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'Friday Night Lights' recap: Is this the end for Matt?

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Wow, what an energy-rush this week’s Friday Night Lights was. I know what many of you meant when you wrote in the Comments section that last week featured an Emmy-worthy performance by Zach Gilford as a grieving son; I agree. But I also thought this week’s amazing romantic scenes between Taylor Kitsch and Minka Kelly were extraordinary; Kitsch in particular gave a tremendously subtle performance.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

How about that incorrigible little minx Julie, blithely ignoring Tami’s orders and traipsing off to Austin with Matt for a music festival featuring acts such as the Heartless Bastards and Hem? (Kudos to the Heartless B’s for putting in a fine cameo.) Julie has been more good-natured around the house lately, but it made sense that she’d pull a little rebellion around this time, when she’s feeling the pressure of a fragile relationship with Matt.

As for Tim Riggins and Lyla Garrity — this was a terrific way to bring her character back to reestablish how much she cares for Tim but also how she’s out-grown him. (Her plaintive line, “What do you want?,” met by his silence, was a heart-crusher.) And the writers have made Tim a classic anti-hero in the tradition of Rebel Without A Cause: he’s now the charismatic rule-breaker who’s discovering that breaking the rules doesn’t get you very far in love, in work, or in life over the long haul. The scenes in which Tim and Lyla were enjoying each other’s company (whether in a bar, as pictured here, or alone in his grotty trailer) were sexy and poignant; very delicately played and moving, I thought.

Football was almost an after-thought this week, and I am getting a bit tired of coach Stan being all fidgety and shooting his mouth off at the wrong time. Comic relief is something FNL doesn’t much need. Then again, I trust the producers that they know what they’re doing with this character, and that Stan’s annoying behavior is going to pay off in some way further into the season.

And about that final scene: Do you think Matt is driving off into the sunset for good? (I know one person who isn’t going to miss him: That obnoxious artist whose subplot wasn’t working out.)

So, did you watch?

Friday Night Lights airs on DIRECTV”s 101 Network.