By Ken Tucker
January 06, 2011 at 02:25 PM EST
  • TV Show

Friday Night Lights continued to push our hero Vince into antihero territory this week — that’s what can happen when you start taking your cues from the long-absent father who’s suddenly showering you with attention. Eager for a big-score offer from a college football organization, Vince and his pop disobeyed Coach Taylor’s orders and made an independent visit to Oklahoma Tech. Vince also gave a braggy interview to a local TV station that got him in trouble with his teammates, who felt disrespected. (The title of this week’s episode was “Fracture.”) The biggest loser in all this (aside from Buddy’s son, who suffered a hairline fracture) may be Jess, who not only is disappointed in the way her boyfriend is acting, but still has to wear an ugly team hat and clean the team’s sweaty gear.

The night’s other main plot was the persistence of Julie’s grabby teaching assistant, who showed up in Dillon proclaiming his love and insisting he was getting a divorce. This provoked a great moment with Coach Eric, who chased the academic horndog off his property and broke the guy’s rear taillight (on his car — that’s not a metaphor) as the teacher fled from Eric’s wrath.

The week’s off-kilter scenes involved Becky, who is apparently now under the spell of Mindy’s bad taste. Becky entered another beauty pageant, but this time took some fashion tips from her new strip-club pals, resulting in a mere second place plus a lot of embarrassingly rude catcalling from the pals jeering the judges. That girl needs to get out from under the Riggins roof.

The night’s big surprise, of course (SPOILER ALERT) was its final scene. Julie left home to go back to college (nice visual echo of the family-hug-in-the-driveway from the first time Julie left).

We were led to think that Julie was headed for the greasy arms of Horny Teaching Assistant, but instead she knocked on a door and who was revealed but Matt Saracen — Zach Gilford making a quick, welcome return. Memo to Julie: Don’t go watching the upcoming ABC medical drama Off the Map — it’ll dampen the warm feelings you have for him.

Did you watch Friday Night Lights? How far do you think the spirit-fracturing of the Lions and Coach will go?

(Friday Night Lights airs on DirecTV’s 101 Network.)

Twitter: @kentucker

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