Friday Night Lights Season 3 Episode 4 (10/22/08)
Throughout the Smash storyline, and the QB controversy threatening to engulf the Panthers, Coach Eric Taylor showed what kind of man he is.
Coach is not a two-dimensional saint - he has flaws and he does not always make the right decision, but the way he puts himself on the line for these kids is perhaps his finest - and most distinctive - quality.
Eric risks embarrassment (and burning a professional contact) to make sure Smash gets his tryout, and he agonizes more than your average coach would over a potential QB switch, less for football reasons than because Matt Saracen has become like a son to him. Such is life for Coach.
The look on Smash's face when he ended up getting the call from Texas A&M - surprised, grateful, overwhelmed - was one that words cannot sum up. If you're a fan of Friday Night Lights, this scene epitomizes why.
Landry and Tyra's screaming match in the hallway was intense, as was Matt and his possible reconciliation with his mom. These relationship / family issues are full of nuanced and not easily pulled off, but this cast can.
Matt has had one problem piled on top of another, and his mom coming back to help out with Grandma comes at the same time as some bad news (Eric's no doubt tenuous and possibly doomed attempt to split the QB job).
The football situation is unresolved, as is the situation at home - for the moment Matt, Shelby and Grandma are all very much aware that this situation could blow up at any minute, and none of them wants to be hurt when that happens, but they can see the potential benefits if it does work.
Here's hoping it does.
Tyra's relationship with Cash is heating up. Tyra not feeling romantic with Landry but not wanting to give up their friendship, and Landry standing up for himself and explaining to her that it's all-or-nothing - is yet another realistic moment Friday Night Lights creates so perfectly.
And as powerful as it was to see them screaming their lungs out at each other, it was just as brutal to hear Landry's voice drop to barely above a whisper in the later scene where he asked Tyra to leave his garage.
Tami sticks Buddy with a charity auction.
As for JD, it's clear from his conversation with Eric that his father has never allowed him to have much of a life outside of football.
Where does Katie McCoy fit in. Her advice to Tami was spot-on, as proven by the superintendent assuming Tami was getting angry with him when she had barely raised her voice at all. But is she just doing all of this so that her husband can get to Eric through Tami and help JD's prospects?
Mac wouldn't let the other assistant coaches question Eric's QB choice, but once it was just the two of them, he made the push for JD. The nuance about the politics of the coaching staff is very real and cool to see.
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