EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Friday Night Lights' recap: Rivalry week

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “Who’s Your Daddy” | Aired Oct 24, 2006

When I think back on Friday Night Lights, it lives in my memory as an almost perfect show. Not including the mess of a second season (if you’re new to the game, the second season is an unfortunate misstep that all true fans pretend did not happen), I pretty much believe that I loved every story and every scene. As I rewatch each episode, I’m reminded that it’s not entirely true.

There were some stories that I didn’t enjoy and scenes that I am tempted to fast-forward. But what is so remarkable about FNL is that each episode is so robust that even if there are a few moments sprinkled in that I could do without (see: Ray “Voodoo” Tatum), there is still so much brilliance and beauty to sink my teeth into that it hardly matters.

“Who’s Your Daddy” stands out as an important episode in my history with the show, because it marks the moment I fell in love with Tami Taylor (and the tremendous actress who portrayed her, Connie Britton).

This week is rivalry week in Dillon, as they prepare for the upcoming game against Arnett Meade. Apparently, it also comes with the tradition of a team dinner at Coach’s house. Being new to the position, this is the first year this responsibility falls on the Taylors, and Coach forgets to mention it to his wife. She manages to throw together this enormous party for over 100 people (football players, no less), mostly without complaining. But when she winds up under the table cleaning up after their guests and her husband joins her to request that she get up and help him host, she has had enough. She articulates herself so magnificently, expressing exactly what she is feeling, without ever being unsupportive of the work her husband does and the importance it holds in the community. She recognizes the importance of her role and promises to hold it together for him publicly, but explains that while she’s out of sight, she’s going to be angry. The communication between Eric and Tami Taylor, and the way that they navigate through their disagreements throughout the five seasons of this show, is one of the highlights of a show with many, many good qualities.

Another tradition of rivalry week appears to be vandalism. The Panthers discover that their locker room has been destroyed by the Arnett Meade players and are given strict instructions from Coach not to retaliate. Use that angry energy to beat them on the field, he tells his players.

Meanwhile, Matt Saracen and Voodoo Tatum continue to vie for the starting QB position. Coach seems to want to give it to Matt, but he knows he can’t as long as Voodoo outplays him in practice. Voodoo shows up late to practice and is generally disrespectful of Coach and the team. Despite his talents, Buddy Garrity is really the only person excited about his presence, which, given how badly everybody wants to win, is really saying something. But as Coach points out, Matt is his own worst enemy. He gets on the field and implodes. After practice, Coach tells Matt the starting position is in his reach, but he needs to attack the opportunity. He then tells him he needs to loosen up and be more focused. He recommends taking a girl out on a date and encourages him to ask the girl he’s been interested in.

When Matt returns home, his grandmother is not there. He has been noticing her slipping a bit in recent days—she asked him if his deployed father wanted to come to dinner and was forgetting to take her pills—but he thought she was just being his forgetful grandma. Eventually, the police bring her home after neighbors reported finding her in their bathtub. Apparently she had gotten confused and wandered into another person’s house. Follow-up visits with the doctor confirm that she has dementia. Matt, a 16-year-old boy, gets in touch with his father in Iraq, who tells him he’s just going to have to “hold down the fort” for a while.

As the week continues, Smash does some recon work and gets info on the Arnett Meade QB’s car. As a group of Panthers, including Smash and Riggins, head to do some damage, they pass Matt and ask him to go with them. He initially declines, but they coax him into it. Once they arrive, however, and Matt has a bat in his hand, all of the frustration and anger he’s been feeling about his grandmother, the starting position, and all of the responsibility being put on his shoulders comes bubbling out. He just lets it rip on this car. He gets so lost in the catharsis that he remains there long after his buddies jump into the getaway car and yell for him to do the same. As he stands there, unable to pull himself away, the owner of the car comes out of his house and gets a good look at Matt. Matt looks right back at him and gets in one more swing before he jumps in the car and they peel away.

Later, as Matt is taking out the trash at the Alamo Freeze, a group of Arnett Meade boys drive up, including the QB. They ask him who else was with him, and Matt defiantly tells them that he was the only one. He had the bat. He had the crowbar. He drove the car he jumped into. Earlier, Coach told Matt that in the last couple of weeks, he’s already seen changes in him. The proof is right here: knowing that he’s about to get his butt kicked, shy, kind, unassuming Matt Saracen throws the first punch.

As Coach is getting ready to attend Julie’s dance recital, he gets a call from Matt that he’s at the hospital. Coach picks him up and asks him what happened. Matt admits to being at the scene of the car-bashing, but tells Coach he didn’t sell out his crew to the Arnett Meade guys and he isn’t going to now. Coach tells Matt he’s bringing him to Julie’s recital. After her performance, Matt finds the courage to approach her and, for the first time, she doesn’t blow him off. Maybe she feels bad for him because his face is so badly bruised, but he finally manages to talk to her and make her smile. From across the room, Coach realizes that he may have inadvertently encouraged Matt to hook up with his daughter.

While rivalry week rages on for the Panthers, Jason is stuck at the rehab facility meeting his new roommate, Herc. From the moment Jason arrives, Herc is a complete ass. He’s loud and obnoxious and extremely blunt and honest. Where Jason has been slowly coming to terms with his new reality, Herc insists on laying it all out on the table without sugarcoating anything. The transition to rehab has not been an easy one for Jason, who seems to be falling into a depression. He refuses to work with the physical therapist and seems to think there’s no point to any of it. Herc comes in one day and asks about Lyla, and Jason tells him to back off. Jason tells him he doesn’t know anything about his life, so he should just keep his mouth shut. Herc begs to differ. He runs down the generic milestones of people who find themselves in their position. At first everyone rallies around, supportive. But as weeks go on, that dies down; people stop visiting and writing. Then, a few months down the line, the girlfriend breaks up with you. Then the lawsuit comes and you lose all your friends. Then the strain of it all is too much for your parents and they get a divorce. All the while Herc is banging his wheelchair up against Jason’s bed. Just pushing, pushing, pushing his buttons, until finally Jason instinctively knocks his cup of water off the table into Herc’s face. “Good,” Herc says, “I knew you had some fight in you.” Because on Friday Night Lights, no one is one-dimensional. Just when it looks like this guy is a jerk and nothing more, we realize that maybe he’s the only one who really knows what Jason needs.

Lyla, on the other hand, still trying to be the dutiful girlfriend, is not able to say or do anything that brings Jason any comfort. She’s horrified with herself for what happened with Tim. She pulls him aside at school and tells him very clearly that she hates herself and that what happened the other night was a direct result of her overwhelming emotions in response to Jason’s accident. It can never happen again. Tim is not on the same page at all, and acknowledges that he is having a lot of feelings too. His are not about Jason, though. As the episode ends, Lyla opens the door to her bedroom to find Tim sitting there. It’s unclear how he got there, but he had to see her. “Lyla,” he whispers, “I can’t stop thinking about you.” Lyla, scared and confused, gives in to the pull of Tim Riggins. (And really, who can blame her??)

Loose Ends

Tyra went to visit Jason to apologize for Tim’s failure to visit him. It’s interesting that Tyra still feels a responsibility to explain Tim’s behavior even after they’ve broken up, like it’s a habit she’s gotten so used to that she just can’t break it.

The tension between Coach and Buddy Garrity/the boosters continues to build. Coach shut them up this week when he told them he wasn’t going to start a QB at all—he was going to use four running backs and have them do a lot of reverses.


As she kneels under the table, cleaning up at the party:
Tami: You know what, honey, I’m doing it. All right? I threw the party for over 100 people in two days’ time. I did it with no help. And I’m cleaning up after your football stars, who, by the way, happen to be pigs. I’m doing it, but I’m not going to pretend to like it. Not right now. Not down here. When I go back up there, I’ll give you a big smile, all right, just like I know you need. But down here, I am pissed.

Matt is in Coach’s office after practice. Coach is unaware they are talking about Julie:
Coach: You have someone you’re interested in?
Matt: Uh, sorta.
Coach: Well, forget about sorta. You know what? Take her out. Movies, dinner, get her in the backseat of your car, I don’t care.

Coach: I gotta get to my daughter’s dance recital or my wife is gonna have me neutered.




TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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