Friday Night Lights: “Tomorrow Blues”


Y’all have had a really nice relationship and you don’t know what’s going to happen after that. If you and Matt are meant to be together you’ll be together. And if you’re not, there’s going to be someone else special for you.

And so the long ride comes to a close. We diehards hold out hope that the weird admixture of DirecTV ratings plus the upcoming NBC run of these 13 episodes will earn another season, but if it doesn’t this was an okay way to say goodbye. If we’re meant to be together, we’ll be together.

Jumping five months from last week’s title game, it’s time for the seniors to say goodbye to Dillon High and put away their childish things. Soon. Anytime now. But first, Matt’s got to fight with Grandma about how many dresses she needs to bring to the assisted living facility. And Tim’s got to convince Billy he needs a steer. And Joe McCoy – never anything but a childish bully – has to push Eric out of his job.

I can’t outtalk nor outspend, that’s for damn sure, Joe McCoy. I have given everything I’ve got for this team. I’ve still got that. I’ve still got my pride. I’m not giving that up.

To think that last week I thought the Aikman affair had been ignored by the writers. I should have seen it coming, along with the East Dillon split, as the most likely outcome of the pissing contest between McCoy-Aikman and Buddy-Eric. ((Yes, I used first names for the good guys. You got a problem with that?)) I failed all along to consider the money McCoy had poured into the program as buying him that much control, figuring Buddy would always be calling the shots. Buddy’s misfortunes, combined with McCoy’s dumptruck of cash, have shifted the balance of power in Dillon for at least the next three years.

Three years during which I imagine Buddy and his best friend and golfing buddy, Eric Taylor, will build a formidable team in East Dillon.

And who knows? Maybe Matt Saracen can be an assistant coach. It’s not like he’s going to school. Goddamn it, Matt! Why?!?

I know, I know. He loves Lorraine. When he pulls her out of the nursing home he tells her, “You’re the only person who’s never left me. I’m not going to leave you.” But Matty? School. You really need to go, I swear. Joe Kubert’s Correspondence Courses aren’t going to cut it. Again, the burdens and trials the writers pile on Matt break my heart. Even in saying goodbye, Matt can’t say goodbye.

Last week I also expressed my opinion that Tim left his cleats on the field because he was done with football, that it was a symbolic gesture indicating he was going to stay in Dillon and work at Riggins’ Rigs with Billy. I was right. And also: everyone who disagreed with me was right and I was wrong.

If y’all’ve been around a while, you know my feelings for Billy run deep. Why? I have no idea. The man-child’s an idiot. But somehow, for some reason, Derek Phillips found a way to play Billy that resonated with me at every turn. For three seasons, I have admired the hell out of that fuckup. When everyone else left them, he stayed. He didn’t abandon Tim, but abandoned his own dreams and aspirations. Remember? Billy almost had his tour card. He could have gone back and gotten into Q School. He didn’t. Instead, he put every little bit of manhood and maturity he could muster – admittedly not much – into raising Tim into the best man he could be.

So to complete my blockquote trifecta for the evening, I give you the tragic, but ultimately heroic Billy Riggins:

You listen to me you little idiot. You are not going to wuss out on this. You’re going to go to college and you’re going to go get a degree. And I don’t care if it takes you seven years, alright? And when you start thinking that it’s too hard or that you can’t handle it I want you to remember one thing. I want you to think about the kids that you don’t have yet. And I want you to think about my kids. Me and Mindy’s kids that we don’t have yet. And you’re going to get the job done so that one of these days I can tell them that they don’t have to settle for second best. That they can be whoever the hell they want to be because their uncle Timmy went to college. God bless our mom and dad, wherever they are. But we gotta do better by our kids.

God bless Billy Riggins.

Some other thoughts:

  • It was unrealistic and dramatically trite for Tyra to get into UT. She needed to spend a year in community college to pay for the sins of her misspent youth. Happy as this shipper is to see her finally with Landry, I was unhappy with her easy victory.
  • Billy? When your car is broken down in the middle of west Texas and your brother gets it to restart, don’t kill the engine. I don’t care how frustrated you are.
  • Question. “Freebird”: the greatest wedding march ever?
  • So how many people were watching Tim push Lyla to go to Vandy thinking how mature and manly he was? And how many of you were watching it like me, knowing that was his out to avoid San Antone?
  • TheWife and I were discussing the music rights for the episode. Either they blew several episodes’ budget on all those (poorly played) songs at the reception, or they had a killer package deal.
  • I’d forgotten there were fairy wings on Mindy’s dress!!!
  • Buddy and Tyra’s mom. Huh. After their affair and her blowup, I wouldn’t have expected that, but it makes a sort of sense. Insane, bad choice from both of them, but I think that’s why it makes sense.
  • And one last time, let’s hear it for Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton for giving us the most mature, loving, real marriage on TV.

What did everyone else think?

Oh, and lest we forget…

Watch FNL on NBC starting this Friday! Set your DVRs! Make sure you watch the show in the first three days after it airs! Lets give FNL another season!