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The Televangelist: 'Friday Night Lights' episode 4

Though we've yet to hear the Dillon Panther's pre-game chorus of "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose!" this season, the principles of the phrase were on full display this week.

Though we've yet to hear the Dillon Panther's pre-game chorus of "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose!" this season, the principles of the phrase were on full display this week. The episode played out as a series of vignettes about battles: choosing them, winning and losing them, and the art of them.

Let's begin with that juggernaut Jumbotron. On the advice of one Katie McCoy, Tami sets out to "kinda stalk" the school board president in hopes of swaying him in her direction — a tactic already employed by the ever-enterprising Buddy Garrity on the links at the country club. Despite letting her hair down and wearing a summery tank top (I've never seen a principal look like that!), Tami's attempts to woo fell flat as her passions about the Jumbotron funds being more useful to hire back teachers and gain supplies turned her into what Katie McCoy would call "the angry woman nobody likes." Tami knows here her battle is lost, but Coach Taylor offers some soothing and wise words: "Because you stood up for what you believe in, in that sense you won. At the very least make them feel guilty!"

Then we have the knee-injury-battling Smash Williams, whose narrative arc seems to be coming to a close.  I always thought it a shame that Smash's character was written so one-dimensionally, even though he showed off some personality while hanging out at Landry's house when Landry started waxing poetic about his failed relationship with Tyra. Smash says jokingly to Saracen, "Let's go. It's getting sad and weird in here and I need to keep my mood up." Now that Jason Street is gone (though his name is still mentioned in passing, leading me to believe we've not seen the last of him), Smash has become Coach Taylor's pet project. His attentions and support finally paid off this week, with Smash given a chance at a walk-on practice at Texas A&M, proving he still has what it takes to be a winner in all respects. In an emotional final scene, Smash gives a big smile as he moves on to the next stage in his life — one outside of Dillon that includes college — the same dream shared, but not often achieved, by so many of his peers.