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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 04/30/2011

‘Friday Night Lights,’ the final farewell: ‘The Right Hand of the Father’

“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.


Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), molding men in “The RIght Hand of the Father.” (NBC)

The lastest episode of “Friday Night Lights” to air on NBC, “The Right Hand of the Father,” demonstrates what can happen when: a demeaning online video goes viral, Tami Taylor gets really mad during an East Dillon High assembly, Buddy Garrity’s son starts treating every day like 420 and Julie Taylor makes a first-year-at-college mistake that makes gaining the Freshman 15 look like a stroke of genius.

Here are the more specific plot developments to ponder from this week’s episode, along with its scores on the Final Season Cry-o-meter, Tim Riggins Hotness Scale and Julie Taylor Irritation Spectrum. Oh, and there’s a best-quote-of-the-week poll, too.

Tami Taylor

After an online video of Maura’s drunken rag doll routine started circulating, Tami immediately snapped into Reform the Young Ladies of America mode, which is not entirely dissimilar from her previous Convince Tyra Collette to Go to College crusade. She attempted to host an alcohol awareness assembly, a moment that taught us never to say “bo-ring” under our breath in Tami Taylor’s presence. Because if you do — as one of the East Dillon High students discovered — she wll rip into you with the ferocity of a jungle cat. A jungle cat that happens to look awesome in pencil skirts, but a jungle cat all the same.

Also, after finding Maura making out in a supply closet with a kid who appeared to be an extra from “Dazed and Confused,” Tami gave her a talking-to and told her she can choose not to be known as the school ho-bag. She seemed to be reaching her. So is Maura Tami’s next project or will she return to focusing on Epyck?

Eric Taylor

Like his wife, he also took action after the viral video debacle, tossing two kids off the team for their decidedly infantile Maura-while-drunk impressions. When he wasn’t showing his team some tough love, he was giving Vince a little lesson in why character counts. Ever the molder of men, that coach.

Julie Taylor

Oh, Julie. Julie, Julie, Julie. She totally fell for T.A. Derek Bishop’s passive aggressive seduction routine. The guy gave her a C-minus on what was undoubtedly an astute analysis of the history of the American south. Then he explained that he gave her that grade because he knows how smart she is (what?). And oh, by the way Julie, why don’t your bring your intelligence to a salon for promising students where apparently freshmen get to guzzle chardonnay and, afterwards, sleep with their cheeseball T.A.’s who gave them lower-than-average grades? Julie responded to that invitation with a resounding, “Okay, sure!” Then Derek made matters even more infuriating by apologizing to Julie for sleeping with her while standing in the middle of the school library, where plenty of students were in ear shot and could easily overhear the conversation. And with that, we officially have the worst “Friday Night Lights” plotline since the Landry Clarke-meets-“Law and Order” story from season two.

Vince Howard

Vince’s arc this week also was not quite up to the quality of what we’ve come to expect from “Friday Night Lights.” He found out his dad was getting out of jail on parole and, as one might expect, was not pleased. Then he realized his mom invited his father to move back in and, predictiably, became really upset. But by episode’s end — after that dramatic Emmy-submission moment in Coach Taylor’s office, where Vince shouted that his father never taught him how to be a better person — he unsurprisingly started to feel more warmth toward dear, old, former drug-dealing dad. “Don’t you think people can change?” Jess asked him at one point. Sometimes they can. Or maybe sometimes they can make you think they have, even if they haven’t, really. We’ll find out which category Papa Howard fits into in the coming weeks.

Jess Merriweather

Speaking of Jess, Tami Taylor scored her a job as equipment manager for the Lions. That means she now gets to do laundry for a bunch of sweaty boys and take orders from Billy Riggins. Nevertheless, she was super pumped because she gets to wear a team hat and shirt. Jess’s presence in the locker room should start to cause friction with Vince in 3, 2, 1...

Buddy Garrity

The football booster with the mostest held a grand opening for Buddy’s Bar & Grill. (Where did he get the money to open his own bar since he had to borrow cash from the dreaded Uncle Gary to send Lyla to Vanderbilt? Unclear.) But just as things were starting to look all cocktails and dreams for Buddy, he got a call from ex-wife Pam, who said she can’t handle Buddy, Jr. anymore. The kid’s turned wild and smokes pot and needs his daddy. After some flip comments about his wife’s “hippie” boyfriend Kevin and some tense conversations — no one on television says the name Pam with more venom, not even Dwight Schrute when he’s annoyed with his similarly named co-worker on “The Office.” — Buddy realized that, as Eric suggested, he has an opportunity to get one of his children back. So he took it. The town of Dillon will once again be home to two Buddy Garritys .

Now let’s move on to our ratings for the week.

The Final Season Cry-o-meter Rating for “The Right Hand of the Father,” on a scale of 1 to 10: A 2. The closest this episode got to jerking tears was during Vince’s meltdown in coach’s office, a scene that was well-acted by Michael B. Jordan but not one that prompted the procurement of tissues.

The Tim Riggins Hotness Scale Rating for “The Right Hand of the Father,” on a scale of 1 to 10: For the second straight week, 0. No Tim Riggins. He is coming back, though, I swear.

Julie Taylor Irritation Spectrum Rating for “The Right Hand of the Father” on a scale of 1 to 10: 8. It’s unclear why she was so willing to hop in bed with Derek or what she sees in him at all, other than the fact that he’s yet another older man for her to obsess over. (Aside from Matt Saracen, that has been a pattern for her.) At this point, though, I’d rather see her reconnect with the Swede.

And here’s your quote poll.

By  |  11:45 AM ET, 04/30/2011

Tags:  Friday Night Lights

 
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