Matt and Julie are playing Scrabble and joking around on the Taylors' back patio. Matt is surprised there's a gay bar in Dillon and Julie clarifies that it is outside of Dillon. Julie points out that "Mr. Matthew, Z-A is not a word!" Matt tries to claim that it is vernacular for "pizza" and then wants to know what she's going to do in a gay bar. She says she'll dance and, you know, make out with some chicks. Matt busts into a huge grin and says that he KNEW she wanted to experiment! She tells him she's just going to support Devin and he mentions that he's going hunting with Riggins this weekend. Julie is taken aback and asks him why he's doing that-- going to "shoot some poor, defenseless animals." Matt stutters, "well, uh, to eat" but Julie's on a roll, getting shriller the more self-righteous she gets: "You are so much better than that! It's disgusting!" and so on. Matt jumps back in and tells her to "Hold on. Hold. The. Phone." which makes me want to put him in my pocket next to Devin. He says that he lives in Dillon and people who live in Dillon go hunting and shoot animals. Julie points out that she lives in Dillon and she doesn't go hunting and Matt mutters, "Well you won't live in Dillon for long." Julie gets quiet and then asks if this is about her college applications, and Matt tells her it's not, it's not even about her: "Why do you think everything's about you?" And there you have a perfectly rendered downward argumentative spiral between two youngsters. The teasing and joking so quickly turns into hurting. Effing teens.
Tim leans over with his hands on his knees surrounded by polyester pageant gowns. And that is one of my favorite sentences I have ever written. Becky flips through the racks, "No, no, no, no." She thinks all of it "says runner up." Tim tells her that he's sure her mom wanted to be there for this, but Becky snarks that she probably picked up some guy. Tim tells her to go easy on her mom but Becky snaps that every time something important comes up her mom isn't there. Tim tries to pause her tirade by saying "Hey, look, this one's pretty!" She looks at the dress and asks "You think that's pretty?" and then "Is that a portrait neckline?" Tim inquiringly says "Yes?" and she slumps off to the couch in the middle of the shop saying that this is a dumb idea, he doesn't know what he's talking about. Tim insists that they're staying: "What's that saying? The dress finds you?" His hair is raked back from his forehead, probably blown back by the force of her raging hormones. He sits down next to her on the couch and quietly says he's going to tell her a secret. Pause. "My mother never took me shopping for a pageant gown. And because of that, I never placed at Miss Texas. That's why I got into football." She starts to smile, and he puts his arm around her. He is so clearly in Dad/older brother mode with her-- but she is so clearly kind of confusedly romantically attracted by this mode.
Landry pulls up in front of Jess's dad's barbeque place to pick up the girls, who look hot. Three African-American girls get in the backseat, one of them remarking, "Y'all, look at his shirt!" They ask what music is playing and he tries to sell them on this local band called Crucifictorius. Jess pops into the front seat, looking really pretty, which Landry remarks. With little ado, she switches the radio station to hip-hop and one of the girls in the backseat reaches toward Landry's head telling the others to "Feel his hair! It's like grass!" And right there-- in twenty seconds-- you just got enough fodder to fuel an entire race studies textbook. What is so fantastic here is that young people really can be flexible and moldable. Their parents might not be able to hang out with each other and even try to explain such a fact in neutral terms like "We just like different things" but kids-- you just throw them together-- and they're like-- "DUDE your hair is weird!" Or, "white boys are so weird how they try to be 'indie' like that." And it isn't all overdetermined, but rather just like finding out about each other. And other shows often do this so poorly, like how on Glee last night, Quinn and Mercedes found out that being a pregnant teen is just like being black (or overweight, the analogy was totally unclear), which is like "NO, it's not the same." This FNL scene is so great because it isn't striving to make some Oscar-bait racially sensitive bullshit "We're all the same underneath" point, but rather just showing how kids act when they get thrown together.