Friday Night Lights 3×09: Game of the Week

So, I haven’t written about Friday Night Lights since TVGuide.com turned upside down, so a ton of stuff’s happened on the show.  We’ve said goodbye to Smash and Jason Street, Tyra and Landry broke up… again, Tim and Lyla have gotten back together, Matt and Julie have gotten back together (and then some), we have a new QB1, the boosters annoy more than ever (Jumbotron!), and Dillon High probably has the best principal evah.

Out of Dillon, EW’s Michael Ausiello is reporting NBC and DirecTV are in active negotiations for TWO more seasons of the show, which is great news, but also brings up the question of “How?” in terms of story, I mean.  All the youngins will be off to college and they haven’t established “the next generation” aside from J.D. McCoy and Jeremy Sumpter is no Zach Gilford (no offense).  Of course, we could be introduced to a whole new group of kids, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

How about this week’s episode?
Tyra/Cash
So Tyra, having broken up with Landry again, starts dating rodeo star Casey Hughes Cash (played by Zach Roerig).  They’re doing all right until a girl comes to the Collette doorstep claiming Cash owes child support.  He reassures Tyra later that the baby isn’t his.  Relationship speedbump#1 cleared.

Now Cash, having returned home to Dillon for a while, is set to take off back on tour.  In the midst of college applications (and after becoming student council president to beef up her extra-carriculars) Tyra impulsively decides to take off with him.  They’re in Dallas this week and Tyra sees Cash in a heated conversation with some man at the rodeo.  It turns out he owes A LOT of money and he is a mix of anger and frustration, much to Tyra’s surprise with a hint of fear.  Trying to get the money after failing to win his event that day, he and Tyra go to some shady bar.  He loses his money and says he’ll just go off to get some more leaving Tyra alone with the leering eyes of the bar patrons on her.  She runs off back to the motel room and calls Principal Mrs. Coach who is with Coach at a fancy hotel celebrating her birthday.  She tearily asks if Mrs. Coach can come pick her up.  They take the chocolate and champagne and arrive in Dallas to find Cash forcibly trying to get Tyra to stay as she packs her bags.  Coach holds Cash back as Tyra gets in the car and they’re off back to Dillon.


Saracens
With Gramma Saracen’s health continuing to take a toll on Matt, he goes to his estranged mother a town over to have her sign papers that would make Matt an emancipated teen, allowing him to essentially become his grandmother’s guardian.  Since then, Matt’s mother has slowly gotten back into his life, much to the annoyance of Lorraine who still holds some comtempt for her leaving them years and years ago.  This week, his mother wants him to seriously consider going to college, but that would mean leaving Lorraine in Dillon.  She suggests that she stay with her while Matt pursues higher education.  Slowly, Gramma and Mommy Saracen put their differences aside, with Gramma Saracen starting to become more comfortable with having her former daughter-in-law back in their lives.


Tim and Lyla
Tim has been getting serious consideration from colleges with Lyla pushing him along to pursue those open doors that have been coming to him.  Lyla does everything she can to help Tim, but he doesn’t seem to want to take it seriously, even after more bouts with money trouble that led brother Billy to actually deal with their crazy pot growing, rifle owning friend from last season a few episodes ago.  After sending off his best friend last week (Texas forever!), Tim finally decides he’s going to consider the opportunities and in turn he and Lyla go back to making kissy faces (with alcohol breath) again.

Overall, this 3rd season (which I am only watching now on NBC after getting the episodes “alternatively” after they aired on DirecTV last fall proved to be too time consuming) has been great.  Getting past the missteps from season 2, which for a lesser show would’ve been death, Friday Night Lights has been almost at a season 1 level of greatness.  I doubt the show will ever be able to recapture that magic, but at least, we’re getting back the sincere, true to life, emotional, engaging series that we grew to love when it premiered in 2006.

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