Friday Night Lights 5.12 – The Sun is About to Set in Dillon

Tim is in his boxers and throwing everything out of his trailer in the middle of the night.

Counselor Mrs. Coach arrives home from Philadelphia. Coach wakes up on the couch. Julie comes out of her room and is home too. She finished her exams early.

In town the next day, the Lions are trying to get petitions to help save the program as well as get Lions fans to the town hall meeting that’ll discuss the issue. Luke tells Vince about a recruitment meeting with Warren Field State, a D-III school. That’s great, Vince says.

Mindy and Billy are at the OB-GYN getting a first look at their new baby…. Or should we say, babies! They’re having twins.

Counselor Mrs. Coach comes down to the field house to tell Coach all about the trip and the offer. She is very excited and wants to do it, but Coach not so much. “That’s a long commute.”

“But we live in Texas. Texas is where our friends and family are. Texas is where I work. Texas is where I have my job.”

This is an opportunity of a lifetime, Mrs. Coach says. And a good time to think about their family’s future. But Coach doesn’t want to talk about this right now.

“How many times have we moved before… for your job?”

Billy visits Tim at Buddy’s. Tim tells Billy he’s going to Alaska, to work the pipelines. That’s ridiculous, Billy says, how about your land? Tim says he’s selling it.

Jess is upset because finally, Coach and the rest of the coaches are giving her a shot, but it could all be taken away if the Lions disappear.

Luke meets with the recruiters and they are selling their team and town in Arkansas. Most of the players on the team play both sides like him… heck, a lot of them play basketball too. The town got their first Costco last year! (Congrats to them!) And they even have a new movie theatre down by the reservoir.

Luke isn’t that excited though.
Later, before practice, Coach asks about the meeting, since he had set it up. He senses Luke’s sort of defeated feeling.

One of the Panthers coaches comes to visit Buddy who tells him basically, the Panthers are Dillon. Come fall, it’ll be the blue and gold and the red and black. Changes are coming, Mac McGill will be out and they’re going to get a coach that can handle Vince Howard… who will be a Panther. There’s a seat waiting at the head of the table for Buddy, a table of the faithful for what will be the Panthers they all know and love.

At the bar, Tim is very busy when a wise guy, waiting on his drink, calls him a jailbird. “You call me that again, I swear to God I will end you,” Tim says.

Suddenly, at the door… “I’ve been waiting five minutes for my drink.” Tim turns to see who it is… “Hey there jailbird,” says the beautiful Miss Tyra Collette.

“Move,” she says to the wise guy at the bar and he leaves. Tim smiles. “Hi,” Tyra smiles.

Coach and Mrs. Coach are at the dinner table. Coach apologizes. He knows how much this means to her. But he’s sorry, “we’ve got an obvious problem here.”

Actually, Mrs. Coach says, the football situation might actually be a blessing for them, “to get a real good income in.”

“So you’re rooting against us, is that what you’re saying?”
“Against who ‘us’?”
“Me? Against my team?”
“Oh! The Lions! Oh, I’m sorry, I should’ve known, of course you were talking about the Lions. I didn’t know if you meant us, you and I. Or us, the Lions, of course you meant the Lions.”

“You know what honey, I’ve been a Coach’s wife for 18 years. Every decision this family has made has been based on your coaching career. I don’t see why we can’t look at something else beyond football. Especially because it is not just an opportunity for me. This is an opportunity for our family. Can’t we even have that conversation?”

“Yeah,” Coach says, but apparently not since he leaves the house.

Tim and Tyra are having a drink. She says Mindy’s mad she’s only been home once since Stevie’s been born and now she’ll need some help when the twins are born. The twins are news to Tim. He says he has to clock back in and thanks Tyra for writing him in jail.

Billy didn’t come see you? Tyra asks. “He saw me. He took real good care of me,” Tim says heading back inside. Tyra wonders.

Mindy is crying in bed, worried about how they will raise three kids. Billy reminds her he’ll always take care of her and everything will be okay.

Buddy asks Coach about what’ll happen if things don’t go their way and they end up creating a Dillon superteam. Buddy round-about-ly asks what Coach might think about being the captain of that new ship. Coach says he has to go pick up Gracie.

It’s a Collette family reunion! Billy tells them about Tim’s plans to go to Alaska. He didn’t tell Tyra any of that. Billy says Tim loves Texas too much that it’ll never happen.

Julie drives over to the Saracen’s. But she stays in her car.

Becky drives over to Luke’s and wants to talk. She tells him how her life changed being welcomed into the Riggins home, finally feeling like she has a family. She tells him about how Tim talked to her, spent time with her and most importantly helped her when she was going through the abortion. So yes, she loved him for that, she put him on a pedestal for that. But none of that was real. What she has with Luke is real. There’s just been a lot of misunderstandings.

“That’s really pretty, you should put that in a little poem,” Luke says. Oh Luke.
“Are you kidding me? Just go to hell. GO TO HELL! I was being honest with you.” Becky drives away.

At the town hall meeting, the town is divided, tension is high.

Billy talks to Coach about next season’s football landscape. But nothing is clear right now. Now Billy is a little worried.

Luke heads to the bar. Tim asks what he’d like, Luke says a cheeseburger and a coke. That’s it, Tim asks? And Luke asks what he really wants, to know if Tim is in love with Becky. No, he cares about her and has been there for her, but nothing more. Anything else?

Luke tells him about Warren Field State. He loves football, but Warren Field State doesn’t give him the feeling. Tim gives him some advice. The Lions are going to State, nothing is going to be bigger than that. Play like it’ll be the last time you’ll ever lace up, he says. Then let it go and move on.

Vince and Jess head to the school board president. Vince tells him about how much football changed his life… saved his life. “More than just a game to us… football is our life.”

“Thank you,” the president says,”this is the best part of my day.”

Tim and Tyra sitting in front of the trailer.
“Was it really that bad?”
“If you’re asking if I was raped in prison, Tyra, the answer is no.”
“Well, that’s good to know, thank you.”

What the hell is wrong with you, what’re you doing, she asks. He tells her everything, how he took the fall for Billy’s mistakes. Now Tyra understands.

Julie finds her mother almost in tears. She asks what she hopes for from the school board meeting. She says she hopes the Lions stay in Dillon… and that she gets to be Dean of Admissions. “You know your father and I love each other very much right?”

Tony Lucca’s version of “Devil Town” (season three promo!) plays as the entire town of Dillon waits for news. President comes out… by a vote of 5-2, the one team in Dillon will be… the Dillon Panthers.

Vince goes up to Coach.
“You will be the starting quarterback of the Dillon Panthers next year. And you are gonna shine.”
They hug.

West Dillon is celebrating. Tyra and Julie have a drink together. They talk about how Dillon is a hard place to shake off. The two girls who couldn’t wait to get out of there, now missing it all.

Tyra asks about Matt.
“Life’s harder when you really love someone,” Tyra says. She thinks.

Buddy and Coach are at the Panthers field. Buddy says the he will lead the Panthers, that they want Coach Eric Taylor. But Coach says he could never come back here, he could never coach the Panthers again. Buddy tries to sell three rings in six years, history. “You’re a son of a bitch.”

Over at the Lions field, Vince, Luke, Buddy Jr., Hastings, and Tinker are drinking and reminiscing. Tink wants a piece of the field to plant in his front yard. The field of their blood, sweat, and tears.

Best year and a half of his entire life, Luke says. On to State, and that’ll be it for him and football.

They toast to that. Buddy Jr. pukes. They play catch into the night.

Tim’s cleaning the bar. Tyra goes to him, telling him not to lose his brother. Billy’s always believed in him. Okay, she says and walks out the door.

But Tim runs after her. Don’t go, he says. He puts his hands on her face. She half-motions not to, but they give in and they kiss.

Coach comes home. He sits in the living room with Mrs. Coach. He tells her about them wanting Coach for the Panthers.

“I’m going to say to you what you haven’t had the grace to say to me… Congratulations Eric.”

She takes her boots and heads out.

Tyra wakes up next to Tim. She wants him to take her someplace.

Jess and Vince in Coach’s office. Feels like everything we’ve worked for is disappearing.

How about you and me? he asks.
She says she is proud of how hard he tried. He apologizes for being a jerk. He promises that jerk won’t show up anymore.

“You already got two strikes against you.”
“Jess, I was born with two strikes against me.”

Jess laughs. They hug.

Tim takes Tyra to his land. “Alaska, Tim?”

Grandma Saracen is enjoying some snack when there’s a knock on the door. (Oh no…)
The door opens and in walks a huge Christmas tree who’s brought a friend with it too.

Grandma Saracen asks who it is, “It’s me, it’s Matthew, Grandma!”
She just lights up. (Here we go.)
She gets up to hug Matt as they share a happy reunion.

“I didn’t know you were coming home. Did you tell your daddy you’re home? Did you tell everybody?”
“No, you’re the only person who knows. It’s a surprise.”
“I’m surprised. And I’m happy.”
(And the tears are flowing down my face.)

Mrs. Coach opens the door to Buddy and a few gentlemen in blue. Come in, says Coach.

“18 years.”

Episode Thoughts
Wow. x2!

Now you’re really feeling the end is near. Going in to this episode, I anticipated getting emotional, but boy, if I was bawling this much now, what more for next week’s final episode?

This episode just hit it out of the park. More than any episode this season (and maybe any episode in the history of the show), every single beat hit perfectly. The emotion is here. The sincerity is here. Everything that one could love about Friday Night Lights is here.

If this penultimate episode was that good, I can’t even imagine what the finale will be like.

I was tearing up the entire episode, the quick cuts between all the characters was effortless. Seeing the awesome Adrianne Palicki back in Dillon? Perfect. Seeing Grandma Saracen and Matthew together again? Priceless. (And it was that moment that really set off the floodgates for me!)

Luke and Becky, bittersweet but not unexpected. What I am expecting is them ending up together next week! Vince and Jess, for me, the first time I really felt they are destined. This episode highlighted what makes both of them awesome in their own separate ways, but also great when they are together.

Tyra and Tim… I have to say, while Tyra and Landry were cute and I enjoyed them together, I’ve always loved Tyra and Tim together. Not Tim and Lyla (because I still picture Lyla and Jason, so perfect and meant for each other all the way back in the pilot), but Tim and Tyra. The two rebels. The two you wouldn’t want to pick a fight with. The kindred spirits that find their way back to each other now, and it seems just right.

What can you say about Buddy. After five years of Buddy Garrity, we all know where his heart lies.

And Coach and Mrs. Coach. Though I would’ve loved more of Mrs. Coach wanting more out of life than being the coach’s wife (more than two episodes worth at least!), both Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton showed exactly what makes them THE ultimate tandem on television. No one is a match for their perfect chemistry on this show. And this episode could easily get them the Emmy recognition they so deserve.

In fact, the episode itself would be a solid Emmy tape. But of course we still have one hour left.

I feel like I’m writing after the last episode, but nope, we have one more to go. A mix of eager anticipation and utter dread. Just one more episode until the final sunset in Dillon.

The final episode of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS airs Next Wednesday, February 9th at 9pm exclusively on DirecTV’s The 101 Network. The final season makes its broadcast premiere on NBC, Friday, April 15th at 8pm/7c.
The final season DVD will be released and on sale Tuesday, April 5th.
Pre-order now at

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