Coach Taylor's got his hands full, as usual. This time it's the decision as to who to start as QB in this week's away game: Matt Saracen, who has the heart but not necessarily the skills? Or Ray "Voodoo" Tatum, the ringer from New Orleans? Against his own instincts, Taylor taps Voodoo, then boots him at halftime when he turns out to be the opposite of a team player. Risky move, but asserting his authority doesn't cost the Panthers the game, so everyone loves Taylor again. Lyla's still swapping sweat on the dark side with Riggins, while Street quietly resolves to get himself ready to play some murderball (these two developments are not causally related). Riggins makes his first appearance at Street's bedside, but only with Lyla, Taylor, and the entire team as backup. And only for about five seconds. Meanwhile, on an entirely different show, Tyra falls for some oil surveyor from out of town, who loves her and leaves her in his hotel room. And Taylor doesn't even get to properly enjoy his victory before a couple of officials show up to inform him that Voodoo's eligibility is in question. Which means not only is Voodoo's future at Dillon on the line, but the game he almost lost for the Panthers may end up as an actual loss in the books. And you just know that Buddy Garrity's going to leave the coach spinning in the wind on this.
At first I was confused about why NBC would put a show called Friday Night Lights on any night but Friday. But then I realized that on Friday nights, its core audience is, you know, at high school football games.
Lyla laces up her running shoes and pulls her hair up into a ponytail. The ponytail gets a close-up and everything, as if the show is deliberately flaunting the clear violation of FCC Rule 46B that's coming up in a minute. She bounds down the stairs, clearly hoping to get out of the house before anyone else is up. Too late; her mom catches her about to go out the door, and Lyla tries not to look too guilty as she says she's going for a run instead of right to the hospital this morning. Mom smiles encouragingly, saying it's great that Lyla's doing something for herself for a change. Because going jogging is so very self-indulgent and decadent. Lyla smiles, kisses her mom, and heads out without telling her that as long as Riggins is around, there's still one thing Lyla won't have to do for herself.
Lyla runs along the empty early-morning streets of Dillon, and shortly finds herself in front of Riggins's house. Gosh, if only this weren't such a small town. She starts to continue on her way, but she's ruefully helpless against the invisible fishing rod that reels her in by her naughty bits. Inside, eating breakfast at the kitchen counter, Riggins hears the knock on the door and grunts, "Yeah," then smiles knowingly as Lyla enters. He pulls out a barstool for her, which she perches on expectantly. He feeds her a forkful of waffles, which I assume are Eggos, because the last time I actually made waffles for just myself was, oh, never. And I'm not even a teenage alcoholic. Lyla asks if the elder Riggins brother is home. Tim says no, and they smile at each other for a polite interval before he kisses her. There must have been a lot of syrup on that waffle, because it looks like they're going to be stuck together that way for quite some time.
The Taylors all drive to school together, and for some reason they're subjecting themselves to Panther Radio. Again. I think someday there's room for an episode about how the hell the people working at that station fill a weeklong news hole just talking about something that only goes on for a few hours a week. The host and callers are bitching about how it's already Wednesday, and Taylor still hasn't decided if the starting quarterback in this week's game is going to be local boy Matt Saracen or Katrina evacuee/ringer Ray "Voodoo" Tatum. As they cruise along Panther Drive, Julie volunteers that she's taken it upon herself to research high school head coaching jobs elsewhere in the country. "I heard that a daughter is supposed to be a blessing and a comfort to her father," Taylor grumps at her. Julie complains that Texas isn't even a state, but a republic, and she'd like to live somewhere that's "part of this planet." Tami tries to defuse the tension by asking if they even have football in Seattle. "Not the same thing," Taylor says sagely. By which he of course means, "Not a religion." Is that a bad thing? Sure, in Seattle, he wouldn't get to be the high priest any more, but then he'd also have a lot fewer pushy Pharisees to deal with.