The Friday Night Lights fourth season finale aired last night on DirecTV and I still haven't fully recovered.
Well, the unfortunate love triangle that Jess spent the season getting herself into came to an end last night when she admitted to Landry that she had feelings for Vince. While I personally would never choose Vince, or anyone else for that matter, over Landry, I give Jess a lot of credit for how she handled the situation. She was appropriately sad about hurting Landry and there clearly is a great deal of chemistry between she and Vince. Poor, heartbroken Landry gave Vince a little lip about what went down but the two got past it because, in the end, I think they genuinely like each other. It's like how Tim and Smash started out enemies but grew to be friends. Only they actually both hated each other while Landry has never hated anyone in his whole, sweet life. But you see the correlation I'm drawing.
Anyway, the Taylors are sticking to their role as the defacto family for every lost-soul in Dillon and hosting Thanksgiving dinner for pretty much everyone in town with no where else to go. Tim, Billy, baby Riggins, the Collette women, Buddy, Grandma Saracen...so Julie stops by Grandma's house to ask what time she should pick her up for dinner tomorrow and Grandma mentions that Matt rented a car so she'll just come with him. Julie, God bless her heart, does not pick up what Grandma is lying down, instead assuming that this is one of those times when the ol' girls mind has taken leave and says "Matt's in Chicago." That's when Matt pops out from behind Gramma at the door and I gasped a little even though I'd seen the previews for this ep and knew he'd be back in town. That's just how much this show gets under your skin and makes you feel what is happening.
Julie is torn between how much she still loves Matt and how mad she is at him for leaving without a goodbye. She isn't wrong to be hurt because it was a crap thing for him to do...but I also understand why he did it. Sometimes the smart thing and the right thing aren't the same. Sometimes, in love, people get hurt. But just like the rest of the world, Julie can't really stay mad at Matt so they spend a bit of time enjoying each others company - at the kids table for Thanksgiving dinner, at the Battle of the Big Cats game with Gramma, reminiscing at the spot where he deflowered her - and he tells her that he bought her a ticket to come back to Chicago with him. But just like when she realized that running away from Dillon wasn't the magical answer to her life anymore, she's realizing that she and Matt being together isn't the right answer just because they love each other. They have to live their own lives and find their own futures. So she turns him down.
Tami is supposed to apologize for that time she TOTALLY DIDN'T advise a student at another school, who came to her as a friend of a friend and not as a principal, to get an abortion. And Mrs. Cafferty is front and fucking center for this bogus apology too, but Tami can't go through with it because...well because it's complete horse shit for her to apologize for something she didn't do because one stupid parent demands it. So the school board tells her they need to decide her fate and she'll need to meet with the superintendent the Saturday after Thanksgiving (and the big game). I'm a broken record, I know, but Connie Britton kicks so much ass in the Thanksgiving scenes where she is just barely holding it together under the stress of possibly losing her job while playing hostess to a group of total misfits. Seriously.
Vince spends Thanksgiving in rehab with his mom and she's looking pretty good. I doubt that she knows about his recent problems, but I guess that's probably for the best as I'm not sure she'd stay put and it would be doubly tragic for him to have gotten himself into that mess just to get the money to clean his mom up and then have her skip. Jess stops by unexpectedly with pie and she and Vince flirt adorably. Dammit, I so want to be mad at her for dumping Landry but it just isn't possible!
Mindy is just now finding out that Billy and Tim were running a chop shop at the garage and that she may well have to spend the next several years raising her brand new son on her own while Billy cools his heels in the pokey. She is 8 kinds of pissed. I do not blame her. You know who else is pissed but has far less right to be? Becky. She gives Tim a tongue lashing (but not in the dirty, fun way) and says really mean things to him and I don't get it because that poor guy has way bigger problems in his life than her feeling like he lied. Taylor Kitsch spends a huge chunk of the episode face acting his (hot little) ass off - like when Billy is giving the touching "family and friends are all that matters" toast at Thanksgiving Dinner and in the lawyer's office - and I will not lie to you, I sobbed through most of his scenes. SOBBED.
Personal shit isn't all that's happening though. The Lions are playing the Panthers and everything is on the line. Well actually very little is on the line but if the Lions win, then Coach and the team and Buddy are all vindicated and the McCoys and Coach Spivey and those jerky Panther kids and the assholes who fired Coach are all put in their place. Plus, if the Panthers lose, they don't even go to the playoffs. The teams are surprisingly well-matched going TD for TD much of the game. Coach even lets Luke play a bit (though he does get hurt and we don't really find out the results of that) and in the end, the game is won by a gorgeous 45-yard field goal from Landry. I jumped and screamed and cheered.
Julie's wasn't the only broken heart Matt left in his wake. Landry is none-to-pleased with his old BFF for the way he ditched town without a peep either. But after Landry is dumped by Jess and Matt is turned down by Julie, Landry suggests they celebrate his heroic moment with a trip to Chicago.
The superintendent puts Tami on administrative leave and just as her lawyer is readying his opening statement for the wrongful termination lawsuit, Tami suggests that they let her go as the principal of West Dillon and let her be the guidance councilor at East Dillon. We don't hear the answer but I thought I detected a note of relief in her face when she returned home to her family hanging the Christmas decorations.
And finally, Tim decides to take the fall for the entire scheme so that Billy can stay out of prison and with his family. He leaves his mom's snow globe with Becky and he and Billy have a heart-wrenchingly tearful talk and then he takes a plea deal that'll send him to prison for 1-5 years. SOBBED!
There really isn't anything more to say.