Here we go…
It’s Christmas in Texas.
And it’s five days before the state championship. Everything is mirroring five years ago as the media is interviewing the Lions on their way to State. The team won’t have any of these questions about the Dillon Superteam next year and neither will Coach with respect to offers he might be getting elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Coach is telling Mrs. Coach that him accepting the five year contract to coach Dillon Superteam Panthions could finally get her the “his and her closests” she’s always wanted. (Pilot!) She says they could get those his and her closets in Philadelphia too.
The tension is rising between Coach and Mrs. Coach and Julie won’t get involved. There’s a knock at the door and it’s a stuttering Matt Saracen. An awesome indescribable scene follows.
Later, Matt and Julie go to the Alamo Freeze. He tells her he’s been thinking about her since Chicago. He says it was perfect and how much he loves her and wants to be with her forever. So, he takes out Grandma Saracen’s ring, gets down on his knee and proposes. She says… YES! of course!
She takes the ring and puts it on her hand and they kiss. Cue an acoustic indie version of “Heaven.”
Julie asks what her dad thought when he asked him for permission. Huh? Matt says. Julie tells him he has to ask her father man to man. Sure.
Tim is working on his truck that Billy was supposed to take care of. What’s the big deal since he’s going to Alaska anyway, Billy says. He may or may not go anymore, Tim replies. Billy asks if it was because he slept with Tyra the other night. Mindy says that’s incest. The guys say no it’s not and Tim offers to spend the day bonding with Stevie.
Vince brings his mom some lunch at work and she happily tells him she has a ride to State. He asks if she’s heard from Pops, but she says it’s better for him not to be there so he won’t be able to take this moment away from him.
Matt practices his speech for Coach to Landry who suggests either he be assertive or just go in there and cry. Landry reminisces how just five years ago, they were wondering how they were going to talk to Julie (Pilot!) and now he’s going to marry her.
Tim brings Stevie to practice as the Lions work their asses off for State. Tim introduces Stevie to Coach as they watch Billy yelling. Coach reminds Tim that if he ever needs anything, to call him up.
Becky and Mindy are throwing around Tim’s underwear and Becky breaks the news that her mom is coming back to town this week and she’ll be going back to living with her. Mindy seems very sad about it.
Matt goes to Coach’s office to pop the question. Coach laughs, then gets serious. He asks how old he is, how old Julie is. But the answer is No. “And the answer to your question is going to be ‘No’ today. It’s going to be ‘No’ tomorrow. And it’ll probably be ‘No’ until the sun burns out.”
Matt says well, they don’t need his permission because Julie already said yes. “This is really just a courtesy. We’re just hoping for your blessing.”
“Let me do you the courtesy of telling you that my daughter’s answer is ‘No’.”
Coach rushes home to tell Mrs. Coach about it. She’s in disbelief. He’s in disbelief. He’s raising his voice. It’s hilariously awesome and crazy.
Mrs. Coach goes in to talk to Julie. She shows her the ring. But Mrs. Coach says they’re so young. Julie says she loves him more than anything. Mrs. Coach says the four of them will go out for a conversation dinner.
Tim brings Stevie over to the Collettes. He asks Tyra what’s she doing tomorrow night and she says she’s going to Buddy’s with Matt and Julie for their engagement. Tim’s surprised and maybe has got him thinking.
Vince finds his Pops. He tells him that he’s got a ticket for him for State, but Pops says he’s got things to do, though he’ll be watching.
Tim and Stevie go out for a beer run and they see Becky. She tells him about going home and that she’s finally over her crush. They’re still friends. They exchange “See yas.”
Tickets to State get passed out in the locker room and we get what could be one final scene of Mr. Coach Stan Traub being Mr. Coach Stan Traub as he repeats every single name Billy calls out for tickets.
It’s the conversation dinner. Mrs. Coach reiterates how young they are and how they shouldn’t rush into things. Julie brings up the fact that Coach and Mrs. Coach married young too. But Coach says… “Marriage requires maturity. Marriage requires two people who for the rest of their lives are willing to listen, to really listen to each other. And that marriage requires, the greatest of all things, which is compromise.”
Mrs. Coach, is she really hearing these words coming out of Coach’s mouth? Compromise?
Julie says they have gone through so much together and they’ve made it work. They are her inspiration.
And that does it for Mrs. Coach. Before getting too emotional at the table, she excuses herself.
Coach follows her outside. “It’s my turn, babe. I have loved you and you have loved me. And we have compromised, both of us, for your job. And now it’s time, to talk about doing that for my job. Because otherwise, what am I going to tell my daughter?”
Coach says nothing.
“You just can’t…” Mrs. Coach says they should just go back inside, leaving Coach to think outside.
Back at home, Coach takes a candy cane off of the wall and takes a seat next to Mrs. Coach in the living room.
“How do you propose we’re going to make a decision if you’re not going to talk to me?”
“I believe I have talked to you. And I have decided I’m going to say no to Braemore. I’m never going to win this fight.”
Julie joins them. She wants them to trust her that she is making the right decision. We do trust you, Mrs. Coach says, and they want her to be happy.
Billy and Mindy bring Becky home. Becky thanks Billy for everything. Mindy is very emotional, but Becky tells her she’ll never forget what they’ve done for her. She loves Stevie and will love the twins and will be over at their house all the time whether they like it or not. “You’re my sister.”
Becky’s mom comes running out and they have a happy reunion.
Jess comes home and Aunt Byrd tells her the franchise up in Dallas is doing so well, they’re all moving up there.
Coach visits Pops at the bar and gives him a ticket to State.
Becky and her mother catch up when Luke drives up with flowers and a teddy bear.
“I miss you, I’m crazy about you. I was stupid and I’m sorry.”
“He’s a sweetheart. As long as he learns to wear a condom. Serious.”
“I’ll kill ya.”
They’re alone outside and he tells her he wants to be with her forever and ever. She smiles and they kiss.
Buddy’s. Matt, Julie, Tyra, and Tim are celebrating life.
Hello Darlin’ by Conway Twitty plays and Matt asks Julie to dance. Tim asks Tyra too.
“This feels right,” Tim says.
“You’re just lonely Tim.”
“No I’m not.”
“I can’t do this again with you, I got plans.”
Buddy calls Coach early in the morning. They want Coach to sign before they leave for State. Coach heads to the dining room and sees the packet from Braemore College on the table. He tells Buddy never to call this early in the mooring and he hangs up.
He tells her about them wanting to sign the contract today. He begins to think.
The Lions are getting ready to leave for State. Jess goes to tell Coach about moving to Dallas and how she won’t be part of the Superteam. She thanks him for giving her the greatest experience of her life being part of the Lions. He feels the same way and tells Jess he knows the coach up in Dallas and can put in a good word for her.
Matt and Julie are decorating the Christmas tree and Grandma Saracen comes out with her old wedding dress to give to Julie. She asks to see the ring on Julie’s finger and she takes her hand and kisses it.
“You like it?”
“It’s beautiful Mrs. Saracen.”
“Honey, you gotta call me Grandma now. You know? We’re family.”
They hug. Grandma Saracen goes to look for shoes and a veil.
Julie’s having second thoughts now, but Matt says as long as they know they love each other. That they’re perfect together.
“It’s going to be perfect.”
They kiss as Grandma Saracen is excited to find her veil.
Vince talks to Jess and tells her how lucky he is to share all of this with his girlfriend.
Tim takes Tyra to his plot of land. She tells him she’s thinking about doing politics. Not Sarah Palin type of stuff, but Mrs. T, except bigger.
“Tim… I’ve been in love with you since I was five years old. And being here with you, is the greatest feeling I’ve had in a really long time.”
“It scares the hell out of me. I have dreams Tim.”
“I know you do. I have dreams too.”
He tells her about building a house right where they’re sitting, he’ll get a job, and he’ll never do anything illegal for the rest of his life.
“Maybe one day out dreams can merge together.”
They toast to that. They smile. (The music!)
Mrs. Coach takes Gracie belle to see Santa. Coach comes running down the escalator and surprises them.
“Oh my Lord!”
He tells her he’s turned the contract down and that it’s her turn.
“Will you take me to Philadelphia please?”
The Lions arrive at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. They walk the field.
Cut to eight minutes before the game.
“You may never know how proud I am of you,” Coach says to Vince.
He then leads the team in the prayer and they head out onto the field.
The game begins. Both teams score TDs. Pops arrives. Vince passes to Luke who has an incredible run in for TD.
THREE seconds left in the game. (Here we go!) 26-21, Hawks lead.
Lions possession, of course. 63 yards to win.
Vince takes the snap. He waits for the receivers to make it downfield. Slow motion.
He hurls it. The stadium is in silence.
Three Lions in the endzone. The ball flies through the air… it flies… all the way to…
…the Philadelphia Pioneers.
It is eight months later. Coach is now in green.
Mrs. Coach is now Dean Mrs. Coach.
Back in Dillon, Vince is in Panther blue. Crowley and Billy are in Panther blue. So is Tinker. And Hastings Ruckle.
Over in East Dillon, the field is now a parking lot. The scoreboard being taken down.
Becky sees Luke off as he’s joined the military. He gives her his championship ring.
Matt and Julie are in Chicago. They are all dressed up and they head out.
Jess is coaching at a Dallas high school.
Panthers locker room. “J. Street” written on the wall. Buddy watches as he oversees the installation of a sign that reads “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.”
Tim on his land. He and Billy getting started with the dream home.
Coach is giving a speech to his new team. He starts “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts…”
The teams sits there in silence. WTF is he talking about?
“Ah, we’ll deal with that later.”
Dean Mrs. Coach comes to kiss Coach at midfield.
“Ready to go home?”
“Yeah, let’s go.”
And they walk off the field as the lights are turned off for the last time.
And the lights go out in Dillon.
An absolutely beautiful finale. I laughed, I cried. So many emotions running through while watching this episode.
It really felt like the end, yet it also felt like just another day in Dillon ,Texas. Life doesn’t end here. The lives of these people we’ve grown to love these past five years are still living their lives. One chapter over, another one just beginning.
Julie and Matt, of course they’re going to spend the rest of their lives together. The scene where Grandma Saracen kisses Julie’s hand… beautiful.
Jess & Vince and Luke & Becky, both couples reunited, but both with uncertain futures. As it is in real life too.
Tim and Tyra… just wonderful. That last scene with them was just poetic and like Tim said, it just feels right.
And you knew Coach was going to finally give Mrs. Coach her chance, but the way they did was awesome. Their banter and back and forth the whole episode seemed like Kyle and Connie’s one last hurrah, giving it all they got, but having fun with it and enjoying it.
The entire cast was just great and the cinematography and especially the music were so perfect in drumming up these mixed emotions.
The montages, the silences, just everything came together for an incredibly satisfying finale.
The final frame of Friday Night Lights, Coach and Mrs. Coach walking off the field as the lights were turned off… that’s when it all sunk in. The show really is over. While Dillon continues their day-to-days, Friday Night Lights has concluded. Concluded what has to be one of the most incredible television series ever. (More on that history in a later post!)
Overall, just a beautiful finale and worthy of the series. Simply amazing.