Friday Night Lights: "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall"

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Unnamed department store, Dillon: Mindy and Billy register gifts for their wedding. Sangria set? Check. Giant phallic leaf blower? Check. Tyra and Mindy plan the bridal shower. Apparently, Mindy wants to have a tea party.

Who’s that carrot-topped, salaciously smiling, un-distressed damsel at Panther practice? J.D’s new beau Madison, of course. Her hair blows in the wind. QB coach Wade Aikman notices J.D. noticing.

Casa de Riggins: Tim heads to bed, prepped for another day of sad eyes and hair-flipping. “OK, Grandpa,” Lyla says. A true rebel, Lyla stays up late to play Mario Kart with Billy and Mindy. Trouble.

Bigger trouble: Re-districting in the Dillon schools may lead to the loss of half of the team to the hypothetical East Dillon High. Tammy favors the re-districting, Buddy and the Boosters don’t, and Coach keeps his mouth shut.

Tim Riggins makes an uncharacteristic literary reference, referring to the hungover Lyla as “Beerwolf”. Lyla refuses to get out of bed. She’s depressed.

Landry helps Tyra prep for Mindy’s “Bridal shower from hell.” Why is Tyra is so discombobulated by the idea of a tea party? You’d think the class prez would be able to handle it. Luckily, Landry is done standing up for himself; he’s back to being Tyra’s bitch.

Wade Aikman rats out J.D. to Mr. McCoy re: Madison. Mr. McCoy is not happy. In other news, J.D’s favorite food is turkey burgers. Really?

Grandma Saracen, whose bouts of dementia are becoming more frequent, falls out of a moving car. Saracen’s prodigal mom pushes for putting Grandma in a home, but Matt’s not hearing it.

Rig and Buddy have a man-to-man talk about Lyla. Cliches are spouted. Buddy calls Riggins “son.”

At a meeting Principal Tammy votes for re-districting, thus jeopardizing her husband’s career.

Lyla gets her acceptance letter to Vanderbilt. Too bad dad lost all her college money in a bad investment. Now Lyla won’t get the chance pose for Playboy’s Girls of the SEC spread. Vanderbilt frat boys don’t know what they’re missing.

Turns out Joe McCoy called Madison’s parents and told them to make their daughter back off. Madison’s parents responded by threatening to sue. On what grounds? J.D. and Madison tell each other they like each other. J.D. might be the least interesting character on TV. “You’re amazing,” he says.

Buddy and the boosters do their own re-districting. They alter the line so the Panthers will stay intact. Coach doesn’t like it. Buddy tells Coach to mind his own biz. “This is bigger than you,” Buddy says. They’re still talking about high school football, right?

Grandma Saracen has another episode — she can’t find her slippers even though she’s wearing them. Matt reconsiders assisted living.

Tyra and Landry make cucumber sandwiches. Cute. Tyra’s SAT scores are in; she did well, but maybe not well enough. Landry is proud though, and Tyra feels respected as a woman.

Riggins, in a move even less characteristic than his Chaucer Olde English reference, takes Lyla to church in order to cheer her up. The people who wrote this episode must have been drunker than Billy Riggins at dollar draft night. The plan doesn’t work; Lyla is still upset. Jesus can’t pay for Vanderbilt.

Mindy’s stripper friends arrive for the bridal shower. They drink bourbon out of teacups. Lingerie is exchanged. Tyra thanks Landry. Mindy thanks Tyra. Everyone is happy.

Panthers win in another close one, but Joe McCoy’s pissed off. J.D. didn’t stick to the game plan. Joe yells at J.D. for insubordination. J.D. stands up for himself, “You know what Dad, screw you.” Mr. McCoy loses it. He screams and physically assaults J.D. Luckily, Coach sees the action unfold and is there to break up the fight. (Note: so far every act of physical violence on this show has occurred during a rainstorm: Tyra’s attempted rape; Tyra’s 2nd attempted rape and Landry’s lead-pipe-attack on Tryra’s rapist; Cash’s attack on Tyra; Joe MCoy’s attack on J.D. Doesn’t it only rain in Texas like once a year?)

Tim Riggins continues to surprise by giving Lyla an inspirational speech about scholarships and his undying support. He tells her he loves her. Oh, Tender Tim. FNL has been a bastion of earned emotion, but this episode is a schlockfest plain and simple.

McCoy mother and son stay at Coach’s for the night. “Nothing I do is ever good enough for him,” J.D. says. Coach to J.D: inspirational speech.

Tyra is sad too — why can’t she be like Mindy and settle for the simple life? To dream is to suffer disappointment. Luckily, Tyra’s mom swoops in for yet another inspirational speech. Seriously? Tyra weeps. Mom weeps. Credits roll.