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Friday Night Lights -Expectations Recap

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Written by : published Monday 18th April 2011

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Dillon Texas is in the mood for football once again. Coach Taylor starts his day listening to Buddy Garrity's show on the radio and gets his coaches in gear. Taylor is coach in a upcoming matchup of the East Dillon team against state champions in a wildcard match.  Buddy takes Taylor to see a basketball player who has the speed hands and agility to catch the passes the East Dillon Lions are dropping on the turf.


Landry plays with his band and gets ready to go to Rice. Julie spends the night with him and takes him to  strip club for an "epic" night on the town. Landry pays a visit to Mrs. Saracen before he leaves and gives her MP3 versions of his songs. Julie shows distinct signs of wanting to leave Dillon behind her. Eric Taylor waits up all night to play ping-pong with his daughter before she goes to college. He tries to talk the new kid, Hastings, into playing football but the kid has an attitude against football.
Billy Riggins visits Tim in jail for the auto fraud. Tim asks for both Billy and his old friend Becky not to visit so much. Tim says he can't be his cheerleader from where he sits. Tim can't even text. Billy decides to give something back and coach football and asks Taylor for a job. Billy employs sympathy to get the job, mentioning that Taylor is a role model for him "with his own new baby and all". Billy addresses the players and reads an inspirational note to them.


But Tim is gone and an isolated Becky with her father while her mother works in a  casino. Becky can't handle living with her stepmother when her father goes on the road and shows up on Billy's door needing  place to live. Billy asks if the father hurt her and she says it isn't like that. She mentions Tim said they were like her family now. Billy puts her in Tim's old room.
Coach Taylor gets the players to urge the new kid to go out for football. he says he doesn't want to know what they do, just get him to try out. They throw a party and get Hastings to feel accepted. Jess has been having trouble with her younger brother since her father went away to start 3 new franchises. Vince gets Jess to work her "girl magic" on Hastings. Hastings says he wants to be in control of things in his life, but she calls him a coward.


Tami Taylor fights a different battle as her daughter Julie gets ready to go to college and untie the apron strings. Tami wants to hear all about her daughter's roommate but doesn't want to go clothes shopping for her. (Tami declines giving her their credit card). She wants to drive her daughter to college but gives her a hard time if she wants to leave the table. Tami's days of relying on her daughter for companionship and baby sitting are close to an end. And then she starts her new job as a counselor at East Dillon High School.


The East Dillon school is on a bare bones budget, Tami's phone doesn't work and she doesn't have a proper office. The principal is solemnly accepting, while teachers in the meeting argue about having to have certain students again. When Tami makes a point about how handwritten college recommendation letters work better, they try not to laugh in her face.


Tami is shocked at the criminal records most of the students have racked up. While Tami tries phone calls and shuffles files, none of the students parents show for their meetings with her. Taylor says that it's too early for her to be buried in work but she points out that he's been doing two-a-days for weeks. Julie looks ready to leave this "nest". Taylor gets ready for the "Whataburger" game.


There is an ugly scene when Hastings Ruckle tries to get on the East Dillon football bus to the big matchup game. Taylor has checked his paperwork he's OK to play. The basketball coach shouts at him "You don't want to do this son you're making a mistake". The man says Hastings can't play both football and basketball, and Taylor starts to say that until the playoffs he can. Riggins says to "Take it easy chief" when the basketball coaches come on too strong.


The basketball coach shouts he won't get to the playoffs, which makes Hastings upset. Taylor tries to balance this. Hastings wavers, but Vince eggs on the students on the bus. Hastings boards the football bus as all the team cheers. The Croft fans are waiting. This game will decide if Taylor still has the chops for Texas football leadership.


At the big game, the state champs Croft decidedly take the lead. Taylor is furious at how fast they grab the game. A couple gutsy plays keep East Dillon within a chance of winning. One of the other team's players gets seriously injured, opening the door. In the stands, Andre gives Jess more of a hard time and says she isn't his mother. On the field, weak receiving wastes Vince's talent. Croft is only 14 ahead. Taylor is pulling out all the stops. After one wildcard play, the East Dillon Lions are one TD from winning.


Hastings Ruckle chooses this moment to approach Coach Tayor on the sidelines. He recognizes the opposing receiver from basketball and tells Coach he can jump higher than the other player can. A dumbstruck Taylor takes a second to recover then sends him with the entire game in the balance. He codes the throwing signal to a confused Vince. Ruckle barely knows where to stand for the snap. There is a moment of unease. But Ruckle runs the route and jumps amazingly high to catch the needed TD.


Now the other team's coaches are ready for the same play. But Vince gets the signal from Taylor and runs a fake inside crawl to the TD line, East Dillon wins by one. As the team does the victory dance Hastings walks the other way. He is`wired differently.
Julie leaves for college as Eric and Tami Taylor share an emotional moment. Taylor gives her a credit card for "emergencies".

Vince takes Andre aside for a talk about him being the man of the house, the same talk Andre's father gave him not too long ago.

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About the author tvqueen

tvqueen

I like to watch TV shows from classic eras as well as contemporary drama and comedy. Science Fiction is fun, and shows like the Cape and Fringe keep hope alive that the medium that produced Space 1999 is alive. Comedy such as 30 Rock is usually, good, but not always. I like Survivor but it has so little to do with survivor skills I am disappointed. Appointment viewing is Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, The CSI series for New York and Las Vegas and Miami, with a special shout out for the new Hawaii Five O. Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are top of the line viewing for the drama comedy Gordon's character and the business lessons they teach.

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