January 20, 2011
Promises Made To Be Broken
Another week, another poignant, amazing episode of Friday Night Lights that left me a sobbing mess.
That college in Florida has stepped up their recruiting efforts, bringing him out for a visit, telling him that he will be 100% in charge of the football program, and sending him a crate full of oranges. Once Buddy and the rest of Dillon get wind of the job offer, they start to panic about his leaving. Buddy orchestrates an "impromptu" we-love-Coach-athon. Whether it was that or Vince's heart-felt insistence that Coach changed his life, I'm not sure, but something moved Coach to promise the team and the town that he wasn't going anywhere.
Tami spoke at a conference about getting kids into college. They're setting it up for her to get a job offer now but still, the poor woman has had the worst stories this season.
Ornette continued to not give a shit what his kid wants and keep doing everything he can to get Vince recruited. Vince told his dad to back up off and that from now on, he'd be listening only to coach. Ornette tried to pull the "dad" card but then Mama Howard laid down the law, telling Ornette that he could be Vince's dad, but not his agent. Ornette left the house in a pouty huff. I hate him so much.
Luke thought about what he'll do with his future if he fails to get a football scholarship. While teaching Tinker how to show Mirabelle, he discovers that one of the things he's really good at, is farmy stuff. He asks Becky if she'd ever want to live on a farm. She says yes. It's completely ridiculous to expect or even want two teenagers to be each other's forever, but I kind of want that for these two.
Last, but certainly not least, Tim is up for parole. He needs people in the community to speak on his behalf at the parole board hearing and Billy wants to be one of them, despite Tim's insistence that he needs help, but not from Billy. Prison has made Tim so quiet and sad and bitter, you guys. I've literally got tears running down my face just thinking about it. Billy asks Coach to speak and he, of course, agrees and then Buddy offers to speak as well. Billy's speech is awkward and unhelpful and includes the phrase "good American" and Tim silently cringes his way through the whole thing. Coach's speech is beautiful and touching and I'm going to have to transcribe it in it's entirety:
"Uh, I'm a high school football coach. I don't there's any better position to be able to judge the content of a young man's character than that. I coached Tim for three years. He graduated, got a scholarship, went off to college." It's at this point that Tim starts to show some emotions, first looking a little wistful before his face quickly contorts into sadness and pain. "When he came back, I offered him a job as an assistant coach. I didn't ask him to be an assistant coach because of his skills on the field, which we all know were prodigious. I asked him to be part of our team because of his character off the field. The mistake that was made...was tragic indeed. I think everyone in here agrees it was a stupid mistake. But that mistake does not represent the man sitting in front of you, I can guarantee you that. He is a good young man. That's how I know him. Thank you."
The board is ready to wrap it up after Coach's moving speech but Buddy asks to be allowed to speak and pretty much takes over the room. I'm going to need to transcribe his remarks as well because it was the third time in the episode that Buddy made me cry. When Buddy is giving his "I'm Buddy Garrity, I've sold some of you cars" speech, Tim looks horrified, and pained. Then: "I've known this young man since before he hit puberty. This young man has done a lot of things wrong, I've seen him do a dozen things wrong. But let me tell you something right now, he is not a bad young man and he's certainly not a criminal. He doesn't need to be in this system." Tim looks like he might almost be appreciating this speech. "He dated my daughter for years and we took him in like family so he's like family to me. And I can tell you this kid right here has got more heart than almost any person I know." Coach seems to be in agreement with Buddy right now. "And I can promise you that when you let him out, he will have a full-time job workin' for me." At this, Tim cracks the faintest of smiles. "And I can guarantee you that nothing like this will ever happen again." Tim's smile is full-blown now. "You have my word on that. It's time for you to let Tim Riggins come home." Another smile from Tim that caused me to go from quiet tears to gentle sobs because it's the first time this season that he hasn't looked broken.
After the hearing, Coach sits and talks to Tim alone for a moment. We find out that Tim has taken classes during his unfortunate incarceration. Tim asks if Coach has gotten his letters. OMG, SNIFF! Coach apologizes for not visiting more. Tim apologizes for letting Coach down but Coach assures him that he didn't. You guys, I'm seriously crying so much just recapping this right now. Tim and Coach shake hands, Tim thanks him for coming and is then taken away in handcuffs.
A few days later Becky gets home to the Riggins house and finds Tim having a beer while Billy gets ready to leave for the game. The moment is so awkward that I can't possibly do it justice. Becky welcomes him home. He thanks her and then everyone stands there, silent and awkward. AWKWARD.
It may be tough to watch Tim not fit in his own life, but it's a damn sight better than having him in prison. Welcome home, Timmy.
Three weeks left, folks. Stock up on Kleenex.