"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Friday Night Lights: How Did I Get Here?

This episode of Friday Night Lights was a particularly intricate one, with stories weaving in and out of each other throughout the hour. For the second week in a row, I think the show was up to the high standard of season one — and yes, that even includes the murder story. It's still not the road I would have taken for the show, but this episode brought some intriguing fallout. It also brought Tami's sister, a new Dillon cheerleader, and a militant soccer coach into the mix.

I'll start with the one part of the episode that really stands alone: The murder/cover-up plot. I'm still troubled that the story seems distant from the rest of the show, but at the same time, I'm finding myself riveted by it. Landry and his father fascinate me, and not just because they look eerily like actual father and son. The writers have set them up as two completely different people, aliens trying to understand each other's lives. But when Landry is in trouble, his father will do whatever it takes to bail him out, even if that puts his future as a cop in jeopardy. And boy, will that car fire put his future as a cop in jeopardy. How could it not be traced back to him? If that car is found, it will still have its license plates and identification numbers, no?

Tami, meanwhile, is back at work, and that's bringing a lot of changes — the arrival of her sister, for one. Shelly is like Tami if she'd chosen differently at every step, and despite how much Tami loves her family, there's a part of her that wishes she had Shelly's freedom. It's so wonderful to see Tami interacting with anyone these days (I've even come to savor the Glenn scenes), and I think Shelly's stay is going to be a fun.

Both Jason and Riggins took big steps in this episode — Riggins toward football, Jason away from it. How odd was it, by the way, that nobody seemed terribly concerned that the two had skipped the country? Coach cared, I suppose, insofar as he kicked Riggins off the team; do I think he'll be gone for long? I love every episode of this show where the guys end up messing around on the football field, and this one was no exception; it's sweet to see Riggins trying to help Lyla's ex-con, but it's even sweeter to see the guys playing ball like the kids they are. Jason, meanwhile, is doing some serious growing up, turning 19 and moving beyond the football career he wishes he had. Watching football highlights at his party was just painful. I'm a little surprised he's ditching the Panthers altogether, but he does seem committed to changing.

Some other thoughts:
  • Interesting resolution to Coach's skimpy salary: He's now the athletic director. I loved his clenched-teeth "I am going to kill Buddy" after his first encounter with Bobbi Roberts.

  • Raise your hand if you're relieved Matt was making out with not-the-nurse! *raises hand*

  • The "Green is Universal"-mandated lines in this episode were hilarious. "Oh, it's an environmentally friendly bag!"

  • Riggins and his brother playing with Tami's breast pump? Priceless!

  • It's so quaint and wonderful that people solve problems on this show by having dinner.

  • Either there's a major airport a lot closer to Dillon than I realized, or the jumbo jet in the last scene is about to crash.

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