“Friday Night Lights,” Season Five, Episode Seven: Red vs. Blue

Spoiler warning: This is a recap for Friday Night Lights Season 5, airing now on DirecTV. If you’re waiting to watch until next year on NBC, please read no further!

“Streets look better in blue.”—Jason Street

Jason Street was back in this week’s showdown between the Lions and the Panthers. He’s married now, happy with his wife and little boy, and considering having another one soon. I’m a sucker for bringing back the original Panther clan and it’s nice to see him in good spirits, but really? Everything’s perfect? Poor Tim Riggins is in jail, and Jason has an awesome job that he just walked in and asked for and he’s happily married with a woman who reluctantly had his child after a one night stand. Street had some serious obstacles ahead of him, and I guess I sadistically wish he had a little less of a happily ever after. At least he’s sticking true to his blue, and supporting the suffering Dillon Panthers.

Jason is really back trying to recruit Coach for college coaching jobs. Eric brushes it off, saying he’s happy where he is. Why wouldn’t he be? The Lions have a perfect record so far this season. He’s making a difference in young, impressionable, kids’ lives. He’s done the college coaching gig before, as an assistant coach, and it didn’t work out. But now, they want the Kingmaker as a head coach, an opportunity certainly worth considering. Not much is keeping the Taylors in Dillon these days—Julie’s supposed to be off at college, Tami is struggling with her job, Gracie isn’t in school yet, and this would be huge for Eric. Ready for a tearful series finale goodbye to Dillon altogether? We should probably start stocking up on tissues….

Vince was the one who needed real recruiting help this week. His dad has been taking over the recruiting calls, after Coach specifically asked for everything to go through him. Things came to a head at the morale-building barbecue, when Vince’s dad made it clear that Coach isn’t going to be the boss of him. It’s the parent versus coach problem again, this never ends well. Who Vince really needs is Smash’s old girlfriend Noelle, at least she knew her stuff.

Beyond the recruiting drama, and Vince’s dad’s thoughts of grandeur filling his head, Vince is also panicked about the Lions’ criminal records that have been leaked onto the internet. The Panthers seem to be at fault, and some fans even dress up in prison jumpsuits for the big game. The Lions are pissed that they will always be seen as a bunch of thugs, not to mention their now public records endangering their college chances.

All of this feeds into another game that paints the Lions as poor sports. The Lions crush the Panthers in this year’s Big Cat Clash, it’s not even a contest. (Side note, where was JD McCoy?) But when Coach tells Vince to take a knee and let the clock run down, Vince follows his dad’s advice instead and makes a 65 yard pass into the end zone for one last, rub-it-in touchdown to impress the scouts. After dirty play in Kingdom a few weeks back and this show-off move, the Lions are losing their underdog edge and starting to piss people off. If they keep up their perfect record with this reputation, there’s not going to be many people there outside of East Dillon to cheer them on.

Julie this week doesn’t have many cheerleaders herself. Without discussing that plot line ad nauseum, Julie needs to grow up. The shining moment in the rough this week was Tami, who, not allowing her daughter to ruin her first semester of college, heads out to Burleson to pick up her coursework. Of course, Tami runs into Derek. But Tami understands that it takes two to tango, and that this time, it’s not up to her to fight her daughter’s fights. The tense knowing silence was a perfect (although uncomfortable) scene. Despite Tami’s resistance, she now  knows Julie’s not a little girl anymore.

I loved the random scenes with Billy coaching Luke in his backyard, making him fender bench and drink disgusting protein shakes with baby Stevie in his arms. Perhaps not the most conventional route, Billy’s advice seems to be working. Even telling Luke to ignore Becky to make her like him worked, and they’re cutely together. At least something’s going well in East Dillon. Halfway through the season, it looks like there’s still some rough road ahead….

Thoughts? Petty crimes to confess to? Leave them in the comments! And I’ll be back with more recaps in the new year!