“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.

Buddy Jr. (Jeff Rosick) and Buddy Sr. (Brad Leland), clearly bonding on “Friday Night Lights.” (NBC)

In what was, arguably, the best “Friday Night Lights” episode so far in this final season (or final season redux, if you’ve already watched), Luke Cafferty turned into Mr. Uber-Confident; Vince Howard tried to lay down the law with his father and his lady; Buddy Garrity learned that being a dad sometimes means helping your son upchuck into a trash can after he broke into your bar to drink in the middle of the day; and Epyck proved that even troubled students are totally down with a school-sponsored luau.

A rundown of some key developments follows, along with the weekly ratings on the Final Season Cry-o-meter, Tim Riggins Hotness Scale and Julie Taylor Irritation Spectrum, as well as the best quote poll.

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Luke Cafferty

Let’s begin with the dimple-cheeked farm boy, shall we? A scout from TMU expressed interest in possibly recruiting Luke, invited him for a campus visit and offered him some primo seats to watch a game from the 50 yardline. That gave Luke the jolt of confidence he needed to walk up to Becky Sproles at the East Dillon High “Texas luau”dance and declare, “I’m coming for you, Becky Sproles. Get ready. Because I’m coming for you.”

Two things to say about this. 1. If any boy had walked up to me at a high school dance and declared that he was “coming for me,” I would have swooned so violently that a trip to the emergency room would have inevitably followed.. 2. Luke’s seemingly unshakeable confidence may take a big ‘ol knock, thanks to Vince

Vince Howard

As predicted in last week’s recap, Vince and girlfriend Jess are not doing so well in their newly evolved love affair between man and equipment manager. While Jess can clearly take any athletic supporter jokes that get thrown at her, Vince was not so comfortable watching the banter between her and his fellow players.

Vince also remained uncomfortable with his father, although Vince’s dad seemed sincere when he swore that he would never let Vince’s mom touch drugs again. (He did, right?)

Meanwhile, that TMU wooing of Luke looked like it might have been a bait and switch; ultimately, it was Vince who suddenly found himself pulled into a room with a whole lot of recuiter-looking types. So that could get awkward.


The student with a name that, according to Eric Taylor, sounds like it was selected by drunkards caused all kinds of problems this week. First she almost beat the heck out of a fellow student for calling her a moron and, to her apparent delight and Tami Taylor’s frustration, was expelled. Then, like most kids who get involved in deviant behavior, she showed up at a luau and begged for permission to enter. She pitched a fit when Tami wouldn’t allow it. Words were exchanged. Fake palm trees were knocked down. And to make matters worse, Epyck didn’t even show up in appropriate tropical wear!

Needless to say, Tami Taylor is not going to let this lie.

Mindy Riggins

Mindy was in fine formthis week. First, she aerobicizied so hard that it looked like she might actually send herself back in time to the awesome ‘80s, which, by the way, was a much better theme suggestion for the dance than Texas luau. (Keep fighting the good fight, Becky Sproles!) Then she complained about being demoted to a demeaning day shift at the Landing Strip after verifying, courtesy of Becky, that her post-partum butt looks pretty darn good.

But most importantly, she essentially adopted Becky, bringing her back to the Riggins home when Becky’s father and that delightful Doreen clearly did not appear capable of providing a stable environment for the former beauty queen hopeful. Who would have ever thought that Billy Riggins’ residence would become the most stable environment for impressionable teens?

Julie Taylor

Did anyone else get the sense that some crucial Julie moments got excised from this episode? There are no deleted scenes for “Keep Looking” on the DVD box set, but it seems like something must have happened in between the moment when Julie told Derek the Donkey T.A. that she had a date and the scene where Julie showed up, seemingly drunk, at Derek’s apartment and hooked up with him. Either way, let’s give it up for Julie Taylor, the character who can take even limited screen time and fill it with totally horrendous judgment calls.

Buddy Garrity

What’s better than Buddy Garrity ranting about the beauty of red meat? Buddy Garrity dealing with Buddy Garrity, Jr., who, by the way, could not have been better cast. When the camera catches Jeff Rosick’s profile alongside Brad Leland’s, he genuinely looks like a portrait of the booster as a young man.

Anyway, Junior put his dad’s patience to the test in numerous ways, including: busting on East Dillon High’s “mental hospital” aesthetic; making it clear that he’s more aware of Tami’s “nice rack” than any advice she might be providing as a guidance counselor; breaking into his dad’s bar and getting drunk in the middle of the day; and stealing Buddy’s credit card and truck.

Naturally there is only one thing that will straighten out this kid: Football.

Now, a look at this episode by the numbers:

The Final Season Cry-o-meter Rating for “Keep Looking,” on a scale of 1 to 10: A 1. Mindy’s compassion for Becky made a wee bit of salty water accumulate in our eyes. But this wasn’t really a crying kind of episode

The Tim Riggins Hotness Scale Rating for “Keep Looking,” on a scale of 1 to 10: 2. Riggins didn’t appear in the episode, but a photo of him in full Dillon Panther regalia was clearly visible in the Riggins household. And Tim looked pretty hot in that picture. Hence: 2.

Julie Taylor Irritation Spectrum Rating for “Keep Looking” on a scale of 1 to 10: 8. Even though Julie wasn’t terribly present, her perplexing fascination with Derek continued to annoy. But Julie, this only annoys us because deep down, we all love you. You’re a Taylor. You can do better than this.

And a best-quote poll that’s actually full of several strong contenders this week: