This week's Friday Night Lights is a weeper for sure, as Jason sets off for the big city to try to start a new life as a sports agent and father. Meanwhile, Julie gets a shot at playing sports agent herself when she lobbies Coach on Matt's behalf, and Tyra reaches a critical point in her ongoing college vs. Cash debate. Ready to chat about it? Just read more.
What I loved about Jason's story in this episode — well, OK, I loved everything about it. But what I really loved is how deftly the writers balance reality (making it in New York isn't easy) with FNL-world fantasy (Jason still finds a way in). I was actually glad that Jason's first meeting in Grant's office doesn't go well; to just show up and expect to have a job is more than a little presumptuous. But Jason also has some things that Grant wants — tenacity and a natural ability as a salesman. Those are in full effect this week, as Jason first convinces Wendell to come back to Grant's office with his trademark mix of honesty and flattery, then convinces Grant to take a chance on him, then finally tells Erin that he wants to be with her and Noah. That scene just made me teary, as Jason tells Erin that "I'm never going to let this baby down, ever." Aw, Street. You're gonna make it in the big city after all.
Jason may be the star of this episode, but Riggins is a solid no. 2. I love that by this point, nobody even makes a fuss over his disappearance — a few days in New York is probably nothing compared to an indeterminate amount of time in Mexico. And he's the perfect foil for Jason: He asks some guy on the street where he got his suit and then finds Jason some off-the-rack, two-for-one deal; he gives Jason a little "Texas forever" pep talk before he talks to Erin; he gets them tickets to Gypsy! (If there's one thing this episode lacks, it's a shot of Street and Riggins at Gypsy.) Riggins is good on his own, but he's always been best with Jason.
Meanwhile, Julie becomes quite the little sports agent herself, inviting Matt over for dinner and then asking why Matt isn't getting a shot at wide receiver. (And I love Coach trying to say they don't talk about football at dinner. They always talk about football!) Everything about Matt's impromptu tryout is perfect: Matt gets in another dig at Coach for benching him; Coach can't help but notice that Matt's actually holding up his end of the deal; and then when Matt finally misses a pass, Coach takes the blame himself (and then asks Tami for some aspirin).
Some other thoughts:
- Oh Tyra, no! First she takes a call from Cash right before her college interview in which he basically tells her he won't stay faithful on the road. Then, she botches the interview — which we don't see, exactly, but it's pretty clear from Tami's lukewarm reaction. And then she calls up Cash and tells him that she's going with him, school be damned.
- The episode's other two subplots basically draw on one idea: The McCoys are infringing on the Taylors' life. First JD's private coach now has a job with the Panthers while Mac recuperates; then Katie gets Tami all set on buying a new, fancy house. Coach is navigating those situations well for now, but it can't be easy.
- Other than Riggins quoting the Gypsy review, my favorite line of the episode is Coach responding to Tami's gushing about the house's big backyard where he and Julie could play catch: "Is that our Julie, or is there gonna be another Julie?"
- A close runnerup is Riggins when Street's rehearsing his speech to Erin: "Jason, I'm pregnant."
Is that the way you hoped to see Street leave Texas? Are you glad to see Matt finding his way off the bench? And who wants to talk some sense into Tyra?
Photos courtesy of NBC