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November 20, 2014

Review: Friday Night Lights - After the Fall

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 5th 2009 12:42AM
Friday_night_lights_NBC(S04E02) In case you think the Coach Eric Taylor has all the answers, this episode shows that's not always the way it is. In last week's show, the East Dillon Lions were so awful, Coach couldn't take it. He threw in the towel, which is a boxing term, but by forfeiting the game at half-time, that's what he did in football terms.

Things were hardly better for Tami at Dillon, although by comparison, her school looks like paradise. Eric's on the other side of paradise. More about that and the rest of the players, on field and off, after the jump.

Eric really has put himself in a hole with the forfeit. He thought he was saving the dignity of the team, but that's not how the players saw it. It took Landry to make it crystal clear for the Coach when he said, "You quit on us." The signs strewn on the lawn were also a good notice.

Winning back the players occupied most of Eric's time, so football was definitely not on the agenda. You can't have a practice without a team, and for a while it looked like the only guy who was going to play was Luke McCafferty.

McCafferty was the heart and soul of the episode. The kid was a pawn in the division between the two high schools. When Tami had to tell him he must transfer to East Dillon, the tears he cried were heartbreaking. His future flashed before his eyes and he didn't see getting a college scholarship from a dump like East Dillon High. But because he was not only a talented player, but a good kid, he apologized to Tammy and accepted that he had to go across town.

In his usual slimy way, Joe McCoy threatened Tami to try and keep Luke on the Panthers, but she turned the tables on him at the booster club meeting. Tammy can handle McCoy and his treachery, but getting booed by the students at the pep rally stung her.

My favorite scene might have been the chance encounter at a gas station between Eric and a stranger. The stranger was actually Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach, but for this scene he was just a guy who recognized Taylor and gave him this bizarre advice: "You've got to find your inner pirate. A lot of time things just happen for a reason. We don't know why God wants it that way. ...You might be the luckiest man alive and not even know it."

Whether Eric found his inner pirate or not, after appealing to Vince, he was about to gather the team for the special Saturday practice. It was really just an opportunity for Eric's mea culpa. He apologized from the heart.

The burning of the game tapes and the team jerseys was a symbolic way to bring them all back together. Now Eric just has to worry about finding new uniforms for his players.

In Other Action

-- Matt thought he was getting somewhere when he got an internship with a local artist, Richard Sherman. All Sherman seems to want is someone with a strong back.

-- Landry hit a girl on a bike, Jess Merriweather, but he didn't hurt her. He likes her, and we caught a glimpse of her father at Ray's Barbeque. Ray, her father, is Steve Harris from The Practice.

-- Riggins offered to help Coach Taylor, and it looks like they're going to be working together. On the personal front, Riggins moved into Becky's trailer, behind her house -- but way too close to her enticing teenaged daughter who already has her eyes on him.

-- I liked Vince returning the $20 to Eric.

[Watch clips of Friday Night Lights at SlashControl.]

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