Friday Night Lights
Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: B | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
The Great and Noble Men of Dillon Panther Football

Tim tells her that he "likes the kid. He may be awkward and weird, but he's a good kid. You bein' a pacifist is fine, but him being a pacifist in the fourth grade? All that means is 'a punchin' bag.'" Catch that? Little Sandy Duncan is nine. What kind of toxic dump did he grow up in to stunt his growth like that? Oh, right. Hollywood.

Little Sandy Duncan comes out with the soda, and then awkwardly invites Tim over to watch Back to the Future "for the thousandth time." Tim agrees, and Bo raises his arm in whisper-shouted celebration, "Yesssss!" Taylor Kitsch ad-libs back at him, two thumbs up, "All right!" and little Sandy Duncan comes back with a fist pump. Then I die.

At the Taylors', Coach is in the kitchen while Julie and Tyra study and Tami does work at the kitchen table. Coach jokes to Tyra that she's about to experience "award-winning chili." Tami and he go back and forth over what kind of award, exactly, this chili was awarded. Tyra looks on, totally amused, and happy to be part of this functional kind of family silliness. Coach talks over his nattering wife, pointing a spatula at Tyra: "You like your chili spicy, lady? You like your chili spicy?" Tyra laughs and says yes, and just then Angela wanders into the house in a Valium haze. She says that she knocked, and Tami assures her that their doorbell's been broken for years and that people just come in all the time. It's all high-spirits and good times as the Taylors invite Angela to stay for chili. She says they can't, and Tyra pleads, "Of course we can, Mom," and then Angela responds that she's got something at home: "I cook three meals a day for my children just like regular people." Heh. Tami and Coach realize what's happening, their faces a bit crestfallen.

Outside, Angela drags Tyra out of the Taylor house and into the car while Tyra complains. Angela wants to know what Tyra is doing with "those people," and Tyra retorts, "Learnin' somethin', maybe?" I really like seeing the obverse of Julie's naive attraction to Tyra's ramshackle family. This is yet another nicely-executed exploration of a real part of teen life that rarely gets anything on television other than the ham-fisted "my parents are embarrassing" or "her parents are the coolest" treatment. Angela tells Tyra that Tami is filling her head with all these things that can't possibly come to fruition. Although Angela does not use the word "fruition." She asks Tyra if she knows how much a semester at Texas Tech costs, and then declares it too expensive, that they'll never afford it, so she isn't going to college. (We'll bracket the issue of how, on television, loans never seem to be an option. Though I guess a discussion of interest rates doesn't really lend itself to dramatic mother-daughter fights). Angela says that Tami filling Tyra's head with stuff "is not nice." Meanwhile, throughout all this, Adrianne Palicki is registering Tyra's five million degrees of disappointment in her face so nicely, how Tyra must feel trapped and foreclosed, all at seventeen.

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Friday Night Lights

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