Coach Taylor! Man of the Year! Of the Decade! Of the Universe! Put him in an astronaut helmet and send him into space to make piece with alien species! Coach Taylor! Healer of Interspecies Warfare!! This episode is one big huge sloppy love letter to Coach Taylor and I, for one, am not complaining. Also? Tim Riggins gets out of jail, allowing him to at least run a little dry shampoo through his greasy locks.
Coach gets an offer from Shane State and he and Tami seriously consider taking it, as it seems to come with a house and a pool. The town is abuzz with rumors about this offer, and everyone quickly whips out their poster board and sparkle pens to create signs asking Coach not to leave. Valid strategy, I think. Buddy gets Levi to turn the yearly athletic banquet into a tribute to Coach Taylor, and so we get to hear all the boys offer a few words about why Coach Taylor is the best. Tami and Eric realize why they're doing this, but are touched nonetheless. Eric is most touched when Vince -- whose offer from OT has predictably disappeared but whose father keeps pursuing shady deals with ever shadier institutions -- comes to him and tells him that Eric changed his life. When Coach gets interviewed before their final away game, he decides to announce to everyone that he is not leaving Dillon, and Tami takes this all pretty damn serenely for someone whose partner did not consult them before making a major life decision. But, anyway!
(Okay, okay, there are some seeds being planted that Tami is coming to the attention of the larger Texas secondary educational community, so hopefully she'll get some great promotion/new job soon because she's nobody's wilting, passive wife).
Also needing the support of a community is Tim Riggins, who is up for parole. Billy fudges and fumbles (his job not made any easier by Tim's clear anger at and disdain for his brother), but manages to get both Coach and Buddy Garrity in the room to say their piece about Tim. Tim tears up as he listens to these men talk about his character. We end the episode with Becky coming home to The Playgirl Ranch to find Tim there; annoyingly, sparks still fly.
The sparks will be problematic for Becky and Luke, who had been getting closer and closer. Luke, finally realizing that he's not going to get a football scholarship to college is challenged by Tami Taylor to identify what he really loves and is good at. He realizes that it's farming, even though he spent his whole life wishing to get away from his parents and the farm. And I say, good on him. Pay the dysfunction forward, son. Make your children unhappy in all the same ways you were. It's the way of the world! He goes so far as to ask Becky if she could imagine living her life on a farm, and she says yes and then we all have to remember how Becky and Tim got all kissy kissy looking over his land that he bought with his hard-earned chop shop money. Barf.
Coach Taylor is meeting with the guy at Shane State that's trying to hire him as head coach for their newly Division I football team. Please note Eric's hair in this scene: totally tamped down interview hair! The Shane State guy thinks that Coach Taylor has an impressive narrative and don't we just all agree, hmmm Emmy people? He hands Eric a folder with their offer in it. Cut over to Buddy Garrity and Principal Levi in Levi's sad public high school office. Buddy is wearing a tremendous fish-print Hawaiian shirt and moaning over a box of oranges. "This is bad" he says, "This is bad." Levi tells "Mr. Garrity" that he doesn't have time for this, but Buddy cuts him off, "It's Buddy, Levi. Buddy." He tells Levi that this box of oranges marks the end of the East Dillon Lions led by Eric Taylor, and that the oranges mean two things: 1) year round sunshine and 2) college funding. Levi oddly puts on his reading glasses to take a closer look at the enormous box of oranges. Like, they aren't clementines, Levi. Buddy tells him that they "have a fight on our hands." Levi, no nonsense as always, asks him, "You got all this from a crate of oranges?"
Billy Riggins meets with his lawyer about Tim coming up for parole. The lawyer informs Billy that he needs to round up some character witnesses, then hands him a parole package to study. Which, oh dear, Billy Riggins studying? I think he needs some of those Principal Levi glasses. Billy feels confident that he can stand up and give a speech on behalf of Tim. The lawyer is like, great, but, uh, also don't forget to get actually articulate people to come say something on behalf of him as well.
Ornette and Vince mess around playing basketball and trash talking each other and the whole thing is really sweet. Ornette's phone rings and he runs to his bag to get it, getting Vince excited when he tells him that its Oklahoma Tech calling. Vince's smile goes wide as he hears his father answer the phone...but the smile barometer responds accordingly to Ornette's increasingly unhappy mien as he continues talking. "Hold on, you joking right? You kidding me? What the hell was the visit for then, huh?" He impotently "slams" his cell phone closed and tells Vince the bad news. They gave an offer to the other kid, the lefty. "I thought you said we had it in the bag, Pop!" Vince cries out as Ornette chucks his phone and storms off.
Credits. The camera drives around town as Slammin' Sammy exposits that there are rumors floating around town that Coach Taylor is considering leaving East Dillon. Tami, in the car, smiles ruefully as she and Gracie pass businesses and homes bearing signs saying "Don't Go!" as they are on their way to the airport to pick Eric up. There's something incredibly verisimilitudinous about how he puts his bag in the backseat and leans over to give Grace a kiss on the head, "Gracie Bell!" he exclaims. Further verisimilitude in the rather bug spattered side windows of the Taylor family car as we peep at them driving along, catching up with one another. Tami asks how the visit was and Coach says he met just about everyone there was to meet and that it is, he supposes, "a pretty solid opportunity."