Friday Night Lights Rundown: Episode 7, "Pantherama"

Friday Night Lights Rundown: Episode 7, "Pantherama"

The latest installment of Friday Night Lights reminded us of two very important things: Smash still exists, and Dillon High students occasionally go to class. Who'd have thought?


The episode was one of the lightest of the season — maybe too light. But it still had some great moments, including the redemption of Buddy Garrity. (Again: Who'd have thought?) To read my take, just read more

In an episode packed with inappropriate kissing and pantsless football players, I couldn't have predicted that Buddy Garrity would steal the show, but his move to become Santiago's guardian was surprisingly touching. Maybe this is all a football-based ploy, but Santiago's not a great player, so I don't know why Buddy would stick his neck out unless he genuinely felt something for the kid. Tami's concern over Santiago into foster care, Buddy's awkwardness about the size of Santiago's room, and Santiago's appreciation for his first real bed were all winning moments for me.

Not so winning: Matt kissing the sexy nurse. As soon as she put her hands on his hips to teach him how to make his dance spicier — the less I think about the racial dynamics of that scene, the better — I figured this would be the episode with the smooch. I'm not loving the chirpy cheerleader who only seems to kiss Matt when Julie's around either, but at least she's his age.


Speaking of which: Apparently, it's time for FNL to drag out the ol' "student becomes infatuated with hot teacher" story. It's nice to see Julie's smart side, and writing nasty articles about football for the school paper is a more productive way to rebel than sleeping with the Swede. But does she have to fall for someone a decade older who spews cliches about 10-dollar words?

Meanwhile, Smash finally got a showcase as recruiting season kicked into gear. I enjoy the cocky side of him, but I also like that he has the determination to back up his talk. I'm not sure why Mama was so upset about Smash turning down a school that doesn't even offer athletic scholarships, but the way she asked Coach to keep a closer eye on Smash was fantastic: "I'm not asking you to be this boy's daddy. I'm just here to remind you that he doesn't have one."

Some other thoughts:


  • I really thought Lyla graduated, but apparently she's still in school, as she and Tyra got put in charge of entertainment for Pantherama. The sexy side of Tyra was in full effect, and Lyla's cheerleading skills came in handy for choreographing the, er, "dance." The shocked look on Tami's face when the players stripped down to their boxers — save for Landry, who kept his tank top on — cracked me up.
  • That story also delivered two of my favorite moments: Matt's awkward solo dance practice, and Tami's "Oh honey, you are not using Jesus Christ our Lord as an excuse to get out of helping your counselor, are you?"
  • If that hadn't been my favorite line of the night, this would have been: "Quote: 'Athletic director and Panther football coach Eric Taylor had no comment.' She asked me through the bathroom door. What am I supposed to do? I was busy."
  • I'm not sure about Tim moving in with this ferret guy, but Tyra pouring orange juice on Tim's face made that whole plot worth it.

Your thoughts? Happy for the return of Smash — but sad about the corresponding absence of Street? Wondering why NBC chose to give so much away in the promo for the next episode? Discuss.

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