Coach Taylor's gamble at having Matt and J.D. quarterback together pays off for him (Panthers win) and for J.D. (a few spectacular passes), but not so much for Matt (ultimately demoted to QB2). Much slumping of shoulders ensues. And then some thrashing and lashing out in the locker room, and an attempt to quit the team. Coach won't let Matt quit, but Matt has the last word, telling Coach that fine, he'll sit on the bench and go to practice and hate it. And, perhaps more importantly, Coach will hate it, too, watching him there on that bench. "Great talk, Coach" he says as he brushes by.
Jason Street is back! With a baby! And a baby mama! And a totally wacky storyline where he, Billy, and Tim Riggins try to buy Buddy Garrity's house (using the copper wire cash) so that they can flip it and make some quick money, which Jason needs to help support the baby and that girl who's the baby's mother but whose name I can't remember because after all, she was a one night stand. Oh. Erin. It's Erin. And then, just as we finally remember her name, Erin tells the new homeowner Jason that she's packing up and moving back in with her parents back east.
Tyra's getting in deeper with Cash, who Tami doesn't like the looks of. When Cash takes her to see a newborn baby horse, Tyra goes weak in the knees because she presumably doesn't spend all day on the internet looking at pictures of baby animals like I do. Tyra makes a point of telling Tami that she's wrong about Cash; but clearly, this drifter cowboy pill popper is exactly what Tami has pinpointed him as, and Tyra's just having trouble seeing clearly with her hair all beautiful and sleek in her eyes these days.
Julie gets a tattoo on her ankle and sends her parents into a tail spin of anxiety over boys, parties, drugs, and possibly more tattoos (maybe even a tramp stamp, even, gasp!). But Julie is able to reassure her mom that the tattoo really doesn't mean anything-- it is of a rose in a heart, after all.
Game night, in medias res. Slammin' Sammy voice overs that Coach Taylor's wacky plan to switch quarterbacking between J.D. and Matt is a disaster. We watch as the team is in complete chaos as Matt and J.D. run on and off the field. The Panthers are racking up delay of game penalties, unable to cohere without a single quarterback's leadership. The opposing team gets a touchdown, and Slammin' Sammy reminds us that with the lost game to Arnet Mead, if the Panthers lose tonight, their season is pretty much over. On the sidelines, Coach pulls Matt and J.D. over and tells them to both stay calm and composed, that the other team is getting confused and they're going to win this. J.D. heads back out to the field, and a strident rap-rock song plays as he makes a beautiful pass. They're back on! J.D. makes another insanely beautiful however-many-yard pass for a touchdown, and his father in the stands makes his O face. Ugh. Slammin' Sammy voice overs that Matt Saracen has been hanging tough, but J.D. is "on fuego" tonight. The opposing team responds with a touchdown, and the Panthers huddle up on the sidelines. Even though it's Matt's "turn" on the field, Coach, all-business and all-excited, tells J.D. he's going back in. Matt's face goes stunned behind his mask, and the Panthers head out, with only about thirty seconds on the clock and in need of another touchdown. Slammin' Sammy narrates that it looks like the "torch has been passed" when he sees J.D. coming back out on the field. J.D. methodically brings them down the field, one pass, then another, to a first down and a stopped clock. Coach grabs Matt and gives him the play to run, and sends him back out on the field for the final play. The opposing team is all confused by this sudden switch, and they scramble to try to sub for a Saracen defense. The ball is snapped, and Matt runs that favorite play of his -- fakes the handoff -- so that everyone thinks Tim Riggins has the ball, when really Matt does. Matt runs across the field, unnoticed by everyone else, and into the endzone for the touchdown. Panthers win. Panthers win. The crowd rushes the field, and J.D. (after telling Matt "good game") is in the center of the celebration, while Matt slinks off away from all the others. It's too heartbreaking that everyone notices when Matt loses a game, but nobody notices when he wins the game for them.
Credits. Taylor household, everyone buzzing around making dinner. Tami prattles a bit, giving the scene a "mom soundtrack", and then asks Julie in passing, "What is that mess on your leg?" Camera pans down and we see a heart tattooed on her ankle. Julie, fixing the dinner salad, just says "It's a tattoo" and Tami is like "Oh, like a lick 'n' stick tattoo?" and Julie mutters that it's, like, a real tattoo, that lick 'n' stick ones were, like, modeled after? Tami and Coach both sort of pause, not sure they just heard what they heard, and they both kind of orbit over toward her. Tami: "What? What did you just say?" and then it's on. We get a better look at the tattoo -- a kind of glittery lavender heart with a rose in the center -- and we all laugh and laugh at that choice. The Taylors are not at the "laugh about it later" stage yet and they hit the roof. Tami screeches about how Julie has permanently marred her body, her beautiful, beautiful body, her skin is RUINED. Julie is like "Tyra said you guys would freak out" and Tami wants to know what Tyra has to do with anything. I want to know, too, because we haven't seen those two hang out together in like a year and a half. Julie gets super smart-assy with her mom, and screams about how it's just a tiny tattoo, and they're acting like she got a huge dancing Popeye tattooed on her bi-cep. Coach shouts at her to not be a smart-ass, and she just screeches about how "it's done, it's over, it's too late" and storms back to her room.