Friends, the end is here. The series finale of Friday Night Lights has aired, and it's time for us to bid our final fond farewell.But first, a spoiler warning: What follows are reflections from the executive producers and cast about the events and outcomes of the fifth season. If you have not been watching on DirecTV, or are waiting for the NBC premiere, know that certain plotlines are discussed in some detail below.TVGuide.com spoke to stars Kyle Chandler (Eric Taylor), Connie Britton (Tami Taylor), Aimee Teegarden (Julie Taylor), Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins), Zach Gilford (Matt Saracen), Matt Lauria (Luke Cafferty), Michael B. Jordan (Vince Howard), and executive producers Jason Katims and David Nevins about the long road to that final Texas sunset.
Friends, the end is here. The series finale of Friday Night Lightshas aired, and it's time for us to bid our final fond farewell.
Part 2: Friday Night Lights comes to an end: The cast on its series-saving fans, graduation and turning on the Panthers
But first, a spoiler warning: What follows are reflections from the executive producers and cast about the events and outcomes of the fifth season. If you have not been watching on DirecTV, or are waiting for the NBC premiere, know that certain plotlines are discussed in some detail below.
Part 1: Friday Night Lights comes to an end: Producers and cast remember building Dillon
TVGuide.com spoke to stars Kyle Chandler (Eric Taylor), Connie Britton (Tami Taylor), Aimee Teegarden (Julie Taylor), Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins), Zach Gilford (Matt Saracen), Matt Lauria (Luke Cafferty), Michael B. Jordan (Vince Howard), and executive producers Jason Katims and David Nevins about the long road to that final Texas sunset.
Not many in the cast have brought themselves to watch this season yet, though they wrapped last summer.
I haven't seen much of the season. Because it's our final season, I've been very resistant to watch it. Every time I think I'll sit down to do it, I think, "Nope, too sad. Too soon."
Gilford: To be honest, I'm a real fan of the show. I didn't even read the scripts of the episodes I wasn't in for this last season because I was excited to watch it as a viewer. I can't wait to get the DVDs.
Jordan: I don't know how it turns out. We do every scene five ways, every time, and we shoot a lot of footage that doesn't make it into the episodes, so I'm really anxious to see how everything turns out. I hope it turned out as good as we felt while we were making it. But then, it never felt like work being on the show; it was always fun.
Chandler asked to direct an episode at the start of the season. He stepped behind the camera for the series' penultimate hour, "Texas Whatever," which featured the return of Tyra among other original cast members.
I wasnervous. It's like the show was going so good, I didn't want to be the one to screw it up. But we're a tight-knit group, so it was really a fun and relaxed creative atmosphere. Directing on this show is great because everyone is eager to create something that is fresh and new... to try and find that unexpected thing that pops up... That stuff is what makes the scenes you remember.
It was the perfect episode to do too, because after five years it's the one where everyone sort of comes back... some of them say good-bye, wrap up stories. So I got to work with everyone a bit, and we had time to really say good-bye to each other. It worked out really well.
Because producers knew in advance that the fifth season would be the show's last, Katims and his team had time to craft the ending they wanted — and the ending they hoped their loyal fans would love. Every character gets their due.
I felt total satisfaction. The thing to do these days is to end your show like, "Hey man, it's just life. Life goes on," and there's no attempt at closure... I think that's a little bit of a cop-out. What Jason did was take these characters and their stories to a logical conclusion. He wraps up every character in a way that didn't seem forced or fake. I really appreciate that he didn't do the "There's no beginning and there's no end, it just goes on" thing.
Teegarden: Well, Julie's been slapped twice this season, so... [Laughs]. Once by her mom and once by some crazy lady who's not even in love with her husband, so it's all fair game anyway... yes, I really said that. No, Julie's come a long way. She started as this whiny teen with raging hormones, at times horrible to her parents, but I think a lot of the fans are going to be really happy with the series finale and where she ends up. You get a sense of where she's heading — well, obviously in one big way -- but it's not the end for her...
Lauria: I think they handled it sensitively, bringing back everyone's favorite cast members for parts in significant ways. Somehow, Jason and the whole crew managed to pull it off without making it a big cheesy Hollywood ending.
Kitsch: I'm happy with five seasons — that's more than most, you know? And I think the series ends the way it should. Me, looking at the sunset, as it were.
Katims: We don't have the largest fan base in the world, but we do have the most passionate one, and we wanted to give them the best ending we could, one that would live up to everything that came before it.
Perhaps the most surprising ending is that of Luke Cafferty. He's last seen boarding a bus in Army fatigues.
Lauria: That surprised me too. Like, "What? Doesn't anyone remember how awesome Luke was in the beginning of Season 4? What happened? But then I thought, "That's real. That's life." What's a kid in Luke's shoes going to do? Stay at home with his folks and do all the farm sh--? No. Becky's not about to sit down and be a wife, football ain't working out, what else is he going to do? I think it's just really logical, and I think it's his best opportunity, that he could go far with that. I think he's going to be a lifer.
The one guy who doesn't really get much of a send-off is... J.D. McCoy (Jeremy Sumpter). In fact, one of the last things we see him do is tell Saracen: "This is my Dillon now!" Aside from a few scenes in which the Panthers are tormenting Luke, we never really hear from him again.
I think he and his dad went back to Dallas. I think they could never really conquer Dillon the way they thought they were going to. So that's where J.D. is [Laughs].
The season builds to a real boiling point for the Taylors. Eric and Tami come up against a very difficult, trying decision. Both of them are offered bigger, better jobs — in different places. Resolution comes very late in the game.
We felt very strongly that we wanted there to be a compelling story for them that would be front and center leading up to the end... Again, I've always felt that they're the heart of the show... The strength of what they have between each other, it allowed the writers to throw anything at them, and that is kind of what we did. We challenged that relationship in a way that it hasn't been challenged before.
Their conflict was very... provocative for me. That's a real issue for people, and it was just such a cool thing for Kyle and I to play after all these years. I have to say Kyle did a really courageous job with it because he was playing such an a--hole and Tami's gotta be like, "Dude, what is your problem?" Tami was rocking his world. Also, those were the last episodes ever of our show, so a lot of those raw emotions were at a peak. We were already on edge. I think that contributed to some great stuff.
Chandler: Tami had given Eric so much and in the long run, from my perspective, I think Eric is going to be a better, stronger person in having done and started a new life outside of Dillon.
You can only push your loved ones so far. At some point he said to himself, "I love this woman. I know she's right. That's why I'm married to her. So I must stick by her and give her her dream while I try and make mine over again." I think this probably happens quite often with couples and I just think we ended it the right way.
Britton: The last thing we shot was the scene in the restaurant with Julie and Matt, telling us their news... but the very last scene was outside of the restaurant where I'm bawling because our marriage is really being tested by this problem. Oh my God, I'm going to start crying just talking about it! So we're doing that, and all of a sudden, they're yelling, "That's a wrap," and everyone, the entire crew, just started bawling. The restaurant said we could stay and have a margarita or something, but I don't even think anyone did. It was an emotional time and nobody was dealing with it very well.
Is Connie Britton heading to FX after FNL?
The person who has always seemed anchored to Dillon is Tim "Texas Forever" Riggins. Kitsch wasn't in every episode throughout the final season, but he was never out of mind — a deliberate choice, Katims says. Friday Night Lights' Connie Britton: "Life in Dillon is going to change"
All I kept asking was for it to be real — and we knocked it on the head with that. Jail would change an 18-year-old kid with no purpose, with no sense of direction. I think as simple as that life is in Dillon, he often felt so f---ing out of place. I think that hurts a lot more than anything else he's dealt with.
But then he figures out what he wants, and the beauty of Riggs is that you can truly give him anything, put him anywhere, and he can deal. A trip to Mexico to help a friend? Let's go. New York? Let's do it.
Katims: What's really wonderful is that while Tim isn't around the whole time because he's in jail, he's always present in the show. He is Dillon. I particularly like what we wound up doing with his brother Billy and Billy's wife Mindy (Stacey Oristano). I love the surrogate family that happens with them and Becky (Madison Burge) — and that happens because of Tim. it's at once hysterically funny and very moving to watch them. There are certain characters and stories that reach me, that grab me in ways I didn't expect. For me, it's watching scenes in that house with the Rigginses.
There were things about Tim that really resonated with me and what I've been through in my own life. His father, or lack thereof, was huge. Tim's relationship with his Billy... man, that scene where Tim tells him that he's going to give himself up and take the fall. Huge. There was just an immense amount of trust between me and Derek Phillips [who plays Billy]. I've been through all the brother drama too, but maybe not as intensely as their fight outside The Landing Strip. You always come back around; that's just the way family works. No better way to go out than to be building a house with him.
In fact, the building of that house on Tim's land was the last scene ever shot.
There's so many ways we could have taken him at the end, but I love the simplicity of his "ending." That he's still out in Dillon somewhere. That you could drive through that fictional town and just run into that cat. It doesn't get more real than that. Pete flew in. We had a bunch of cast. We were all there, ending it all on Riggs' property. So it was quite full circle.
Britton: It was at sunset, and we all went out in that beautiful field, the writers, our producers, the crew... It was really a beautiful finale to everything. It felt very Texas, very much our show.
Gilford made sure they all had a good time on the way out and organized an all-night pub crawl. Still, some of his castmates can't let go.
I mean, I'm ready to come back for a sixth season, have Vince graduate at least, right? No, for me to be able to sleep at night, I had to let it go. You can't hope and wish and dream for more, so I'm doing the best I can to put it to rest.
Kitsch: I've got the hair extremely short right now [Laughs]. Pete was sitting with me when I did it. It was comical, and probably a bit more dramatically short than it needed to be in the end. ...You come out of this show with a lot of -- how would you say it? -- respect from the industry. Everyone knows it's a great show, and I think Riggins has just tracked really well with people. It was a showcase that you really rarely get, a springboard that I'll never forget.
Gilford: The pub crawl was huge. We had T-shirts made. And, I mean, it was serious sh--. We had all the A.D.s make a schedule, we had a map and a route, we hit 10 bars, all 60 of us. It was amazingly perfect... I had to do it. Friday Night Lights gave me a career. It really did. I've learned so much. It's done everything for me.
So, FNL fans, how are you dealing with this loss? Please express your grief in the comments below.
The person who has always seemed anchored to Dillon is Tim "Texas Forever" Riggins. Kitsch wasn't in every episode throughout the final season, but he was never out of mind — a deliberate choice, Katims says.
Friday Night Lights' Connie Britton: "Life in Dillon is going to change"
Poor ratings would ultimately lead to the show's cancellation after the fifth season, but the show's loyal fan base is a large reason that it lasted as long as it did. Friday Night Lights' fans rallied around the show for multiple renewal campaigns.What happened to all the characters at the end of Friday Night Lights? ›
In the finale's final montage, we see that Jess has a job at Dallas Walker, Julie and Matt are happy in Chicago, and Tinker, Billy, and Vince have both found a new home on the Panthers.Do Tami and Eric get divorced? ›
Eric and Tami are a married couple with two daughters, Julie and Gracie Belle. They have gone through their ups and downs and had their fair share of disagreements and arguments. Despite that, they manage to stay married through the entirety of the series.What happened at the end of Friday Night Lights? ›
The montage in Friday Night Light's ending showed an East Dillon championship banner, so it's clear that Vince's pass was caught (a great Michael B. Jordan Friday Night Lights moment) and that East Dillon won the game.Do Tim and Lyla end up together? ›
Having made peace with Jason, she and Tim reconnect romantically. She fights with Buddy after he loses her college fund money in a bad business deal, even living with Tim for a while, but they eventually reconcile. At the end of the season, she leaves Dillon for Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University.Who does Tyra end up with? ›
But the only wholly unforgivable show development took place during the series finale, which heavily implied that Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki) ended up with Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), after she seems to agree that they can “merge” their dreams together.What happens to Tyra at the end of Friday Night Lights? ›
She drops in on Tim unexpectedly who is now working at Buddy's, much to his delight. Toward the end of the season, she tells him that "she's been in love with him since they were five years old." Tim seems to acknowledge this, and it is plausible they end up back together.What happened to Tim Riggins at the end of Friday Night Lights? ›
He declares that he is going to sell his property and eventually move to Alaska to work on pipelines. Unsure of what his own future will be, he helps Becky come to terms with her life and is given a job by Buddy Garrity. Tim's final scene in the series is that of he and Billy building Tim's home on his property.What happens to Becky at the end of Friday Night Lights? ›
“I can't take care of a baby,” she tearfully tells Tami, matriarch to Dillon's lost youth. “I can't.” With those words Becky decides to have an abortion. This took place on Friday's episode of “Friday Night Lights” and was remarkable — abortions have been rare on serial television since the early '70s.Did Tami cheat on Eric? ›
We were like, 'We're never letting the writers have us have an affair. If they try to do it, we're not going to do it. ' And we told them so. Evidently we have Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler to thank for the fact that Eric and Tami never cheated on one another.
He later works at Buddy Garrity's car dealership as a salesman. Later in the season, Jason meets a waitress named Erin during a blind date gone bad. The two end up sleeping together, which results in Erin becoming pregnant.Why does Tami get fired? ›
Tami quit her job as principal of West Dillon High to go work as the guidance counselor for East Dillon High, avoiding getting fired for giving a student information that caused her to get an abortion. The East Dillon Lions beat the now-evil Panthers in a football game, and everybody rejoiced.What happens to Landry at the end of Friday Night Lights? ›
Landry goes off to college at Rice University in Houston.Where did clear eyes full hearts come from? ›
"Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose," was the battle cry for the high school football teams of Dillon, Texas, on the TV show Friday Night Lights for five seasons.Did Jason get a girl pregnant Friday Night Lights? ›
Jason and Erin ended up spending the night together and having sex. Although meant to be a one night stand, Erin later returns to Jason pregnant with his child. Unsure of how she was going to be able to take care of the child, she informs Jason of her plans to have an abortion.Does Lyla marry Jason? ›
Jason discovers the affair and breaks up with Lyla, also ending his friendship with Tim. Lyla is shattered and ashamed, and the entire school looks down at her. She repeatedly apologizes to Jason, who realizes he still loves her and eventually takes her back. Jason proposes to her and she accepts.Does Riggins marry Tyra? ›
Tim Riggins is married to Tyra and coaching the Dillon Panthers, according to Adrianne Palicki | For The Win.Who does Julie end up with in Friday Night Lights? ›
In the Finale, Matt shows up for Christmas and proposes to Julie, and Julie accepts. They attempt to convince Eric and Tami that they're making the right choice and convince them near the end of the episode. Eight months later, Julie is happily living with Matt in Chicago.Did Tyra get pregnant? ›
Banks proudly announced on January 27 that her son, York Banks Asla, was born via surrogate, and added, “He's got my fingers and big eyes and his daddy Erik's mouth and chin,” clarifying that the surrogate was gestational and that she and her boyfriend are the biological parents of the boy as well.Who is the father of Tyra Banks baby? ›
When did Tyra Banks and Erik Asla welcome their son? Tyra and Erik welcomed York via surrogate in January 2016. Announcing his birth on her Instagram at the time, Tyra wrote: "The best present we worked and prayed so hard for is finally here.
Mindy Collette-Riggins (Stacey Oristano) – Hard-edged sister to Tyra Collette and Billy Riggins's wife, Mindy works as a stripper at a local roadhouse, The Landing Strip.What happens to Landry on Friday Night Lights after he confessed? ›
Landry confesses to the murder and tells the truth. He is trying to admit guilt but the detectives are seeing it as self-defense or trying not to charge him. His dad ends the discussion and takes him home.Who does the coaches daughter end up with in Friday Night Lights? ›
Matt and Julie are one of the main couples on the series. Though they go through their fair share of ups and downs, they eventually realize that they are in love and settle down together.Does Julie tell the truth about Tim? ›
Julie finally finds the courage to talk with her dad and tell the truth about the other night with Tim. She admits it was her fault, not his. That she was drinking and Tim saved her from trouble and was sneaking her in and how he saw them at the wrong place at the wrong time.Who is the most successful actor from Friday Night Lights? ›
1) Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins): His life after Dillon, Texas, got off to a rocky start with lead roles in the box-office bombs “John Carter” and “Battleship,” followed by the little seen “Savages.” But 2014 seems to be going his way after reuniting with “FNL” creator Pete Berg for a showy role in “Lone Survivor.”Is there a town in Texas called Dillon? ›
Dillon is a ghost town in Hopkins County, Texas, located 30 miles east of Miller Grove near Saltillo, Texas. The town was named after E. F. Dillon, who started operating the post office in his store in 1901.Who did Tim Riggins love? ›
The relationship between Dillon Panthers tailback Tim Riggins and town bad girl Tyra Collette began before the Friday Night Lights television series started. The relationship between Tyra and Tim appears to mostly be a physical attraction to one another.Did the Dillon Lions win state? ›
But perhaps he can follow in his wife's footsteps. I loved every thing about the show's final moments. I loved that we never saw the completion of the play that won the East Dillon Lions its state championship. I love the song they used in the montage, Delta Spirit's “Devil Knows You're Dead.”Does Landry go to jail? ›
Landry and Tyra are convicted of first-degree murder in the “guy that got murdered five years ago” case. They are both sentenced to life in prison. After reuniting at the swearing-in ceremony, Tim and Lyla begin to date again back in Dillon.Is there going to be a sequel to Friday Night Lights? ›
First, there will be another Friday Night Lights movie. Although there were plans for a canceled Friday Night Lights movie sequel that followed up on the events of the show, the reboot is not this movie, instead focusing on an entirely different team.
She first appears in the first episode of season 9 and becomes a romantic partner to Lip, and by the end of the season, becomes pregnant with his child. She works as a hairstylist and hairdresser. In Season 10, she gives birth to a son named Freddie Gallagher and lives with Lip.Does Tami cheat on Friday Night Lights? ›
While Taylors were never without challenges, the stars who brought them to life made sure that was as far as their woes went. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't cheat — those were rules Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler insisted on when it came to Coach Taylor and wife Tami on "Friday Night Lights."Does Mrs Taylor get fired? ›
During season 4, she is sought out by Becky Sproles for advice about her unexpected pregnancy, but later receives negative backlash when Becky has an abortion. Instead of issuing a public apology like the school board suggests, Tami decides to leave her position to become the Guidance Counselor at East Dillon High.Who did Jason get pregnant in Friday Night Lights? ›
Later in the season, Jason meets a waitress named Erin during a bad date. The two end up sleeping together, which results in Erin becoming pregnant.Is Jason in Friday Night Lights paralyzed in real life? ›
Jason Street's character was inspired by real life.
A heartbreaking real-life story out of Texas: David Edwards was paralyzed in 2003 while playing as a junior defensive back at San Antonio Madison.
After 3 seasons, Minka Kelly's Lyla Garrity left the original main cast of Friday Night Lights to do what was best for her character's storyline. After a turbulent three seasons, Minka Kelly's Lyla Garrity left Friday Night Lights as that was what was best for her character.Why do Tyra and Landry break up? ›
Tyra realizes her feelings for Landry and sleeps with him, taking his virginity, and the two begin a romantic relationship. Landry's father, a police officer, suspicious of Tyra's involvement in Mike's murder and her relationship with his son, tells Tyra to end things with Landry. She does so, regretfully.Why does Tami get fired Friday Night Lights? ›
Tami quit her job as principal of West Dillon High to go work as the guidance counselor for East Dillon High, avoiding getting fired for giving a student information that caused her to get an abortion. The East Dillon Lions beat the now-evil Panthers in a football game, and everybody rejoiced.What happens to Luke on Friday Night Lights? ›
He is moved back to running back for the playoffs and helps the team win State in Always, the series finale.Why did season 2 of Friday Night Lights end so abruptly? ›
The second season of “Friday Night Lights” was supposed to last longer, but its episode order was cut due to the 2017–18 Writers Strike. Many TV shows from that season had shorter than the normal amount of episodes. The final three seasons of the show were part of a joint arrangement with DirecTV and NBC.
He declares that he is going to sell his property and eventually move to Alaska to work on pipelines. Unsure of what his own future will be, he helps Becky come to terms with her life and is given a job by Buddy Garrity. Tim's final scene in the series is that of he and Billy building Tim's home on his property.Why was there no season 6 of Friday Night Lights? ›
It's been widely presumed and hinted at that the fifth season of Friday Night Lights would be the end of series. The cast and crew, which recently wrapped production on season five, have been told that they're free to find other work.What was supposed to happen at the end of season 2 of Friday Night Lights? ›
At the tail end of the season, Coach Taylor is offered his dream job, a coaching job at TMU, with a clear track to being head coach someday; hell, maybe even a job in the NFL. After he wins State in the finale, the Coach says he'll turn down the job.Is there a gap between season 2 and 3 of Friday Night Lights? ›
With the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike cutting the second season in half, there is a longer story gap between the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3 than occurred between the other seasons of Friday Night Lights.Can you skip season 2 of Friday Night Lights? ›
Seasons/Episodes You Can Skip: Season 2. Right now, just cross it off your to-do list, don't even think twice. There are a couple of reasons why anyone watching the show can just avoid the second season without any fear of missing out. Firstly, there's the simple fact that it doesn't actually finish.Is Tim Riggins married? ›
Tim Riggins is married to Tyra and coaching the Dillon Panthers, according to Adrianne Palicki | For The Win.Who gets pregnant on Friday Night Lights? ›
The writers of “Friday Night Lights” had something altogether different in mind. Becky's pregnancy had been the result of a one-time sexual encounter with Luke Cafferty, a well-intentioned football star and the son of struggling, religious cattle ranchers who have not always held his best interests at heart.Does Tyra ever come back to Friday Night Lights? ›
Tyra spends most of season 5 at the University of Texas, and returns to Dillon near the end of the season to help out Mindy and her mother with Stevie and the impending twins. She drops in on Tim unexpectedly who is now working at Buddy's, much to his delight.
TVLINE | I was surprised you didn't give Tyra and Landry a moment in the finale. Talk to me about that decision. At one point, Landry was in the scene with Tyra, Matt and Julie at the bar. But when we got closer to [shooting it] it felt right to have a more intimate moment between Tyra and Tim.Who does Jason end up with on Friday Night Lights? ›
He later works at Buddy Garrity's car dealership as a salesman. Later in the season, Jason meets a waitress named Erin during a blind date gone bad. The two end up sleeping together, which results in Erin becoming pregnant.
In the Finale, Matt shows up for Christmas and proposes to Julie, and Julie accepts. They attempt to convince Eric and Tami that they're making the right choice and convince them near the end of the episode. Eight months later, Julie is happily living with Matt in Chicago.