The big game this week is between two last-place teams, causing all of mean-spirited West Texas to get excited about making potty jokes: the game shall be termed The Toilet Bowl. Well, Coach Taylor isn't having any of it, and he tells his team that they no longer are playing according to the "it doesn't matter whether you win or lose" mantra. They aren't scrappers anymore, they're a team. So they practice and practice. Luke's practicing hurts a little more than others, because he got jammed between a swinging cow fence last week and the entire side of his abdomen is a flaming bruised red. He's gone through three weeks worth of pain medication in one, and goes to Tim Riggins for some help: Tim sends him to a good ole boy football-fan doctor who prescribes pain medication like a clerk in a Texas convenience store sells beer to minors. Luke pops the pills, which keep him going through the game, but only just barely. The Lions take an early lead, but squander it. Vince and Luke slowly bring the team back (Luke does so while wincing and limping and lying to Coach about how he feels) and Landry clinches the win with a final field goal. Lions win! Can you believe it?!
Landry scores some points on the field, but the ones he attempts off the field don't go quite as smoothly. He convinces Jess to go out on a date with him, but she stands him up after she runs into Vince and his disturbingly chipper and clean mom in the grocery and gets invited over for dinner. When they finally do go out-- Landry at first rationalizes this for the better because the new date night, Thursday, is better for sex than Wednesday is -- her little brothers are inexplicably in the back seat of the car and she diverts his kiss to a peck on the cheek. Ouch. But, after the game, though Vince kind of calls out to her, she goes to Landry. Seems like Landry's coming off like the safe, non-threatening choice to a girl again. I mean, who's a guy gotta kill around here to... oh, right.
Tim Riggins keeps pursuing his dream of buying some land and Texas Forever-ing it up for the rest of his life. But even the suit he dresses up in (awww) can't relieve the burn of discovering the land costs $85,000. Tim doesn't have that kind of money. That is, until he discovers that Billy's pulling in big money running an after-hours chop shop in their garage. Billy needs the extra money to pay for Mindy's pre-natal care and hospital bills. Tim resists at first, and even though I don't love Tim the Good Guy, Taylor Kitsch really injects some wonderful younger brother vulnerability into Tim Riggins in the scenes where he feels betrayed by Billy. He tries to get a stand-up job, but doesn't succeed, so ultimately ends up joining Billy in his Bad Decision Garage. Also there's some stuff with Becky including an VERY ILL-ADVISED kiss that I have not dealt with sufficiently to write about yet.
Also not dealing well is Julie, who travels to Boston with her mom to do a series of college interviews at various universities. The Taylor women outside of Texas are a sight to behold! Julie, still mourning her break-up, acts out at her mom, inventing some reasoning about how Tami is putting too much pressure on Julie about college, which Tami just calmly and repeatedly points out is not true. What is true is that Julie is freaked about leaving home, even now that she doesn't have much there for her. In the final interview, Julie has an epiphany right there in front of the admissions counselor and spins a beautiful, impromptu essay about how much she has been shaped by the town she always thought she wanted to leave. Julie Taylor Thesis Statement!
See what made the cut in this list of TV's 50 most shocking moments ever.
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Thanks to Joe R. for filling in for me last week, handling the return of GLENN with such flair, and actually teaching me a thing or two: it's apparently TINKER (not Tanker) and Bad Gold Chain Kid's name is really Calvin.
This week we open on Julie and her mom fussing in Julie's bedroom, packing clothes into suitcases. Her mom thinks either outfit says "College Interview" and then frazzles some at Julie about remembering to pack her toiletries in a plastic bag. Julie fusses in a different way-- "These are UGLY" she declares of a pile of clothes-- and in Gracie's bedroom Coach declares, "Gracie doesn't have any pants" while little Gracie stands still and giggles at all these crazy people acting so crazy. Tami zips by Gracie's room, briefly pausing to instruct the helpless Dad where the pants are and coo at Gracie a bit, then zips into her room to find the blue shirt Julie insists she needs. Tami claps her hands and pleads with everyone that they CANNOT miss this flight, suddenly everyone is in Tami and Coach's bedroom, Julie complaining that everything they've packed for her interviews makes her look like a realtor, Coach to give Julie a quick pep talk -- "Give 'em hell!" he suggests -- and suddenly everyone is smiling and loving each other on the way out the door. Taylors! For the win!
We go driving around Dillon with Buddy Garrity while listening to Slammin Sammy exposit about this week's game, which pits the league's two last-place teams, the East Dillon Lions and Campbell Park Timberwolves, against one another in a game that some have dubbed "The Toilet Bowl." Buddy drives by an "Awards and Trophies" store in a shabby mini-strip mall and sees an employee topping a gold-painted toilet with an East Dillon Lions helmet with a plunger stuck on top. Slammin' Sammy tells us that Coach Taylor must see this game as an opportunity to get a "W" on the books.
Transition with a toilet flush (oh, come on now!) over to Luke Cafferty in his bathroom. Close up of a pill bottle that reads "something codone" and has the driving precaution printed on the label. He downs a couple and asks his mother, who is in another room, whether he has a follow-up with the doctor. He raises his shirt to examine a huge swath of raw bruised flesh all along the right side of his abdomen and hip. His mom says that the doctor didn't need to see him unless it was still hurtin, "It's still good, right?" Luke lies that he's good.
Cut to Tim at a realtor's office. And holy continuity, it is the same realtor lady who came on to Tim Riggins in the first episode -- "I don't know what a blitz is, it sounds a little sexual" -- and showed up again in Season 3 when she sold Buddy Garrity's house to the Riggins boys for their flip scheme. Anyhow, Tim goes to her now to express interest in the property at which he closed the last episode gazing. He has donned a heartbreakingly ill-fitting suit for this meeting. The realtor -- Missy, if I remember correctly -- tells him that the property is a still at $85,000. Just 75 if he can pay half up front! Tim's face immediately falls, he shakes her hand, and goes outside, loosens the uncharacteristic tie and gets in his truck. Oh, poor, naive Tim Riggins!