Boy, Vince’s father was even more irritated than ever this week on Friday Night Lights. Not only were his plans to be a super-dad-super-agent falling apart with every ring of his cellphone, but his arch-nemesis, Coach Taylor, was the one getting the flattery and offers. Florida wants Eric badly, so much so that they’re willing to part with a crate of fresh oranges, certainly the cheapest (yet nutritious!) form of enticement in the history of college-football recruitment.
This led to a lot of Coach-don’t-go sentiments from the team and much of the town — indeed, the episode’s title was “Don’t Go” — and Kyle Chandler played it just the way you’d want him to: Through squinted, almost averted eyes, since the actor knows his character would be highly uncomfortable with such abject, deserving praise.
Also doing some fine squinting? Tim Riggins, whose parole hearing came up. I thought he was going to bore a hole in the floor during a prolonged wince as brother Billy hemmed and hawed nervously through his inarticulate speech about why Tim should go free. Also testifying to Tim’s good character were Coach, and, in a surprise appearance not on the parole board’s list, Buddy Garrity. After Coach’s plainspoken eloquence, it sounded as though Buddy was going to car-salesman the board to death, but dang if he didn’t pull it together and add to the proceedings by promising that Tim would have a full-time job waiting for him when he was released. (Just what every ex-con yearns for: a bartending gig.)
There were a few Becky-Luke scenes that served only to remind me how much I missed Tyra-Tim scenes. More interesting was the way Vince was rebuffed by Jess: It takes a strong woman to turn away when Vince is opening those big, beautiful eyes of his and speaking with soft humility, and Jess is one strong young woman. But does this mean heartache for both them in the future?
Speaking of the future: Only three more episodes to go! Coach may have decided to resist that Florida house and the Most Dangerous Pool In The World For Gracie Belle, but we don’t want Friday Night Lights itself to go, do we? Knowing it has to end leaves us more nervous about the future of quality TV on Friday nights than Billy Riggins at a parole hearing.