In the Taylor's driveway, Julie finishes packing the car, while her mother hovers and asks about whether she's forgotten anything, and Coach Taylor hangs around with Hair of Bittersweetness. Julie tells her mother-- both of them bathed in gorgeous golden light-- that she's got everything. And her mother -- knowing that her daughter certainly does NOT have everything but opting, like the perfect mother she is, to let her find that out on her own -- caresses Julie's face and just says "look at you. I love you." Julie tells her mother that she loves her, too, and they hug. Julie tells her that she'll miss her, and then walks over to her father, who embraces her, and if that embrace doesn't make you long for some sort of mythical parental closeness, I don't know what could. Coach pushes an envelope into Julie's hands and says "For emergencies, okay?" and I can't even muster one bit of cynicism to wonder whether a case of forties counts as an emergency. Gracie's been playing in the front side of the car and sort of toddles off as Julie gets in. "Bye, baby girl." Then an excruciating thirty seconds of Julie looking at her parents, leaning on one another, her parents looking at her, all of them trying to wrap their heads around the fact that there won't be any more hectic Tuesday morning breakfasts, with Tami and Coach already working, Julie bitching, everyone sort of just orbiting around one another in those smoothly-worn 18-year-old tracks. Coach and Tami's eyes are filled with tears and Coach mutters "Alright," sort of releasing his daughter, who turns forward and drives. off. Left behind, Tami and Coach embrace and Coach exhales and says "Whoa," and we are reminded that however much parenting is about children, it's also about undertaking this huge project with a partner, and here they are, experiencing another experience in a life full of shit you never expected to experience, and they did it! And it's sad, but it's still them, because they outlast all of it.
Some of our favorite FNL alums have moved on to superheroic roles, so we've found super jobs for the rest of the cast too.