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Friday Night Lights Recap: Episode Three, "How the Other Half Lives"

Friday Night Lights Rundown: Episode Three, "How the Other Half Lives"


In this week's episode of Friday Night Lights, JD McCoy finally speaks! And boy, is it awkward. It's just one of many uncomfortable things in this episode, which sees Tami stumbling into a possibly ill-advised friendship with JD's mom and Tim making his weekly batch of bad decisions. To talk about it, just read more.

Oh, poor JD McCoy. Yeah, I probably shouldn't pity the kid too much yet; after all, he's after Saracen's job, and I do love me some Saracen — especially in this episode, where he plays as hard as we've ever seen and still comes up short. But JD is interesting because, unlike Matt, he's been bred from birth to play quarterback. Matt and Julie stumbling into the shrine to JD is a great moment, because we get to see 1) just how hard JD has been pushed, and 2) how uncomfortable JD is with the whole situation. He only speaks one line — that awkward little mumbling about his parents bronzing his first diaper — but he clearly knows enough to be embarrassed. He may be a great football player, but everything else (say, social skills) is a little lacking.


Meanwhile, Katie McCoy is all social skills, ingratiating herself with Tami instantly in the supermarket and convincing her that having the team barbecue at the McCoys' house is the best solution. Tami's never liked hosting those big team events (remember at her yelling at Coach from underneath the table in season one?); she thinks Katie seems like a good friend. But Coach sees it differently: In his mind, it's just a small step from the McCoys providing food and margaritas to the McCoys running the Panthers. Plus, the McCoys are rich in a way the Taylors will never be: Look at that house (the one Coach says looks like a sanitarium), the private quarterback coach, the valet parking . . .

But that's not the only class conflict going on this week. Tim also gets himself into hot water with Lyla and with the Collettes after Lyla makes fun of Mindy's wedding vows. Accidentally. I mean, if someone quoted Finding Nemo to you in that context, would you think it was a joke? (I love Lyla's apologetic babbling about how Nemo has good messages.) Tim's got to feel like he can't win: Lyla's uncomfortable with the Collettes and Tim isn't exactly "throwing the block," and the Collettes mad at him for bringing prissy Lyla around to judge them. So what does Riggins do? He . . . stands Lyla up to steal copper wire with Billy. Yup, that's guaranteed to end well.

Some other thoughts:

  • There's no way Smash is going to take that job at the Alamo Freeze — not after the way we heard him celebrate when he got his tryout last week. But I'm never going to complain about the chance to see Mama Smash be awesome. Her lines after Smash says he'll pay her back for college: "Bet you will. When you graduate. And I wouldn't mind seeing you play football again, either."
  • Speaking of great lines, I loved this exchange: "You know who I miss? I miss the coach's wife." "You know who I can't wait to meet? The principal's husband." "Touche."
  • How sweet is Tami silently comforting Coach after they've come home to For Sale signs on the lawn?
  • Have we ever heard Matt say as much as he did during that football outburst in the cafeteria?

Are you feeling any sympathy for JD — or are you just sad for Matt? Is Tim going to make a fool of Lyla? And is Katie McCoy anything but trouble?

Photos courtesy of NBC

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