‘Friday Night Lights’: Here’s Why Lyla Left at the End of Season 4

by Chase Thomas

You won’t find many shows as iconic as “Friday Night Lights” was on NBC. The show, which ran for five seasons was a big-time program for so many folks across the country. The show was a hit for a multitude of reasons, one of which was the realistic feel of big-time high school football in a small town. How it all worked. What made it different in Texas than other places. One of the bigger characters on the show, though, is Lyla Garrity, who was played by Minka Kelly. If you were wondering why, though, Lyla left at the end of Season 4 we have your answer.

It was Minka Kelly’s call to leave “Friday Night Lights” when she did. She was ready to do something else, which meant the character of Lyla had to leave and do something else, too. If you recall, Lyla’s final major storyline involves her relationship with fan-favorite Tim Riggins. She’s torn. She is ready to expand her horizons and attend Vanderbilt in Nashville. But she does still love Tim. Ultimately, she has to choose between the two, and she moves on for school while Riggins stayed behind in Dillon.

Zach Gilford on ‘Friday Night Lights’

You won’t find many characters as easily rootable as Matt Saracen for the Dillon Panthers. His character was immediately thrown into the fire after the football-ending injury sustained by star quarterback Jason Street in the first episode of the program. Pair that with his struggles taking care of his grandma with no parental figure of his own and you have quite the underdog story.

Gilford spoke with SI a few years back about the role and that time he got benched by star quarterback J.D. McCoy. He told SI, “A little bit. You know, it’s like, “I’ve been doing this for three years. Why are you benching me?” But at the same time, it was fun playing wide receiver and doing something different. I got to run all the routes, which is way more tiring than playing quarterback. But I actually feel more like one of the guys playing wide receiver.”

It was tough for Saracen. He won a title at Dillon in his first year starting. However, McCoy was the superstar in waiting. It forced Matt to have to adapt and play wideout.

He concluded, “Yeah, it’s all totally real. We have a full team of guys. They all played college football. Some of them played in the NFL, some in the Arena League. They’re great guys and good football players. And all those hits are because they know when they’re going to hit each so they go full force.”

You can watch “Friday Night Lights” on Hulu.