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Friday Night Lights Recap: Episode One, "I Knew You When"

Friday Night Lights Rundown: Episode One, "I Knew You When"

Welcome back, Panther fans! It's so good to see Friday Night Lights back on TV. In this episode, we do a lot of catching up, resetting to the start of another school year and football season — and some things have really changed around Dillon. To chat about Tami's new responsibilities, Coach's new protegee, and Buddy's new pet project,


This episode does a lot of catching up, but I love the way it's handled, through flashbacks and little surprise reveals — like, "Hey! That's Riggins in Lyla's bedroom!" or "Whoa, Smash came back after his suspension only to hurt his knee in the playoffs?" Also new: Tami's position as principal. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense: Tami was already working at the school, and it must be a pretty thankless job — which sounds like just the kind of thing Tami would decide she needs to take on. (Plus, she now has the power to change Julie's schedule.)

Coach isn't in a great spot with football right now: The team is struggling through drills, Riggins is being his hard-partying self, and there's a new freshman quarterback on the scene. We barely see JD McCoy, but we see a lot of his father, the man who has the means to buy smoothies for the whole team ("I know what the hell a smoothie is!") and bribe Coach with scotch and cigars. He's moved the whole family to Dillon solely so JD can be with the Panthers; JD is a natural talent, more Street than Saracen. Matt has to work hard; JD just fires the ball for touchdowns. That seems like an interesting showdown to watch as the season moves on.

Meanwhile, Smash is working with Coach to rehab his injured knee, but he's also having second thoughts: He's still slow, his body can't do the things it used to do, and he's got his job at the Alamo Freeze to keep him busy. But Coach won't let him go, and who can blame him? As he says during their impromptu racquetball match (the "whitest sport ever"), he needs something good to happen.

If the Panthers are in a bad place, Dillon High might be even worse off; they're losing teachers and sweltering in the late-Summer air while the football side of the building has shiny new computers and temperature control that works. And thus Tami wanders into her first major minefield, taking the money Buddy ponies up for a new jumbotron ("have you ever seen two people engaged on a jumbotron?") and deciding she can reallocate it. I generally think that Tami's right and Buddy's wrong, but this could get very bad very quickly.

Some other thoughts:

  • Poor Tyra! She now has all these hopes for college, but the new guidance counselor is just smacking them all down. By the end of the episode, Tyra realizes there might be another way, and I just love that scene of her presenting her UT application and her petition to be student body president; Tyra doesn't take crap from anyone these days.
  • Mindy's engagement to Billy Riggins probably helped push Tyra to her "no, seriously, I'm getting out of here" position. Is anyone else terrified at the idea of "three or four little Mindys and Billys running around"?
  • The Taylor family dynamics crack me up. "Mom, I only put 12,000 miles in the car, and they were all to church, so technically they were all Christian miles."
  • Amazing that Riggins and Lyla are trying to make a go of it. Buddy's not so pleased.
  • I've made no secrets about being a montage crier, but that "Great Moments in Panthers History" video about had me on the floor.

Your thoughts? Surprised with anything going on in Dillon? Rooting for Tyra? Think Buddy or Tami is in the right on the jumbotron? Man, I love this show.

Photos courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
shiningeyes shiningeyes 8 years
I've watched the first few episodes of this season (okay, illegally) already... but I'm glad I can get back into the swing of it on Hulu soon. This is such a wonderful show!
ktc71 ktc71 8 years
I too have Direct TV and have seen the whole season. I agree 100% with the others who have seen. This season is amazing! With each episode it just got better and better. Tell your friends and family to tune into NBC and watch. This show deserves to continue!!
Cupcake0110 Cupcake0110 8 years
I have DirectTV so I've already seen this season. And let me tell you, it's definitely one to watch. It's really amazing. I really hope people tune in. I loved it. So all of you who haven't seen the season, please watch!! You won't be sorry!
mannylove mannylove 8 years
I loved this episode. Am soooo happy FNL is finally back on regular tv and I really hope the ratings go up so it will be renewed for another season. Oh man, that montage had me crying like a baby too!
SexyNeverLeft78 SexyNeverLeft78 8 years
My husband and I started watching season 1 of FNL on Netflix last Thursday and we finished by Friday night so we could watch the new epsiode. Hands down FNL is the best written and quality show I have seen in years!! And sexy Taylor Kitsch doesn't hurt either lmao
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 8 years
i love this show and am so mad i forgot to set the dvr to record it on Friday!
lesmar912 lesmar912 8 years
I watched the whole season on DirecTV and it is great! I will look forward to your mini recaps each week to refresh my memory on what happened, but this is such a good show I hope it sticks around. I just feel that the personal relationships all just feel so real...really great acting!
inmybubble inmybubble 8 years
This show is wonderful. I've heard that this season is great from the people who have already seen it on DirecTV. I just hope enough people realize it so that NBC will keep it around.
vlada vlada 8 years
Love this show! I'm excited that Tim & Lyla are being given a real shot and poor Matt can't catch a break.
ldekosky ldekosky 8 years
This is the best show on television... so excited!
JCP0240 JCP0240 8 years
I have been looking forward to this for so long! :) What a great episode, in that it caught everyone up w/ what has been happening in Dillon Texas. My one complaint is not enough of Matt Saracen! :) (i know there will more to come though) Love Tami's new role as principal, it is very fitting for her. Buddy's recommendation about the jumbo tron is so typical Buddy Geraghty and I loved his comment about it, "have you ever seen two people engaged on a jumbotron?" haha. After seeing the previews for next week I already know it is gonna be a tough episode to watch because of Matt and his Grandma. They need to get another nurse for her asap!
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
Finally Lyla and Tim get together! I think they have great chemistry so I was happily surprised to see Tim pop up (shirtless!) in her bedroom. I loved the scene with the smoothie truck. Kyle Chandler is such a great actor. JD McCoy's dad definitely spells trouble. And poor Saracen. He can never catch a break. I'm so glad this is back on!!! Keep it coming, NBC!
ktc71 ktc71 8 years
Thanks Buzz! Hopefully the ratings will continue to go up. :)
er593395 er593395 8 years
I thought that everyone should have graduated except for matt and landry.......
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
ktc71 — It actually did OK in the ratings, considering that the episodes have been available (legally on DirecTV, illegally elsewhere) for a while. It got about 4.5 million viewers, which is better than what Lipstick Jungle had been getting in the same time slot.
c-a-t-h c-a-t-h 8 years
I feel like I need to rewatch all of season 2 since it's been soooooooo long (overdue)!
ktc71 ktc71 8 years
Best show on TV...period! I wonder how it did with the ratings.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Thanks for the great recap, Buzz. What a delight it is to have FNL back on tv. Mindy, you are absolutely right: nothing is as well written as FNL. The acting, the pacing, the dialogue--everything is just pitch perfect. So glad to be back in Dillon every Friday night. Go Panthers!
mindyv mindyv 8 years
aww yay! I'm so glad you're still doing recaps for FNL :) I didn't realize how much I missed it until I watched this episode...there's seriously nothing else as well written as FNL on tv these days
nimue nimue 8 years
i love this show and i really hope a lot more people start watching!
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