6.2/10. A lot about reconciliation here, for the team as a whole, and for the people within its orbit. Unfortunately, really only one (maybe one and a half) of the stories about it was any good.

Coach Taylor going to great lengths to try to get his wife to sleep with him started out as mildly interesting, if only for the fact that couples resuming their sex lives after pregnancy isn't a topic that many shows have previously explored. The problem is that FNL's take on that story was basically a sitcom, where Coach Taylor has American Pie like schemes to prime his wife for love only to be frustrated at every turn and received less-than-helpful tips from busybodies like Coach Mac. There's the theme of reconciliation and getting back to normal there, but it's couched in such dumb TGIF stuff.

Similarly, the one silver lining to the dull-as-dishwater story of Jason, Tim, and Lyla in Mexico is that it quarantines their terrible performances away from the rest of the show. In fairness, Tim's speech about how he would knock Jason out and take him back to Dillon if he had to was the best and most emotive we've seen him on the show so far, and it was frankly the one bright spot in this bore of a storyline. In keeping with the themes of the episode, I take it this was supposed to be about the three of them getting back to normal as well, but the weird dance scene where Lyla kisses both of them and then says she has to go pray was just strange, and Jason's stunt of diving into the water was equally odd. I guess you can read it as him trying to enjoy freedom again, to make his own choices no matter what anyone says, and when he has the mildest near-death experience ever, it convinces him that he's not willing to risk his life for this, but it is, again, a pretty dumb way to dramatize that idea.

The Tyra/Landry story continues to feel completely wrong at a macro level and completely right on a micro level. This entire storyline feels torn from Dexter or something, and the twist that Landry's dad is a cop who suspects Lyla's involved and tells her to stay away from his son is the kind of ridiculous and convenient plot development Dexter would do in its late-season ignominy. From a plot perspective, this whole thing is ridiculous. But from a pure character interaction perspective, every scene between Landry and Tyra is pretty damn great. Tyra's "cruel to be kind" moment with Landry when she lies (at least I think it's a lie) and tells him she'd never have been with him if it weren't for the killing is devastating in just the right way, and Landry's expression says everything that needs to be said.

That leads nicely into the one and a half stories in the episode that work. The story of Coach getting the team on the same page and realizing that they need to hang together to succeed worked in showing the outside the box thinking and unique way Coach Taylor operates that allows him to get through to these kids in a way that Coach McGregor couldn't. Having the lineman and backs switch positions and have some fun out there was a nice way to break the team out of their funk. Benching Smash and Matt to prove his point, and letting a scrub like Landry give the inspiring halftime speech is that same sort of unorthodox management that makes Coach Taylor feel perfectly tuned to this group. Plus, while many of the football scenes in this show hew toward the cheesy and unrealistic, the fact that Landry's great success on the field was making a good tackle as a Tight End after an interception had been thrown and getting a pass interference call was some nice forebearance on the part of the show. (Plus I loved the fact that Coach kept calling him Lance, in a nod to last season.)

And then there's the best storyline in the show, where we find out that Matt's frustrations with Coach, with Smash, and with Julie, all have basically the same motivation -- the sense that he and his team have just been used as stepping stones to something better. It's a nice way to motivate his anger in all directions, and the way it led to him making peace with Smash, and not getting pushed around by Julie were great. Matt's scene with Tami in particular, where she can't exactly tell Matt not to date her daughter but encourages him to think about his own heart and what his trust is worth was also great, and the way it culminated in the moment with Julie where Matt finally pushes back on her bad behavior toward him as superb. This season has been fairly light on the Matt stuff beyond the kind of tedious budding love story between him and his grandmother's nurse, but this went a long way toward redeeming his path this year.

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