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Friday Night Lights: Freedom

Is it awful that I wanted Coach to take the job in Florida? I mean, I get it. Home is where the heart is and all that. But for seasons we’ve watched high school football players graduate and leave Dillon, some to success and others not. Doesn’t Coach deserve that too? Yeah, he left once and bailed. That was different, that was family-related. Why didn’t he go this time? Because Buddy Garrity wants a winning football team, because Tim Riggins needs a mentor, because Vince Howard still has another year left? That, my friend, is crap. Coach deserved this opportunity and he should have taken it.

OK, let’s talk about the most heartbreaking part of the episode: The return of the man formerly known as Tim Riggins. This was not the Tim Riggins we knew and loved. This Tim was a shell of his former self. There was no mischievous glint in his eye, no “Texas Forever”, no…anything. He was empty, broken, bitter and sad. Will Billy be able to repair their relationship? It seems so sad – Tim made a huge sacrifice so that Billy could be with his family, but the sacrifice also destroyed their own familial bond.

That said, I’m glad he’s out of the slammer. A world where Friday Night Lights ends with Tim Riggins incarcerated is not a world I want to live in. I would have been forced to hole up in my room watching old episodes and writing sad, creepy fan fiction where he gets back together with Lyla (yes, Lyla – Becky is too young and Tyra is too awesome) and lives happily ever after again. I only hope he can snap out of this funk a little before the series ends. He still has that land, right? That should cheer him up. Or I’d like them to come up with a non-cheesy way to do a flash-forward at the end so I can see how everyone turned out. Maybe twenty years from now I’d be OK with Tim and Becky together.

That doesn’t seem likely though, considering Becky is inches away from abandoning all her dreams to live on a farm with Luke. Someone get this boy a scholarship, ASAP! Come on, Mr. and Mrs. Coach, work your combined magic! That kid has worked too hard to stay on the farm. He can come back to the farm, I just want him to experience something else once.

Vince finally stood up to his terrifying/charming father and snapped out of his ego trip, and earned back his position as starting quarterback. How much of a factor was his plea in Coach’s decision to stay?

Going into these final three episodes, there’s so much left unresolved. Vince has begun the process of redemption but still has far to go. His dad won’t back off easily, and he hasn’t yet won Jess back. We have Tim to think about, and I’m wondering how any returning character (especially Tyra and Landry) will fit into the picture. And we didn’t even see Julie or Matt this week. And finally, did Coach mean what he said? Was his announcement confirmation that he’s staying in Dillon, or is there still a chance he could move on? Do you want him to? 


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