Coach Taylor is staging a fun fundraiser for new Lions uniforms (after he burnt the old ones). The team is pushing a car through the neighborhood to intimidate people into giving them money because they are large and scary and can push inanimate objects around. But no one is handing out cash, except Coach Taylor. Then the principal breaks it to him that he's not getting new uniforms, especially if he doesn't finish a game. Also, he lets Coach in on a little joke. Namely that Coach was never supposed to take the job at East Dillon. He's not supposed to be there.
After this heartbreaking bit of news, Coach Taylor gets a call from the uniform salesman (played by Joel from Parenthood). The uniforms are done. Coach has no choice but to pay with a personal check. Tami Taylor is a woman who knows her checkbook, and when she asks Coach about the missing check, he flat-out lies. After a few shots of liquid courage, Coach finally tells Tami the truth. She is not happy. Especially because they don't have $3,000 in their checking account. The next day Coach apologizes, and Tami sighs that she is sorry that Coach is having such a hard time.
Julie is listening to "Rebel, Rebel" and is thisclose to painting her fingernails black and trying a clove cigarette. More troubling for Tami, though, is that Julie doesn't want to go to church with a bunch of hypocrites who hate her family because of the football. Tami spends some time proposing various hypothetical situations where Julie might pray, but to no avail. So Tami admits she just really likes having Julie sit next to her, even if it's just for a little while longer. That's enough for Julie.
Riggins is struggling with adapting to his new life of dirty stepdad to latchkey kid Becky. But the little lady does catch the eye of Luke Cafferty. Riggins tries to pawn her off on Cafferty, and since Luke has the Riggins blessing, Becky's almost interested. Meanwhile, Landry gets put on punting practice, but he is having a hard time with the basics. Luckily, Jess has a deep understanding of punting and meditation and offers him some useful tips.
Matt Saracen is still working at his awesome unpaid metal shop internship. The Artist wants Matt to drive him the 200 miles to Clearwater and miss a pizza-delivering shift. After Julie reads some of the glowing reviews of The Artist's work, Matt is more interested, but, you know, the guy is a dick. He does offer Matt one glowing nugget of artistic wisdom: Be Selfish. Yeah, that sounds just like Matt Saracen. Then Matt takes Julie to work one day and The Artist calls her, "the ball and chain" that is keeping Matt down. Obviously this doesn't really lead her back to Jesus. Matt goes to yell at the guy, but he's passed out drunk, and then Matt is all wowed by The Artist's latest creation. He doesn't yell at The Artist, but instead seems to reconsider his stance on selfishness.
Buddy Garrity is getting a hard time from his so-called friends in the Boosters. Evil Joe McCoy is leading the attack, which is almost funny, considering he's only been a Panther for one year and Buddy's entire lifestyle choice is Panther. When Coach Taylor asks for fundraising help, Buddy says no. Later at a Booster party at McCoy's, some of the Boosters call Tami a bitch and laugh that McCoy is trying to have her removed as principal and Buddy snaps. He announces that he is no longer a Panther. He then calls McCoy a cancer and yells, "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!" as he walks off. Dying of pride here, Buddy!
Meanwhile, Luke Cafferty is having a hard time getting used to being a Lion. And Vince isn't really helping. Neither is Coach. When Luke comes to wipe the slate clean and apologizes to the Coach, instead of accepting the apology, Coach Taylor gives him a lecture on personal responsibility and accountability AND ignores him on the football field. Luke confides in Riggins, who tries to intercede with Coach, but to no avail. Coach wants Luke to stop whining and play harder. One person who does notice Luke's performance on the field? Vince. And he's not happy. After his fight with Tami, Coach drives out to Luke's farm and they have a man-to-man. Coach promises to do everything in his power to get Luke a scholarship to a good school to get him off the farm. In exchange, Luke has to lead.
On game day, Coach surprises the team with their new uniforms. The boys are so excited that you can tell Coach thinks it was all worth it. Out on the field, the Lions are down 27-nothing, but it's the end of the 4th quarter and at least the Lions are going to finish a damn game. Luke is playing his heart out, but Vince is screwing up left and right. When Luke intercepts a throw and runs for the touchdown, Vince fails to block and Luke goes down. Coach decides to try for the field goal and Landry is all ready to punt his way to glory, but the snap sucks and Landry can't kick it. He picks up the ball, tosses it to Vince and Vince scores! Lions have their first touchdown! Coach is not exactly thrilled, though. -- Lulu Bates
See what made the cut in this list of TV's 50 most shocking moments ever.
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Lulu Bates, a.k.a. Melissa Locker, doesn't know anything about football, but has watched every episode of Friday Night Lights. You can follow her on Twitter @woolyknickers.
East Dillon. Some establishing shots of the shabby side of town. Coach has his players gathered and is giving them instructions about pushing a car and collecting money. "Be careful, don't get your feet run over." Tanker has a question: "Why are we pushing this damn car around?" Coach has two answers: don't swear, and shave whatever that is on your upper lip off before practice tomorrow. Then he tosses in a third answer for free: this is a "fun football fundraiser." Oh, that does not sound convincing. Especially so once Coach does that parental thing of instructing everyone to have fun. Nothing fun about getting told to have fun. Coach tells them that when the town comes out, money gets exchanged, that's a good thing. They come around behind their general and he tells them to be "kind and courteous out there" and they take off. Pushing the car. Which has helmets affixed to its grille, like this is Maximum Overdrive or something.
Meanwhile, Tami, Julie and Grace leave church while Tami remarks in a weird uptalking cadence that "Everyone in church is really not being nice to me? Over this Luke Cafferty thing?" Julie snarks that that sounds like the congregation: sweet and holy inside church, bitchy and judgmental outside. Tami welcomes her to the real world, but Julie insists that this isn't going to be her world, she isn't going to go to church with a bunch of hypocrites. Tami sighs as she puts Grace into her car seat and tells Julie that hypocrites are everywhere and that church is about "you and God." Julie quickly proposes to join the Church of Latter-Day Teen Fantasies: Worship-at-Home (i.e. Sleep-'Til-Noon) denomination. Tami tells her that church is also about community and family.
Back at the "fun fundraiser," the sun beats down on the boys as they push the car around and Staub keeps roaring like an imbecile. A scattering of people stand around putting bills into their proffered helmets. Tim runs up to Coach and tells him that he's "out of money." Coach expresses disbelief but then pulls out his wallet and hands Tim a hundred dollars -- Tim says that he's having a hard time because some people are just taking the money and walking away. Tim runs ahead to distribute the money so the kids won't get too disheartened.
Matt's at the Junkyard of Artistic Expression. He lugs some metal over to Richard, who's got a welding helmet on. Richard looks up and tells Matt that he has to drive him to Clearwater on Tuesday, because he needs to "finish this piece of crap." Matt wonders why he calls everything he works on "crap." Richard declares that everything is crap. Crap, crap, crap! The Mona Lisa is crap! All crap! I feel like I'm listening to a three year-old in one of those "poop poop butt" phases whenever this guy's on the screen. Matt tells Richard that he can't drive him two hundred miles on Tuesday because he has a shift. Richard yells that Matt is supposed to be there to learn about art, not spend his time delivering pizzas. Matt -- who is looking smoking in a plain grey T-shirt -- just sort of sighs and rolls his eyes at his abusive mentor.