It was a bad week for Panther Nation. And after a loss like last week’s, you have to start asking questions about the abilities of Coach Taylor. The annual coach’s barbecue was not held at the residence of Coach Taylor this year, rumors swirled about his relationship with the booster club, and Matt Saracen succumbed to stress all week. Things looked pretty bleak from his standpoint; there were many crises, challenges as well as victories this week as the eternal search for a state championship wore on.
    After hearing the news of Smash’s future tryout with Texas A-M, Mrs. Williams tried to get another job to pay for his education. This was met anxiously by Brian, because he didn’t want to be a burden, financially or otherwise, on his family. His second thoughts about football crept back after he was offered a corporate promotion with the Alamo-Freeze. After conversing with his mother, however, he decided that football was his true love, and he realized his mother would not let him stop playing until someone told him he could not play anymore.
The big Tim Riggins and Lyla had a rough go of it this week. The animosity between the Garritys and the Collettes simmered as Tim tried to engage Lyla in the familial goings on. Lyla was uneasy with the situation, aware of their history, but Tim wouldn’t take no for an answer when it came to a family date that had been set up. That date produced an awkward moment, as Lyla laughed at Mindy Collette’s marital vows…taken from “Finding Nemo.”   
    Tim’s mind had been drifting toward his brother, who has taken up some sinister activities with shady inviduals. During the tussle, Billy had to meet with an associate out front while Lyla and the Collettes had their class war. This drove a wedge through Tim and Lyla’s relationship, because she was expecting to be understood and protected by Tim.
    The business partner Billy was meeting had burglary on his mind. A construction site was left unattended with rolls of copper wire just waiting to be taken. He had recruited Billy to help him out with this and share the proceeds, but apparently had to back out. Billy was discouraged by the news, but had been counting on the money from the wire. He then turned to Tim to help him out, planning the heist to take place during the football barbecue.
    The barbecue was planned by Mrs. McCoy, to the delight of Tami Taylor. The two of them met at the grocery store. The wealthy McCoy promised aid for the academic side of the school, flashing her gigantic diamond ring, and the two of them became fast friends. That happened apparently too fast for the likes of Coach Taylor. He was concerned that the family and his job might soon be in debt to Mr. McCoy and their private quarterback instructor, and that he would have to pay further ear to the pressures of starting JD at quarterback.
    Matt Saracen played a gutty game against Arnette-Meade, a team that not even the great Jason Street could beat. He was on his marks all game, making some good throws and tremendous runs. Unfortunately, as he was running for the winning score as time was running out, he fumbled the ball as he was tackled across the goal line. This could be the opening the boosters were waiting for to replace him, or Coach Taylor, or both, as the helmsmen of the team.
    The episode ended with the usual suspects taking comfort in those they love. Coach cleaned up the “for sale” signs in his yard and snuggled with his wife. Julie and Matt talked about things other than football. But, noticeably, Tim spent the time with his brother, not Lyla. It appeared as if his actions had finally been too much for her, maybe this time there will be no make up, one can only dream. ?    It’s nice to see the chips falling where they should, Matt and Julie together was a good match, and Coach and Tami taking comfort in each other during and after trying times. There are still several plot twists to happen, will Matt Saracen still be quarterback next week? And some should really have answers by now, like what happened to Jason Street and his unborn child? We will have to wait for resolutions, but like the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Until next week, Panthers.