A former football hero comes back for homecoming and is cheered by the town, only to tell Coach in private that his life fell apart somewhere around the intersection of sophomore year and a busted knee. When a scout comes a-scoutin', Smash can't take the pressure and ends up disappointing everyone (except for the friendly neighborhood body builders he then goes to buy steroids from). Our favorite berry-lipped Adonis, surprisingly enough, picks up Smash's slack on the field. That's right, a few days without beer and Tim Riggins is suddenly Moose Johnston. Well, Moose Johnston plus some Bonne Belle Lip Smackers. Tyra and Billy Riggins are showing some promise as party planners, getting up one hell of a Homecoming party out in the middle of nowhere. In case you didn't quite get the theme of busted lives on broken dreams, Street also gets some gut-wrenching scenes as he makes it back on the field as honorary captain and increasingly self-aware cuckold.
We open on a massive homecoming pep rally. The Panther Cheerleaders are on a raised stage under a banner that reads "Welcome Back Alumni!" doing a routine to a new Kelis song called "I Don't Think So." The camera pans across the audience and finds a young girl, about ten, trying to mimic the cheerleader's dance moves, and making their teenaged sexiness somewhat more innocent in reflection (this probably has something to do with the dorky banana yellow cap she's wearing). The girls finish up and hop off the stage. Tim approaches Lyla with a blue Solo cup in his hand. He remarks that this is "a waste of friggin' time, huh?" Lyla asks him not to be mad at her, and he protests that he isn't mad at her but wishes he were. Minka Kelly realizes that she is opposite of Taylor Kitsch and so loses what little acting ability she has (because, seriously, hubba hubba, right?) and starts furrowing and whining about not knowing how to deal with him. She remarks that it isn't even 7 o'clock and he can hardly stand. She lectures him that being drunk all the time won't make anything easier and that "it isn't cute, it isn't charming, it's just pathetic, and gross, and I feel sorry for you." She walks away from him. Yowza.
Lady Mayor Rodell is on stage tearing a hunk off the microphone like she's at the Olive Garden and it's an all-you-can-eat breadstick. She asks the crowd, teasingly, if they remember if the Panther's 2000 State Championship Team had a star quarterback. An audio clip from the winning game starts playing over the loud speaker, and the camera ranges across the audience as everyone listens to thirty seconds of excited play announcing. People seem to know the story by heart, like a fairy tale that helps them get to sleep at night. The camera stops for a second on Buddy Garrity who, standing next to his daughter Lyla, mouths the announcer's words by heart, "He caught the dadgum ball! Panthers win state! Panthers win state!" I do not know if this detail is meant to humanize Buddy, but it really doesn't. He's still the disgusting Baron VonFatschild of the town in my eyes. Anyway, the clip ends and Lady Mayor takes a break from gumming the scenery to announce "Lucas 'The Maneater' Mize! Lucas Mize everybody!" And a real clean-cut freckle-faced guy in a letter jacket steps forward to the cheers of the crowd. As the crowd chants his name in the late-afternoon sun, the camera cuts to Smash gazing up at the stage in awe. A short girl next to him looks up and says, "That's gonna be you one day, Brian" and he responds, "Maybe so, little sis, maybe so." Quite a clunker of a narrative signpost, that was.