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Friday Night Lights Recap: Season 3, Episode 9, "Game of the Week"

Friday Night Lights Rundown: Episode 9, "Game of the Week"

On this week's Friday Night Lights, the Panthers move into the playoffs and face the pressures of winning or having the season end right then. Lyla does some bonding with an unlikely character, and Matt's grandma and mom continue their standoff. And things really come to a head with Tyra and Cash, culminating in a late-night trip to Dallas. Ready to talk about it? Just


Time and again, FNL has argued that the Panthers are the only thing bringing Dillon together. We see that happen on a small scale in this episode, and it's my favorite moment of the whole hour: Grandma Saracen and Shelby dropping their territorial feud the second they hear Matt's going to play. Now granted, I'm not convinced that Grandma would skip a game — much less a playoff game on national television — even if Matt did say he'd just be on the bench. But it doesn't matter, because it's a fine scene as they rush around gathering up their coats, babbling about how they'll get tickets, and finally treating each other with some civility. No, they still don't like each other, but they do love Matt, and for a few moments, that's enough.

Another story of love in this episode comes courtesy of the Riggins boys, or rather, courtesy of their disgruntled women. Billy's apparently done some unspecified jerky things, leading Mindy to call off their wedding. Meanwhile, Tim's being hotly pursued by a college recruiter who's in town and wants to talk. Lyla loads him up with research, but Tim's not interested in her college blather. And when Lyla realizes she's not being taken seriously, she dumps him by the side of the road. That leads to one of my favorite FNL moments ever: Mindy Collette and Lyla Garrity getting drunk and dancing to Mama Collette's "all men suck" music mix and talking about how they're going to form a no-Riggins force-field. For whatever reason, though, they both end up back with their respective Rigginses by the end of the episode — after both men have finally learned to apologize. So Tim's going to college? I can't imagine he has the grades for it, but I'm sure he's not the first football player to get in despite subpar scores. Love him telling Lyla she was right while she stands there intoxicating him with her morning-after-bender breath.

Meanwhile, we all knew things with Tyra and Cash would get ugly, eventually, and, sure enough, Tyra finds out that Cash is in a bunch of debt. She sees the darker side of him, storming around and leaving her alone in that seedy bar while he goes out — supposedly — for money. Tyra's a strong girl, so things must have been really freaky for her to be terrified. She's had enough daring cowboy adventure; on the phone with Landry, we can hear the relief in her voice. And I'm glad Tami comes to get her, even if it means spoiling her birthday celebration; Coach would have done the same for one of his players.

Some other thoughts:

  • I love how determined Tami was to continue enjoying her birthday spoils, going so far as to take the champagne with her in the car.
  • I wish we could have seen more of Landry Clarke: Scholar-Athlete.
  • Speaking of Landry, how perfect is the look on his face when he realizes Tyra's now used her sick aunt excuse on Julie?
  • All of these characters have burdens to bear, but Matt's is huge even by those standards. I hope he finds some path to college, even if it means staying near Dillon to keep caring for Grandma.
  • Favorite part of Tami's delight at Coach's surprise: the look of sheer joy on her face when she found the hotel robes.

Are you amazed that Riggins is college bound? Happy that the Panthers are continuing their playoff march? Rooting for Tyra and Landry to get back together now that her cowboy days are over?

Photos courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
The Lyla and Mindy part was really funny. I can't wait to see next weeks episode.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
How did I miss this recap last week? Anyway, Mindy and Lyla getting wasted in the living room and dancing around totally cracked me up. Lyla used to be one of my least favorite characters, but I find myself liking her more and more, and shaking my head more and more at Tyra. I'm just glad that she's rid of that sketchy cowboy now.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
Critty — @JDMcCoy started following me on Twitter yesterday! I didn't know his parents let him Tweet. :)
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Great recap of another great FNL episode. Thanks, Buzz! I loved the Grandma Saracen scenes; she is such a wonderful, real character. And, of course, any moment with Landry is great, too! Hopefully, Tyra will get and stay on track now that she sees (once again) the consequences of her poor decisions; the Taylor's go above and beyond for her, but without them, where would she be? She just has to get out of Dillon. I'm waiting for Tim to surprise all of us and to be a classroom star in college. Am I dreaming? Loved Tami's gushing over the bathrobes. What a great pair those two are. Looking forward to watching how she handles Julie this week.
Baluk Baluk 8 years
I was waiting for this write up! It was a great episode, although I was a little surprised at how quickly the Cash/tyra relationship deteriorated. Loved the last scene with Lyla & Tim!
ktc71 ktc71 8 years
Great episode! I loved seeing Matt's mother and Grandmother being able to put their differences aside for the sake of Matt. Critty....I may have to sign up over at Twitter just for that. Yes, I'm a nerd like that. :)
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
I really loved this episode. I hope we get more Landry next week. Tim Riggins is the hottest character on television. I thought The Taylors were wonderful to go pick up Tyra in Dallas. Poor Coach!
Miss-Shapes Miss-Shapes 8 years
It made perfect sense to me that Tyra would freak out being alone in that seedy bar. Anyone remember what happened the last time she was left alone in a restaurant full of men? I am so so happy for Matt. Things are, for once, starting to look up for him. He’s back with Julie (YAY!!), his found a place on the team again, his mom’s back in his life and is being quite darling, and his college prospects look good. Pity it’ll mean leaving his Grandma behind.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
to much drinking on this show. sign all the characters up for AA. shesh, what is with the booze theme?
Critty Critty 8 years
Love this episode! I totally thought Coach Taylor was going to get into it with Cash too. Can't wait for next week. Do you know you can follow @CoachEricTaylor on Twitter and he responds to your FNL Tweets. I am a loser ;)
care0531 care0531 8 years
One thing I was sad to see what Tyra ruin the night for the Taylors. Why couldn't she have called Mindy or Landry? Then I would have loved to see Coach Taylor do a little more about that Cowboy being rough with Tyra but I guess that is what makes him a gentleman....he's bigger then all that.
care0531 care0531 8 years
I really love this season- I am always itchin for it to be Friday again to see a new episode! I can't wait for next week- it looks funny and I have been waiting for Coach Taylor to find out about Matt and Julie! LOL Should be intresting....
spacebear spacebear 8 years
another great episode. best moment was when buddy told lyla it was past beer thirty.
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