Friday Night Lights Episode 5.05 – Kingdom

“My way is the right way, the good way, the smart way. It’s the path to salvation gentlemen!”

Coach is cooking bacon in his office when Vince comes to tell him about talking to coaches at TMU even though that’s not allowed since he’s still a Junior. Coach says not to tell anyone and he’ll take care of it.

The team has a five hour trip down the highway for their game this week against the South King Rangers, the team the Lions played against last season when Coach made the decision to forfeit. Coach tells his team he doesn’t want revenge football because that is stupid football.

“Success is not a goal, it is a byproduct.”

Over in Burleson, Julie gets to her dorm room, exhausted from a night with TA Derek. Counselor Mrs. Coach tires to call her, but Julie never picks up. With Coach away for the weekend for the game, Tami agrees to a girls night out in with teacher Laurel with some white wine and Chinese food at home.

The Lions get on the bus for the long road trip. Mrs. Coach kisses Coach good luck while Buddy warns Buddy Jr. of hazing, but it’s all good. The bus breaks down along the way and Billy attempts to fix it (“AAA is for women!”) while we get a very random shot of the guys lined-up along the side of the highway peeing into a field.

Julie is at the poetry reading when TA Derek comes to whisk her away to get some BBQ. They talk about each other lives and Julie feels pretty good. Later that night, TA Derek tells Julie about his wife while he asks about Matt. Julie says he’s “this guy in Chicago.” They kiss.

The Lions arrive at the hotel in Kingdom (welcoming the EAST DILLON LOINS) and this is where Vince introduces his pops to Coach. The team takes over the hotel pool (much to the fear of the other guests already in the pool) and Coach talks to Pops and Vince about recruiting. Everything will go through Coach but it is clear it’s gone in one of Pops’ ears through another.

Later that night, Luke and Vince are on the terrace. Tinker and then Hastings join in the fun. They get sentimental, Hastings talking about his family moving around a lot and being in Kingdom before, the others talking about the bad feeling after last year’s forfeit, Vince saying Coach is a “straight up guy” with reasons, though he has no idea what they are, and Luke joking that it was because he wasn’t on the team yet. All of this heard by Coach sitting outside just a room away.

Game night and the Lions are down by 17-7 at the half. South King happily talks trash to Vince and the team. In the locker room, Coach reminds them that they have to “stay away from dumb.”

But when the game continues, the calls are all going against the Lions and Coach resigns to playing “by our rules.” The Lions wake up and they score… and score again. They end up winning 38-17.

Wait, 38-17?!?!

But the win isn’t all that sweet.
Reporters ask Coach on his way off the field why he has such an undisciplined team?

The Lions take over the hotel again. Vince and Jess want to have some alone time, but the guys get Vince to come celebrate with them. Hastings takes them to some gypsy camp or something where they get drunk. Vince tells Luke about TMU.

Later, Luke, the worst drunk, says he would “walk on fire for you guys.” Hastings says to prove it and this leads them all to brand themselves on their arms with a hot coat hanger.

The coaches meanwhile play poker and drink too, but Coach Crowley leaves earlier, not happy with the way the game got out of control. A drunk Coach leaves early too and calls Mrs. Coach, who is drunk as well with teacher Laurel.

The night ends with Julie, in her dorm’s common room, getting a visit from Allison, TA Derek’s wife.

“Is one of you Julie Taylor!? You are a freakin’ cliché and a slut!” And Julie gets slapped.

“JULIE TAYLOR IS A SLUT!” she says as she gets dragged out of the dorm.

The next morning, Jess can’t believe these idiots. She bandages them up.

Back in Dillon, Gracie belle is being cute with Mrs. Coach when the door opens. She fully expects Coach, but actually it’s Julie! She’s home. Mrs. Coach is happy and all, but then wonders what’s going on?

Episode Thoughts
Thank goodness these episodes are getting better by the week.

First of all, I must have totally missed it, but I thought Coach was more than just a QB coach when he jumped ship. That is definitely news to me.

But anyway, this was a strange, but wonderful episode. Strange because it felt really long. Maybe the road trip made it feel longer, but it felt like the episode was a feature-length movie. It played that way too, almost like a special extended episode on the Lions’ road to redemption after that forfeit last year.

One of the very best scenes and a perfect example of what Friday Night Lights does best was that scene on the terrace. Coach listening in on the guys just taking, reminiscing, joking around… just a wonderfully subtle, sincere, and down to earth moment that just make Friday Night Lights, Friday Night Lights.

The game though, the show is making it a habit of playing up huge and I mean HUGE comebacks for wins lately that it seems almost too contrived. Seems like there are cracks starting to form within the team so the game certainly started that forward, but still, I don’t believe the Lions are this incredible, mammoth team they continue to feel like they are.

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