There are few stranger sights on TV than Coach Eric Taylor in the red of the East Dillon Lions. But that's what we saw on the season four premiere, which set the stage for what looks to be another amazing Friday Night Lights season.
We'll recap it below, character by character:
- Eric is the coach at East Dillon, whose facilities are terrible and who hasn't field a football team in years.
- Tami is the principal at the newly named West Dillion, which is awkward, seeing how J.D. McCoy's father and the boosters forced her husband out of his job. When the team asks her to call the coin toss as the ceremonial captain, she at least proves that she won't be used as a pawn: she tells the refs that the Panthers want to be on offense, which is the opposite of what Coach Aikman had said.
- Julie starts the episode as a student at West Dillion, but then volunteers to go to East to help out the family. The town's residents are angry over the forced re-districting, so this was a great act by Julie to show Tami isn't playing favorites.
- Plus, she can hang out with Landry, who attends West. It was cool to see him as a respected veteran on the West Dillion Lions, seeing as he's playing for Coach Taylor before.
- Things aren't going as well for Saracen, who isn't getting respect for his art at Dillon Tech and who gets constantly heckled by J.D. for being a pizza delivery boy. J.D. has turned into your basic ass of a pompous jock,
- Buddy, meanwhile, can't stand the new situation with the Panthers. He's totally overshadowed by Mr. McCoy.
- Riggins drops out of college, but has no idea what to do with himself at home. Billy says there's no room for him, with a baby on the way and all. In typical Riggins style, he at least goes home with some townie/bartender, whose cute daughter is well aware of her mom's promiscuity and who is a student at West Dillion. We'll be seeing more of her.
The episode concludes with the contrast between East and West: the Panthers kick off in front of a raucous crowd; while West Dillion is down 45-0 at halftime. The lone bright spot for West is Vince, a student that's been in trouble with the law, but who you can tell wants the discipline and pride that comes along with being on a football team.
Unfortunately, Eric must forfeit for his squad at halftime because they only have 18 players - he screamed during the week that anyone who didn't want to play should leave; and many did - and they're too banged up to go back on the field.
What a GREAT season premiere.