Friday Night Lights 4.11 – Injured Hearts and Injured Minds

Tim heads into the bank and hands over an envelope of cash enough to pay for that land. He’s got a lot of money now. Which is why back home after Cheryl complements him on being a good guy, he offers to take her and Becky out to dinner tonight.

Tim tells them about him being a new landowner, that he hopes to build a home with his own hands on that land, and that he’s enrolling at Dillon Tech. Becky asks where he got the money and he says Garrity Motors sent them lots of work.

Back home, Cheryl visits Tim in his trailer and wants to spend the night, if you know what I mean. She kisses him, but Tim doesn’t think this is a good idea. He turns her down, but she wants to get to know him. She’s sort of drunk, but he tells her he’s not ready to be in some sort of relationship.

Becky invites Tim in for a movie. He reluctantly joins her. And he was probably better of not going in. They watch the movie in her mother’s room and Becky falls asleep. Just as Tim gets up to leave, Cheryl arrives and immediately assumes they’ve been fooling around. Being a mother plus having her pride take a hit by Tim rejecting her but going for her daughter, she tells him to leave their home. She yells at him as he takes his stuff and leaves and says he’ll never amount to anything. He’s just a lowlife.

Tim sleeps at Riggins Rigs and Becky visits him to tell him he’s not a loser, that he’s not nothing, he’s kind, he’s good and strong. He protected her from her father and he drove all that way to the pageant. Most importantly, he was there for her through the hardest thing she’s ever had to go through. “And you were the only one there.” (But Becks, Luke wanted to be there for you but you turned him away!) She thanks him, she hugs him and kisses him on the cheek. “Bye Tim Riggins,” she says and leaves.

Vince is with Kennard and Calvin as they go to collect on one of their parts runs. Calvin keeps the car running as Vince goes with Kennard who drags the guy out of his house and proceeds to whack him with a crowbar reminding him to give them their money. He hands Vince the crowbar to get his licks in, but Vince just steps on him and they leave.

At school, Landry and Jess are talking about her coming over to dinner. They kiss, but Vince walks by and Jess gets uncomfortable.

It’s equally uncomfortable at the Clarke’s. Jess mentions her three brothers, to which Landry’s father says “Your mama must have been busy.” Okay. Moving on, Landry’s mother asks “So, now what do you think about Obama so far Jess?” Landry can’t believe it.

Landry and Jess laugh about it the next day and tell each other “I didn’t see you coming.”

At the BBQ, Jess shows concern for Vince and later visits Vince’s mother at rehab.

After the game, Vince joins in the money run, this time he stays in the car and Calvin joins Kennard. Shots are fired and Calvin is shot dead. He sits in front of Jess’ home later and cries when she arrives. She hugs him.

Even though the Lions have a game thisFriday, everyone is anticipating the game next Friday against West Dillon and the Panthers. Coach doesn’t want to talk about the Panthers now and only wants his team to focus on this week’s game.

The pharmacist won’t fill Luke’s prescription again. At practice, Luke is in absolute pain, but doesn’t let anyone know about his hip which is bruising bad.

But his hip may not be all he has to worry about. His mother goes to visit Becky and wants to talk with her, just to “understand” everything better. She tells Becky she is sorry she wasn’t there for her.

Something must have been said because Superintendent Paul informs Tami that Luke’s mother wants her fired for advising Becky to have an abortion (which she didn’t). There will be a board meeting to discuss the situation. Tami is flabbergasted.

We head to Chicago and check in with Matt who now has a place of his own. He seems to be missing Julie. Meanwhile, Julie is hoping to sign-up for Habitat for Humanity.

While Coach and Mrs. Coach are discussing the situation, Julie’s in getting Gracie ready for bed when Matt calls. She answers, but tells him “I can’t talk to you right now” and hangs up.

Later, Julie visits her mother in bed while Coach is watching game tape. Mrs. Coach tells Julie about what’s happening.

At school, Becky tells Luke about his mom visiting her. She asks how she’s doing because she had left the Sproleseses upset. Luke apologizes, she shouldn’t have done that, he says.

Meanwhile, Tami is in front of a firing squad, well, one PMSing board member, questioning her credentials as a counsel for a teenage girl. Principal and Counselor Mrs. Coach tells them she is a certified counselor and a principal who advised the young girl on her options.

This lady in particular, wow, seems to have it in for Mrs. Coach:
Ms. Jackson: “You referred her to an abortion clinic!”
Mrs. Coach: “I did not refer her to an abortion clinic. She went to the clinic with her mother.”
Ms. Jackson: “You provided this girl, who was not your student, who is not zoned in your school with the information to get her child aborted.”
Mrs. Coach: “I did not ma’am.”
Ms. Jackson: “Are you calling me a liar!?!”
Mrs. Coach: “No, I am telling you you have bad information.”

Ms. Jackson is not happy.

Ms. Jackson: “Mrs. Taylor, did you, or did you not advise this girl to get an abortion.”
Mrs. Coach: “I did not advise her to get an abortion, no.”
Ms. Jackson gives her a “You are full of shat” look.
Mrs. Coach: “This girl came to me, she was scared, she was desperate for an adult to listen to her, I gave her options, and I listened. That was my responsibility to her as a principal and as a human being. I hope y’all will keep that mind today as you make your decision. Thank you. I know you’ll let me know.”

Next day, Paul calls Tami to tell her the board voted 5-1 in her favor. He advises her though to be careful, he hopes this doesn’t get out outside the board otherwise parents will go nuts when hearing it out of context. Uh oh.

Luke comes home to hear his furious mother getting the news. He tells her to stop, Mrs. Coach had nothing to do with this. His mother insists a person who “would do something like this” shouldn’t be in charge of children. She also poo-poos her son’s passion for football. Oh, that’s it. Luke leaves.

He ends up at Carroll Park. Oh Luke. He’s looking for pain killers and actually takes his wallet out. Luke! Tinker sees Luke going around flashing the moneys and wonders what’s up.

Before the game, Tink asks Luke what’s wrong. He shows him his hip. Tink can’t believe he didn’t tell him.

At the game, Luke tries to avoid getting hit on his bad side, but Coach keeps calling plays that have him running left, putting in him prime right-side hitting position. Tinker lets the huddle know about Luke’s hip and Vince changes the play to help ease the impact on Luke when he runs the ball.

Coach calls Vince over to make sure he’s getting his signals right. Vince goes back to the huddle and says sorry, they can’t do anything about it. Coach keeps calling the same play (gee, how does that work Coach?) and Luke gets pummeled. They bring him over to the bench and he finally shows his coaches what’s wrong. Coach is furious. Luke apologizes (like he apologized to Mrs. Coach before).

Matt calls Julie while she’s at school. He apologizes for not calling since he left Dillon. He tells her he’s got a job at an art gallery, he’s going to start school next semester. “Seems you got it all worked out,” Julie says, but Matt says well, it doesn’t seem like it since she’s not there with him.

Julie: “We were together for almost four years! I know everything about you! You were my other half. I hate you so much for leaving me. How could you do that to somebody that you love.
Matt: “I know, I just thought, I felt like that was what I had to do.”
Julie: “Well, I have to do what I have to do. And whatever’s missing in your life, I suggest you go and find it.”

Julie hangs up.

Mrs. Coach gets a call at 11:30pm from the newspaper asking for comment on allegations she advised a girl to get an abortion. She says no comment and hangs up.

Coach and Buddy are out drinking. They lost the game. “The season’s over,” Buddy proclaims. He wants to take Coach home, but Coach doesn’t want to go home yet. Little does he know Mrs. Coach is sitting outside waiting. Not knowing what to do.

Episode Thoughts
What a tough episode! Lots to digest this week.

Landry seems to be sadly heading towards heartbreak. The Jess-Vince connection seems to be growing, or rekindling as we head to the finale. Vince no question still has feelings for her (whatever their relationship was before), and Jess has always been awkwardly uncomfortable when he’s around in a “I don’t know if I want you” sort of way. Sigh, can’t Landry find a little happiness for once?

It was interesting seeing that little racial tension return at the dinner with Landry’s parents (including the returning Glenn Morshower!). It was reminiscent of the even more uncomfortable, but sort of forced racial tension at the dinner with Smash, Mama Smash, and the family of his suddenly white girlfriend.

Still, the dinner at the Clarke’s didn’t really end up meaning anything though. At least in this episode.

Cheryl Sproles wants to jump Tim’s bones, and I’m sure many women and some men would too. But Tim refuses. Is he a changed man? Does he really want to finally settle down and get his life on track? His relationship with Becky though continues to be very strange to me. Even more because of Becky continuing to inch her way into Tim’s life, and really just want to be with him even after she gets pregnant and have an abortion. Wise words from her though to Tim at the end of the episode. Though what really annoyed me was her saying Tim was the only one there for her when Luke, the stand-up guy that he is, repeatedly offered to help her but she repeatedly pushed him away. Come on Becks!

More about Becky, but first, another dysfunctional couple, Julie and Matt. Matt has apparently not called Julie all this time and when he finally does, Julie doesn’t want to hear him. She cries about them being together for four years, but actually they were apart for one of those three when she left Matt to go for the Swede and Matt got knocked in the head or something and decided he wanted to sex up Gramma Saracen’s Latina nurse. (I’d rather forget that season though.) It’s definitely interesting because while they’ve seemed to be meant for each other at times, other times they are the typical puppy love couple that isn’t meant to be. I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of Matt this season.

And finally, the abortion situation. I think this was an interesting and clever way to include the abortion debate on the show. It doesn’t feel forced or preachy, instead reflects the real opinions of America. And not only that, but they cleverly find a way to keep Mrs. Coach pretty much neutral on the debate itself. It is tough to watch Mrs. Coach get put in tough situations, but awesome to see her not go down without a fight.

If only the Emmy voters could watch the entire season instead of one episode (and they may be able to watch the entire season since they got the DVDs from DirecTV), they’d be able to see how amazing Connie Britton really is through her whole season’s work. And these last few episodes have some great, great scenes that show her effortless performance.

Two episodes left this season!

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