Remember when Coach broke down a few episodes ago and said that he needed something good to happen? Well, some good things happened tonight. Coach agonizes over whether to start J.D. in the next game, worried that if he does so, he'll kill Matt. Tami almost loses her shirt when she sees how dreamy Coach is when he agonizes, telling him that his conscience is sexy, and then also advising him that he doesn't need to make a hard and fast decision now, to take the issue game by game. And so Coach develops an "unorthodox" offense for the next game: Matt and J.D. will trade off quarterbacking during the game.
Tami tries to throw her hat into the old boy's network, but the results are as mixed as that metaphor. One "accidental," "casual" run-in with the school superintendent doesn't hold a candle to Buddy's years of jostling with the guy on the golf course, and she realizes that she's going to lose the fight against the Jumbotron because they are all in agreement against her. So, she swallows her pride, and smilingly breaks ground for the new scoreboard with the boosters.
Matt's mom Shelby shows up in Dillon, anxious to help Matt out. Grandma isn't too happy at first, and it seems like mom's offer to help is just another load being thrown on Matt's shoulders, but they come to a rapprochement when Grandma tells Matt that maybe she's too hard on Shelby, and Shelby assuring him that she isn't looking to play "mom" but that she couldn't let him go on managing everything all alone.
Tyra gets smitten with a mudbug of a cowboy, which causes Landry more pain than getting his wisdom teeth pulled.
And, finally, we knew it was time, and we've known it was time for a while. But, it's still bittersweet to see Smash leave us. The still hesitant Smash is skeptical of the walk-on at A&M when he finds out that Coach has set it up through a front office guy. And, his skepticism is borne out when Coach and Smash show up in College Station only to be told that they want to reschedule. Coach sets his jaw and marches onto the field, interrupting practice, selling bacon to the pigs, telling the head coach that Brian is the best there is. Coach's audacity pays off, and Brian gets a chance to show his stuff, and it's all great and beautiful and like Coach says, just like "God put you here at this exact moment" and Smash does great and goes home and then they call, and he's going to college. But not before one last heartwrenching frolic on the deserted football field with Matt, Tim, and Landry. Man, what a Field of Tears.
Look back at the best and worst moments. Come back next week for the full detailed recap.
Rodeo! Billy, Ole Sis, Tim, Lyla, Tyra, and Landry are at the rodeo, having a grand time. Notable detail: Tyra's terrible perm has been brushed out and she is looking hot, which means it's time for Landry's heart to get rebroke. Landry comes back with cotton candy for the group, but none for him; he explains he's having his wisdom teeth removed tomorrow. Tyra laughs at Landry's concern about his surgery, and Landry is like "Really? I'm having major surgery and you're laughing?" Tyra apologizes and promises that she'll come over and nurse him back to health once it's over. Billy leans over and tells everyone to shut up; "Cash is up next." And we flash down to the rodeo ring where a cute (but only just cute) blond guy rides a bronco, while up in the stands Ole Sis mutters to Tyra about him being one "fine ass cowboy." Tyra pretends she wasn't just fantasizing about riding broncos herself and says she hadn't noticed. Down in the ring, Cash stands around while his score gets announced and the crowd cheers. Pan around behind him to see his view of Tyra in the stands, and then swing around again to get Tyra's perspective on Cash tipping his hat to her. Oh, Landry. She's gonna take Cash to the bank.
Football field, night. Coach runs Smash through some drills. Smash swears he's driving his legs, Coach tells him he isn't. Smash takes a breather and asks Coach why the walk-on was pushed back a day. Coach tells him not to worry about it, and anyhow Mitch says he'll have a better chance with A&M's head coach that day. Smash wants to know who "Mitch" is; Coach trips up and gives the kid the name, "Mitch Stallman." Smash wonders if this guy he's never heard of is real tight with the coach, but Eric runs interference on the kid's question and tells him to quit worrying.
Rodeo afterparty. Just like R. Kelly sings about. Tyra and Cash drink and chat about how he just won ten thousand dollars. Cash tells her that Billy never told him that Mindy's little sister turned into a goddess, and she bows her head, her thankfully straight hair falling forward and making me cheer for the return of the bob. She asks if he's going to be in town for a while, and he totally evades the question (SUSPICION NUMBER ONE!). Then he asks her what happened the guy that was with them before. Tyra, incredulous, "Landry?!" Cash wants to know if he's her boyfriend and Tyra assures him they're just friends. They both pause kind of awkwardly, and then at the same time say "Let's go dance?" And then they do, and they look good on the dance floor together, bathed in light, Tyra's long arm thrown around his neck. The twangy country music fades out, as pondering atmospheric guitars fade in; doesn't Tyra look so happy in this scene?