Jess groans as she picks up trash from the sidelines of an empty football field. Announcer voiceover informs us that the East Dillon Lions' undefeated season is over, and we flash to the scoreboard to confirm. The lights click off and Jess asks the universe, "Really?"
In the locker room, Vince and Luke argue about whose fault the loss was. Flashback to the game where Luke is on the field when he's not supposed to be and draws a yellow flag for the Lions. Back in the locker room, Vince claims that Luke's mistake cost them the first half; Luke counters by saying it wasn't his fault, he was exhausted because defense was on the field the whole night trying to hold the line while Vince's offense went nowhere. Back on the field, Vince throws an interception; in the locker room Vince shouts that he was throwing the ball in the right place, just nobody knew their routes. Tinker takes offense and gets into the mix and Vince takes the blame over to Hastings, who is obviously in secret training with Coach regarding expressive hair. Speaking of Coach, he has come silently into the locker room to witness these fools bicker and nitpick. Finally, someone notices Coach is there and they all shut up. Coach stares at them, lips pressed together, and growls, "Y'all get your stuff together and get the hell out of our field house right now." Over in the corner, a small radio carries the sounds of post-game analysis and we hear the announcers talking about how Coach Taylor has given his team free rein all year, and tonight's disaster is the result. Coach picks up the radio and dumps it in the trash can. Jess flinches as it clunks the metal. Jess, lurking around, waiting for her own plot.
Matt folds some blankets as Julie comes out of the bathroom with wet hair. And just because I am a Chicago freak, I was really tickled by how hard the prop folks worked trying to make these spaces that are clearly in Austin into "Chicago." In this scene, there is Chicago CTA map tacked to the wall. Julie dries her hair some and tells Matt that she knows she was supposed to leave today, but she's been having such a good time in Chicago that she thinks she'll stay a while; she doesn't have anything she needs to be back for urgently. Julie Taylor! Go back to school! Matt is obviously kind of taken aback by her declaration, but tells her -- awkwardly -- that this plan to stay longer is fine. They both stand around not really looking at one another.
Lions coach's meeting. Spivey and Billy talk strategy about how to continue on to the playoffs, but Eric is focused on Coach Crowley's silent presence. "Is there something you want to say?" he demands. Crowley looks up and says that they all know what the problem is: "It's Vince. He's lost his team." Eric meets his eyes with begrudging acknowledgement. And if you've ever been in a point position like quarterback -- whether that's in the classroom or leading a meeting or whatever -- you know how fragile the ecosystem can be; you can lose a room in a split second. And that's terrifying. And it's what Crowley is talking about. How can a team progress without a quarterback?