Friday Night Lights: Game of the Week

This week: The continuing saga of the Riggins brothers and their women troubles um, continues. Matt has to balance being the man in his house with playing a new position on the team and his college aspirations, and Tyra finds out just how hard it is to be a rodeo clown.

Riggins is back from New York, just in time to find the front end of his truck smashed in. He walks through the front door to find Billy asleep on the couch in his undies surrounded by empty bottles of booze. Mindy dumped him and the wedding's off.

Tami's birthday is coming up and she has decided not to have it because she feels old (And here's is where everyone in the room rolls their eyes and says "As If!"). Besides if Tami has a birthday, then Julie has to have a birthday and Gracie Bell has to have a birthday and it's just better if they don't have them, right? Coach and his backwards baseball cap look unconvinced.

The next day at school, Coach pulls Julie out of her Math class to tell her all about his secret plan to whisk Tami away for her birthday after the football game on Friday night. He needs Julie to pack an overnight bag for her mom and to look after Gracie Bell. Julie agrees, but she points out that Tami didn't want her birthday celebrated. "That's her problem" Coach answers.

After the big game on Friday night, Coach rushes Tami out of the stadium and puts her in the car. She tells him if he is not taking her to the big after game party then that is the best birthday present she could ever ask for. At the hotel, Tami is absolutely thrilled with her birthday surprise. Gentlemen take note: usually when the lady says she doesn't want a fuss for her birthday, she really does want a fuss for her birthday, Coach Taylor knows. Anyway, Coach and Tami are mid makeout when she gets a phone call from Tyra.

In case you missed it last week, the Panthers are in the playoffs! Coach gives the team a great pep talk at practice and asks them to really think about how much they're willing to sacrifice for each other. The answer to that question will determine the outcome of the game, he tells them. Don't you just love sports pep talks? I do. Just as practice is really starting to get going, Buddy and the Mayor run out onto the field to deliver the news that the Panthers have been picked to be the high school football game of the week. Their first playoff game is going to be broadcast on national television.

Matt is getting his butt kicked at practice and when he gets home he is too tired to get a plate from the kitchen for his cheeseburger. A fight ensues between Gramma and Matt's mom over where Matt eats his dinner and then Gramma asks point blank when Shelby is leaving. It turns out that Matt and his mom have already talked about what will happen if Matt gets into college next year and Shelby has already agreed to stay behind in Dillon and look after Gramma if he does. So it looks like she'll be sticking around for a while anyway. Gramma Saracen is not happy and she tells Shelby "Matthew's not going anywhere, he wouldn't do that to me." Yikes. Matt ends up having to referee the fight between his Mom & his Grandma. As if he didn't have enough grown up responsibilities to deal with. Gramma tells Matt that he can get rid of her if he wants but he can't leave her with Shelby. Oh dear.

At the game, the TV cameras prove to be quite a distraction for the Panthers. The passing game can't get anything going and all of the receivers are running the wrong routes. Coach Taylor opts to go with the running game and hands off the ball to Riggins who manages to at least get them into field goal range. But at halftime the Panthers are trailing 7-3. Coach delivers a wake up speech to his offence at half time, and he makes the decision to finally put Matt in at wide receiver. Back at the Saracen house, Gramma and Shelby are both watching the game on TV in separate rooms when Matt gets thrown in the play. They have a bonding moment as they both try to rush to the field to watch the boy they love play some football.

Despite taking some big hits from the Arnett Mead defence, Matt manages to make a few great catches. He also throw a beautiful block that allows Riggins to score a touchdown. In the fourth quarter with the game on the line, Coach calls Matt's number on a risky fourth and long play. He makes the catch and stretches out for a first down and the Panthers win! Gramma and Shelby rush onto the field to give Matt a big hug.

A few days later, Shelby comes home with a guide to applying for colleges. Shelby tells Matt that he still has time to apply for college, and they'll figure something out for Gramma Saracen. She's even flagged some of the schools that have a great fine art department. It's nice for Matty to have someone in his corner for once.

Tim is approached by a scout from San Antonio state as he's leaving the practice field with Lyla. Apparently he's been sending Tim a lot of recruiting letters and Mr. Riggins has not been returning his calls. Tim makes excuses saying he's been busy with practice and things, but you kind of get the feeling that he's avoiding this scout. The scout asks Tim to come by his hotel later on so they can have a 'sit down' but Tim says it's not a good time because his truck is in the shop. Lyla offers him a ride, she's so helpful.

When Lyla arrives at the Riggins abode to pick him up, Tim is helping Billy to drown his sorrows. After a shot of tequila and half a beer, Tim is apparently ready for his interview. He heads outside to the car but Lyla stays behind to yell at Billy, who is a mess and frankly needs a good butt kicking. On the way to the interview Lyla tells Tim about the small classroom sizes and other facts she has discovered about San Antonio State, but he thinks the scout is mostly going to want to talk about football. Lyla accuses Tim of being afraid that if this college thing doesn't work out he will be a failure. Tim is more afraid that it will work out and he'll have to go to college. He thinks the interview is a waste of his time, but he can't wait for the free steak. Lyla stops the car and kicks him out. If he's not interested in his future then neither is she.

The next day, Lyla is filling up her windshield wiper fluid in front of the local convenience store and who should walk by but Mindy Collette. Lyla says she's real sorry about Mindy & Billy's breakup and asks what happened. "He's a dumbass, that's what happened!" Mindy answers. And this marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Instead of going to watch Tim's big playoff game, Lyla and Mindy decide to hang out and bond over their idiot men.
Due to getting dropped off without his coat somewhere in rural Texas, Tim never made it to his interview with the scout from San Antonio. The scout seeks Tim out after the game and asks him if he can take him out for a quick pop (don't they say soda in the states? Is this guy Canadian or does he just want to make sure Taylor Kitsch understands him?). Apparently Tim Riggins is San Antonio state's number one priority right now, and the scout doesn't want to get fired so he's going to stick around until Tim agrees to talk to him.

Over at the Collette house, Mindy and Lyla are getting drunk and talking about Cosmo. Apparently Billy Riggins is 10 for 10 on the 'Toxic Signs You're in a Bad Relationship' list. They put on Mindy's mom's favorite man hater break-up playlist and are busy dancing around the living room (and putting up an Anti-Riggins Force Field) when Billy shows up at the door apologizing and begging for forgiveness. Mindy rushes outside to forgive him. So much for the force field.

The next morning or afternoon Lyla wakes up with a wicked hangover. Buddy doesn't help by yelling "Good Morning! It's Alive!" at her at the top of his lungs in typical dad fashion. As Lyla is getting herself a glass of water, there is a knock on the door and Tim Riggins wants to know if she can come outside and play. She is not interested. He tells her that he got into college. He finally met with the recruiter and filled out some paperwork and he's going to get a scholarship and everything. She's still unimpressed. Next, Tim tries telling her that she was right and he was wrong. Hmm, still nothing. Ok how about this: 1) Tim is sorry, 2) He means it, 3) He's thankful she kicked his butt and 4) He wants to celebrate with her. Lyla finally gives in and forgives him and he leans in to kiss her and smells her breath. Tim thinks its probably not safe for him to drive anymore.

Meanwhile, Tyra is out on the rodeo circuit with Cash. Everything starts off great, with Cash signing autographs for little kids and Tyra making new friends with some of the girls working the merchandise tents. But Tyra starts to notice that Cash has been having a few heated discussions with some menacing looking men. Then things don't go so well for Cash in the bucking horse competition (please forgive my lack of rodeo-speak I'm from the non-cowboy part of Alberta) and he yells at Tyra when she tries to congratulate him: "Second place is the first place loser!"

Later on in the hotel room, Tyra keeps trying to put a positive spin on Cash's loss but he's not having it. Eventually he spills the beans that he owes a lot of money to the guys he was arguing with before. Who didn't see that coming a mile away? Cash welcomes Tyra to the real world, reminds her that he's not in high school and then brushes her off with a "don't worry about it, I'll figure it out." Nice. Tyra leaves to go and get some fresh air.

Back at school, the student council girls are getting worried because Tyra has been missing for a week and they don't have a theme for the winter formal yet. They approach Landry and ask him where she is, but he has no idea. But the student council girls are not the only ones who want to talk to Landry- he gets asked to do an interview for the pre-game show for the television broadcast. Apparently they are looking for a scholar-athlete and he fits the bill.

While he is in the makeup chair getting prepped for his big TV interview, Landry gets a call from Tyra. She's in Dallas and she tells Landry about going on the rodeo circuit with her cowboy. When Landry asks if she's alright she says she just wanted to hear a familiar voice. Landry requests that Tyra make a phone call to the student council girls to get them off his back about the theme for the winter formal. Then he has to go do his big time TV interview.

That evening, Tyra is hanging out in the local dive bar while Cash plays some cards. When he gets up to go and get some more cash for his card game, Tyra asks if they're leaving and he shoves her back into her chair and tells her to sit there until he tells her to get up. Tyra looks around the bar and realizes that she's not going to get any help from anyone there. She gets up and goes back to the hotel room to call Tami Taylor, because she's in over her head.

Tyra tells Tami that she's in trouble in Dallas and asks her to come and pick her up. Coach and Tami rush to the motel where Tyra is staying just in time to pick her up and save her from a drunken Cash who has returned and is trying to force her to stay with him. Coach Taylor deals with the drunk cowboy while Tami gets Tyra into the car. Tami asks Tyra if she is alright and she says yes, but it's pretty clear she's not.

That's it folks: tune in next week when J.D. meets a girl and Buddy has a run-in with the law!

Tags: Friday Night Lights, Game of the Week, S03E09

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