The Televangelist: 'Friday Night Lights' episode 12

The micro themes of Friday's penultimate episode  echoed the macro theme of "Friday Night Lights" itself: rising above. Street, Riggins, Smash, Saracen, the Taylors, Lyla, Tyra ... well, pretty much everyone on the show has had to overcome huge mental, physical and/or emotional roadblocks throughout the series, pushing themselves to do their best and be their best.  The realness of the struggles and the occasional failures along the way are all part of what gives "FNL" so much of its emotional resonance.

"The Underdogs" had plenty of such moments, the strongest of which was the evolution of Tyra's college entrance essay. How many of us struggled to find our real voice when wrangling those awful things? Once you cut through the bull of what Landry described as "a five-paragraph knitted pillow. It's painful," there's often a bright truth to be found. After Tyra stopped making terribly strained metaphors regarding her work at Applebee's ("Sometimes it gets busy and you have to roll with the punches, just like life") and harnessed the passion behind her real struggles (her mother, her sister, her lost innocence), she wrote something truly beautiful. And if you didn't tear up just a little at her "Two Years Ago" speech, you don't have a heart.  "College represents possibility. The possibility that things are going to change. I can't wait." Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!

Speaking of our Dillon Panther's battle cry, let's get into this week's football action.