Friday Night Lights “Underdogs” Review (3×12)

3 Nov

627-19“Gentlemen, you are champions.”

Back in the pilot, Coach gave an episode-ending speech that contained the words “We will all fall”. It’s a simple and honest sentence, but it contains the weight of every Dillon Panther that falls in this championship game. It’s devastating and reassuring all at once, and it applies perfectly here. Yet, for every person that falls, there’s another to take its place: that same person. Matt, Lyla, Tim, and Tyra are all heading off to college, but each is both leaving something behind and taking something from Dillon.

For Matt, it’s Julie and Lorraine. In an amazing scene between the two, they sum up the entire situation; both want to keep Matt around forever, but both are proud of him and don’t want to stop him from going off to college and doing something he loves. The whole art thing may seem out of the blue, but it really isn’t; it’s just been building up inside him all these years. It’s the same for Tim. We know he loves football, but he’s not a guy that wants to focus on his future. Even as he’s continued to play, that nostalgia’s been building up inside, finally culminating in that gorgeous final scene; he leaves his cleats behind on the field where he played his last game as a Panther. It’s a way of both acknowledging the past and embracing the future, and it’s a major step for him as a person.

The game itself is a momentous moment for every character, as the camera pans over each of their resigned expressions before that final field goal. It’s fitting, in a way; they cling to that last ounce of hope until the very end, much like they want to cling to certain aspects of their lives in Dillon. It’s reminiscent of “State”–in fact, much of this episode is–but it’s very, very different. Also, the game is thrilling to watch; the direction of this episode in particular is perfect, whether it be that final shot of the field goal, the final shot of the episode, or Coach and Mrs. Coach on the balcony or at the pep rally.

Speaking of, the two have to deal with the fallout over the JD McCoy situation in this episode, and it’s heartbreaking to watch them agonize over the decision to call CPS. It’s even more agonizing to watch the Katie/Mrs. Coach and JD/Coach relationships deteriorate. Still, it’s understandable why they’re making the decisions they have to make; all the actors nail this storyline.

Of course, I saved the best for last. Oh, Tyra, how far you’ve come. Her reading her college essay is one of my favorite moments of the series so far, and it’s hard not to start bawling during that scene. In fact, her essay ties in nicely with the themes of Coach’s speech, and it’s heartwarming to see her embrace her past and let it go all at once. This is, quite honestly, perfect. Tyra Colette deserves to travel to Europe. She deserves to get invited to the White House. She deserves to win, and she will grow up to be generous and big hearted. Of course, in her words,

“It’s not that I think I’m going to get all these things, I just want the possibility of getting them. College represents possibility. The possibility that things are going to change. I can’t wait.”


Credit to NBC, DirecTV, and Friday Night Lights for all pictures. I own nothing.

2 Responses to “Friday Night Lights “Underdogs” Review (3×12)”

  1. outisthrough November 3, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    One of my favourite Tyra Collette moments, and there are many, was when she read that speech. love love love it.

    • polarbears16 November 3, 2013 at 8:49 am #

      It really was fantastic. Tyra’s a character that was saddled with some frustrating storylines early on, but she really grew this season. Thanks for the comment!

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