In this week's Friday Night Lights, JD McCoy officially takes over the Panthers and gets a little christening, Tim Riggins-style, in his new leadership role. Tyra (finally) starts to doubt Cash after a woman shows up at her house with some disturbing information, and Matt and Julie share a moment at the grocery store that becomes an even bigger moment by the lake. Vague enough for you? I've got all the details when you read more.
OK, I kind of love JD McCoy now. The writers have done such a careful job constructing him — is he a snob? or just sheltered? — and now we have our answer: Dude is awkward. He handles himself OK with adults (his line to his mom about having already proposed to a couple of cheerleaders was funny), but with his peers, he doesn't fit in — and he knows it. He knows that Riggins was put up to taking him on a tour of Dillon (or, more specifically, Dillon's shadiest scenes: "Lisa lives down this road. You'll know"). But when he gets to the party, still in his suit from the school dance, he decides to live like a Panther, and that means drinking his first (and second, and third) beers and babbling to Riggins that he's "like, the last American dude." I wish we could have seen Joe McCoy discover JD either drunk or hung over, but nonetheless, his forced apology to Coach made me both laugh and really feel for the kid.
Meanwhile, with JD in the spotlight, Matt's adjusting to riding the bench. Grandma's not having any of it, though, and so when she and Coach meet in the grocery store, Lorraine gives him a talking-to. That gives Matt and Julie a chance to sneak away and be cute, which leads to Matt proposing a trip to the lake. They're so sweet there, splashing around and debating veggie hot dogs vs. the real deal, and Matt finally works out some of his feelings about his demotion: It sucks to be fired, but it also is nice to be able to wake up on a Saturday and not worry about what he did wrong. And just when it feels like they're going to head home, something else happens, and it's nothing like the awkward deer incident from season one. I love Julie coming home and looking at herself in the mirror, wondering if she's changed in any obvious ways.
Julie also has some great moments with Tyra, who's finally realizing Cash might be bad news. If the "cowboy candy" wasn't hint enough, how about the woman who shows up at Tyra's demanding Cash come out and pay child support? Tyra decides that's it — money for college applications or not — and breaks up with him . . . but then totally takes him back when he promises he'll never lie to her. Suuuure.
Some other thoughts:
- There's not a ton of Jason in this episode, but he gets the sweetest moment, singing to his son — both the boy and the girl verses! — while Erin's headed east. Jason freaks out that he'll end up being unable to support his little family, but Coach settles him down: Jason Street is never going to be a deadbeat dad.
- The whole subplot with Landry's band tryouts made me giggle, and Devin is a cutie!
- Of all the awkward JD moments in this episode, this one might be my favorite: Someone asks JD if he's ready for another midnight run, and JD responds, sincerely, "No, I did my workout earlier this morning."
- Tyra's mom in the wedding shop: "Doesn't she look like an angel?" Tyra: "Mindy, I love you, but I can see your crack."
On a scale of one to 10, how naive is Tyra being? Are you happy at the turn things are taking with Julie and Matt? And is JD growing on anyone else?
Photos courtesy of NBC