I'm pretty sure that out of all of the story lines on Friday Night Lights (past and present), the Brian "Smash" Williams story was the best written, consistently most emotional and all-around champion of the series. As such, it was bittersweet to see it come to an end this week. Of course, I was happy for Smash. He finally landed a walk-on position at a university (no less than Texas A&M). Knowing everything that he had to overcome post-knee injury and how much this opportunity meant to him made it that much sweeter. There were two moments during this week's episode that cemented this series as network television's best and left me completely in awe of its brilliance. The first occurred when Coach Taylor walked across that Texas A&M field, got the coach's attention and convinced him to allow Smash to tryout. It was one of those moments when you have to fight the urge to leap out of your seat to give the writers, the actors and every single other person who works on this show a HUGE standing ovation. That, my friends, is the Coach Taylor that we love. It's the Coach Taylor that we keep coming back to watch and it's the Coach Taylor that keeps us fighting to keep this show on the air. The second scene came at the very end when Smash finally got the call from A&M. My eyes welled up with tears of joy as he told his mother that he was going to college. What a payoff for all of his hard work, determination and disappointments along the way. I will miss Smash, but I am very happy for him.
Trying to nail down two outstanding scenes in this series is like trying to decide which UGA football highlight is my favorite: they're all excellent! And this was most certainly the case this week as we also had a couple of emotional scenes involving Landry and Tyra. I'm not sure why she fights her feelings for Landry. Is it just because she's afraid of them? She told him in the latter scene that this is the closest she has ever been to a boy, but she stopped short of fully explaining her feelings and how deep they run. I'm still holding out hope for them, but I do think that Tyra needs to mature quite a bit first.
Raise your hand if you thought that Tami was ultimately going to win this re-appropriated funds battle -- yeah, me neither. You just knew that the boosters were going to get their jumbotron in the end, but it was nice to see Tami get the last laugh. Sure, that money would have been much better suited for things like teachers' salaries, textbooks, etc., but there was no way the football-loving boosters were ever going to see it that way. And with the mayor and superintendent in the tank for the boosters, well, Tami couldn't win. Hey, nobody said being principal was going to be easy.
Friday Night Lights is airing new, commercial-free episodes Wednesday nights on DirecTV's 101. The third season will be seen in its entirety early next year on NBC.