What exactly do you do while you're waiting to learn whether your football team makes the playoffs? Why, you file a lawsuit, battle domestic abuse, and go to the rodeo — at least according to this week's episode of "Friday Night Lights."
We start with glimpses into each of this episode's storylines: The Panthers' season depends on the outcome of a Friday game between Arnett Mead — the team from the rivalry week episode — and Buckley. Smash is still trying (and failing) to date Waverly. Matt's dad says he's leaving the Army to stay home with Matt and Grandma, Tyra gets fed up with her mom's abusive boyfriend, and Coach finds out he's being sued by Jason's family. Gee, that game doesn't seem so important now, does it?
Jason finds out about the lawsuit from a headline in the newspaper, and he yells at his parents that now he's not just paralyzed, he's also the town pariah. His mom tells him that they need the money, and if Coach had taught Jason to tackle, he might not have gotten hurt.
For more juicy details and pictures,
Matt goes to Buddy's auto dealership to ask for help finding his dad a job, and Buddy says he's got room for another salesman. Meanwhile, Coach tries talking to Jason's dad, who says no matter how tough the lawsuit is for Coach, it's much harder to lose your kid's future and all your savings.
Waverly asks Smash if he has any interests besides football, and Smash lies that he and Matt and Julie talk about lots of important things: "Immigration. Iraq. Books, music, stem cell research. Global warming!" Oh boy.
Meanwhile, Julie shows up at Matt's to yell at him for being late, but when she sees how much he has to do, she offers to make Grandma some tea. Matt: "Would now be a bad time to tell you I told Smash we'd double-date with him and Waverly and that we do that a lot and we talk about all kinds of other neat stuff besides football?" Over at Tyra's house, Tyra's mom and her boyfriend get in a fight, and Tyra grabs a fireplace poker and tells Bobby to get out.
Julie comes home and tells Coach and Tami they're the best parents ever, which makes Tami realize that something bad has happened. Julie says she's afraid Matt's responsibilities will crush him. "Nothing's gonna crush Matt Saracen," Coach says. "He's like a little stinkbug."
Tyra's mom sobs that Bobby isn't going to come back. "It's not like Jesus Christ just left you," Tyra says. Ha. Over at the auto dealership, Buddy suggests that Matt's dad wear an American flag pin to help his sales. At Jason's, Lyla asks if Jason really thinks the lawsuit is right, and Jason says he can't think of any other way to get the money he needs.
Rodeo time! Julie tells Waverly about how she and Matt — oh, uh, and Smash too — go to arthouse films. Tyra tells her mom that if she takes Bobby back, Tyra's moving out. Riggins asks Tyra why she's upset, and Tyra tells him she hates the way men treat women in her family. Tim "incapable of taking a hint" Riggins asks Tyra for a second chance, and Tyra says that would make her a hypocrite.
Waverly calls Smash on his lies, and instead of apologizing, he hops into an arm-wrestling contest. Jason wheels past Coach, but they don't talk to each other. And Buckley wins, sending the Panthers to the playoffs.
The next morning, Buddy's in church, literally thanking God for Buckley's win. Jason visits Coach on the practice field and says he's against the lawsuit. Matt's dad admits that he's not good at selling cars, and Matt says he is a good soldier and he belongs in Iraq. Tyra's mom tells her she'd never pick a man over her daughter.
Smash apologizes to Waverly, but he tells her that he thinks there's a piece of her that likes his arrogance. She's coy and says she'll see him around, but when he leaves, she walks to the door to watch him go.