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Friday Night Lights Recap: Episode 15, "May the Best Man Win"

Friday Night Lights Rundown: Episode 15, "May the Best Man Win"

It was impossible for me to watch the most recent Friday Night Lights without feeling dread that it could be the last one ever. This episode wasn't meant to be a finale, season or series; it was just episode number 15 of 22, tying up a few stories and starting others — others that were meant to be finished later and now might never be.

I know I'm sounding doomsday, and to be fair, there's some vaguely encouraging news about the possibility of FNL moving to another network. There are also several campaigns underway to save the show; stay tuned for more on those later. But for now, to talk about what might be the end of FNL (sob), just


While it was in no way structured as a finale, this episode had a few things that would make it a fitting end. Most of the core characters had major moments — and none more than Jason Street, whose one-night stand with the waitress who told Pee Girl to take a hike might have ended with a miracle baby. This wasn't supposed to happen, physically, so no, he didn't "wrap that puppy." Why would he? Pregnancy was out of the question. Except apparently it's not, and Jason's left with a thoroughly unexpected child that he's in no way equipped to raise and a girl whom he's known for just a few hours. Obviously, all of this is a lot for Erin to take in; it's not really a fair thing to have put on her, but it's on her anyway. I loved that we saw Jason going to Coach for advice; that brought the show back to its heart.

Speaking of Coach, he was mostly the comic sidestory, dredging up old jealousies when Tami's old boyfriend came to town. (How appropriate that series creator Peter Berg starred as Mo.) Nobody gives a meaningful "oh, honey" eyeroll quite like Connie Britton, and this episode was full of them as she chided Eric to put old feelings aside. Of course, nothing brings up old feelings quite like Jack Daniels. While I don't know that I buy Eric getting in a fight at a fancy restaurant, I don't doubt the powers of whiskey. And, best of all, that story gave us the scene of Eric in bed, bloody and bruised, while a highly annoyed Tami encouraged Julie to yell at her hung-over father a little louder.

From the funny to the heartbreaking: Was there anything sadder than that shot of Smash crying beneath the college letters hanging on his wall? I still have trouble believing that every school would turn its back on Smash because of one fight, but I do believe that when he said no to Alabama, USC, and the other big guns, they'd go out and recruit someone else — and not be exactly sympathetic to his plight when he came back begging. Whitmore is different. Whitmore believes in Smash. It's not what he dreamed, but it's still a way in.

Some other thoughts:

  • Riggins isn't going to last long at that Christian radio station, what with advising that hitting people is OK sometimes, but it was a great look at how far he'll go for Lyla. And no matter how into Matt Lyla is right now, and how his family lets her be the smart, proper, preppy girl she's fully capable of being, there's no denying that a part of her still wants to be dangerous and edgy; I mean, how fast did that sweater come off?
  • Matt's baffled reaction to Landry and Tyra is exactly how I imagine a best friend would respond to the sight of his nerdy buddy walking hand-in-hand with the hottest girl in school — the fact that they killed a dude together aside.
  • How appropriate that the final words of the series could be "give it a chance." Also, I read way too much into Mama Smash's one-door-closes, another-opens speech. Please, oh please, let there be another door for FNL.

If this episode is the final one, how will you deal? The support group starts in the comments below.

Photos courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
Red77 Red77 8 years
Well everyone can be happy since the NBC season premier is coming (I think the 16th) :) I never once watched that show during regular season and watched every single episode online. This is one hooked fan. The season finale from the last season was a bit much. Tons of drama. Perhaps a bit much?
partysugar partysugar 9 years
I'm bummed I don't want it to end. I really wanted Lyla and Riggins to get back together.
inlovewithhim inlovewithhim 9 years
Didn't fans bring back Jericho? Why can't the same be done for FNL?
liciababe liciababe 9 years
i love this show but i hate that it's on Fridays since I like to go out sometimes or when I go to my parents house I can't watch it I think it would really suck to lose such a great show i am sooo going to cry if it ends
tiabia tiabia 9 years
I am so glad that I jumped on this train. This is a fantastic show!!! It definitely is time to save FNL!!!
Melissa-Rae Melissa-Rae 9 years
If we're gonna start a save FNL campaign, we should get started on it now. We've been doing that for The 4400 and I feel like it should've been started long ago. :(
Ran Ran 9 years
Hi! I write the FNL recaps at The Recapist. I'm dropping by to let you know that this afternoon, I printed out both seasons' worth of recaps (all 37 of them -- 236 pages!), got them spiral-bound at Kinko's and shipped off a copy each to both Ben Silverman and Jeff Zucker. I'm encouraging other FNL recappers to do the same -- show them that there are folks out there who watch the show down to the slightest detail! I don't know whether it will help, but it sure made me feel better to do it. :) Ran Cansley
ktc71 ktc71 9 years
Everyone please check this out and pass the link on to anyone you know that loves FNL....
nomerz nomerz 9 years
I will be heartbroken if it's over ... I came into the show after the first season and caught all the episodes online before this season started. I absolutely love this show, and couldn't imagine not watching it. And there's so much more that needs to be settled and closed. This show is far from over story-wise, so it'd be great if they were given a chance to let it all play out.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
If this was the final episode ever, like many others I will be more than sad. Silverman's responses thus far aren't encouraging, but any and all campaigns to save this show are worth the effort. Loved many of the moments in this episode, especially when Tami told Julie to yell a little louder as they left for church and all of the Matt/Landry exchanges were as brilliant, as always! I'm hoping Smash will find himself at Whitmore as this "door opens." Off to buy some lightbulbs. Clear eyes. Full hearts. Go Panthers!
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 9 years
i've been watching all the old episodes on to show that people do watch this show!! I really want them to stay on!! everyone start watching the old episodes! tell everyone you know to watch them!
smellen smellen 9 years
I read on my hometown news site (Chicago Tribune), that while Ben Silverman isn't a huge fan, others at NBC are very much active in trying to keep this show on the air. From, "The Watcher": Patrick, I linked to an EW piece that speculates about FNL's future in the FNL piece I posted today. Ben Silverman may not be into the show, but trust me -- I spoke to a lot of people at NBC who are besotted with the show and desperate for it to continue. It's an inexpensive show that is very efficiently made, so I'm hoping it comes back for Season 3. Full hearts!"
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
The show CANNOT end on this note! I can't wait to see what happens with the characters. I feel like although some of them got a little closure, most of their stories are just starting. Oh, and I literally jokingly told the TV that it "wasn't very Christian" for Lyla to start taking her shirt off. I feel like she might stray toward Riggins if her church boyfriend isn't going to satisfy her without a wedding ring.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
Loved the episode. NBC, DO NOT cancel this!!!!!
julsmcm julsmcm 9 years
Every little gesture may just help to save this show. It worked last year for "Jericho." Lets try our best to save the best show on TV! There are a few things you can do: 1) Buy the first season DVD. Only $18 on amazon! Or, download individual episodes for $1.99. 2) Watch FNL on the NBC website. They have season 1 for PC owners and Mac users can watch a few episodes from season two. Each person that goes to the website and watches is counted and makes the studio money! 3) Go to Best Week Ever's Save FNL site and sign the petition! 4) Send light bulbs with "Lights on!" written on them or a bottle of Clear Eyes to NBC. Explain why the show should be saved. Ben Silverman c/o NBC Studios 3000 W. Alameda Ave. Burbank, CA. 91523 5) Write letters or send a video to NBC. Lets bombard them so they get the point. The best show on TV deserves more time! Tell them what you love about the show, how you watch it (DVR or TIVO), and what you think overall. Jeff Zucker | Ben Silverman (send each a letter please) NBC / Universal 100 Universal City Plaza Universal City, CA 91608 (818) 777-1000
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
Yes, definately keep us informed of any campaigns to save the show. I will send as many light bulbs or clear eyes that i can, it would be worth it.
briggs313 briggs313 9 years
I will cry if that was the last FNL ... haha love the sweater comment about Lyla, so true, she is dying to get with Riggins. Although I do love Logan from GG...
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I loved this episode. It was sooo funny when Tami told Julie to yell goodbye louder at her father. I loved the fight between coach and the ex. I know it was wrong but i loved it. I was a little worried when it looked like Lyla was going to have sex with her christian boyfriend (i thought his name was Chris, not Matt), that would have been so wrong, i was relieved when he stopped. I was happy for Jason, i know having a baby will be very hard for him and the girl, but he deserves some happiness and it is a "miracle baby" You can't blame the girls for calling and asking Riggins out on the radio, he is so hot! And i loved his hitting people is ok sometimes. I really hope this show comes back whether it is on a different network or whatever, just please bring it back.
sq2 sq2 9 years
love this show and would hate to see it off the air. let us know about the campaigns to keep it on, i'll help!
Lorelei-Spirit Lorelei-Spirit 9 years
Start sending boxes of lightbulbs to the NBC studios to Save Friday Night Lights. It worked for Jericho, right? :P
mannylove mannylove 9 years
This is by easily one of the very best shows on tv! I will be very depressed if this episode was the last one ever. Doesn't seem possible that more people haven't discovered it by now to boost the ratings. My fingers will be crossed for its return one way or the other, that is for certain!
Lorelei-Spirit Lorelei-Spirit 9 years
I will be absolutely devestated if this show did not return. The writing and cinematography is simply brilliant and the characters are all endearing. Apparently all the actors are still here in Austin, so I'm not sure it's over yet. I'll see what I can find out though. I can't believe more people didn't watch the show. Maybe if it were on a different night...
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