The "Toilet Bowl" episode of Friday Night Lights continued the season's trend of truly outstanding offerings. At the start of last season I was a little skeptical about the subtraction of beloved characters Smash and Street and the addition of the new McCoys. But it turned out that the shows quality remained top-notch and the exits were handled beautifully by the FNL PTB so it was ok. Still, bracing for this season to bid farewell to Lyla, Tyra and Matt (likely for good) and add all the new kids from East Dillon? I was nervous. I just wasn't sure whether I could become invested in the lives of new people. I don't know why I would have doubted Jason Katims et al.
Let's start with Luke. That mishap on the ranch before Christmas left him with a severely bruised hip and probably other injuries that could cause permanent damage but instead of sitting out a game or two and telling Coach that he's hurt, he downs 3 weeks worth of pain meds in a week and then gets a tip from Tim about a doc who's all too happy to dope a kid and keep him on the field.
Meanwhile, Vince's mom is off the dope herself and I'm so proud of her. I got a little chill when her hand was shaking so, but the shaking means she's off of drugs and that lessens the sadness of it. I hope it lasts. While she's clean, she's doing her meddling-mom best to get Vince and Jess back together and it's clear that Jess has mixed feelings about it. The two obviously have a history but Vince is kind of a shit and she's much too together to put up with his brand of spineless-in-the-face-of-peer-pressure hooliganism. She's torn between her latent feelings for Vince and her new found feelings for Landry - who you all know I'm rooting for in this scenario - who is angling like crazy for a real date, and more kissing with Jess. What he gets is a rescheduled real date that ends up being a family date when he takes out Jess and her little brothers and then a rebuffed kiss followed but a whole lot of flirting a day later. Man that girl does run hot and cold.
Julie and Tami hit the road to visit Boston College where Julie spends so much time being irritated that her mother is supportive and awesome, she almost forgets that she actually wants to go to a good college. Just when I think Julie can not possibly act any more childish, she matures just enough to realize that her problem isn't her mom, it's that after a lifetime of wanting nothing more than to get the hell out of Dillon, she's accidentally grown attached to the people and the place and is now afraid to leave.
Coach is left home with Gracie which is particularly adorable when he takes her to dinner at the Merriwether BBQ joint with his new East Dillon boosters (are they boosters or just supporters?) and continues to try to win Pappa Merriwether over. Anyway, he's also got his hands full with Slammin' Sammy and his fellow Panthermaniacs running down the Lions' by calling their upcoming game the "Toilet Bowl." Naturally Coach says something great and gives me goose bumps to minimize the effect that has on the boys. In response to Slammin' Sammy as well as his own disillusionment from his previous Panthermania, Buddy lets Eric know he's ready to be involved again and this time he's gettin' involved with the Lions. So he throws some money (he has money again?) at the local Spanish-language radio station so that they'll air the Lion's games each week...in English. Oh, Buddy. I'll not leave you in suspense any longer, they Lions finally win a game and it is amazing to watch. It raised a question for me though - how come Tim helps out as a volunteer coach but never shows up to any of the games? WTF Tim?
Anyway, speaking of Timmy...he wants that 25 acres so bad it's making him cuter and sadder than I've ever seen him. He suits up out of the clear blue and hauls his beautiful cookies to the bank to inquire as to the cost of that acreage - $85,000. Then he attempts to get a job but as he is completely and utterly without marketable skills (save for drinking, fucking, looking pretty and playing football), he is unable to secure the sales job he's after. I suppose he could start turning tricks but I'm not sure how many Dillon women would pay to sleep with him since most of them have had him free of charge in the past. Anyway, Becky tries to help him and its sweet and funny and leading to something between the two of them that I'm stridently against. Tim takes Becky out to his dream ranch and tells her his dreams and just as any of us would in the same situation, Becky plants one (or 4) on him and he reciprocates for a bit until he remembers why its completely not right for him to be swapping spit with a high school sophomore whose mother he banged not long ago. Then she nuzzles him and he lets her and the sun is setting and it's gorgeous and heartbreaking and so quintessentially FNL that I feel a little light headed.
After that, he agrees to spend a few months in Billy's Chop Shop Of Extreme Riggins Stupidity so he can save up his ill-gotten gains and buy himself the ranch he's always wanted.
Next week, Becky might be pregnant (!!!) and some other stuff. Don't ask me what because as soon as there was the thing where Becky might be pregnant (!!!) everything else went blank.