If the TV season were to end here, Friday Night Lights would be totally fine. The show went into the holiday break resolving, in a tidy bundle, most of the major questions the season started with.
Such as: Will Landry pay for killing Tyra’s stalker and then disposing of the body? No. After torturing himself with guilt, the kid went in and confessed, only to have the local criminal justice system, including his dad, convince him that he did what he did out of fear for his and Tyra’s life. Landry had some difficulty accepting this because he badly needed to be punished for his transgression. But he finally came to his senses, and for now, he’s off the hook, freeing him and Tyra to get back at it until something else bad happens.
Question #2: Will Coach Taylor return to Dillon to save his family and Panther football? Yes! He came back much quicker than we expected, and though his home life has been rocky, what with the new kid and all, Julie and Tami finally had their big heart-to-heart this week (a dreadful screeching scene, incidentally). Meanwhile, the football team pulled off a stirring, emo-soundtracked victory, inspired by Santiago, the troubled Latino kid rescued from a life of mischief by the combined efforts of Lyla and Buddy. New to football, Santiago played like Lawrence Taylor in his first game. Should the season go on, there will surely be more ups and downs, but for now, Coach has got the team in a wining frame of mind. The only thing still nagging at him is the old saddle — to wit: He’s not in it. At the conclusion of this week’s show, he and Tami went to bed talking, with no sign of imminent giddy-up.
Question #3: Will the beautiful and talented Riggins stop fucking up his own life? Yes. While his disgusting, last-ditch roommate continued to act in deeply depraved ways — nobody likes to be woken up with loaded shotgun in one’s face, even in jest — Riggins bolted the hellhouse and turned up on the Taylor doorstep. It looks like his new home will be their garage. For now, he’s busy earning back the good graces of Coach by mopping up the locker-room and scoring the girls’ gymnastic meets, but once he starts mowing the Taylor lawn without his shirt on, one suspects that Tami’s sister is going to be unable to keep her Mrs. Robinson hands off him. And we all know how much Riggins digs the older babes. This is going to cause Tami a fit of jealousy, and probably Coach, too. If there’s sex going on in his house and it doesn’t involve him, you can bet there will be hell to pay.
Question #4: Will Jason, the former star QB now in a wheelchair, find meaning in his life without football? Yes. During a failed date with a disability fetishist who confessed a thing for pee, Jason worked some of his old magic to pick up the waitress. Plus, he moved out of mom and dad’s place.
Question #5: Will Matt ever find happiness? Yes. The inexplicably miserable QB1 is scoring big time with Carlotta. Love will tear them apart one way or another, but for now, Matt is in the saddle.
Of course, if the season does continue, we can reasonably expect each of these answers to reverse themselves — Landry will somehow be back in deep shit about the killing, maybe because the victim’s brother decides to seek revenge; the Taylor household will explode in a great sexually charged fireball while Coach is preoccupied by the unraveling of the Panthers’ season; Riggins will hit the bottle again and/or cause the women around him to take leave of their senses; Jason will have his heart stomped on; and Matt, too, will have his heart stomped on — and then most of the answers will be reversed again to reach their happier outcomes, except one, which will go down as the tragedy of the season, and finally there will be a thrilling football game that will teach all of Dillon a lesson about life and how to live it. —Hugo Lindgren