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'Friday Night Lights' recap: Time for a decision, Coach

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “Git’er Done” | Aired Oct 30, 2006

“Git’er Done” is all about choices. Tough situations calling for tough decisions. For Coach Taylor, it’s the quarterback decision. He’s had two weeks to figure out who’s going to start against Arnett Meade. With the game two days away, everybody wants to know what he’s going to do. We see here just how important the court of public opinion is in Dillon. This isn’t just a case of needing to steel himself and say, “Screw you, I’ll do what I want.” To a degree, Coach can run his team as he pleases, but at the end of the day, the people expect to win. If Coach Taylor can’t make that happen, they’re going to find someone who will.

Julie understands the stakes as she announces to her parents that she’s been looking at listings for high school coaching jobs all over the country. She’s over the insanity that is Texas football and thinks they’d all be much better off living in Seattle.

The big struggle for Coach is that he can’t go with his gut. He wants to start Saracen. He trusts Saracen, and Saracen trusts him. As a coach, he understands how important it is to have that foundation with the player who’s running your team. It’s what Coach had with Jason. On the other hand, he doesn’t trust Voodoo. Voodoo is a wild card. He’s pompous and rude and doesn’t give a damn about the Dillon Panthers. Texas is not his home, and his only reason for being there is to get seen and get himself a trip back to LSU. Coach would love to start Saracen, except for one major problem: Voodoo’s got talent. There’s no denying that he has what it takes to win, and when it comes down to it, winning is only important thing. So he starts Voodoo—and almost instantly regrets it.

From the moment Voodoo takes the field, he ignores the plays that are being called on the sidelines. His first stunt ends well for him when he runs in a touchdown instead of passing off the ball. Despite the thrill of the crowd, Coach is not pleased at all to have a player who is defying his instruction. His attempts to discipline Voodoo are useless, as Voodoo begins calling all of his own plays on the field. It all comes crashing down, though, when Voodoo throws an interception while running one of his own calls. The pick is returned for an Arnett Meade touchdown right before the half. When the Panthers get back to the locker room, Coach explodes at Voodoo. We’ve seen Coach angry about players making errors, but this is something new entirely. He literally cannot believe that there’s a player on his team who is just doing whatever he pleases. Coach tells him he’s done and hands the ball to Saracen. It’s game time, Matt.

We don’t see the majority of the second half; instead, we rejoin the game with the Panthers down 7 with 1:18 to go in the game. Matt pitches the ball several times to Smash, who is able to break off nice runs and get out of bounds. With the final play of the game, Saracen again pitches it to Smash, who is almost immediately tackled. Lucky for the Panthers, he doesn’t have the ball (reminds me of Little Giants: “No mercy!” “No ball”). Smash had thrown a reverse to Riggins, who runs downfield and leaps into the end zone for the touchdown. All the Panthers need to do is kick an extra point to tie the game. But that trust between Matt and Coach is intense. They are on the same wavelength, and they think they can successfully pull off a 2-point conversion. They again give the ball to Smash, who breaks through the defenders and barrels across the goal line. Panthers win 22-21.

So Coach got lucky. He made the choice that he had to make, and was then able to make the choice he wanted to make. Others struggled more throughout the episode. Lyla and Tim have continued their affair. This whole relationship feels more like free-falling than making a choice. But for the first time, Lyla doesn’t go see Jason in the morning. Instead, she goes for a run that takes her directly to Tim’s house. Whereas in previous episodes Tim was aggressively pursuing an ambivalent Lyla, this week she comes to him. She is deeply confused and experiences a range of emotions throughout her time with Tim. Early on, the playfulness with which she approaches him; then later, the guilt that consumes her post-sex. As Tim tries to talk to her about something of substance, to show an actual interest in her, she snaps at him, reminding him that they can’t talk. Talk would mean acknowledging that he’s sleeping with his paralyzed best friend’s girlfriend. She leaves him with those words hanging in the air.

Tyra is moving on this week too. Wooed while waiting tables at a diner, she starts up a flirtation with an investment banker from L.A. named Connor. He’s in town at least a week and wants to take her out for dinner. She allows herself to be charmed by him, and is then very disappointed when he has to leave sooner than expected. He still wants to take her out, though. He seems to be a gentleman and is genuinely surprised when she shows up at his hotel and starts to kiss him. In the morning, as he leaves for the airport, he tells her he actually has a serious girlfriend in California. He leaves, and Tyra cries as she gets her stuff together. It seems likely that Connor hadn’t intended to sleep with Tyra and that her aggressiveness is what led them down that road, but what’s interesting here is what we learn about Tyra and the kinds of decisions she makes. She knew he was leaving and decided to initiate sex anyway. Even before she knew about the girlfriend, she seemed disappointed that he was leaving, though he had given her every indication that that was exactly what he was going to do.

In a way, the cheating pulls focus from the key part of the story because it becomes about what a jerk Connor was, rather than about the self-destructive choices Tyra makes. Not that one-night stands are in themselves self-destructive. But Tyra is A) in high school and B) clearly hurt by his leaving, even though she knew going in that it was what was going to happen. It seems like she may have thought that by sleeping with him, she could get him to stay.

Jason is at a crossroads this week too. He’s at the point where he can either choose to fight to make a satisfying life for himself, or he can choose to drown in self-pity. Herc is the one person who understands this, and he demands that the rehab facility arrange for Jason to go down to the rec center. There Jason sees people with the same type of injury that he sustained playing quad rugby. Herc is the one person who really understood what Jason needed: something to live for. This is the first time that Jason realizes that his life is not over. He can engage in competition again. He can work hard again. He can be great again. And with that, Jason makes the choice to put the work in to physical therapy. He’s done drowning.

Lyla comes to visit Jason before they head out for the Arnett Meade game. He is surprised to see her, as he knows she has to get to the field. She tells him he has a visitor—and in walks Coach. He hands Jason a Panthers helmet. “Clear eyes, full hearts,” he says. “Can’t lose,” Jason replies. At this point, tears were already streaming down my face. Scott Porter’s yearning to walk out of that room with his Coach and head to their game is so heart-wrenching, I can barely stand it. And then all of a sudden, the entire Panther team is filing into Jason’s room. It is beautiful and painful. Will Tim be there? Is he waiting on the bus? Will he finally be able to face his best friend?

And then there he is. Crying his way into Jason’s room. “Where the hell have you been?” Jason asks him. “Ya know, around.” There’s so much history and so much anger. Probably a lot of guilt on Tim’s end as well. And all the while, Lyla stands by, watching. Is she making any decisions in that moment? Recommitting herself to Jason? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Loose Ends

  • Buddy Garrity is a nightmare. First he pushes Coach to take Voodoo onto the team. Then he puts on the pressure to start the kid. And now, it turns out he may not actually have been eligible to play for Dillon. An investigation is underway, and if they should find that he was ineligible, the win against Arnett Meade will be nullified.
  • Matt and Julie are so delightfully awkward and sweet. It really reminds you that these are high school kids. He is so nervous around her. Zach Gilford really nails those scenes.
  • As a commenter pointed out last week, Aldis Hodge does great work as Voodoo Tatum. Voodoo has a terrible attitude, and I get great joy out of Coach giving him the boot, but Hodge still manages to garner sympathy. Tatum has, after all, been forced from his home and relocated to this strange place. His ego has gotten the best of him, which makes the character difficult to like, but Hodge’s portrayal has just the right amount of vulnerability.


As rowdy football players pass by the diner window, Connor asks Tyra who they are:
Tyra: A bunch of overheated jocks too dumb to know they have no future, fighting over a game that has no meaning, in a town from which there is no escape.

Lyla walks into Tami’s office to discuss her future:
Tami: Well, it’s not true what they say about cheerleaders—that you’re all just a bunch of T&A and nothing between the ears.


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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