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'Friday Night Lights' recap: Daddy issues

Season 1 | Episode 14 | “Upping the Ante” | Aired Jan 31, 2007

So, how many of you are watching Friday Night Lights for the first time? Are you hooked yet? Are you starting to understand my undying love for Tim Riggins? This episode, “Upping the Ante,” is a big turning point in the way the audience gets to see Tim. Up until now, there have been small breadcrumbs thrown out about who Tim’s parents are and where they went. But here, we finally get to see the way the family dynamic is set up. Billy, as the older brother, has a much clearer picture of the kind of man their father is.

Tim, despite his apparent toughness and indifference to most things, still holds onto the idea that he was a good man who must have had his reasons for leaving. When Tim needs a parent’s signature to avoid losing his driver’s license, Billy can’t stop him from going to seek out their dad. He warns Tim not to get drunk with him and to leave as soon as he gets what he needs. From the moment Tim see his father, though, it’s clear that he has been desperate for this connection.

They bond over bowling and beer, and Tim even decides to stay the night. Before he goes, they put a wager on a round of golf: If Tim wins, his father has to come see him play football Friday night. Tim is up two strokes heading into the last couple of holes. Tim assumes his father is going to let him win, but when he ends up stealing the lead, Tim is devastated that his father clearly had no intention of coming to watch the Panthers. Tim realizes that Billy has always been right, and leaves disappointed.

Julie is also learning a lesson the hard way. After ignoring her instincts about dating football players, it is starting to look like maybe she was right. Even golden boy Matt Saracen can’t avoid the pressures and temptations of being QB1 for the Dillon Panthers. Though, as the audience, we know Matt was mostly forced into all of these unfortunate situations, Julie still has to deal with the fact that he is sneaking out in the middle of the night and posing for pictures with pretty girls. If Matt were smart—which he definitely is not—he would have proactively found Julie to tell her about what happened and make it clear that it was all against his will. Instead, he hoped to keep it from her (seriously, dude? You made a calendar!), and it backfired miserably. Things aren’t looking great for these two at the moment. Hope Coach doesn’t find out his starting QB has been upsetting his daughter …

Speaking of pissing off Coach, Smash is working overtime to make things right after his colossal screw-up with the steroids. Coach has been working him extra-hard, kicking him when he’s down, over and over again. As is often the case, it takes Tami’s words of wisdom to make Coach realize that as poor as Smash’s decision was, he is still just a kid (something a lot of people in Dillon seem to forget when it comes to these football players). She points out that by riding him so hard, Coach is going to hurt his confidence—and if Smash doesn’t have confidence, he’ll never play well. Coach hears her and goes to see Smash for one of those scenes that make me remember why I love this show so much. They talk about why they love football, and then they play with some of the neighborhood kids who think they’re spending time with royalty. Coach calls Smash into his offce Friday morning and let’s him know he’s going to start. His relief is palpable.

Meanwhile, Jason and Lyla are planning on getting married, a fact that Jason decides to share with her parents in the heat of an argument. Jason wants to share news of quad rugby with the Garritys, but Buddy is extremely dismissive and rude. When Jason confronts him about it, Buddy points out that it’s never going to pay the bills. Feeling belittled and wanting to stick it to him, Jason blurts out that he and Lyla are engaged. But as Jason is pressed by Lyla and by Coach (who finds time to have a heart-to-heart right before being deposed in the Streets’ lawsuit), it becomes clear that even those who support him think this may be rushing things. Lyla loves him, but it’s hard to find a compelling argument for being engaged in high school. Lyla doesn’t know where she’s going to go to college. Jason doesn’t even know if he’s going to go to college. There’s so much that’s unclear. Marriage is hardly going to clarify any of it.

Friday night arrives, the Panthers are starting their playoff run, and Smash has the team all riled up. As the adrenaline pumps and the team runs out, Billy grabs Tim and tells him he needs an extra ticket. “Too bad, Billy, the game’s about the start,” Tim replies, irritated with his brother for bothering him at such an important time. But Tim, Billy tells him, Dad is here.

Loose Ends:

  • My favorite part of this episode is the beginning of Tyra and Julie’s friendship. As Matt gets kidnapped from Applebee’s, leaving Julie without a ride, Tyra offers her one. And thus begins one of my favorite FNL relationships.

Quotables (all courtesy for Coach T this week):

Smash is folding towels in the locker room:

Coach: There’s two ways to fold a towel: my way and the wrong way.

Coach tells Smash he’s starting Friday night. Smash stands there, stunned:

Coach: What the hell? You want a hug or something? Get out of here.

Coach goes to see Smash, who tells him he’ll just do whatever he has to do on his own from here on out:

Coach: No, that’s not what I want you to do. That’s not what football’s all about. You wanna fly solo, you go run track.

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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