"Friday Night Lights" spoilers coming up just as soon as I figure out what to name my Jewish speed metal band...
Ah, so good to have it back, and especially on a night when I was feeling down about the end of "The O.C." Sure, "FNL" isn't likely to make it to next season, but on a night when I was mourning one intelligent teen drama, it was nice to have another to turn to.
First things first: I'm going to figure out a way to work "I'm crippled, and I want to listen to Nirvana!" -- or other variants, like, "I'm crippled, and I want to eat some fro-yo!" or "I'm crippled, and I want to watch Rocky III!" -- into everyday conversation. "This place is not well-built!" has joined "Is that something you might be interested in?" in my conversational dustbin, and this seems a good replacement.
Liked the montage of Street getting ready in the morning; it reminded me of a similar bit on "Ed" where we saw Eli get dressed. (Though, of course, Chill Mitchell is really paralyzed, where Scott Porter could go run track tomorrow if he wanted.) I have to assume that the "dirty, dirty, dirty quad porn" video was the reason for the vague parental advisory at the start of the episode, and I'm happy the show is dealing more with the realities of Jason's situation, even if the discussion is yet another "Murderball" lift. (The actor who plays Herc is a little too hammy, but his comment about Street's unit looking out for him by going limp was almost as funny as the Nirvana line.)
Riggins and Landry as new BFFs felt more TV-ish than the show usually gets, the sort of thing done not because it feels organic but because two underused characters need something to do. (Speaking of which, what the hell was that preview with Tyra for next week? Until I freeze-framed it, I thought that her abusive dad was Coach Taylor and the woman being abused was Tami. Very weird.) Still, both Crucifictorius and the stigmata-themed band names were hilarious, and I like Landry, so I'll deal.
(Another Riggins question: did I hear Tami right that he's taking the same class as Julie? Isn't Rigg a senior like Street, and Julie a sophomore, maybe a junior at most? Not that it's going to be an issue unless last night's ratings were a huge leap up, but I wonder how the show would have dealt with Tim, Jason and Lyla leaving school after the first season.)
How in the world is the show going to contrive to keep Coach from taking the U of Texas QB coach job? Better pay, bigger stage, not all of the pressure is on him, etc. On the other hand, since Mack Brown has already played a Dillon booster back in the pilot, will they have to cast someone else to play him? Or will he slip in some line about having an identical cousin who lives in Dillon?
The meat of the episode was obviously the non-triumphant return of Pa Saracen. Even with the long shot the director used on Tim hugging his dad, you could see the relief overwhelming him, the mistaken belief that his father was going to save him from this hell he had been living in. Turns out daddy just made things worse. His family is absolutely falling apart, his son is being asked to do things no 16 year old should have to if he has a father in the picture, and he doesn't want to come home? No. I'm sorry. No. I understand believing in a cause and the idea of finishing a job you started, but these are extraordinary circumstances.
So, does Taylor take in Matt? And, if so, is that the contrivance that keeps him from making the leap to college?