A series of major inevitabilities got worked out this week in typical rapid-fire style. First (though it came last), Landry finally unburdened himself and confessed to killing Tyra’s stalker. Second, Riggins witnessed the darkness of a life without football and begged his way back on to the team. Third, Matt and his grandma’s nurse have officially rocked the rafters. And fourth, Tami got way up into the grill of Mr. Barnett, the young teacher who has been casting a pervy spell on their precious Julie.
So, as Coach Taylor might say, let’s break it down.
Landry’s confession was precipitated by a meeting with the stalker’s brother, who wished to apologize to the victims. Tyra backed out of seeing him, and Landry went in her place. Bad move. It was obvious that the sensitive lad would see his victim as a human being, albeit a flawed one, and the guilt factor would get ratcheted up to the breaking point. Lyla played a part, too. Seeing Landry all bummed out in the cafeteria, she came over to minister to him, delivering some pretty teeth-gnashing homilies about faith, etc., which was enough to push poor Landry over the edge and into the police station. Bonus for him: Tyra is going to be back in his arms, at least until they lock him up with his evidence-destroying Dad.
Thank the Good Lord that Riggins is back on the team. The Panthers need him (they got their butts kicked this week), and we need him. Between cartoonish Smash and dour Matt, the team is hardly worth watching. For most of the show, we saw Riggins attempting to bond with the disgusting redneck dude who’s allowed him to move in. You’ve got to hand it to the actor who took this part — imagine the call from his agent: “Hey man, they need a guy with a nasty beer gut to traipse around his home wearing yellowed tighty-whities. You’re perfect for it!” In addition to his poor sense of style, our redneck pal is mixing up meth in his backyard, and when Riggins discovers that, it’s time to get his pads on, dash off to the practice field, and prostrate himself in front of Coach and the team. Which he does. Go, Panthers!
Matt has now graduated from the Not Getting Any Club. He’s had his chances before, like when his new cheerleader chick invited him to sleep over, and he said, like a Boy Scout, that he had to get home to grandma. Of course, he really wanted to get home to Carlotta, who had earlier given him the ol’ stiff arm. She was suspicious that she was merely a convenient lay for him, especially when cheerleader chick showed up at Matt’s house just as he and Carlotta were getting into it. Honorable dude that he is, Matt dispatched the cheerleader (taking Smash’s advice to ask if they could have an “open relationship”), and came running home to Carlotta, who didn’t need a whole lot of persuading. Dating the live-in nurse is going to be awkward, not least because you just know the dudes on the team are not exactly going to respect it.
Finally, in the best scene of the week, Tami dressed down Mr. Barnett: “I can have you fired, I can have my husband come by and beat the crap out of you, I can have you thrown in jail if you lay one hand on my daughter.” If only Tami had remembered to shut the door, her bullying might’ve worked. Unfortunately, a couple of kids overheard it, and now Julie is humiliated beyond belief and the Taylor home is a war zone once again. Coach is no happy camper either, as he is now a full-fledged member himself of the Not Getting Any Club. Somebody is going to have to pay for that. —Hugo Lindgren