It’s Christmas time in Texas, and I’m ready to break out the Miss-letoe, which is my clumsy way of saying all the things I’m going to miss about the show. I’ll try to recap, folks, but there’s gonna be a whole lot of me talking about what I’ll miss about this show. Feel free to tell me more things in the comments below. And to mock me for the four times I cried during this episode (which I will detail below).
Just a quick warning: I’m going to jump around a lot. I don’t think you read these recaps for a coherent plot summary, but if you do … apologies.
State’s coming up for the Lions, but all the press wants to talk about is the super team, and this makes the team and coaches angry (if you’re Tinker), silent (if you’re Hastings), delusional (if you’re Billy), and annoyed (if you’re Coach Taylor). And just like the idea of the super team is hanging over the State plans, Tami’s job offer is hanging over Eric and Tami’s relationship. But who’s there to break the tension? Matt Saracen!
I’ll miss how nervous Matt is around Coach and Coach’s delight in intimidating him. It should get old but it never does. And look who else is back? It’s Landry! I’ll miss Matt & Landry’s scenes together. It always feels like they just filmed two friends talking and edited into the show.
Matt proposes to Julie in front of the Alamo Freeze, which is a lovely callback, with his grandmother’s ring. You’re too young! Oh wait, you disappear after next week, so do what you want with your lives. Matt didn’t bother asking Coach’s permission. Bad move, Matt. I asked my in-laws’ permission first, and neither of them glower like Coach Taylor. Once he does ask, Coach says not until the sun burns out. Which is problematic.
Eric and Tami (who’s also not on board with this proposal) take Julie and Matt out to the most uncomfortable dinner in a while, one that really exposes Eric’s hypocrisy on the issue of compromise in a marriage. Julie reminds Eric & Tami of what we all know, that they’re the greatest. I’ll miss seeing a really believable, wonderfully loving married couple on TV. Tami speaks the truth: it’s her turn.
But the next day she concedes, because she knows she’s never winning this fight. And then Eric remembers who he really is, and says to Tami, “Will you take me to Philadelphia with you, please?” (This, by the way, was just a little bit of a lump in my throat moment, not full-on tears.) It’s the right choice, and it’s great to see Eric come around.
In the Vince storyline: Vince wants his dad to have a ticket to State, but Ornette is nowhere to be found. Vince goes to visit him at a bar, but Ornette evidently has shit to do (more “man stuff” from a few weeks ago?) and won’t take the ticket. Eric, to his credit, visits Ornette in the bar and gives him the ticket to State. Eric’s the father figure, sure, but he knows Ornette is the actual father. (Vince’s “You changed my life, Coach,” another lump in the throat moment) Ornette does show up at State. It’s not a tearful reconciliation, everything’s not all fixed, but things are a little better. It’s a nicely realistic end to this storyline.
In the Tim storyline: Tim takes Stevie with him to practice, and lectures him on boosters and cheerleaders. There are few things more awesome than Coach introducing himself to Stevie. I’ll miss his sense of humor (see also his line reading on: “Thank you, Santa Claus”). Becky and Tim make up, and Tim’s had a positive impact on someone, believe it or not.
Speaking of Becky, her mom is finally coming home, and Mindy is upset because she’s losing her friend. I’ll miss how this show has been able to elevate supporting characters into leads and having someone like Mindy break my heart over and over again this season. What a performance! She and Billy are my season MVPs. I didn’t expect Becky & Mindy to be the first people to make me cry in this episode. Stacey Oristano, you are fantastic!
In more Becky news, Luke apologizes, old-school style, with roses and a teddy bear. And, boom, another condom reference (this time from Becky’s mom, whom I just saw at age 14 or 15 in a Twin Peaks episode, which was super weird)! I don’t always love the way this show lionizes teenage romances, as if they are the best things ever, but it’s nice to see these two back together. And I’m glad they didn’t go that way with Tyra & Tim.
Jess wants to go to the super team with Coach, but now she’s just going to Dallas. I’ll miss her performance. She hasn’t gotten as flashy of storylines as the rest of the new characters, but she’s been nothing but honest with every choice she’s made. And when the Coach offers her a chance to keep shadowing a coach in Dallas, that’s the second time for tears.
I’ll miss Grandma Saracen. She’s just been lovely. When she kissed that ring on Julie’s finger, that was number 3 (but may have been a holdover from #2). I may have seen Grandma Saracen’s veil in pictures of the royal wedding.
The football game is, to be really artsy here, just poetry, and it reminds me why I love the game so much. How much love? Well the last play of the game, that’s the fourth time I cried (and had trouble stopping until the credits.) It’s a long pass, a final hail Mary for Vince and the Lions to win the game. And then it effortlessly transforms into just another pass at a football practice in Philadelphia.
So what happens to our friends from Dillon?
- Coach & Tami are happy in Philadelphia.
- Vince got his ring!
- Buddy Jr. & Tinker are part of the super team.
- Billy still has a coaching gig.
- Luke joins the army and kisses Becky goodbye, giving her his ring.
- Matt & Julie live together in Chicago.
- Jess is an assistant coach.
- Tim is building his house with Billy.
- Buddy puts up a tribute to Coach Taylor in the Dillon locker room.
The Lions win State, and we say goodbye to a show that I will really miss, but I’m so happy DirecTV and NBC found a way to keep it on the air for five seasons. A few last things before we part.
- Matt, Tyra & Landry have taught me that when people leave Dillon, their hair gets darker.
- Tim says, “I may or not be going to Alaska.” Dear everyone, stop using “may or may not.” I may or may not be flying into the sun tomorrow while wearing the Hope Diamond around my neck. It’s meaningless. (I have to bury myself in grammar to get over my sadness)
- Wait, the Taylors should assume Julie is going to make the right decision regarding college? Based on what evidence, Jules?
- Tyra wants to go into politics? I’d totally vote for Tyra!
Come on, you guys. Friday Night Lights isn’t over until we stop talking about it, so let’s not keep chatting about it in the comments below! It’ll give me something to do until the premiere of my next recapping job: The WB reality show H8R. That’s a lateral move for me, right?
Seriously, though, thanks for making my first recapping experience for Off-Color TV such a good one. And tell me what you’ll miss about FNL below. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.