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"Friday Night Lights" Recap: Episode 16, "Black Eyes and Broken Hearts"

"Friday Night Lights" Recap: Episode 16, "Black Eyes and Broken Hearts"

If last week's episode of "Friday Night Lights" was all about the Dillon Panthers as a family, then this week's was more about the Taylors themselves. We’ve always seen how football conflicts spill over into Coach’s home life, but now he also a suddenly wayward daughter to deal with, right when things on the field are at their most intense. Of course, we have to deal with last week’s cliffhanger of a walkout, too, so to see what happens,

We start with Smash telling a crowd of reporters the walkout is for real and the coaches trying to figure out how to play with a pared-down team. They call up a bunch of bumbling fools from the junior varsity squad, and after they make a mess of their first practice, Coach tells Riggins he needs to be a leader. Riggins takes that to mean scaring the newbies about what happens if they screw up: The Panthers will be out of the playoffs and "you're never gonna get laid your entire life."

Tami decides it’s time for the Taylors to have a family conference about Julie’s friendship with Tyra. Julie’s incensed — first they didn’t want her dating Matt, and now they’re picking her friends, too? Coach attempts to explain what happens when a person who used to be a good girl starts hanging out with a person who doesn’t wear enough clothes, but Julie cuts him off by saying that maybe if he weren’t so prejudiced, the black players wouldn’t have walked off.

Matt is still in trouble over the hot tub incident, and he’s planning to apologize with a mix CD, but Tyra intercepts and tells Matt to try spending some money. Landry takes Matt to a jewelry store, telling him a night with rally girls is definitely a diamond-worthy offense, but Matt decides an amethyst pendant will do quite nicely.

Buddy pressures Coach to fire Mac, which sends Coach to Tami’s office with a guidance counselor emergency. Guidance Counselor Tami rules that what Mac said was a fireable offense. Coach then asks for his wife, who tells him the team is more important than Mac. Coach: "Is there anyone else I can talk to?" Heh. So "friend" Tami chimes in that it's not cool for Coach to condone racist behavior. Coach: "The three of you scare me." Mac later shows up at the Taylors' house to resign, but Coach won't accept it.

The walkout, meanwhile, is looking shaky. Some of the players tell Smash they're too close to a scholarship to quit, and even Smash is having doubts. Finally, Smash’s mom says this isn't the Million Man March; the best way to prove Mac wrong will be to play like a star.

We get a quick scene of Jason leaving for rugby tryouts — I guess just so we don’t forget about him? Meanwhile, Tyra and Julie swing by the strip club so Tyra can get cash from her sister. Matt calls and says he needs to talk to Julie right away, so he and Landry end up there too. Landry is wearing his Crucifictorious T-shirt and looking very 16, but he’s trying to act all “naked ladies? no biggie.” That gets him noticed by an undercover cop, who arrests all four of them. Cut to the rest of the kids being picked up while Julie sits in the cell alone. "All the other parents picked up their perps," Coach says. "Why can't we pick up ours?" Tami says they're going to make their perp wait. Tough cookie.

The next morning, Smash and the rest of the black players show up for the bus ride to the game. It's a chilling scene, and it's clear the tension isn’t gone. At the game, one of the opposing team’s players flattens Smash after he’s scored a touchdown to put the Panthers ahead. Riggins goes after that player, and it becomes an all-out brawl. In the end, the officials decide it’s too dangerous to finish the game, so the score stands in favor of Dillon.

On the way home, a cop pulls the team over and tells Coach they've got evidence Smash threw the first punch. Mac steps out and says nobody's getting on that bus without a warrant, and while it doesn't totally redeem him, at least it's a step, as is Mac telling Smash the cops made a mistake “just like I did.”

Speaking of redemption, Matt finally gives Julie the necklace and asks if she will officially be his girlfriend. Aw!


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