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Friday Night Lights Recap: Episode 10, "The Giving Tree"

Friday Night Lights Rundown: Episode 10, "The Giving Tree"

Have you ever read The Giving Tree? This week's Friday Night Lights made me want to go dig out my old copy, as Landry delivers one of the sweetest/saddest monologues I've ever heard on the topic. OK, it's one of the only Giving Tree-related monologues I've heard, but still! Meanwhile, the rest of the episode focuses a lot on fathers and children, both in the actual and metaphorical senses. Ready to talk about it? Just


Let's talk about sex (baby). Specifically, let's talk about sex and dating in the universe of FNL. Because there's a lot of that in this episode, and none more painfully than what happens with Julie and Matt. First of all: Close the door! (Which is what Matt says when Landry asks him what he's learned; Landry's hoping for "don't have sex with the coach's daughter.") But second, I love the way the show plays that scene and the aftermath, with the actual discovery revealed only by Julie's squeal and Coach's hasty exit. He wisely doesn't try to talk to her about what happened, leaving that to Tami, who calls the conversation they have about sex Julie's only punishment. And oh, it's so sweet, with Tami trying to be so tough — like, my daughter is 17, and she's having sex, and really, I'm fine with that, really — and Julie acting aloof until she realizes Tami is crying. Once again, FNL gets it right.

It's an interesting reflection of the two other father/child stories in this episode. Taking Buddy first, he's done a very bad thing, and it's become several very bad things: He's gotten himself arrested, and he's lost a big investment, which also happened to be Lyla's college fund. And that's the last straw for Lyla; she's stuck by Buddy through a lot, but this is too much. How tough must it have been for Buddy — not that he didn't deserve it — to hear from Riggins that Lyla would not be speaking to him right now? Meanwhile, JD actually has a girl interested in him, but as soon as Joe gets wind of it, he decides the relationship has to end. Girls will be lining up for him, Joe says, as soon as he wins State. But once again, Riggins tells JD what he needs to hear: If he can't even make dating decisions without daddy's help, how can he lead a football team? So JD and Madison sneak out, much to Katie's delight — but that look on Joe's face scares me.

On the football field, Coach gets ejected from a big game, leaving behind his struggling team. That puts Wade in charge, and with Coach's attempts to guide him foiled by cell phones and crowd noise, he leads the team to victory. Coach must feel a little of what Matt felt about JD earlier in the season, with the TV broadcast showing a winning Wade lit in an almost heavenly glow, but he doesn't look too upset. He even smiles a little, like he's managed to teach his young protege well.

In other news:

  • The Giving Tree! Landry finally tells Tyra — who just pops up "at the most random times" — that he's done letting her use him. And Julie tells Tyra that Landry's right: He does her all kinds of favors, and in return, he's merely allowed to be seen with her. So Tyra tries to set things right in her own sweet but twisted way, getting Crucifictorious a gig. And you know what? They're actually not so bad — better than season one, anyway.
  • Love Madison pouring JD milk in a wine glass: "You're like this young, wholesome, milk-drinking quarterback."
  • Apparently the Sopranos aren't the only ones who have business meetings at strip clubs!
  • As real as Tami and Julie's sex-talk moment is, so is Coach and Matt's own exchange, with Coach spitting out serious words about respecting women in between taking out some massive aggression on the grill.

So: One more game, then State. Then what? Oh, this show. Only three episodes left — help me deal in the comments!

Photos courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
wendybird33 wendybird33 8 years
Love friday night lights. IT's very different from all the other teen dramas out there.
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I love this show, please don't cancel it! I loved this episode, i thought it was great when Katie was watching JD sneak out and didn't say anything. Poor Julie and Matt, that must have been so embarrassing.
care0531 care0531 8 years
I love this show! It gets better every week. I love how real it is- they are dealing with real life issues. The talk Tami and Julie had was good and I would probably cry too!
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 8 years
*on ME and a boyfriend... sorry
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 8 years
What is it about this show? I freaking love it. While I thought the talk between Tami and Julie was sweet, it was so not the way my parents would have reacted. My dad would have lost it if he'd walked in on my and a boyfriend and my mom would have cried for days...I thought this was a nice and unexpected way to handle it.
Miss-Shapes Miss-Shapes 8 years
Loved how powerfully Tami and Julie’s sex talk mirrored the one in season 1 when Matt was caught buying condoms. Those two just make my heart go mushy. Another great episode. Cannot believe there are only 3 eps left. Please DirecTV & NBC, don’t take our favorite Coach and football team away!
spacebear spacebear 8 years
the talk between julie and her mom was perfect - beautifully loving and very honest. i hope direct tv comes through....and i am just glad you do recaps of this and chuck!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Buzz, it is always worth the wait to read these recaps! Thanks again for a wonderful recap of a truly wonderful show. This episode is one of my favorites: perfect timing, perfect reactions and interactions, perfect dialogue. It just keeps getting better and better and, no, I don't think I can deal with the fact that there are only three more episodes. Please, Direct TV, come through with that deal!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Joe McCoy is totally abusive showbiz dad. It looks like that situation comes to a head in the previews for next week, and I'm totally not surprised at all. He's freaky. I'm so sad about the Buddy screw-up. Sometimes I love him mostly because he's clueless, but I was really liking the grown-up relationship between him and Lyla, and it looks like he was a little too clueless this time. I'm glad that Landry finally stood up to Tyra, even if it did take his bandmates laughing at him to make him see the light. The Giving Tree was such an apt metaphor too. I loved that book when I was a little kid - my fave along with Goodnight Moon.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
Landry's Giving Tree speech was the best thing I've seen on FNL this year. It was heartbreaking. I really really love this show. How can a show be so good and yet so few people watch it? It makes me sad that all Americans want to watch is reality crap and medical murder shows. What does that say about our society? Anyway, I thought the scene with Riggins standing at his door preventing Buddy from talking to Lyla was one of the most powerful scenes this season. Riggins has done some growing up! Poor Coach, it was a rough episode for him. Joe McCoy scares me. Bigtime.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
Baluk — totally understood! The DH one tends to be read by more people, so that's the thinking there, but since FNL is getting to the end of its season (series? please, no!), maybe I'll switch it up.
ktc71 ktc71 8 years
Please Direct TV...please pick FNL up for more seasons!!!
Baluk Baluk 8 years
Buzz, I don't want to begrudge you your time off...just wish the FNL rundown would appear earlier on Monday than the DH rundown.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
Baluk — The honest answer? Because Buzz likes having a reasonable amount of time off! And also because if we posted the recaps over the weekend, they'd get lost by Monday AM, when more people are online to read them.
JCP0240 JCP0240 8 years
Seriously, only THREE more episodes left?? I don't think I can deal with that. I am am still praying that Direct TV decides to do that whole 2 more seasons deal. Another great episode. The Julie/Matt/Coach moment was so awful/great. I can't believe Coach just walked right in! But as Buzz & Matt point out they left the door open, come on guys! I loved how either coach or Tami commented "Where was that Grandmother?!?" haha. I also felt so bad for Lyla. Buddy Geraghty sure knows how to screw up. I cannot believe that was all of Lyla's college money. I was so happy when she finally confronted Buddy saying that he is the reason their family fell apart. Maybe this will make Buddy think before he comments about Tim Riggin's reputation. Also so excited about JD having a little gf! He really is so awkwardly adorable! But next week's preview looks like things get pretty scary w/ JD and his dad.
Baluk Baluk 8 years
I love these write-ups...and FNL has become my new favourite show! I just wonder Buzz why does this rundown for a show that airs on Fridays come after the Desperate Housewives rundown that airs on Sundays....I feel you have to wait 3 full days! as my 4 yo son would say 'No Fair!'
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