Whoa. I think I have PTSD from this episode. Everyone was acting so good and sweet, but their goodness and sweetness only counts for so much in the face of the world's extreme shit-it-tude, and then plus I don't know if you noticed but COACH CRIED. And when he did, he turned his back on us, just like that one, single time when my dad cried in front of me. Seriously: PTSD.
The Lions felt betrayed by Coach's decision to forfeit the game, so they all stopped showing up to practice. Coach tries appealing to Landry: no dice. He tries tracking down Vince at home: no dice (plus bonus depressing junkie mom discovery! ) He tries imploring Vince on the basketball courts: no dice. So he takes all that lack of dice and does some Coach Taylor-style gambling with it: he calls a special Saturday night practice and hopes the kids would show. When they do come shambling out to their shambles of a field, Coach has some inspirational words for them: he apologizes for not letting them finish what they started and he promises them that if they were willing, they could all start again. He starts a bonfire and has them throw their old jerseys in it, hoping something resembling a team will rise from the ashes.
Part of this Phoenix-like team is going to be Luke, one of the new stars of the Panthers, who is discovered to be illegally enrolled at West Dillon. Buddy feeds this info to Coach, who passes it along to Tami, who takes on Joe McCoy and the boosters on the issue. She informs them that Luke legally must attend East Dillon; Joe threatens her something fierce (something about how the illegal enrollment thing is a longstanding tradition with the Panthers, and some of her husband's State championships might be retroactively at risk should Joe do some digging into the issue), but Tami stands her ground in a variety of awesome ways. Joe doesn't miss a chance to get her where it really hurts: riling up the student body so that they boo Tami at the pep rally. It's really heartbreaking to watch. But let's not forget to say a couple of words about this Luke who everyone is pulling this way and that. Those couple of words will be: freaking adorable. Seriously.
Tim is still homeless since Billy kicked him out, but he finds a temporary place staying in the hipstery trailer in the backyard of the mom he slept with last week. Conveniently enough, her Not Tyra daughter hangs around out back wearing skimpy nighties. And Matt scored an "internship" with a crazy local artist who, it appears, "works in metal" (not electronics) and does so in his underwear. He's a hard nut to crack, but Matt finally gets him to open up and tell him that he thinks Matt's art pretty much sucks.
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We open on a painterly horizon shot. It's early morning, the sky is pastel, everything is stretched and horizontal. Tim Riggins is asleep in the back of his truck parked out here in the middle of nowhere when a policeman comes by and rouses him. He tells him he can't park like this on private property, and then realizes, "Hey! Aren't you Tim Riggins?" But the name has no real currency any longer and Tim is told to move along.
Coach Taylor wakes with a start in a sunwashed bedroom, ceiling fan spinning above him, seemingly remembers what happened last night, and falls back onto his pillow for a minute. He comes out into the kitchen, where Julie and Matt entertain Gracie Bell. Coach greets them gruffly and pours himself some coffee, which Julie brightly informs him that they made. Coach wonders whether the newspaper's been brought in, and Matt springs up to go get it for him. Coach: "I'll git it!" Matt: continues to go for the paper mumbling about being happy to go get it. Coach: "I'll git it!" Matt: more mumbling and shuffling. Coach: "I'LL GIT MY OWN NEWSPAPER." Matt, finally: "Yes, sir." Coach, a bit abashed by the outburst, thanks them for the coffee and heads outside... to find Tami in the front yard gathering all the homemade staked white flags reading things like "Quitter" that are standing in the front yard. She trills good morning at him, and then tells him to just "go on," she'll take care of it. I wonder who exactly put the signs there -- the 20 people in the stands at the Lions game? Last week, it didn't seem like there was that much grassroots interest in the football team by East Dillon folks, i.e. they didn't seem to realize there was a football team.
Over in the Panther locker room, the boys and coaches go over game tape from the previous night. They whoop and holler, reliving their apparently awesome win. Wade and Joe McCoy shake their hands and marvel over the combo of J.D. and running back Luke. They can smell state.
The scene is much less convivial in the Lions locker room, not only because they got their asses kicked so decisively, but because none of the players have even showed up to required Saturday morning practice. Coach and Staub sit and watch the depressing game tape, Coach is pissed because the players know they're supposed to be there. No Name Former Panther Coach comes in and says that he's looked everywhere and there's no players anywhere around East Dillon. Coach leaves and gets into his truck when Buddy pulls up beside him. Buddy! He'd been lurking around a few scenes last week, obviously unhappy with the way Joe and Wade are running the Panthers like their own personal plantation. And now here he is! Seeming so familiar and comfortable to me! Calling Coach "friend!" Coach tells him he doesn't have time right now, but Buddy insists that he has something important to show him. Cut to Coach and Buddy standing around an empty lot, Buddy telling Coach that they are standing right at the address that's on the books for the Panther's star running back Luke Cafferty. Coach wonders where Luke really lives, and Buddy delivers the news: "East Dillon. He's supposed to be yours."