Tonight’s FNL started with Julie Taylor saying something directly to me. Well… technically she said it to Matt, but I put my face near the TV and pretended it was to me. Then I said “You mean right now?” and chuckled, then quickly said “No, but seriously that’s great news, I’m with you on this.” Fantastic episode tonight, another FNL gem. Keep reading for full review.

I’m gonna go at this the same way I did my Heroes review; give a paragraph to each major character/group featured in the episode.  I’ll give the last one to Matt and Julie so if you are only here for that, skip down some.  (But if you read the whole thing, I’ll consider you a true fan and not just a bandwagon jumper.)

First: the stories I don’t care about.  For such a great show, they really know how to partially take you out of an episode by interjecting boring  little bits into the greatness.  For me, the two arcs that I have no interest in are Buddy Garrity’s busy hands and, honestly, Jason Street’s Murderball dream.  Buddy Garrity is not a great person, but when it comes to football he is a very important character.  At home, though, the character seems completely out of his element.  His saga with Tyra’s mom is just not interesting.  One good possible element of this story is that it could lead to a really interesting change in the dynamic between Lyla and Tyra, and I’m not sure exactly how.  But, Buddy and Tyra’s mom on their own are not interesting enough.

Jason Street’s story has been playing a less and less important role as this show has progressed.  Tonight was just further proof.  Was his story just for fun tonight?  Was it just a little space-filler between the serious stuff?  Because, and I say this as a fan, watching him flirt with a tattoo artist and then choose to get a Sanskrit tattoo was actually boring.  Please, make him more interesting or give him a week off.  There’s too much going on other than him to waste time watching that stuff.

The saddest story, by far, was Tim Riggins’.  I’d even say, much to the chagrin of you Matt and Julie bandwagoners, that it was the best story of the night.  In the beginning, I was wondering what his dad doing still at the house.  I guess he never left after the football game?  Well, what we do know is that both he and Tim are off the wagon since they had their little bonfire a few episodes back.  Tim almost got into a spat at the bar, and his dad didn’t step in and help him.  I thought this was really crucial to what happened later.  Tim’s dad was getting a little too close to practice, and coach Taylor is not one to mess around when it comes to his team.  He expressed to Mr. Riggins that he needed to get on the sidelines, but no dice.  Later, when a $3000 camera goes missing, one of the coaches admits he saw Tim’s dad at the scene of the crime.  When confronted about it, Tim comes to the defense of his dad (whom we all knew was guilty… there was no way he didn’t take that thing).  So, when Tim needs his dad in the bar, his dad stand idly by.  When Tim’s dad doesn’t deserve to be helped out, Tim still tries.  Perfectly sums up their relationship, and I’m glad that Tim kicked him out once he found the camera.

The saddest scene in the whole episode had to be when Tim got drunk and went back to the bar looking for a fight, and got pounded into the ground.  The drinking part was sad, the fight scene was unbearable.  Can’t Tim Riggins fight?  He’s a tough kid… I guess he was just looking for a beat down tonight.  His brother coming to his rescue was pretty nice to see, but it was even nicer to see that Tyra has been really looking out for him lately.  Tim is among my favorite characters and if he goes off the wagon for good, I’m going to be very upset.

Now, to the good stuff.  Matt and Julie!  So Julie gives Matt something to think about early in the episode, when she tells him “I think we should have sex.”  Matt, understandably, is a little taken back.  But the next day, he and Landry go to to store to pick up condoms (after Smash advises him not to use the ancient condom Landry first tries to offer him).  Trouble is, Mrs. Taylor is shopping in the very same aisle!  O Matt Seracen, will you ever catch a break?  Anyway, Matt lets the news slip to the football team, and the guys bust him a little for it, as any team would do.  Nothing came of this yet, but certainly next week we should see word getting around the school.  Anyway, Matt secured himself a place in the woods, which was hilariously grotesque, its walls lined with head after head of hunted bears and deer.  As they laid down to do it, Julie gave off all the signals of someone who wasn’t ready.  Matt recognized it and, like one might expected from a man of his caliber, told Julie that he knew she wasn’t ready and that they should wait.  They did wait, and their night ended up being perhaps the most adorable scene I’ve ever witnessed, in real life or on the screen.  Eventually, they fall asleep by the fire together.  I honestly do think they made the right decisions.  Matt and Julie aren’t ready, and it has nothing to do with age.  They are both really innocent, genuine people who make up a great couple.  There is no need for them to rush, since they (hopefully) will be together for a very long time.  At the end of the night, Matt takes what some might see as an ever bigger risk and tells Julie that he loves her.  She replies with “Me too,” and after a short pause, says “I love you too.”  I wasn’t sure how genuine it was, since it was clear Matt caught her off guard, but the smile she had as she walked back to her house showed that she most likely did mean it.

The best drama came between Julie and her mom.  Mrs. Taylor rips into Julie in the beginning, after seeing Matt buying condoms.  Julie takes the adult route and doesn’t deny anything; she feels that she is old enough to make this decision.  Perhaps Mrs. Taylor is speaking from experience when she tells Julie to wait?  Remember, she has admitted that she was like Tyra when she was younger.  I thought their exchange was the truest drama and dialogue this show has ever done.  That scene was legitimately moving.  After being moved by the scene, I see that Glenn has IMed me to say “by the way, i turned on FNL and saw a fucking lifetime movie.”  Glenn, you are ridiculous.  FNL fans, join me in attacking Glenn for his bold insult to one of our finest institutions.  Getting back to it, coach Taylor finds some sexy undies in the bathroom and finds out what Julie has been up to.  He overreacts, as could have been predicted, and his wife talks him down from his rage.  Mrs. Taylor gets it; she’s been in this spot and knows what is going through Julie’s mind.  More importantly, she knows that Julie is a smart girl who will make the right choice.  In the end, in a touching family scene, Julie confirms all the qualities her mom trusted she’d show.  I don’t know what to say other than… wonderful.  Every week they prove themselves to be the most entertaining, realistic family on television.

So, Julie and Matt didn’t do it, Tim got beat up while drunk, and Buddy Garrity got exposed in a surprisingly good scene outside the church.  As an aside, aren’t there any catholics in this town?  Where are all the Italian and Spanish families?  But that’s a topic for another day. Now, let us just bask in the warm glowing warming glow of tonight’s episode, and hope next week is just as good.