On what other show would this kind of scene be possible? Never leave me, FNL. The camera cuts to a dark street, where Matt is knocking on Landry’s window at night, asking him for his car. Any other time that would get a (dirty!) from me, but not this time, because we cut to…

Daylight. Matt drives Landry’s car for hours and hours. “This Is The Thing” by Fink starts to play: ‘The things that keep us apart/Keep me alive/The things that keep me alive/Keep me alone‘. After this scene, tell me that’s not Matt Saracen’s life in a nutshell. Saracen gets out of the car and walks up to a jasmine-covered trellis in front of a nondescript house. He goes to the front door and stares at wind chimes on the porch, a guitar on the inside couch, orchids in a jar. He looks down at the piece of paper in his hand and then knocks sharply. A blond, attractive woman opens the door and stares at Matt. “It’s me,” he says, glancing around. “I’m your son, Matt.” OMG. Matt’s mother stares and stares, and Matt looks up at her pleadingly, and the guitar kicks in hard and we cut to black. YES! FNL, you are so bad ass. I love that that came out of absolutely NOwhere.

After the commercial, Matt’s mother is still in shock. “Look how big you are,” she starts, and Matt cuts her off by handing her the paper, and taking about five steps back. He tells her he needs a parents’ signature in order to take care of Lorraine legally, and his mom asks if his dad can’t sign it. Matt stares at her like she’s an idiot. “He’s in Iraq,” he says. Matt’s mom deflates a little. Matt says he’s got a lot to do, so if she could just sign it… his Mom asks if he’d like to come inside, and she hasn’t even finished the words before Matt shuts her down: “No.” That might be my favorite moment in the entire episode, that he knew exactly what she was going to say, and knew his response from the outset. Ouch. His mom turns back and sits down on her porch stairs, reading the document. Matt shifts his weight and shuffles around like he’s standing on an anthill, which emotionally, I guess he is. His mom starts to ask questions about Lorraine, and when Matt tells her how bad it is, she asks why “Henry” left Matt alone with her. “I don’t think you’re really in a position to judge,” Matt says, throwing her a furious look. Ouch again. Not that it’s undeserved, but still: ouch. His Mom takes it well. “Got a pen?”

Cut to Tami, signing some documents in her office. Nice segue. Tyra flounces in, all smiles, asking if Tami heard the good news; she won the election. Tami says evenly that she did, and Tyra gloats a little. In all fairness, she gloats under the impression that Tami is also delighted and gloat-y, which Tami most certainly is not. She tells Tyra flat-out that she sunk to the lowest common denominator to win the election, and how humiliated she feels that she stuck up for Tyra in the quad. “I suggest you start earning back your self-respect, and the faith that I once had in you,” she says, glaring at Tyra. “Or you really will be on your own.” Tyra looks like an abandoned puppy. Tami tells her to go to class, and Tyra stumbles out, completely ashamed. Really, Tyra, you left her no choice.

Saturday Night, Panther Field. Smash, in full Number 17 Panthers gear – what, his 20’s already been given to someone else? – runs from the end zone to the 50-yard line. He stands next to the football, alone, panting and dripping with sweat, and then he starts to hear voices behind him… it’s the Panthers. In full gear. Running full-out from the locker room to the field, cheering as they run up to Smash. Um… ‘scuse me, it’s… kind dusty in here… Smash breaks out in a grin as the whole team, led by Riggins, charges up to him. “No excuses. None,” Riggins says, running up to give Smash five, and AGAIN it is too beautiful for me to break out a (dirty!). Peter Berg, in his awesomeness, has robbed me of my snark! Coach, who has ditched the Panthers Coaching Ensemble for a simple gray tee, asks Smash if he’s ready to go live. Smash’s smile could power Dillon’s electrical grid for a whole year. They scramble; Smash gets knocked down. Coach walks up to the huddle to call a play; Smash goes down again (DIRTY! Hallelujah!). Coach watches as Riggins helps Smash up, and I take a moment to think back to the Pilot, how much these two characters haaated each other, and how much I love this show. “You alright?” 33 asks. “Lucky hit, Rig,” Smash snarks, and Tim breaks into a huge smile. Damn, Peter Berg, are you gonna make me break out the caps? I LOVE THIS SHOW.

Coach asks Smash how he’s doing; Smash tells him he’s good, I think maybe for the first time since he got hurt. Same play. The music kicks in as Smash pushes off one tackle, then another, picking up speed and catching some air as he flies into the end zone , and is slammed by a tackle in mid-air. He hits the ground hard, rolling over, and the whole team rushes over, concerned. He huffs and struggles to push himself up as the guy who hit him says he didn’t mean to hit the knee, and asks if he’s okay. Saracen stares, Riggins stares, Coach stares. One hand on the football, the other on the ground, Smash pushes himself up and rips out his mouth guard: “That’s six!” he yells. “I’m back, baby!” The team erupts, clapping for Smash; Riggins and Smash high-five each other and slap each others’ helmets; Saracen beams like it’s Christmas morning. Smash charges through the whole team as they slap him on the back and cheer him on. Coach stands in the center of the field and smiles, and I vow to buy stock in Kleenex.

Tim and Lyla walk to the restaurant as Tim frets and worries that he’ll be out of his element. He’s prepared, though, he Googled McCoy’s time with Oklahoma on the internet. Lyla is impressed that Tim knows how to Google. Lyla, my dear, as Avenue Q teaches us, the internet is for porn. Of course Tim Riggins knows how to Google. They walk into the restaurant’s foyer, where Buddy and the McCoys are waiting. Katie McCoy practically falls all over herself, cooing over how stunningly beautiful Lyla is. Fair point, Mrs McCoy. They start to go in to the restaurant, but Buddy holds Tim back. Buddy, as he always is when something he loves is involved, is brutal: “Two things. One: I don’t like you with my daughter; the reasons should be obvious. Two, my relationship with Joe McCoy is extremely important. You do not jeopardize it in any way, or I will hurt you.” Buddy walks away, leaving Timmy alone in the foyer, completely blindsided. We all know how badly Timmy deals with rejection, so this next part’s gonna hurt…

Restaurant. Waiters in tuxedo ties; Linen napkins. Buddy admires Katie’s MASSIVE diamond ring, and Tim stares like it’s a snake that’s gonna bite him. Joe McCoy asks some questions about Tim’s position and college, but all Tim can come up with is “Uhm.” Repeatedly. In all fairness, Katie looks like she’d throw him a lifeline, but she’s too stunned at the train wreck before her to move. Buddy gleefully asks if they should order; Tim looks around, feeling worthless and totally out of place. While everyone else orders porterhouse steaks and salmon, Tim, who is desperate at this point, orders the squab. “Honey!” Katie practically squeaks. “Are you sure?” Tim avows that he is, poor guy, while Lyla frowns at her napkin. Tim asks for it rare, and even JD McCoy shakes his head in disbelief. Oh, Timmy. Thankfully, we are spared from any more of Tim’s humiliation because we cut to…

Tim’s black truck, dropping Lyla off at Buddy’s apartment. Lyla rides in silence until Tim stops and then asks what just happened. Tim says that he told her he hates that kind of place and those kind of people, that the food was awful… “You ordered raw pigeon,” Lyla snaps. Tim stares at her blankly and then smiles bitterly, asking who Lyla’s trying to turn him into. Lyla insists that she’s not. “Maybe I’m just too simple of a guy for you, then,” Tim says. Oh, Timmy! Don’t backslide on me now! Lyla is exasperated by Riggins’ Logic, which does not resemble our earth logic. “Maybe we should just go our separate ways,” Tim says. “Maybe we should,” Lyla says, and gets out of the truck. Tim watches her walk all the way over to the building, heartsick.

Chez Taylor, Laundry Room. Tami folds some laundry as Buddy Garrity, flush from his victory over a broken teenage boy, sorry, I still can’t get over the fact that when Buddy Garrity was falling-down-drunk in season two, Tim was the only one who reached out to help him up, pulls up in his SUV. Buddy calls through the open garage, asking if they can talk. Despite Tami saying that she’d be happy to as long as it’s not about the Jumbotron, he informs her that’s exactly what it’s about. Devil Town, that is to say, the Boosters, the Mayor, and everyone else, went to the superintendent and froze the funds for the Jumbotron, and there’ll be a meeting to decide what to do with the money in two weeks. Coach comes out to the open garage, looking smokin’ hot in a long-sleeve black button-down and jeans, btw, and Buddy beats a hasty retreat. Tami turns on her heel and walks back into the house, ignoring her husband, who asks what that was all about. Eric’s cell phone rings, and we cut to…

A run-down neighborhood. Coach knocks on an open screen door; Corrina – SmashMama! My favorite character in all of Dillon! – invites him in. She hollers for “Brian”, and Coach grins a little as she calls him downstairs on the double. Smash speeds up when he sees Coach and pauses at the foot of the stairs, hesitant. “You and I have some work to do,” Coach says quietly. “Two weeks’ time, you got a walk-on at Texas A&M.” Smash says, “Yessir. I’ll make you proud.” Corrina presses her lips together as the two men shake hands, and DAMN YOU, PETER BERG! Sniffle. Coach says his goodbyes, including, adorably, winking up at Smash’s younger sister, Nonnie, on the stairs, and saying, “Hey, kid.” As he walks to his car, you can hear the entire Smash!household erupt into laughter and cheers behind him. He stops dead, savoring the moment, half-smiling; he looks back at the house once, and then he keeps going. O Coach, My Coach! Sniffle.

Riggins Ranch. Okay, I know it’s not a ranch, but I love alliteration. Tim walks in with a take-out bag of food and finds Tyra Colette draped across his couch. “Did somebody die?” she asks, staring at his blazer. HEE! She informs him that Mindy came over for, erm, ‘quality time’ with Billy, so she’s stuck there until they’re done. Tim notes that it shouldn’t take long (snerk) and shrugs off his blazer. See, Garrity, this is what I was talking about. Tim vents about Buddy Garrity, and dinner, and fancy folks, and how he’s not really cut out for college! Tyra feels that, yo. Tim is stripping down to his skivvies, boxer briefs, for those of you who were wondering, and leaves his button-down shirt and tie on, which makes no sense, but who cares when this could go oh so horribly wrong? Tim grabs two beers from the fridge and sits down next to Tyra on the couch. He tells her about eating pigeon, and Tyra cracks up, and Lyla walks in, and I facepalm and shriek “NOOOOO!” at the television. Tyra and Lyla greet each other coolly, as you do when you have the convoluted love-triangle history that these three have. Tim jumps off the couch, and I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that Lyla brought her own bag of take-out (and two sodas, aww). Lyla is not impressed to find her half-naked boyfriend on the couch with his ex/Lyla’s former nemesis. “Where are your pants?” Lyla asks. “My pants? They’re… they’re right over there,” Tim says, pointing at the kitchen. “It was hot.” That’s what SHE said! Ahem. Seriously, Kitsch delivers these lines so sincerely, you can’t help but laugh. Lyla offers him a cheeseburger, and tells him that she feels bad. Tim says that was very sweet of her. Mindy and Billy emerge from the romper room of lust, still pulling their clothes on. My god, it really is a Playgirl Mansion. “Ya DONE?” Tyra snarks, getting off the couch. HA! Mindy and Tyra haul ass, Mindy saying “That’s a good look for you, Tim” as she goes, while Billy buttons his pants, and I feel dirty just typing that. Tim and Lyla raise their eyebrows at each other, half “At least we’re classier than that” and half “I just got a great idea”. I really love that these two are no longer so over-reactive; they’ve settled into a nice relationship. Well done, writers and improvising actors!

Landry’s car, which Matt is STILL driving. He passes Applebee’s, sees Julie walking out to the parking lot, and makes an immediate U-turn. Aww, Matty. He offers her a ride, and soon they’re toodling down the road. He tells her that he went to see his Mom, and that he’s officially emancipated. “That’s kinda hot,” Julie says, asking if he gets to drink and vote and rent cars. “No, I get to take care of old people,” Matt says. Heee. suddenly insists that Matt STOP THE CAR so she can show him Her Perfect Car, which she’s going to buy as soon as she saves up enough money. Matt snarks that it’s a Celica, but Julie’s love knows no bounds. “Maybe if you’re really nice to me, I’ll give you a ride to school,” she teases. He grins at her, and she smiles at him, and she brushes some hair out of her eyes, and he scuffs the ground with his shoes, and EEE THEY’RE SO CUTE! I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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