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"Friday Night Lights" Recap: Episode 17, "I Think We Should Have Sex"

"Friday Night Lights" Recap: Episode 17, "I Think We Should Have Sex"

Where does a show that’s already tackled racism, paralysis, drugs and broken families go next? Ah yes: teen sex.

In some ways, this was also an episode about trust and what happens when it’s broken — between Julie and the Taylors, Tim and his dad, and Buddy and his wife. And “Friday Night Lights” can pull off those quiet dramas better than almost any other show on TV, so

Julie and Matt are wrapping up a session of conjugating Spanish verbs (insert "so that’s what they’re calling it these days" joke here) when Julie informs him that they should have sex. Now, I don’t understand why, exactly, Julie was so desperate to have sex; she’s been into the bad-girl thing lately, but it seemed like there was something else going on.

Regardless, Matt nervously agrees and sets about preparing with his typical bumbling awkwardness. His friends are full of advice, of course: Riggins says it will be just like the first time he drove a car, to which Matt replies that he crashed the car. Landry takes him to buy condoms at a store stocked with the funniest fake condom brands ever ("Inconceivable"), but in a twist of timing that could only happen in a small town, Tami spots them.

I'm going to guess Tami never thought she'd have “the talk” with her 15-year-old daughter after spotting her daughter's boyfriend buying condoms, but that's how it goes down. Julie says it’s no big deal, and Tami — who's on the edge of losing control throughout this scene — tells her that if she doesn’t think it’s a big deal, she shouldn't be having sex. Tyra reminds Julie that she doesn't have to have sex, which is a nice twist on the bad-influence storyline, but Julie explains that she sees the whole thing as a sociology experiment where she can control everything and collect data. Wow, that’s hot.

Meanwhile, a camera goes missing from the team's equipment room, and one of the coaches suspects Riggins’ dad. Coach confronts him, and Riggins yells at Coach for jumping to conclusions — but Riggins later finds the camera in the garage and kicks his dad out. Riggins is also drinking again, apparently, and he gets into an alcohol- and rage-induced bar fight before returning the camera to Coach.

Over in our second sex-based plotline, Buddy confesses that he's "strayed outside his marriage," and Coach speaks for all of us by telling him he's stupid. Buddy tries to make things right by firing Tyra's mom and bringing flowers home to his wife, but of course that's not going to fix anything. Meanwhile, Jason heads to Austin for murderball tryouts and bonds with a tattoo artist named Susie, whom I’m guessing we haven’t seen the last of.

Back to the teen sex. Coach discovers a lacy thong and figures out it’s Julie’s, and Tami admits to Coach that she saw Matt buying condoms. While the two of them slowly realize that they have to take it on faith that they raised their daughter well, Julie is preparing to be deflowered in a cabin filled with mounted deer heads.

But that’s not going so well, either. First Julie thinks the deer are staring at her. Then she thinks it's too hot. Then she thinks it smells like wet dog. Finally, Matt tells her they don't have to do this, and they end up leg-wrestling and making fun of each other's ugly feet. They snap awake at 1:30 a.m., and Julie is, as she puts it, "so dead." Matt takes her home and offers to walk her to the door, and it’s cute that he doesn't realize that's the worst thing he could do. "I love you," he says, and a shocked Julie lamely replies "me, too” before ultimately saying it back.

Julie walks in to find her worried parents waiting up and explains that she and Matt fell asleep, but not like that. She thanks Tami for the talk — purely, I think, because the episode was almost over and I hadn’t cried yet — and heads to bed.

The next morning, Matt and the Taylors and the Garritys are all in church together, which would have been awkward even if Tyra's mom hadn't chosen that setting to teach Buddy what happens when you mess with a Collette woman. She shows up after the service, and while Dillon’s most important families mill around, she slaps Buddy silly.

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MsRoyaLTee MsRoyaLTee 8 years
I love Julie and Matt together - and overall this episode was really heartwarming. I am also in love with Matt Saracen. Dammit....I've never been in love with a TV charecter before!
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
that was a good show. i don't get why everyone is so down on tyra. i think she's a great character. her home life is shit but she is strong and knows her own mind. she rips on her sister for taking off her clothes for a living, told her mother she didn't need a man and works to help with rent. for 16 or 17, that's amazing. she's a good friend to julie. the taking the lip stick, while i don't approve, is so minor. especially compared to what you'd expect someone with that home life to be up too. i'd like to see something really good happen to her character, something that gave her some choices. all the other kids on the show have football or parents to get them out of dillion, but poor tyra will work at the applebys forever at this rate. "heh-hu-ha-hu-heh-he-ha-hu; that's the woody wood pecker song"
LizaToad LizaToad 8 years
i missed it last night... will be watching it tomorrow! can't wait!!!!!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Great recap, Buzz. What makes FNL so special is its focus on real people dealing with real situations. Maybe because I grew up in a small western PA town and still live in a fairly rural community, I feel as though I know Matt and Julie, Tyra and Riggins, Smash, Coach and all the rest. I teared up when Tami and Coach were at the table discussing parenting. As always, Tami's sense of timing was perfect when she shoved the watch across the table when Eric asked what time it was; her speech about being parents for the exact same number of years, days and minutes made me pull out the tissues. Maybe Julie thinks she has to compete with the Tyras of the world, who she assumes are more experienced. But, I doubt that she would want to deal with the life that Tyra has to cope with daily. As always, I loved Matt's innocence. The shopping for condoms scene was hilarious. Buddy Garrity is annoying, to say the least, but he does keep things stirred up in small town Dillon.
Justinsbelle Justinsbelle 8 years
Can't wait to watch this episode....have it on my tivo for weekend viewing!
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