Coach cuddles up with a stuffed bear behind his head on the couch, sleepily telling Tami that he meant to get back up and help with the dishes but he got stuck to the couch. Oh no, mister. If she did the cooking, you do the cleaning! Isn't that, like the third commandment or something? How else do relationships last? This is probably why Al and Tipper have broken up!! Anyhow, Tami comes over and they get cozy on the couch together loving on each other and basking in the success of their near-miss of a dinner party. Coach sweetly tells Tami that she is good at what she does, "You wear a lot of hats," which is something she probably needs to hear about now. The phone rings and Coach picks it up with the always worrisome immediate "Yes, sir?"
Cut to the police station where an officer tells Coach that "the white kid" can go because he doesn't have a record, but "the black kid" is going to juvie. Coach is like "His name is Vince" and tells the officer that he'll vouch for Vince being a good kid, albeit one prone to mistakes. The officer says that Vince has used up his mistakes but lets Coach in to go talk with them. Coach enters the room to the boys both talking about how they can explain. Coach tells them to "Shhhh. Just listen." And then he tells the boys that they are at a crossroads. Luke is going to admit that everything is his fault-- Luke starts to protest but Coach immediately shuts him up. Then he tells Vince that he is going to cut the tough guy crap. They are both going to say exactly what Coach tells them to, and they are going to fix this. American pragmatism at work! Work with what you've got, not with moral absolutes! I can get behind that shit.
Cut to the boys in the back of Coach's SUV. Coach pulls over in some desolate industrial part of town and tells the kids that they get one chance in life. "You either take advantage of it, or you piss it away. You do the latter and you're going to regret it the rest of your lives. Get out. Get out of the car." They obey and he pulls off. The boys are like "Uh, okay" and start wandering. Luke turns Vince around to go the right direction; they walk next to each other, staring straight ahead. Vince simply says "Thanks" to Luke and then hands him his wallet.
Commercials. Jess and her three little brothers leave the house, Jess encouraging the boys to "Go, go!" as they take off down the road. They run down to the restaurant, where they are greeted by their father holding out their lunches for the day. Barbeque for lunch every day?! I would think I'd died and gone to heaven. Jess and her dad talk logistics about getting the boys to and from Pop Warner. Her dad shoos her off, but Jess tells her father that she overheard Coach Taylor talking to him the other day. Her dad tells her this is none of her business, but she reminds him that she loves football, all the boys love football, Darius loves it so much that he throws up from nerves before his games. Uh, okay. She tells him that it's fine that it's not her father's thing anymore, but that it's still "in us." He doesn't want to hear it, but all she is asking is if they can hold the pep rally there at the restaurant. He tells her to go on to school and she "Yes, sirs" him with disappointment.
Tim and Matt are hunting, apparently in my tiny backyard in Brooklyn. The setting is really not screaming "wilderness" to me. Tim is whispering and talking about light feet and Matt excitedly asking what he thinks they're going to get when Matt drops to his knees and fires two shots. Tim yells at him to stop and scream-asks what it was. Matt gets up and stutters that he doesn't know what he was shooting at and Tim grabs the gun away from him: "No gun! No gun!"
Tami is driving, listening to football radio again, where Slammin' Sammy declares the show the "Slammin' Tami" show today. Lots of callers complaining and calling for her resignation. She pulls the car over and starts yelling at the radio, "C'mon y'all! I just did what was right! I'm sorry I ruined football for everybody!" She gets out of the car and stalks off with purpose, with quite a scowl on her face. Damn, though, if she could see the BODY that her hair has as it bounces up and down while she walks, she probably wouldn't be scowling so hard. The camera pulls away and shows that she's stopped at Lamme's Candies shop and we hear, in voiceover, Tami saying that she needs some chocolate. I guess I can't begrudge her a brief Cathy moment.
Landry approaches Jess at her locker and asks if he's her boyfriend, because Vince told Landry that Jess said....oh, you know the drill. She says she only told Vince that she had a boyfriend, not that it was Landry. So, that's all settled. And here is the perfect place to use that old phrase: "Not."
Matt and Tim are shooting the shit around the campfire. Tim tells Matt what college was like: "7 a.m. mandatory wake-ups. Then these fantastic one-on-ones with a robotic coach who tells you what you're doing wrong every single day. Nothing like Coach Taylor." Aw. But then he goes on to talk about how it was boring and he had a curfew every night. Dude, was this college, or was this a work camp? I suddenly feel as if my college experience was rather... carefree in comparison. I guess the hard work is being done by... the football players? Matt asks Tim if he misses Lyla and Tim tries to cover by saying he thinks they had different paths. Matt translates: "So that means yeah?" Tim: "Yep." Matt says for himself, Dillon isn't as bad as he thought it would be, he's spending time with his grandmothers, he's making more money delivering pizzas than he used to at the Alamo Freeze. Tim says "So basically you stayed in Dillon because of Jules?" and Matt confesses that's true, and now that she's applying to colleges -- which he knew would happen but didn't realize that every place she'd apply would be on the other side of the country. And now he's been getting mad at her for no reason, like he resents her, but she never asked him to stay, he made that decision. Oof, you guys. And if this glimpse into young adulthood isn't terrifying and heartwrenching enough, Matt brings it home by raising his beer to Tim: "Well. Texas forever, right?" God, there are just so many dreams in the world waiting to be crushed.
Commercials. Coach, Tami, and Grace, bedecked in red, get out of the car, Coach exposit-wondering why "he changed his mind." Tami thinks it's going to be a great pep rally, and they all walk over to Ray's Barb B-Q where lots of Lions players and families and fans are milling about listening to a band play, watching the dance team -- which Jess is on-- and just generally hanging out in that positive community way all us big city folks envy. Landry watches Jess dance longingly. Julie approaches Traub and says "Hey!" He greets her warmly and wonders where her brisket is. She tells him she doesn't eat meat, and then says that she just wanted to tell him that she isn't going to tell anybody about the other night. And he looks her straight in the eyes and says "Tell anybody what?" Julie is speechless for a moment until her father gets on the mike and introduces the state champion Lions old-timers, who march in wearing their old jerseys to lots of applause while Virgil looks on from the back of the crowd. Deacon leads them all in a prayer, in which he talks about how a group of Lions is a pride and they stand there before God as his pride, and they all need pride, and what do we have here? What do we have here? PRIDE! Everyone shouts. And somehow the prayer turned into a chant, which is actually one of the scarier possibilities with how prayer might work; that it turns from a personal conversation into a militaristic mob-type thing. Oh well. The scene is sweet, though, of course, because these are all relatively decent people, which is how I like to think of the world.
Landry helps Jess clean up later in the kitchen. She's fussing around when he just approaches her, grabs the side of her head and kisses her. Like really kisses her. Then he says "We're not dating right?" and she, dazed and confused, agrees, "Definitely... not." He walks out, leaving her wanting more. Landry Clark! You devil! You've learned how to get with the ladies! Meanwhile, Jose Gonzalez's cover of that Massive Attack song "Teardrop" has started in the background, and I nearly instinctively get into protective fetal position. Something about melodic guitar-picking and the last two minutes of the show make me think something absolutely devastating this way comes.
We cut to Tim and Matt driving home at twilight, Matt looking pensively out the window, probably -- if he is anything like I was as a teen -- imagining that his life is set to a Jose Gonzalez song. Then cut to Grandma Saracen and Matt's mom Shelby in Grandma's house. Shel