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Posted at 09:02 PM ET, 04/22/2011

‘Friday Night Lights,’ the final farewell: ‘On the Outside Looking In’


(NBC)
“Friday Night Lights” already came to a close on DirecTV and on DVD. But the final episodes of the Dillon, Tex., drama are now airing on NBC. And that means it’s time to bid the final-for-real farewells by assessing each installment shortly after it airs on the Peacock network every Friday at 8 p.m. EST. Why? Because “Clear eyes. Full hearts. Must blog.” Or, um, something like that.

In episode two of the final season of “Friday Night Lights” everybody is (episode title alert!) “On the Outside Looking In.” Tami can’t quite fit in with the cynics at East Dillon High. Julie struggles to find her niche at college. And the East Dillon Lions are the Rodney Dangerfields of Texas high school football: no respect. No respect at all.

On the plus side, though, this episode gave us plenty of what we hope for from a Friday night of quality television: beer bongs, girl fights and porno magazines provided by rally girls.

Now, a laundry list of the key things learned during this week’s episode, followed by my weekly ratings on the Final Season Cry-o-meter, Tim Riggins Hotness Scale and Julie Taylor Irritation Spectrum, along with the best quote of the week poll.

Lessons learned from this week’s “Friday Night Lights”:

Tami Taylor realized something important: if you want people to help at-risk students, drink margaritas with them. She did just that, hitting a happy hour and unwittingly guilting the cynical, snarky Laurel into participating in Tami’s after-school tutorial program. Meanwhile, Eric Taylor learned something important about Tami: do not hit on her while sitting on your daughter Julie’s bed.

Also from the Dept. of When Not to Hit on People, meet Maura, the red-headed rally girl who isn’t afraid to act slutty, threaten to steal Vince from Jess, start a girl fight in the bathroom and be treated like a drunken rag doll at a beer bash. She’s all class, that one.

Jess Merriweather showed us that it’s possible to take the high road as a woman by opting out of being a subservient rally girl. Somehow, though, she still wound up chugging a beer and barfing. Modern feminism: it’s a process.

For Julie Taylor, life in college is not going smoothly. Her professors (fine, one of her professors) resemble Albert Einstein. Her roommate is a hook-up queen (and possible distant cousin of Maura?). And her T.A., Derek Bishop, thinks he knows more about football than Julie does. He also uses tool-box terms in class, like “deets.” And he wants to have what the kids these days apparently refer to as “coffee” with Julie. Clearly, this is a terrible idea. Julie is totally into it.

Infants in Texas are allowed to smoke! We know this is true because Epyck, the troubled teen with a bad attitude that Tami is determined to transform, said so. And Epyck is street-wise, so she must know. Can Tami turn around this aimless and hardened girl the same way she once made over Tyra Collette?

When Luke Cafferty gets drunk, he tends to vent his anger about being unfairly suspended for an allegedly (but clearly not really) illegal hit against a player in the Croft game. He also tends to imitate pigs in front of Becky Sproles.

Vince Howard is starting to get letters of intent from promising universities and complimentary meals from random local business owners. Is someone going to start turning all cocky like Smash and start constantly talking about himself in the third person?

All the members of the East Dillon Lions believe the rest of the league, and possibly the town and America in general, is against them. The thing is, they’re partially right. Wisely, Coach Eric Taylor doesn’t indulge their conspiracy theories. Instead, he redirects focus simply by writing one crucial word on a dry-erase board: “State.”

And now, the weekly rankings:

The Final Season Cry-o-meter Rating for “On the Outside Looking In,” on a scale of 1 to 10: 1. The hint of a single tear almost materialized when Coach Taylor scrawled out the word “State.” But not quite.

The Tim Riggins Hotness Scale Rating for “On the Outside Looking In,” on a scale of 1 to 10: 0. This episode suffered from a profound lack of Tim-ness.

Julie Taylor Irritation Spectrum Rating for “On the Outside Looking In” on a scale of 1 to 10: 6. On one hand, I feel bad for her and can empathize with the difficulty she’s having adjusting to her freshman year. On the other hand, she practically hung up on her mom and she’s encouraging her cheesy T.A. to hit on her.

Please feel free to vote in the favorite quote poll, and to share your feelings about this episode by posting a comment.

By  |  09:02 PM ET, 04/22/2011

Tags:  Friday Night Lights

 
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