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Friday Night Lights- Series Finale-Always -recap

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Written by : published Sunday 17th July 2011

Friday Night Lights- Series Finale-Always -recap main image

Christmas approaches, Texas style. At the press conference for the State game, the East Dillon Lions are questioned by the Press about the Superteam and the next year’s plans. They say no comment and also Taylor get asked about his college offer and Superteam as well. The reporters remind each player he may not be on a team next year.

Tinker tells Vince he on his last game. He says he doesn’t have a chance of getting on the West Dillon team. Vince tells him to keep his head up. Vince reassures Tinker saying he has pull with the Superteam and will speak up for him.

Riggins and his brother fix the truck. Tim says the Alaska thing may not happen. Mindy comes out and says it’s like incest Tim sleeping with her sister. Mindy and Tyra are sisters. Tim Riggins says he wants bonding time with Stevie and will take him for the day. Mindy and Becky moan about doing laundry, then talk about Becky leaving the Riggins house.

Tim takes little Stevie Riggins to the coaching fields where Taylor gets the players in gear. Coach Taylor comes over and meets little Stevie. Billy watches wryly from the field as Coach meets up with Tim and the baby. Taylor asks after Tim and says to call if he needs anything. Taylor asks if working at Buddy’s is working out. Tim says it is a job and that Taylor might get another ring. Taylor says chances are excellent.

Jesse asks Coach Taylor about going to the West Dillon Superteam. Taylor says she couldn’t be picking a worse time to be bringing that up. She smiles when he says it’s already under consideration.

Julie listens to her parents argue about the East Coast life possible with the Braemore college offer. Tami is brittle about having to turn the offer down. Then taylor says with the new house in Dillon, the his and her closet could be hers. Tami says he always said he could coach football anywhere and Julie refuses to be drawn into the argument.

Taylor says the 5 years contract the West Dillon team is offering allows them a better house and Tami says this is from the same people that fired both him and her before. She says Braemore could set them up college style. Matt Saracen comes to the door, surprising Julie and the Taylors.

Jesse Meriweather gets home to find her brothers opening gifts early because the whole family is moving to Dallas. The franchise her father started took off and now they are all moving there. She is floored by the news because Coach Taylor won’t be there to allow her to assistant coach.

Matt asks Julie to marry him and on bended knee presents her with a ring. She cries and says yes, but flips out when she learns he did not ask Coach Taylor’s permission first. She says he has to talk to him man to man. This is a dealbreaker. Julie is absolutely sure about this. Matt goes to Landry’s to practice asking Taylor for Julie’s hand in marriage. Landry advises him to cry.

Tim brings Stevie by Tyra’s house, showing off the baby to Tyra’s mother. Tyra comes in as well and Tim is a little surprised Tyra is not hanging all over him after their recent hookup. Tim inquires after Tyra’s plans. They are both not going to the game.

Coach is surprised to see Matt come into his office but livid at the reasons. Coach starts laughing at first. Then he asks how old Saracen is. He negates any consideration of marriage for Julie. Matt says he has got a job and has gotten two promotions and already asked her and she said yes. Matt wants Coach’s blessing. Taylor's eyes turn cold.

Saracen says they technically don’t need his permission. Eric Taylor puts his foot down. Taylor informs Matt the answer will always be no. Taylor arrives home to announce to Tami that their daughter has accepted Saracen’s proposal. Tami is caught by surprise. Tami is stunned to learn Julie said yes. She says she doesn’t know why he is yelling at her because they agree on this.

Julie gets a visit in her room by her mother, who wants to see the ring. Tami is touched but worried because Julie has made so many weird decisions lately. Tami says that they are taking Matt and Julie to dinner, and Julie senses this is not a celebration dinner but an opportunity to have a “conversation”.

Tami conveys that Coach Taylor flipped out. Tami says they are so young. (Taylor has said the same thing).

In the restaurant, Taylor says they are too young. Coach Taylor talks about maturity and compromise. Julie says to her parents that they married young and that their marriage is her inspiration. Her father says marriage requires people to listen to each other. Julie says her parents have made it work. (Tami loses her appetite at that moment).

(This is when Tami has been giving up all her goals to fulfill Taylor’s coaching career). Tami gets up and leaves the table. Outside she asks Eric Taylor how she can face her daughter about making a marriage work when all the compromises have been hers. The Taylors embrace. Tami is crying.

Tami says to Eric, "It’s my turn, babe. I have loved you and you have loved me and we have compromised both of us for your job. Now it’s my turn.” But then Taylor looks glum and she rescinds her words and she goes back in. (Tami realizes Eric isn’t mature or willing to compromise his career for her.) He just can’t give in. Eric is left looking woebegone. (it goes unsaid that Julie doesn’t really have anything else going on).

Becky packs up and leaves the Riggins House. Her mother comes around the corner from the gambling cruise. Relations are much friendlier. Becky is surprised when Mindy so quickly accepts that she is leaving. But on the day Mindy breaks down, and Tim is upset as well, Becky has become like family. She tells Mindy that Stevie and the coming twins are family for her too and Mindy starts crying. Later Becky clears the air with Tim.

Vince brings a ticket for his mother to the State football game. Mrs. Howard tells Vince that his father is not coming to the game. She has a ride to State and is so proud of him. But she says Mr. Howard has his own path. The day is supposed to be about Vince.

At the Taylor household, Taylor sits down next to a depressed Tami and says how can he discuss anything if she won’t talk to him. Tami says she has discussed it with him and she will be calling Braemore College in the morning to turn(Tami won't break their marriage over it). down the offer. She says she knows she won’t win this one.

Vince approaches his father at the pool parlor but can’t find a common road to get him to come to the game without being able to control himself. Mr. Howard says he has got other things to do that day. (It’s sort of clear Vince’s mother has warned him off).

Vince is sad and frustrated when the tickets are being handed out. Vince tells Riggins he only needs one, while Taylor observes this. Later, Coach Taylor brings the ticket to the State game to the pool parlor where Mr. Howard plays and says young man gets a chance to play like that once in a lifetime. Taylor leaves the bar.

Cafferty shows up while Becky and Cheryl drink. He says he is crazy about her. Becky’s mom says he is very nice as long as he seriously learns how to wear a condom. Luke says “Yes Ma’am. Becky says “Thanks Mom”. Cafferty and Becky smooth the waters.

Tyra and Riggins drink at Buddy’s with the future Mr. and Mrs. Matt Saracen. They say they are throwing the wedding reception at the Alamo. Matt and Julie get up to dance. They can’t believe how much things have changed yet stayed the same. Tim asks Tyra to dance. The old chemistry reheats again. Tyra doesn’t want to get too close to Tim, saying she has plans. Tim says he doesn’t.

Julie comes in just while Eric is wrestling with what Tami has said. Eric looks from mother to daughter. Julie says they need to trust her to be happy and make her decisions. Tami pastes a smile on her face and tells her daughter they do trust her. Eric sits there.

Coach Taylor takes an early morning call from Buddy Garrity, who says that his son is cleared medically to play for the West Dillon Panthers Superteam. Buddy Jr. is successful in rehab and staying with him permanently. Buddy says the contracts for the West Dillon team are ready to sign before they go to the State game. Buddy is sitting in a diner across town. Taylor is not immediately thrilled.

Taylor looks over the Braemore College brochures and paperwork of Tami’s while he is talking to Buddy. The language in the offer makes him see what a good opportunity it is.  Buddy says the contracts will be in the field house for Eric to sign. (Now that Buddy Jr. can play, Taylor coaching West Dillon is very important). Eric hangs up on him presumably due to his early call.

Taylor told Buddy never to call him again that early no matter what the reason. He mentions the caller to Tami, walking sleepily into the living room. Eric says he has to sign the contract before leaving for the State game, that day.

Tami nods in resignation, and Taylor stand there, and Tami turns to go, saying she has to go take Gracie Belle to see Santa Claus.

At the field house, Jesse comes in and tells Coach Taylor that her family is moving and so she won’t have an opportunity to coach with him for the Superteam. Taylor thoughtfully looks at her. He says she will be missed. Jess says helping coach the Lions has been the biggest thing in her life, and he agrees. He knows the coach at the Dallas, Walker, high school and he’ll put in a good word for her.

Julie is wearing Matt's grandmother's ring. Grandma Saracen gets out her wedding dress and kisses the ring on Julie’s hand. Julie gets a reality check. Matt tells Grandma she might want her own dress.

Then Julie gets cold feet. But the chemistry of Matt and Julie together hangs tough and Matt reassures her. Grandma comes back with her bridal veil. She says Julie is family now and has to start calling her Grandma. (Julie hung out at the Saracen house a lot before this).

At the mall, Gracie is being put into Santa Clause's lap for a picture. Tami is a sport, happy and smiling with Gracie saying her daddy will love the picture. Then Coach Taylor comes down the escalator and the mall and comes up behind Tami, embracing her and startling her. She says what happened, because he is supposed to be at the big game.

Taylor says it is her turn, he turned down the contract with West Dillon. He says they are going to Philadelphia. He wants to go. He asks “Will you take me to Philadelphia with you?, Please? ” Tami is disbelieving. She smiles and says “Really. babe?" They kiss, holding Gracie.

Before the big game, Vince takes Jess aside he says he is privileged to have a chance to play in the big game, let alone have his girlfriend be part of it. He says he hated her being part of the team in the beginning,  but he loves her. He says he feels like the luckiest man in the world. They kiss and get on the bus.

Tim still owns the land he bought with the automobile scam money. Tyra and Tim have a picnic there, where she confesses she is still in love with him. They sit on folding chairs. Tyra says she is doing good in college, says she is going into politics and has dreams.

Tim asks politics like Sarah Palin and she says “Really?"  Tyra says more like Mrs. T, (the Coaches wife, who rescued Tyra from a downward spiral and got her motivated). Tim says he won’t do anything illegal ever again. He says he will build a house on the land they are sitting on and that maybe in the future their dreams can merge.

At the stadium, Vince and the players go onto the Cotton Bowl field in coats and slacks, and roll around and breathe in the atmosphere. This is especially poignant for Taylor, though nobody understands why. Taylor tells Vince he may never know how proud he is of him.

At the State game, Eric prays devoutly before the game with the team for them to use the talents they have been given. He says protect them and as a family let them play as one.

A photo montage shows the game being tough with questionable calls and tough playing decisions by Vince. Cafferty gets fouled. Mr. Howard watches from the bleachers and so does Mrs. Howard and a grateful and happy Mrs. Tami Taylor. The game stops in the fourth quarter with three seconds and a five point lead by the other team. Matt and Julie watch from the stands. Vince has to throw a 63 yard pass, delayed, for the receivers to run the route. All the work of the year comes together in that pass. All the people watch the huge pass arc into the sky...

This morphs into a pass thrown at Braemore college on the field eight months later:

Taylor is shown in the Braemor college uniform, coaching a college team. He uses his standards to coach the newer, older, bigger team. Across the campus, Tami ecstatically  walks around doing her new job.

At the (new) Panthers field, Vince is the QB in that uniform on that field, wearing the State Championship ring. Billy Riggins is also a coach. Crowley is there, and Taylor’s other staff have jobs. Tinker is also on the field, and Buddy Junior. Buddy rides a golf cart in the background. Buddy supervises as the “Clear eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose’ mantra is nailed up in the gym, next to where Jason Street signed his name. Clearly , Taylor’s influence lives on.

Jess is shown on the sidelines of the Dallas Walker team, dressed in their staff uniform, with her State ring on her finger. Cafferty is shown in enlistment fatigues, saying a tearful goodbye to Becky as he gets on the bus to Army service.  He gives her his State ring.

Matt and Julie are shown living in his Chicago loft, he carries all their stuff and she smiles at him. They are young but she is in a college. At Braemore Field in Philadelphia, Tami comes by the field to pick up the happy Coach Taylor and take him home.

Billy and Tim Riggins start to build the house on Tim’ property, sealing the rift between them for Tim taking Billy’s prison stint. (This is an opportunity for Billy to get over his guilt). On a break, Billy toasts Tim’s beer and says “Texas Forever”.

Watch Friday Night Lights the Series Finale

About the author 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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