Friday Night Lights, Episode 5.06 – Swerve


It’s Sunday and everyone is at their respective churches. Luke’s parents are already wearing their figurative TMU Proud Parent sweaters even though Luke isn’t as sure as he was about getting an offer.

The Taylors and father and son Garrity catch up outside and Buddy jokes about Julie and Junior looking like a nice little couple. Across town, Aunt Byrd invites the Howards over for dinner after Friday’s game.

Over at the Riggins humble abode, Billy is talking to Tim over the phone. Billy wants everything to be taken care of for Tim, he promises that land Tim had wanted to buy (already bought?) will be there waiting for him.

Vince thought he was done with his old life, but here comes Kennard who reminds Vince that he still owes him $5000.

Coach and Mrs. Coach kiss Julie goodbye as she heads back to Burlson U… but oops! Julie’s not fine after all and decides to crash into the brick mailbox down the street. She gets out of her car unharmed and cries on the sidewalk.

The next morning, Coach is talking to the repair shop as Julie apologizes about swerving to avoid a dog in the middle of the road. Her parents assure her it’s fine and Mrs. Coach wants to take her back to Burleson herself. Julie secretly never wants to go back there ever again.

Mother and daughter go out for brunch and Mrs. Coach asks Julie about school. Sensing something is wrong, Mrs. Coach insists she tell her what’s up and Julie reveals everything. Mrs. Coach tells Coach later on at home and a furious Coach wants to go up to Burleson and kick TA Derek’s ass himself. Mrs. Coach says what’s important now is to be compassionate and focus on their “destroyed” daughter.

“You know she wrecked that car on purpose,” Coach says. Mrs. Coach is in denial until she asks Julie the next morning. She admits it and then says maybe she jumped into this “college thing” too soon. Maybe she should’ve traveled to Europe or something. Mrs. Coach can’t believe it.

Mindy and Becky go shopping. Becky can’t stop thinking about Tim, but Mindy suggests taking her mind off of him by having sex… maybe with “that cute farmboy.”

Cute farmboy Luke comes in to ask Coach about talking to Vince. Coach apologizes and tells Luke that TMU was never interested in Luke and had only used him to get to Vince. Luke is crushed.

The team teases Coach’s cover on a high school sports magazine, but Coach has more serious things to talk about as he makes them run as punishment for their little branding fun in Kingdom.

The next practice, the team is on half-speed and Coach has other things on his mind. He leaves early and goes home to Julie making a grilled cheese. He asks her if she knew TA Derek was married, but she doesn’t answer.

Later, Coach is watching the sprinklers in the backyard when Mrs. Coach comes to see him. She says he’s hiding. He says he doesn’t know his own daughter anymore. Yes, you do, Mrs. Coach says.

Next morning, Coach tells Julie he’ll pay for the car this afternoon, but she’ll have to pay him back. Afterwards, she’ll have to drive herself back to school.

Luke is upset with Vince and ends up drowning his sorrows. He shows up drunk to the Riggins’ looking for Becky. But it’s only Billy as Becky is babysitting Stevie at the Landing Strip while Mindy waits on tables. Billy takes this opportunity to boost Luke’s confidence in himself and in the game. He tells Luke to enjoy football and teaches him his war cry. (“That’s a war cry mofo! You gotta get your heart back in the game.”)

Luke decides to call “Coach Assface” to give him a piece of his mind. He shoots down Billy’s suggestion to say “Eat the corn out of my turd” and instead tells the TMU coach, “I got heart. Listen…” and he gives his best war cry.

Next morning, Luke wakes up and flushes his TMU poster down the toilet after he pees on it.

Vince goes to give Kennard some money, but not the full $5000. Kennard threatens him, but Vince gives it right back. Kennard turns to Jess and threatens her and her father’s BBQ joint. When she tells Vince what happened, she says she wants to call the cops but he says he’ll handle it.

He goes to the Taylors but steps back, instead goes to see his Pops. Pops is upset, realizing how “little Kennard” thinks he’s the shit now. He’ll take care of it he says.

Julie’s car is packed and ready to go, but she doesn’t want to go anymore. Coach kisses her on the forehead and begins dragging her out of the house.

“Let go of me!”
“Get in the car!”

Julie breaks free and locks herself in her room.

It’s 10 minutes to kickoff, but Coach is not in the field house. Billy gives a rousing pre-game speech just as Coach arrives. He apologizes for being late and they go out onto the field.

Meanwhile, Pops meets with Kennard outside the field. He tells Kennard that they don’t have the money, but they will settle this right now. Pops beats Kennard to the ground. (“Little bitch.”) He spits on him and says they’re history.

“You ever mess with me and mine, I’m gonna put you down for good. Feel me?”

Game is over, East Dillon is now 5-0. Buddy gives Luke the game ball and Billy promises they’ll get him that scholarship. Mindy, noticing Luke has been looking over to Becky all night, grabs the cute farmboys hand and takes him over to Becky.

“You’re both hot. Get laid. … Screw like bunnies and use protection.”

Luke and Becky nervously laugh about it all.

At the Howard-Merriwetaher dinner, Pops tells Vince it’s all been taken care of.

Coach comes home and sees Mrs. Coach sleeping on the couch. He goes to Gracie who’s sleeping as well and Julie comes to the door.

“I didn’t mean to disappoint you,” she says and goes back to her room.

Episode Thoughts
Another good episode, the show is moving forward now, thankfully.

So far, this is the only possible Emmy submission for both Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. (You know we’re all waiting for that tape!) A good episode for both where they show what they do best on this show.

Still, I feel like Friday Night Lights isn’t the kind of show that has those Emmy-bait episodes that other, typical Emmy nominees have. While you can appreciate their performances week in and week out, for Emmy voters, it feels more like the whole season is their Emmy tape. Seeing the natural progression of story and therefore the performances is a big reason Kyle and Connie got nominated last year after DirecTV sent out the entire season to voters.

I do hope they get that one episode that really shows their range and outstanding work. Maybe the finale?

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