This episode had so many heartwarming moments, I spent the entire last half of it wondering who was going die or fall down a well.
Over at Our Gang's Club House, it's like herding cats trying to get Herc, Billy, and Tim on the same page as Jason. Jason's attempts to take charge in selling the now-rehabbed house are met with accusations that he's always playing the baby card; when he ups the selling price, there's a near revolt. But, a few girly slaps and welling-up tears later, they agree to follow his lead, and the house sells. Jason runs into a former Dillon Panther who's going pro, and his agent, and a big old light bulb goes on over his head when he hears the agent talk about the business. We end the episode on a sweet moment between Jason and Lyla; Lyla sadly realizing that he's going to leave Dillon, but giving him all of her confidence in his prospects.
Lyla spends the rest of the episode trying to prop her father up. You know the saying about behind every man... So the Bratty branch of the family tree -- the other two Garrity kids -- are in town, and it's all "Dad, you're sweaty" this, and "meat is murder, Texas is fascist" that. Yes, the kids have been living in Boulder. Buddy tries to brush off their brattiness, but when Tabitha shouts that she wishes he weren't her father and that real fathers don't cheat on their wives, he slightly loses his shit. Lyla calms him down, the brats accompany Lyla and Buddy to a football game, and -- surprise! -- it's the football that brings everyone together in the end. Tabitha the Vegan even goes so far as to request sundaes on the way home. Awwww.
Tami Taylor is dealing with a discipline issue concerning one of the football players. When his parents are called in to the principal's office, it turns out that he's been playing without their permission all year. They pull him off the team, and Coach nearly loses his shit. Tami and Coach go to the kid's home and convince the parents -- who have no love for the sport and think everyone in Dillon is crazy -- to at least come to one game to watch their son play and shine in his element. They do, and -- surprise! -- football brings them even closer together!
Football is, however, not bringing some folks together. Namely, the near-psychotic types. J.D.'s dad's involvement in every minute detail of his son's life and football-playing is becoming to look more and more abusive, especially given that he is now given to weird head-hanging apologies to Coach, like a man feeling guilty after a bender. He continues to interfere during practice and during the game, and Coach is clearly struggling to figure out how to deal with him. On game night, J.D. has a rough first half, and McCoy loses his shit (see a pattern here?). But Coach is able to redirect J.D.'s attention away from his father in the stands and onto leading his team. J.D. comes through, but we end with him coming out of the locker room to find that his father isn't there waiting for him.
Finally, best for last. Landry's new bandmate Devin is even awesomer than anyone at first suspected. Her lower lip is simply mesmerizing, and she tries to cheer Landry up by plinking out a hilariously cute version of the Flaming Lip's "She Uses Jelly" on the piano. Of course, Landry takes all these signals to mean: "kiss me," and so he does, because he is a teenaged boy. Devin tries to brush it off at first, but when Landry tries to hold her hand in school, she has to tell him: "Landry, I'm a lesbian." We end on Crucifictorious band practice, and seeing Landry and Devin play together is probably the quickest transformation of "mortifying life experience" into "best thing that ever happened to me." This is why we love TV.
I step away from the show for a minute and Matt and Julie LIE DOWN TOGETHER? Just like in Bible times? Wow. Thanks to Jeff for holding it down while I was away!
We open this week with Buddy, Lyla, and Tim rushing through the airport like it's 1980 and you are allowed to walk right up to the gate. They're picking up the other Garrity kids. I mean, I guess since they're minors, Buddy would be allowed to go through to the gate. But Tim Riggins? Snaking through security without a boarding pass and NOT getting brought to a back room for a strip search? Hardly. Lyla hugs her brother Buddy and sister Tabitha. Buddy kind of sweetly dad-spazzes on his kids in exactly the way you are not allowed to do when the kids are 13 and BITCHES. Little Buddy tells Big Buddy that he's into soccer now, which is just blasphemy. But Big Buddy takes the announcement with good cheer and then turns to his daughter, whom he declares now "looks like a hippie." He gives her a bear hug and she screws up her face and smirks, "Dad, you're all sweaty!" Sweaty Buddy Garrity!
Coach complains to Tami about how long this is going to take as they pull up in front of McCoy McMansion. Quick cut inside to Coach, all fake smiles around the dining table. Katie McCoy drags Tami away to go show her something upstairs, sing-songing that Tami's "gonna want ooonnne!" Oh, ugh. J.D. comes home and comes into the dining room to say hi to Coach and his dad. Mr. McCoy and his son have a sweetly bantering conversation about playing golf that weekend, J.D. jokingly fake-punching his dad. J.D. heads off to bed, and Coach remarks on what a good kid he is. McCoy says that all thanks for that go to his wife. Awkward pause, and then Coach tells McCoy that when he made J.D. apologize to him in church the other day, it made him feel uncomfortable. McCoy quickly apologizes, seemingly realizing that he did cross a line there. He says it just drives him crazy when he sees his son screw up. He then tells Coach that he apologizes and "it will not happen again." Coach is like, uh, that's not what I'm asking for, but McCoy sort of shuts the conversation down. Totally not getting that Coach isn't trying to regulate what is and what is not said to him, but that he's trying to tell this guy to just BACK OFF his son a bit.
Billy helps Jason get out of his truck. He's apparently given Jason one of the recruiting letters he's gotten about Tim. Jason levels with Billy, telling him that schools send out hundreds of those kinds of letters, and they don't necessarily mean anything. He's kind of harsh, telling Billy that Tim isn't exactly college material. Billy tells Jason that he's knows "the kid's an idiot" but then vulnerably tells Jason that he doesn't know what he's doing, but that he really wants to do anything he can to get Tim into college. Billy asks Jason to tell him what to do; Jason suggests that Billy throw together a highlight reel for Tim and send it out.