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"Friday Night Lights" Recap: Episode 18, "Extended Families"

"Friday Night Lights" Recap: Episode 18, "Extended Families"

I’m sure there was a deep theme about biological and emotional families in this episode of "Friday Night Lights", but the more obvious one to me was: Everything Buddy Garrity touches turns to poo. Most of this episode — all of the episodes are now online, by the way — focuses on the aftermath of Buddy’s affair with Tyra’s mom, with a few forays into the worlds of Riggins and Smash. The episode built up slowly, but by the end it was one of my favorites. To hear why,

Tyra's mom, who really should have the upper hand after slapping Buddy silly in front of all his rich friends, spends the episode popping pills in bed (I guess they could just recycle scenes from the last time she did that). Lyla drives to Austin, where she learns that instead of pining for her, Jason’s been getting tattoos from cute girls. Buddy, meanwhile, gets kicked out of the house and invites himself to live with the Taylors by showing up on their doorstep, leading to a priceless “what is that thing on our porch?” line from Tami.

Meanwhile, a little neighbor boy befriends Riggins, mostly by talking incessantly about football. (I think that boy needs to marry the silent girl from "Grey's Anatomy." Maybe their children will talk like normal people!) Riggins eventually warms to the kid and ends up having dinner with him and his single mother, and I smell a romance, though so far he's only fixed her gutter.

Waverly, meanwhile, starts acting hyper and horny, demanding she and Smash go skinny-dipping. Her dad asks Smash if he's noticed anything different about Waverly, and Smash says no — I guess it's hard to tell your pastor that his daughter suddenly wants to be naked all the time. But when he asks Waverly what's up, she reveals that she’s decided to stop taking her mood stabilizers, which is much more interesting than where I thought this was going. Smash kind of digs the new Waverly, until he finds her crouched in a corner, crying.

Lyla freaks out about Jason’s tattoo, telling him he’s “permanently messed up” now. (Paralysis? no problem. Ink on the wrist? Dealbreaker!). She can’t hold her own at a rugby party and storms out, telling Jason he's changing, and she's not changing with him. I thought that would really be the end, but Jason gives a sincere profession of his love, capped off by successfully having sex for the first time since the accident. Herc would be proud.

Coach, meanwhile, gets invited to dinner with the TMU athletic director (I guess the earlier call from UT didn't go anywhere?). He and Tami assign Julie to babysit Buddy so he won’t find out, but Julie sneaks away to a party at Tyra's. The highlight of the party is seeing more of Landry’s awkward advances toward Tyra (“I’m in your house right now, with you, and strippers, and, just ... God bless everyone!”), until Tyra’s mom shuffles out of the bedroom and crashes through a plate-glass table.

Julie panics and calls Tami from the hospital, and she ditches dinner to take care of things. Tyra frostily tells Tami that she doesn't need any help from a woman who thinks her daughter is too good to be spending time with the Collettes, and at this moment, I decide Adrienne Palicki and Connie Britton both deserve Emmys. Tami admits she's been blaming Tyra for Julie's wild behavior, but maybe it's just Julie growing up. Tyra backs down, and Tami tells her to come by the guidance office on Monday. Tyra: "What am I, your next project?" Tami: "Absolutely."

Back at the Taylors', Buddy confronts Coach about the meeting with TMU. He found about the meeting by using a pencil to shade over the impressions on a notepad — "just something I learned on 'Magnum P.I.'" Ha. Buddy decides he'd rather take his sorry self to a motel than live with a man who might walk out on the Dillon Panthers, and Coach tells him that, given that he's just cheated on his wife, maybe he has bigger things to worry about. The episode ends with Coach and Tami sitting in silence, mulling a job offer from TMU.


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