Taylor is tempted to cross over to the dark side by Nasty Sweaty Buddy Garrity, who's located a Katrina "refugee" ringer quarterback to sneakily add to the Panther roster; Tyra and Riggs break up; Lyla's mom tries to get her daughter to stop hanging around the hospital all the time; Lyla won't listen to her mom's cynical yet ultimately right-minded advice until Street throws her out of his hospital room, unable to stand her chirpy denial any longer; Lyla goes ahead and stumbles right out of that hospital room and onto Riggs's lips. I know. That part wasn't so awesome. Except it sort of was, seeing Lyla hide her misdeed from Street the next day. All a woman needs to make her a little bit interesting, it seems, is a secret, and now Lyla's got one.
We open on the game that left a football hanging in the air last week. Cut to Jason Street watching the game from his hospital room, football awkwardly grasped between his wrists. His mother sits next to him, and when the announcers on the television start talking about his injury, she asks if he's sure he wants to watch. He sort of snaps, "Leave it."
Out on the field, the Panthers are bathed in glossy game night light. Matt timidly calls a play in the huddle, and as the announcers blather on about how "tonight it's all about the ground game," Saracen takes the snap, fakes a hand-off to Smash, and peddles back for a pass. He lets the ball fly just before getting pounded by the opposing defense. The ball spirals through the air right into "Dolia's" arms, who takes it and runs as the score swells, and the crowd cheers and it seems real, real good, until....Dolia gets tackled, fumbles the ball, and the defense recovers it.
Cut to the locker room, where Coach Taylor rips into the boys. He's sweating and spitting and telling the kids they "oughta be beatin' these bums by forty points!" Aw. "Bums." Cut back out to the field where the Panthers continue to get drilled by the enormous-looking Rattlers. Cut back into the locker room, Taylor screams at Riggins, telling him he's getting his ass handed to him. Back out on the field, Smash loses yardage. Back in the locker room, Taylor screams at Smash, telling him to quit dancing out there unless he's going to the prom. When Smash tries to explain (or make excuses for himself, depending on how you see it), Taylor comes over and just spits all over the place, his neck veins popping and locking in fury. Back out on the field, fifteen seconds left, Nasty Sweaty Buddy Garrity yells from the stands, "C'mon, coach, run the football now!" The Panthers are third and goal, on the nine yard line. The announcers continue learning us viewers some football (thanks, guys!), expositing that the Panthers have just about self-destructed on the field. Matt takes the snap and drops back, then scrambles, running the ball toward the end zone. The score swells (again), the crowd cheers (again), and it looks real, real good (again) until...he gets tackled right at the goal line. A few seconds of suspense -- Coach Taylor stands pensive amidst the prematurely-celebrating players on the sidelines -- and the refs say Saracen came up short. No win.
Locker room. Taylor spits out a "Saracen!" and the boy looks up from the ground, blood dripping down his face to hear Taylor say "Good game." Taylor stalks around the room, "But not good enough. Not nearly good enough." And then we cut to Jason Street lying in his hospital bed. The camera pulls back, and we see that he can see the football field off in the distance from his hospital room. Oh. Now come ON.