In its third season, Friday Night Lights started to say goodbye. Long-running characters graduated from high school, leaving Dillon behind. That meant saying farewell to some of the characters and actors who defined the show’s earlier seasons, like Scott Porter’s Jason Street, Adrianne Palicki’s Tyra Collette, and Gaius Charles’ Smash Williams. Even the characters who didn’t leave the show in season 3 experienced dramatic change, as plot turns in the season finale sent the show in a new direction. (That direction, specifically: East.)
One of the high points of the third season – of the whole show, of all television! – was the final scene between Jason Street and Tim Riggins. On the latest episode of EW’s Binge podcast, Scott Porter recalls how he and costar Taylor Kitsch didn’t have to fake the emotions in that farewell sequence. “I couldn’t keep it together,” Porter says. “I couldn’t not cry, and Taylor couldn’t not cry.”
Porter’s final episode is called “New York, New York,” and features Street and Riggins on the streets of New York City. The final Street-Riggins sequence was the last scene Porter shot on the show (not counting a brief return in season 5) and the actor explains the indelible mark it left on him. “It was odd not shooting my last scene in Texas,” he notes. “It wasn’t where I normally had worked. I wasn’t around a bunch of people I normally worked with.” The change of setting added to the sense of finality. “It’s a special moment that I’ll never forget. Being in New York, it really felt like closure,” says Porter.
To hear more from Porter, plus stars Gaius Charles, Zach Gilford, Adrianne Palicki, and Louanne Stephens, listen to the episode above. And subscribe to the podcast to hear more of hosts Sam Highfill and Darren Franich as they dive deep into all five seasons of Friday Night Lights. Be sure to tweet any questions/comments to @samhighfill and @darrenfranich or email them to email@example.com. EW’s Binge is produced by EW’s Cristina Everett and edited by Will Malnati of At Will Radio.