Alamo Freeze. Smash is locking up for the night, as Allah has willed. Coach drives up and directs him to get in the car. Cut to a racquetball court. Smash: "You realize this is the whitest sport in history, right?" These two go at for a while, sweating and exerting and getting all elementary-school-recess-boy-argument. Smash is all over the court, planting his feet, side-to-side on his knee. Coach pauses and points his racquet at Smash, demanding that the kid look him in the eye and tell him he doesn't want to play football. Smash says it isn't an issue of whether he "wants" to play football or not, it's that he "cain't." Smash tells Coach that he lost his scholarship, he's slow, and no school wants him. Coach, at wit's end, plaintively tells Smash that he doesn't know how it works, maybe Smash has to change his game, but that they can figure it out together. Breathing hard, Coach declares that if Smash wants it, he won't stop until he gets the kid into college and playing football. Smash's face changes, he can't believe this man's advocacy; then he asks Coach why this means so much to him and Coach answers: "Because I need something good to happen." And I die a little bit. Because, GOD. Coach is so vulnerable. And he is such a good advocate for these boys, and it is a good thing to try to thaw Smash out of his post-high school deep freeze, but -- and I mean, a major "but" here -- I'm not sure Coach is right; is this really the right thing for Brian? Or is this for Coach, who is seeing all of his boys' lives lose the promise they held, and is looking for some way to get that promise back? I don't know. I'm so confused!
They play a little more, until Coach literally has to stop, bent over at the waist, panting in exhaustion. He shouts at Smash, "There is nothing wrong with your knee. But you need to want this, I can't want this for you" and then turns and walks out the tiny racquetball court door. Smash turns toward the camera, contemplates, and then whacks the loving shit out of the ball and we fade to black.
Wow. That was a really good episode.
Get nostalgic for the best and worst of FNL from seasons past with our Friday Night Lights: Best and Worst Plays gallery.