The siren call of the drumline, plastic on plastic, and the ref’s whistle brought us all back to Dillon, TX this week for another installment of Friday Night Lights. Coming off of a devastating loss to Arnette-Meade last week, our coaching staff reworked their strategy, and finally put an end to the—or maybe created more—tension between our starting quarterback, Matt Saracen, and his backup, JD McCoy. We have officially sent another alumnus to the next level, as Smash Williams was given a chance to play for the Texas A&M Aggies. Even though there were so many positive events this week, all was not well in Panther Nation, Tami gave in to Buddy and company regarding the jumbotron, Landry and Tyra’s amicable breakup finally fizzled, and Matt Saracen ran into troubles giving his grandmother her medicine and dealing with his own mother. This week’s episode did not create any new exceptional plot twists, but it did resolve some older ones, allowing us to get back to focusing on next week’s opponent.
   Coach Taylor made the decision to alternate between the I-form, and the spread offense next week. And after great debate regarding the benching of Matt Saracen and playing JD McCoy, he copped out to allowing Matt to start, but giving them equal and alternating series. If he can keep this decision under wraps, it will pay dividends against next week’s opponent, but it may not work so well if the media blows the lid off with their coverage.
    A friend of Billy Riggins from high school was in town for the Dillon Rodeo this week. After a few encounters with the lovely Tyra Collette, she seemed to have all but forgotten about Landry Clarke. After he got his wisdom teet taken out, he was expecting Tyra to come over to keep him company and take care of him, as she had originally promised. Those plans went by the wayside once it became clear that she and the cowboy, Cash, were attracted to each other. At the eventual moment of truth, she admitted to Landry her feelings for Cash, ending their friendl break up.
    Tami finally realized she was fighting a losing battle with the boosters about the jumbotron. Apparently the laws did not apply once it came down to football. Buddy forced his jumbotron idea through, with the help of his old boys’ network including his golf buddy, the superintendent. Embarrassed but persistent, she shamed Buddy into hosting the PTA fundraiser this winter at Garrity motors.
    Throughout the installment, Smash wavered between anxiety, excitement, and skepticism regarding his tryout with Texas A&M. First it was postponed, giving him an extra day to prepare. Then he was stood up, and promised a future tryout in a week owing to their busy schedule including a Thursday night game. This did not sit well with Coach Taylor, who had already driven the incredible distance from Dillon, so he marched Smash to the middle of the field and convinced the coach to give him a chance right then and there. In a moving moment, Coach Taylor inspired Smash, and anyone who was watching, to go all the way. After an impressive performance, Smash was telephoned and offered a spot at the prestigious institution.
    While the Smash was changing his public perception, Matt Saracen was working on his private image. His mother was still in town, trying to mend their broken relationship. After repeatedly refusing her attempts to talk, and the treatment he witnessed his grandmother giving her, Matt finally had a heart to heart with his grandmother about the original conditions of her leaving. When he realized he may have been unfair to her, he had lunch with his mom to find out her intentions and to clear the air. Her motives seemed to be honorable, that she thought life had been too hard for her son, and she only wanted to help him out at this time, not to have him call her mom or forgive her for leaving. This moment was crucial to their relationship, as her motives made all the difference in the outcome. Matt will end up with a healthier relationship with her by the end of the year on account of her saying these things.
    Tears were shed, laughs were had and issues were settled this week in an overall great episode of Friday Night Lights. It is doubtful that Street won’t be in future episode, after his potential child was such a main plot story last season. The transition from the I-form to the spread offense is going to clear the way for JD to take over the position from Saracen, which will be a life-defining moment for him, only time will tell how he reacts to the change. Even though we’re through the first three courses of the meal, the table keeps setting itself for future conflicts and resolutions. We have great things to look forward to on the gridiron in the coming weeks.

Recap by Leon Phelps