They’re in the playoffs baby! But they are off to a rather rocky if not riotous start. The racial tension still lingering from the previous episodes has spread like a cancer to the other team making Smash’s life just a notch harder.
Smash spends the majority of the episode feeling responsible for the fate of the players that have walked after Mac’s racist rants. It doesn’t help that the self-righteous Waverly won’t let him back down and just play. It took Mama Smash to slap the possibility of rising above and making a stand by playing and being the bigger man for Smash to swallow his pride and lead the rest of the team back to the field just in time for the playoffs.
The Panthers were back in action once Smash and the rest of the team hit the field and though he was willing to ignore Mac, he found it damn hard to ignore the opposition that refused to let the racist hype die. A near riot ensues and I’m proud to say that Smash did not throw the first punch, Riggins did!
The game’s called and the Panthers win as they were ahead before the fight broke out, but Coach Taylor’s not allowing them the chance to celebrate. While on the bus ride back to Dillon they are pulled over by the police who are claiming that witnesses say Smash threw the first punch and they’re arresting him. After a tense standoff, Mac steps in and demands a search warrant to enter the bus. Mac made the only move he could to ease the tensions on the team and it was touching.
By the end of the episode I felt like Texas was the scariest place on Earth. The whole football obsession and small town mentality is frightening enough, then you add in vigilante justice and racism by local yokel cops and there’s not a chance in hell I’d set foot in that place.
There was plenty of Landry (plus a cameo by his Crucifixion shirt) and his metro sexual know how. Matt and Julie finally made up. Tyra, Julie, Matt, and Landry were busted for being underage in a strip joint. Street left Dillon with Herc to follow his dream of quad rugby in Austin. And there was very little Lyla Garrity.
We were given one of the best Coach Taylor/Tami Taylor scene since the under table argument last fall. The whole “let me talk to the guidance counselor; let me talk to my wife; is there anyone else I can talk to” scene was amazing!
Oh, I almost forgot. Mac’s resignation was hard to watch. Though he was wrong and he is possibly a racist bigot, it broke my heart (and Coach Taylor’s) to see him give up something he’s given 20 years of his blood, sweat, and tears to for the good of the team.