Friday Night Lights Review: Clear Eyes. Full, Sad Hearts.

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Where to begin to say goodbye to such an incredible series? In "Always," the time came for the lights to go out in Dillon. And you bet your ass I was misty-eyed.

Friday Night Lights has always had incredible writing (minus the season two murder plotline, of course), so it came as no shock that it produced an episode so full of heart, one that allowed us to come full circle in so many ways. The player interviews under the tents mimicked the same scenes in the pilot, except this time it was Vince and not Jason Street. It was a wonderful way to bookend the series and stay true to the story of these people.

Eric and Tami

We got to revisit the Alamo Freeze, the site of so many Dillon memories. But forget the ice cream sundaes with jimmies, Matt Saracen had a serious question for Julie Taylor. The engagement was just so raw and real, no fancy pretenses. My first tears of the episode flew when Matt said it was Grandma Saracen's ring. I mean, who doesn't get emotional about Grandma Saracen?

Tami and Eric continued to argue, with Coach more pissy and tense than usual. Still, it's funny when he gets that way. It was hard not to laugh when he barked at Saracen.

But there are few things more troubling on television that Eric and Tami not getting along. They are too strong of a core duo to be at odds. It was seriously disturbing. 18 years...

When Coach and Tami took Matt and Julie out to dinner to discuss the engagement, the scene became more about the Taylors than the young couple. How can you possibly feel authentic as a role model to your daughter when you're just lying to yourself and fighting with your spouse?

Elsewhere, Tim finally brushed that chip off of his shoulder. Billy is family and family is important. I loved the scene with Tim taking Stevie to practice and teaching him about boosters and rally girls. Texas football is Texas football and Stevie is bound to follow in the Riggins' footsteps. Coach remarked to Tim that he'll always be there if he needed anything and, once again, I'm tearing up about these characters.

Tyra wanted to celebrate with Matt and Julie. Tim cheered to the new Mr. and Mrs. Saracen, prompting a classic with him chugging from a bottle of Jack Daniels. Tyra and Tim may not have been romantic for a few years, but, as Tyra remarked, she's been in love with him since she was five years old. It's not easy to shake something like that and these two have an undeniable chemistry.

It was slightly hard to focus on the newer characters with my old favorites around, but there were definitely some standout scenes: Becky moving out and embracing Mindy. Vince taking care of his mother and the amazing sense of pride she has for her son. There was even a brief appearance of his father at State. We also had Coach telling Vince how proud he is of him and Vince telling Coach he's changed his life. Michael B. Jordan is just phenomenal.

Most importantly, Coach realized that it is Tami's turn. Why should he go back and work for a team that fired him for no reason? As much as he loves his players, he loves his wife more. When he asked Tami to take him to Philly, my heart squeezed a little. Sometimes I think Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton are married in real life.

Maybe some people will think that the most important part of this episode was that the Lions won State. They overcame odds and achieved their dream. But for me, Friday Night Lights has never really been about football. It's been about family, community, and, most of all, heart. Season five delivered the latter in droves.

Flash forward eight months and Vince is now a Panther. Billy is one of his coaches and Buddy's back to putzing around in a golf cart with the boosters. Matt and Julie are living together in Chicago. Becky kisses Luke goodbye as he takes off to serve in the army. Coach and Tami are living their new life in the northeast. And last, but not even close to being least, Tim and Billy Riggins are building Tim's house together, throwing back beers, and watching a perfect pink Dillon sunset. Everyone may have gone their separate ways, but there's one thing we can all agree on: Texas Forever.

Friday Night Lights, thanks for the ride. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose. Always.


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (166 Votes)

Hated to see show end! I have loved the show since the First Episode. I wish it was still on but it ended well! :(


It is disappointing to see shows like Friday Night Lights, Untouchables, and now Men of a Certain Age be cancelled. FNL had the fan base to keep it going with the Direct TV deal and I was glad of that. But the networks in particular flood us with garbage like reality shows because it is cheaper than paying actors and writers. And it seems a shame that America watches such junk. The shows mentioned above are all quality shows with great actors and story lines. Guess it's too much to ask that we get intelligent programming. Wake up network people, it doesn't take idiots or blood and guts to have an Emmy quality show. It takes talented actors, character development and good writing.


The ending was great without it being too cheesy! I don't know why the show had to end. But with all the different story lines that they were trying to bring to a conclusion, you had enough material for at least 2 more seasons. Let's petition for some sort of "spin-off". What do you all say?!! :) :) :)


I loved this show too! The best part of last night's show was that I thought we didn't know if they won the state championship game! Somehow I missed that they won! I just found out today in your review. I think it would have been best not to know and last night I realized that even though I didn't know who won, the show was still the best ever, because it really wasn't about winning or losing; it was about love and friendship and working together and so much more; I will sure miss it!


have loved this show from the beginning. I love football but love the characters in this show even more. Love seeing them doing other movies as well. Makes me so proud. Kyle Chandler has been my boyfriend since I saw him in Pure Country with George Strait. total Emmy deserving show. So sorry to see it end. I think I would also by the series on DVD.


That review was excellent! It's pretty cool that contained in each review, were my words and feelings about this show. I simply loved it. Now all I need to know, is where do I go to buy every season on dvd. Clear eyes...very sad heart right now.


Such an incredible show. Love the characters. Will really miss this show...


What a fitting end for a wonderful show. I just bought Seasons 1,2,3 and 4 with creditcard points and already have Season 5. I never looked ahead to the next episode, such discipline I had. I can enjoy it all over again from the beginning. The story line where you didn't see the final touchdown was just perfect. You had to see the champs rings on their hands to know they won State. Wonderful writers, great acting, Kyle Chandler on down, all of them Emmy worthy.


I loved this show from the very beginning. I always have said that if more people knew that it wasn't just about football, this would have been the most successful tv show in history. The characters, actors, and writers were nothing short of brilliant. As I sat this morning and watched (by myself because I knew I was going to cry uncontrollably) I knew that I was going to lose a little part of me. It's like Im going to miss family..


Best. Show. Ever.

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Friday Night Lights Season 5 Episode 13 Quotes

Coach: You may never know how proud I am of you.
Vince: You changed my life Coach.

Julie Taylor, will you marry me?