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'Friday Night Lights' recap: We control our destiny

Season 1 | Episode 13 | “Little Girl I Wanna Marry You” | Aired Jan 24, 2007

Friday Night Lights is always about many different things. It’s a show about football, and yet, it’s about so much more. This week, Smash Williams learned this same lesson about life. There’s a lot more to it than football.

Smash feels a lot of pressure. With no father and a mother working two jobs to help them make ends meet, his goal has always been to go pro in football and take care of his family forever. It’s easy to forget that he’s a 16-year-old kid. Smash failing to make Grady Hunt’s list wasn’t just disappointing; it presented Smash for the first time with the possibility that he wouldn’t be able to provide for his family. His selfishness in using steroids is more selfless than it looks at first glance. To his thinking, the well-being of his entire family hinges on his success on the football field.

When Corinna Williams (an always-magnificent Liz Mikel) stumbles upon Brian’s drug paraphernalia, she is instantly livid. Her assumption is that Coach is behind it and that he is willing to risk her son’s health for a win. But, after marching into the locker room, dragging her son into the coach’s office, and demanding an explanation, she realizes that this bad decision was all her son’s. Smash cannot believe his mother could have been so stupid as to alert Coach to what he’s been doing. She jeopardized his whole career. Corinna kicks him out of the house until he can remember how to respect his mother. He shows up at Coach’s house anxious to know if he’s off the team. Coach isn’t sure yet, but he reminds him that he’s risked his career by not reporting him.

When Smash finally returns home, he apologizes for his utter stupidity. It is only then that Corinna says what she probably should have said long ago. She doesn’t need the things money can buy her; she needs her son. She loves watching him play, but she wishes he could just be a kid, without the pressure he feels to be a big football star. It’s a message that should have been drilled into Smash for years (along with some pointers on the virtues of humility).

Meanwhile, the team has to figure out how to win without Smash. Matt watches some game tape and finds a hole in the South Pines defense. He tells his father that he figured out the key to winning, and he doesn’t even seem discouraged when his father basically tells him that he doesn’t know anything about play calling. Matt assures him that he does and that he can prove it to him when he comes to the game on Friday. That’s when Papa Saracen drops the bombshell that he’s being redeployed before the game. (This week in “Matt Saracen can’t catch a break …”)

Elsewhere in Dillon, Buddy is setting up Lyla on a date with a former Panther. He claims that it is just to help the kid with research, but it’s obvious to all involved—including Jason—that the goal is to introduce her to other fish in the sea. Jason confronts Buddy about this ploy, and Buddy barely attempts to deny it. Buddy points out that Lyla loves him and would follow him to hell, but he asks if Jason really wants to lead her there. Jason allows Buddy’s words to sink in and spends the night convincing himself that he’s being unfair to Lyla by staying with her. It is Herc who convinces him he’s wrong. Herc, who cannot stand Lyla, tells Jason that there are perfectly good reasons to end his relationship with her, but Buddy’s disapproval is not one of them. People like Buddy Garrity, Herc tells Jason, are a cancer to people like them.

So instead of ending things, Jason waits for Lyla to come home. He tells her how much he respects Herc, because he not only wants to be as good as he was before his injury; he wants to be better. Jason wants to be more like Herc. And if Herc loved Lyla, he knows exactly what he’d do. And so, 18-year-old Jason Street asks Lyla Garrity to marry him. Normally when high school students propose marriage on TV ,I roll my eyes and change the channel. But there is something so beautiful about Scott Porter’s performance here. Asking Lyla to marry him is redemption. No, Buddy Garrity, you can’t scare him away, and in fact, he’s doubling down. His ability to trust in Lyla’s love and to believe that it makes him more than a thorn in her side is wonderfully uplifting.

Finally, Friday night arrives. Last week, the Panthers had to sit and wait. This week, they control their destiny. Win and they’re in. They take the field without Smash. Stuck at 4th and 8 with little time left, Coach asks Matt about some of the plays he’d been thinking about. Matt convinces Coach to trust him, and he nails a pass to Riggins who throws off a tackle and bounds into the endzone. The Panthers are headed to the playoffs!

Loose Ends:

Buddy telling Tyra that his receptionist position has been filled, only to change his mind when he gets a look at Angela Colette, is not a good situation. My shady radar is going off like crazy.

I loved Tim taking one for Tyra and going to Buddy to ask a favor even though it was awkward for him. We’re starting to see there’s more to Tim Riggins than sex (a claim he made himself).

I always think of Coach as being so open and accepting, but man is he uncomfortable around lesbians! I did not remember that from my first watch. Slightly disappointing, I gotta say.


Tyra to her mom regarding her habit of depending on men take care of her:

Tyra: I love you. I love you more than anything. My worst fear is to become you.

Corinna Williams tells Smash that going pro is not the most important thing:

Corinna: I don’t need no big house, especially if I can’t come by it honest.

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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