FNL RECAP: It Ain’t Easy Being J.D. McCoy

Monday, February 23 by

The Dillon Panthers reveled in another “W” this week, bringing their overall record to 4-1. On the home front, it was another eventful week down in Dillon, TX, full of relationship twists and plot turns. Jason Street almost gave up on his house-flipping project, JD McCoy was accepted as a member of the team, regardless of his age, and Matt and Julie Taylor finally officially got back together. This installment helped set the table for future episodes, providing valuable insight into the environment of Tyra Collette, and also introducing a rebound love-interest for Landry Clark. This is one of those rare moments when time cannot move quickly enough for Panther Nation to find out what happens next.

We kicked things off by watching Jason Street’s girlfriend leave for her parents’ house with the baby in tow. This did not sit well with Jason, because he is in love with her and wants to consider himself a provider, hence the house selling idea. It was quite clear that he loves his child and her, as he pleaded with her to stay.
Once it became clear that she was heading back to her parents’, he focused his energy on the renovation project, and displaying his quarterback skills and experience, assumed the leadership role. This bothered some of the people involved, notably Billy Riggins. With things seemingly falling apart, and after a heated discussion about the budget, Billy finally put a nail through his hand, halting work for the afternoon. It became clearer to Street that the house was not going to generate as much money or be ready as quickly as he had hoped. When he seemed ready to give up, he received inspiration from Coach Taylor, who reminded him how young he was, and to stick to his plan because things always look bad before they get better. This conversation may play a role in determining their future relationship if the house stays on the market too long, will Street take responsibility or will he try to saddle the blame on the Rigginses and Coach Taylor? It is in Street’s character to hold himself accountable, but it could be interesting to see how the wheelchair has affected this trait.

Somewhere between school, repairing a house, playing football and spending time with Lyla Garrity, Tim Riggins spent some quality time with the new starting quarterback, JD McCoy. As part of a freshman hazing ritual, JD was required to run the “naked mile” with the rest of the seniors watching. On account of his being starting quarterback, JD was singled out to go a little farther, and was teased by the team for the rest of the week. This was frowned upon by Coach Taylor, because he had the game to think about, and the ridicule was obviously hindering JD’s ability to perform. In order to soothe things over, Coach Taylor had Riggins take JD under his wing and make sure he know he had the support of the upperclassmen on the team.

In order to socialize with the rest of the team, it became clear that JD was going to have to drink. This was forbidden in the McCoy household, because it would severely undermine JD’s athletic ability. After the slaughter that was the Westerby game, JD was invited to party with the seniors, at the behest of Riggins. Joe McCoy, who forced his son to celebrate with the family at Appleby’s, thwarted that plan. Happening in the dressing room, it was clear what kind of relationship the father and son had  to all those who were interested, including Coach Taylor. The next evening, at the school dance, Riggins ran into JD. After some convincing, Riggins took him and Lyla to a different party, where JD succumbed to peer pressure and had his first sip of alcohol.

We next saw JD at church the next morning, with his father. He was forced to apologize to Coach Taylor for disappointing his father, and letting down the coach and the team. It became clear that Coach Taylor was having second thoughts about starting JD at quarterback on account of that familial relationship, and his inability to connect with the rest of the team. We can certainly look forward to that decision being scrutinized and Matt maybe being given a second chance.
It should be interesting to see what happens with Matt Saracen. He seems to have come to grips with playing second string, although it was still painful. After the game, he finally got the opportunity to take Julie Taylor up to the lake house, where they finally made their relationship official, again. This had been a long time coming and it was nice to see them finally get back together. Julie had definitely learned her lesson since last year and Matt needed someone to support him through this rough patch of his life. If he becomes content with sitting on the bench with Landry, and hanging out with Julie, will he embrace the possible chance of starting again? The allure of playing football and the possibility of getting scholarship money will definitely put their relationship, and his ideals, to the test.
Landry still has not gotten over Tyra, which caused some friction within his band this week. During rehearsals, it became apparent he was taking the band in a new, slower direction. This caused tension among the bandmates, who thought the band sounded better with a harder faster sound. The bassist quit, and the drummer walked out, leaving Landry with no vehicle to vent his frustration with Tyra.

During tryouts to replace the bassists, they played with several candidates. Each was turned away, until a freshman named Devon came to the scene and stole the show. She played as a band mate and not a bassist, even though she played bass quite admirably. In a series turning point, Devon approached Landry about his music and scrutinized his work honestly. It seemed to her that they were all about one thing, which most songs are, but his was exceptionally so. This led him to come face-to-face with the fact that he and Tyra were over, and that he should move on, perhaps with Devon. There remains much to be seen, because mixing business with pleasure is never a good idea, especially for someone as emotional as Landry.

In her world, Tyra was faced with some difficult questions as well. She is well aware of Cash’s pill habit, formed during his months in the rodeo. Even though all of the positive influences in her life, Tami and Julie, are telling her to move away from Cash she still sees the good in him. Having her mother sing his praises on account of his looks does not steer her in the right direction either. I’m hesitant to say the right direction, but it is difficult to remain objective when the writers are obviously trying to shape opinion of the Collettes. Mindy’s wedding dress came equipped with angel wings, and it was cut deep enough on the back to display her underwear. This in itself could be ignored but for the fact that her mother referred to the display as tasteful. Her family is trying to get her to attach herself to Cash because they think of him as a decent man, willing to take care of her, but Tyra, and Tami, still sees herself as self-sufficient and would like to remain so.
The situation reached a head when his apparent ex-girlfriend came to Tyra’s house demanding to speak to him to remind him that he owed child support. This crushed Tyra, but it almost seemed like she expected the other shoe to drop. He then came by the house to try to explain everything, and Tyra reluctantly allowed him to do so. He claimed to have been with her five years prior, but that the child was too young to be his. Believing this story, she forgave him and they seemed to make up. She was honestly better without him, even though he was sensitive enough and did pay for some of her college applications. It seems like she’s facing more of the same with Cash, as opposed to getting out of Dillon on Tami’s guidance.

It always seems like as soon as one door closes, another one opens in this story. Once we figured out what happened to Street’s child, we now want to know what’s going on with his girlfriend back east. As soon as we learned of Smash’s scholarship, we became curious about his new life. Things are finally shaping up the way they were meant to in this series though, with Matt and Julie together, Landry and Tyra apart, and the team cognizant of JD’s relationship with his father. Lyla and Tim are still seeing each other, but it seems like they’re growing apart, and it’s only a matter of time before they split up. The two things we can really look forward to for next week are the quarterback situation and Tyra’s relationship, they should be further cemented by then. Until next time, Panther fans, this is Slammin’ Sammy Meade bidding you farewell from another gorgeous Texas sunset.

Recap by Leon Phelps

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