Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Friday Night Lights, "Injury List": No good deed goes unpunished

A review of tonight's "Friday Night Lights" (which, for a few more weeks, debuts Wednesdays at 9 on DirecTV's 101 Network) coming up just as soon as I walk into some hit-or-miss cooking...
"You're not a loser. And you're not nothing. You're kind, and you're good, and you're strong." -Becky
The end of these 13-episode seasons can really sneak up on you. It wasn't until after I had watched and written about last week's "I Can't" that it occurred to me that we only had three episodes left to go. But with the East vs. West Dillon game coming up, and all the big, unsettling developments of "Injury List," it's impossible to not realize that the end of the season is barreling towards all our characters like a freight train.

Throughout "Injury List," we see characters suffering the consequences of their own selflessness. Tami's career is in jeopardy because she chose to be a sympathetic ear to Becky about her pregnancy, even though she's absolutely right that she never once told Becky to get an abortion (or what to do at all). Luke kept his hip injury secret for the sake of the team and allowed it to get worse as a result, ending his season prematurely (and drastically reducing the Lions' chances of a morale-boosting upset over the Panthers). Vince, having gotten back into business with Calvin and Kennard to pay for his mother's rehab, has to witness Calvin's murder in the course of a debt-collection run gone awry. And Riggins, who has been a good friend and mentor to Becky while resisting any temptation to give in to her obvious feelings for him, and who has also been a good and helpful tenant to Cheryl, winds up tossed out by a jealous Cheryl when she misinterprets an innocent viewing of "Thelma & Louise" in her bedroom.

With all the bad things happening to the team, and to his family, is it any wonder that Eric (who doesn't even know the extent of how bad things have gotten for everyone) wants to linger at the bar with Buddy, drowning his sorrows in beer rather than going home to find out what terrible development has happened next?

Let's start with Tami's story. Again, we're not going to discuss any of our own feelings about abortion (which goes against my commenting rules), but after the relative even-handedness of the last couple of episodes, it felt like "Injury List" jumped too far over to one side, demonizing the other in the process. I'm not saying the show can't have a point of view, but some of the characters opposing Tami are coming across as straw men - less so Luke's mom (who is being written as someone who isn't thinking clearly because of her personal stake in the matter) than the woman on the school board who, despite not having been there for Tami's conversations with Becky, indignantly asks, "Are you calling me a liar?" Yes, people on both sides of this debate can become irrational about it, and in a small town like Dillon it almost doesn't matter what actually happened versus the perception of what happened, but it feels like the deck is being stacked too much, both against Tami and in favor of the writers' viewpoint on the issue.

But then, nobody's head is entirely clear in this one. Luke won't see that he's putting both himself and the team at risk by not telling anyone about his condition. Vince doesn't want to accept that a sober version of his mother wouldn't want him doing this for her. Cheryl's so blinded by jealousy of the daughter she already resents that she lumps Tim in with every other jerk she's ever met.

Even Matt Saracen, who resurfaces in Chicago(*) after his abrupt departure at the end of "Stay" - a selfish but understandable extreme response to his selfless decision to stay in Dillon at the end of season three - can't quite accept (or simply doesn't want to accept) Julie's anger towards him, even though he could have easily left town and stayed in touch with her if his head had been on straighter.

(*) I was very glad to see that "Stay" was not, in fact, Zach Gilford's last appearance on the show. The character was too important for such a vague exit. Even though things with Matt and Julie don't seem to be ending happily, at least we see what he's up to, and that other parts of his life are finally starting to work out for him. I can take a bittersweet ending for a beloved character, so long as it's a real ending, and not just Matt driving off into an uncertain sunset.

Calvin's death(**) isn't entirely Vince's fault - though Kennard does have the two friends swap jobs after Vince is so reluctant to hit the guy with a crowbar earlier in the episode - but it sucks him in deeper to the criminal world he's been trying to escape all season. (And it also brings the show deeper into territory it's been skittish about since the start of season two. See the first bullet-pointed thought below for more on that.)

(**) So much for my prediction at the start of the season that we'd eventually see him put his attitude aside and ask Coach if he could rejoin the team.

It also dramatically raises the stakes and shifts the balance of the Jess/Vince/Landry triangle. It's clear that Jess really does like Landry, a lot, but it's just as clear that her connection to Vince - and to his mother (she winds up comforting both as they weep in this episode) - runs much deeper than any simple high school romance, and Jurnee Smollett was great at showing both Jess the carefree teenager having fun with her boyfriend and Jess the wise-beyond-her-years kid who has helped people around her shoulder tragedies.

Though Tim's circle of tragedy isn't quite as rough as what we've seen Vince go through this year (or what we saw Saracen go through this year and in years past), Riggins is a character defined by his bad luck - and by his optimism in the face of that. So I suspected things would not end well between Tim and Cheryl almost from the moment she complimented him on being such a good friend to the family. But I believed, based on what we've seen of this trio, that she would react this way to finding her daughter in her bed with Tim (even if they were fully clothed, eating popcorn, watching Geena Davis, etc.), and that Tim (who had a similar false assumptions encounter with Coach and Julie in season two) would swallow it and move on. But at least he has the ranch, and Becky (more mature than her mom) was able to reassure him that he's a better man than people want to think of him.

Compared to these other issues, Coach getting another loss on the record - and staring down the hated Panthers as his next opponent - could seem like an afterthought. But the show has spent the past two years building up the McCoys (and Wade Aikman) as villains, and "Friday Night Lights" has taught us over and over that if football success can't heal the other problems in a community, it can at least make them more palatable. If the season ends with the Lions beating the Panthers (and knocking them out of the playoffs in the process), it won't bring Calvin back to life, cure Regina's addiction or heal Tami's relationship with the anti-abortion parts of the community, but it could at least provide hope at a time when so many of the characters seem to be without it.

Some other thoughts on "Injury List":

• Jess's awkward dinner with Landry's parents ("So what do you think of Obama so far, Jess?") was funny. But I couldn't stop thinking about an e-mail a reader named Jodi Ross sent me last week about this storyline, which pointed out that Jess is caught between two boys, one of them known as a troublemaker even though he was never involved in anything especially serious before this week, one of them with a reputation as an innocent goofball even though he committed a murder and covered it up. "Most of Landry's luck with Jess is due to his privilege, which allows him to be the easy-going fun guy who gets to bury his past," Jodi wrote, "where Vince is struggling upstream with no cover." Now, I don't think this is what the writers are intending with this story. I think they'd like to pretend that the murder storyline never happened, and they'd like us to play along with that, and to be honest, I've mostly blocked that memory out, except when I crack jokes about Landry killing people who displease him. But when you look at the storyline in that light, it's hard to not start reading unintended sociological commentary into it, and that's yet another problem with them having gone to that stupid well at the start of season two. It's a bell that can't be un-rung, and a change in the character that can't - or shouldn't - be ignored, much as we'd all like to.

• I was rewatching part of the season four premiere earlier this week, and Calvin does, in fact, refer to himself by name in his introductory scene, when Coach is telling him to take the gold chain off during weigh-in. It just went by so fast (and was mumbled enough) that it just became easier to apply the Angry Necklace Guy nickname until I heard it again more explicitly. RIP, ANG.

• Because "Friday Night Lights" usually takes the faith of its characters very seriously, it can get away with a joke like Luke's mom ordering him to say his prayers and Luke whispering, "Dear Lord, please let me get some more drugs before Friday." (And even in that context, it's Luke praying for something to help his teammates.)

• Getting back to Julie, how well do you think Tami and Eric are going to react to her proposal to join Habitat for Humanity full-time - postponing her college plans in the process?

• Interesting that Becky so easily saw through Tim's lies about where he got the money to buy the ranch, despite being lovestruck as usual for #33.

What did everybody else think?


mj said...

Coach messed up big in this one. He couldn't tell Luke was hurt at practice and in the game? I suspect he was much more distracted about the upcoming Panthers game than he was letting on. He drove to the Panthers stadium. He wanted to talk to Buddy longer, presumably about next week's game.
Buddy's decision to go 48 hours without his Panthers ring had me howling.

Michael said...

Out of curiosity, Alan, how far in advance do you typically see shows? I'm just wondering because you get these huge epic posts up so quickly after the show airs. I guess it varies by show, right? What shows do you get screeners for, and what do you watch and write about in real-time?

Anonymous said...

Torn about this ep for a lot of reasons. Because of the faith I have in the FNL team, I feel like I should let the abortion story play out before I comment. The Calvin thing, while awful, seems contrived to me, but then again, so does small town Dillon suddenly becoming big enough to have a crime problem on this scale in the first place. But my real issue with this ep was (and I want to make sure I don't cross a spoiler rule line here so please delete me if I do), how they handled Saracens departure. From the beginning of this show they've made clear people will leave Dillon, & every character that did leave had their departure in a way that gave fans closure (another reason I love this show). This one seemed forced & unreal. At gunpoint I could see a scenario where Matt didn't call Julie for ages because it was hard & he was going through so much already. And I recognize I may be being an unreasonable fan here, but for all of the other characters to get their "going away" spotlight & for Saracen, the person on this show who's suffered so much & who we've all wept for so often to get this? The guy who always did the right & still the shaft gets this ending? I don't expect life to be wrapped up in tidy bows, but for this character, who we've wept for so often, to get this ending? I think fans, & Seven, deserved better. Life ain't always a tidy package, & I don't mean we needed that, but this ending felt like the soap who killed off a character buy having her go upstairs & never coming down again.

Mandy said...

Luke's prayer was very funny. I am starting to love him like I loved Matt.

Karen said...

Looks like they might be removing Becky from regular appearances in the show (her telling Riggins she wouldn't be seeing him much anymore), which would seem to me to be by way of them trying to have their cake (touch on a third-rail subject like abortion) and eat it too (remove the character who had the abortion so they don't have to worry about her losing part of the audience's sympathy). Will be interesting to see how it goes.

Unknown said...

Usually I let this show get buy with the occasional slips in character and logic because of the overall quality of the show but this week's a little harder.

I'm having a hard time getting passed the "straw man" situation Alan spoke about - yes, the reaction of Luke's mom and the school board is realistic BUT because of what we've been shown we have to assume Luke's mom is intentionally lying. If this is the story line they want to pursue, fine, but it would make more sense from a character standpoint to have had Becky insinuate - or even flat out say- Tammy advised her to do that. Yes it would still be a lie but an understandable one from a confused scared 17 year old talking to the mother of the boy that got her pregnant. Yea I know these writers take shortcuts all the time but this one's a big one.

Also quickly - having just bought a house I know very well you have to account for every penny you use to buy property. Every realtor knows that and if a 20 year old kid comes in her office with what I guess is 65k she should tell him that.

Ian said...

Regarding the straw man situation, we don't know what Becky told Luke's mother. It may well be that Becky decided to deflect blame by telling Luke's mom that Tami steered her towards the abortion.

mj said...

Bryan said: "...we have to assume Luke's Mom is intentionally lying".
Interesting, that assumption didn't occur to me. Ian's take is that Becky steered the mother down that path. I can see a scenario where Becky describes the options that Tami laid out and Luke's mom fixates on the abortion option and concludes (falsely but not maliciously) in her own mind that Tami advised Becky towards abortion. The beautiful thing is that the writers made us think about that conversation between the mother and Becky, while brilliantly choosing not to actually show the conversation.
I also did not see the Board member's "are you calling me a liar" statement to be unrealistic. I viewed it as a calculated emotional tactic to try to make Tami snap and look bad in front of the Board. I have seen this very tactic at Board of Education meetings. Luckily, the Board member didn't properly understand who she was up against - Tami handled the aggression very professionally.

Alan Sepinwall said...

My take on Becky's conversation with Luke's mom, based on how she described it to Luke, is that things were perfectly cordial, and she didn't feel like she was being judged - and, therefore, that she wouldn't have played up Tami's influence to duck blame.

Now, it's entirely possible that Becky listened to what Tami said and interpreted that as advising her to get an abortion, and it's even more possible that Luke's mom (who both has strong feelings about the issue and a personal stake) could watch a videotape of the Tami/Becky conversation and come out of it believing that Tami told her to get an abortion. But I don't believe Becky lied about her perception of events, nor do I think Mrs. Cafferty knows in her heart that Tami isn't to blame here. Her passions are running too hot, and as we know from the writing and acting of the earlier scene, there was an awful lot of nuance in what went down.

Anonymous said...

"The Calvin thing, while awful, seems contrived to me, but then again, so does small town Dillon suddenly becoming big enough to have a crime problem on this scale in the first place."

Odessa, Texas (the setting for the Friday Night Lights book and movie and thereby probably the inspiration for Dillon) at one point had the highest per capita murder rate in the United States, so this doesn't bother me too much.

HMM2 said...


Please delete if this is getting too close to a political discussion.

I think any suggestion of abortion from a person in authority--even simply including it as a moral equivalent alternative to the adoption and other options--without condemnation was a problem for Luke's mother and the board member. To them, it was the same as discussing what to do if you hadn't studied for a test, and a principal suggests killing the teacher who's going to give the test as a viable alternative along with requesting more time or asking for a make-up test. I don't think anyone had to alter the facts of Tami's discussion. Once you have the position that abortion (or at least this abortion) is murder, any inclusion, even if neutral, would have seemed wrong.

I know what the state of the law and Tami's legal obligations are. But for that mother and the board member, we should compare how people feel about Kazan naming names to the HUAC: it was legal and required by legal authorities, but most people feel he shouldn't have done it.

In other words, I had no problem with the reactions or with how the positions could've arisen without any slant by Becky or Luke's mother.

Anonymous said...

Aren't we forgetting that it was Becky's mom that pretty much forced her to go along with getting the abortion? I guess it's plausible that blame could be deflected to Tami as Becky tries to protect her mom but that seems like a huge fact that's missing.

Q Ball said...

That Lions defense appears to be The Steel Curtain reincarnated. Too bad we never get to see them...

PY said...

RIP, ANG. We hardly knew ye.

Can the writers really have the Lions beat the Panthers now, with Luke out and with Vince likely to be so distracted/distraught? It feels like it would be such a stretch at this point that it will feel contrived to me at this point, no matter how they make it happen (JD McCoy ACL tear, followed by Vince 90 yard run and "necklace" tribute in endzone to ANG, and then last second 50 yard FG by Landry?).

And I don't know if you're giving Luke too much credit here for being "selfless". Was he playing for the team, or was he playing so as to not jeopardize his scholarship chances? Given his desperation at the beginning of the season to use football as his means out of his life on the farm, it doesn't seem entirely selfless and team-oriented to me, at all (though I do feel for the guy -- he seems to be the new Saracen in terms of getting piled on with tribulation after tribulation ... first getting kicked off the Panthers, then the initial injury, then the pregnancy/abortion after what seemed to be his one happy moment this season with meeting Becky, then the season ending injury).

It did make me very happy to see Matt back (I gave let out a big "Matt Saracen!" when he came on). It was always my assumption he'd be back for some kind of closure, given the abrupt drive out of town, and I'm wondering how it will turn out. I haven't seen any previews, but what are the odds that Matt shows up on Julie's doorstep before the season ends? And is there any chance she follows him to Chicago eventually?

PY said...

Also, I agree with the commenter above who said that, though it was purportedly about Mrs. Coach suggesting an abortion to Becky, the subtext of the backlash was that the board member and Luke's mom felt it shouldn't have been offered up at all ... similar, *in their view* (to stay non-political) to giving an option to get a hitman to take care of a problem relationship. To them, rightly or wrongly, it shouldn't have been an option at all ... they just can't really say that. Given that, I think the storyline with the school board is not necessarily judgement or a viewpoint on the writers' part, as Alan said, but seems more like a plausible outcome in a Bible Belt town that is a logical/possible implication that can be explored by the writers for the sake of the story itself.

And, Alan, on an entirely un-FNL-related note, why was this such a big week for re-runs for ongoing non-midseason replacement shows, particularly sitcoms? HIMYM, ABC Wed night, NBC Thurs night were all re-runs. Is there anything in the calendar that made it that way? Seems strange, given that most just came back from holiday breaks. Sorry to ask that here, but don't know what the appropriate venue would be (no blog posts for those shows ... because they were re-runs).

Anonymous said...

I have to say I hate it when the writers ignore history -- it's not like we did not *see* the seasons when Julie and Matt weren't together -- they were not together for 4 years! They were together about 2. But I was delighted to see Matty again, even if in a weird and awkward and uncharacteristic way.

Also, re: Anonymous 8:54 -- I *never* read Becky's mother's actions as forcing her daughter to get an abortion, and I think that is a misreading of what occurred. Becky knew she did not want a child, informed her parent of her pregnancy and her interest in not being a mother at 16, considered what she would lose by not having one, and then decided to go with her initial instinct.

HMM2 said...

This season can't have the Lions beat the Panthers: It would be unrealistic and isn't needed. If the Lions were to survive the season and to hold their own against the Panthers would be sufficient. The big finale for next year, especially if it were to be the last season, would be the Lions defeating the Panthers and Coach Taylor completing this particular journey.

Dudleys Mom said...

First of all, I really liked this episode. However, seeing Matt again was a little jarring and I don't think I would have minded a more vague ending for that character. It felt sort of like Matt didn't belong in Dillon anymore, and he had to reinvent himself. And he had realized that Julie was a part of his adolescence, and he needed to be a grownup now. (Her reaction to his phone call particularly seemed very "teenager", although Matt was particularly dense. Julie could be mature at times, but mostly she was a young 17-year-old.)

As far as the abortion storyline, I think the writers are feeling freed by the Direct TV/NBC deal. They don't really have to worry about a letter-writing campaign or advertisers up in arms about the controversy. And I'm liking the way that they are showing how people get totally irrational about this subject.

You did not comment about Tami sitting on the stoop waiting for Coach, and I so trust your opinion that I wondered I read it wrong. To me it looked like a crack in the Taylor relationship: she's going to be vilified in the press, and hubby was drinking in a bar instead of coming home to support her. Maybe that innocent kiss a few eps back will be revisited (someone witnessed her exhibiting "loose morals" and it will cause more problems with the school board). It's not that I'm hoping for marital strife with this pair, but I think Tami's role in this tragedy is going to end up with some serious ramifications, both personal and professional. I'm not finding the writers to be favoring one side too much as you do, but maybe I'm betraying my own politics.

One major critique I had about this episode is that it feels like all the stories are so tenuously connected--it feels like several shows in one lately. I wish there was more of a connection between these characters other than the theme of the week. Some of that might come from casting requirements, if a series regular is only committed to a certain number of eps—but when they disappear and reappear suddenly, it feels like we're in a new show. In Riggins' case, although I'm interested in the character, I feel like his character arc is going to be like Matt's now, and just go off totally in its own direction. I kind of wish the show had had the courage to recast the younger actors every season and just tell new stories, but I can understand the fear of alienating old viewers. It's always that way with teen shows: you fall in love with the characters and find it harder and harder to suspend disbelief as the needs of being a profitable TV show outweigh the goal of telling a great story. FNL can still make me cry, but I'm not as swept up lately and I don't ever lose the sense that, yes, this is a TV show. A great one, but not that show of season 1 that made you weep and forget you weren't watching real people's lives on your TV.

Kathie said...

I think Luke's mother just needs someone to blame for the loss of her grandchild. When Becky told her what happened she zeroed on to Tammi as the fall guy and may not even realize she is intentionally lying about the situation.

I agree that Luke didnt' cover up his injury for the good of the team, that may have been part of it, but he wants to get out of Dillon.......and a football scholarship seems to be his only way out. His parents don't seem to have the financial means to send him to school and would rather have him work on the ranch. Thought he was going to get robbed when he went to the park with his wad of cash.

Loved seeing Matt again even in a small part, he does need a better send off......

Alan Sepinwall said...

You guys do have a point about Luke, though I think it's both selfish and selfless, in that the Luke we met is a kid who desperately wants to get out of town, but who also is fixated on not letting down the people around him. Coach gave him a big guilt trip about missing school to fix the fence, and the implied message was, "I'm sorry you have problems in your personal life, but don't let it get in the way of your service to the team."

In terms of Tami alone on the stoop, keep in mind that Eric didn't know about the reporter's phone call, and the last he'd heard about the situation, the problem went away once the school board voted to keep her. I'm not saying there can't/won't be cracks in the Taylor marriage, but Eric lingering at the bar was mainly about his concern about how the Lions' season was swirling around the toilet again.

Billiam said...

After these last two episodes, I finally have gotten to the point where I care about Becky, Luke, and Vince as much as the old guard. Jess needs a storyline of her own, but is certainly an enjoyable character.

Rebecca Jill said...

One thing that I can’t let go of is the fact that it was Becky’s mom that wanted her to get the abortion and the one that drove her to get the abortion. Tammy only told Becky her options.

What is it that Becky said to Luke’s mom? And what is it about scenes with Becky and Luke or Luke’s family that we don’t get to see? We only learn about the fallout, so we never get to see what actually was said or what actually happened.

I don’t see why they have to give all of this abuse to Tammy, unless Becky said the wrong thing, or Luke’s mom completely misinterpreted what Becky told her. I can see maybe that Becky only mentioned Tammy and didn’t mention her mom to protect her in some way, since she’s her mom. But still! This is one storyline that doesn’t make sense, and only seems like it can be corrected by Becky or Becky’s mom setting the record straight on Tammy’s behalf.

This just seems like the most contrived and ridiculous plot point/storyline on FNL I’ve seen, since season 2.

There were other parts of the episode that are well worth talking about, but this one incensed me so much that I’m having trouble focusing on everything else. Especially when they had Tammy say in her discussion with the board, “Becky’s mom drove her to get the abortion,” and I wish she had repeated it, so it would stick, yet no one is then questioning Becky’s mom to see if Tammy is correct. Ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

@ Rebecca Jill - Both HMM2 and PY above laid out plausible reasons for why Luke's mom behaved like she did. It was not that anyone was lying or misconstrued. It was simply that Tami suggested that abortion was an option at all. As pro-life proponents, Luke's mom and the board member didn't think a school principal should EVER even SUGGEST the abortion option.

HaroldsMaude said...

The excellent writing of the show gave us two conversations between Becky and Tami. In the first, Tami went right for the medical care and adoption choices. It wasn't until the second visit, and Becky's clear statement about not wanting the baby, that led to Tami's offer of literature and talking to her mother.

I'm glad though that they are making this a big deal for Tami - it seems very realistic that as she knew with her first suggestions to Becky, that the choice in that culture would be to keep the baby.

My own take of Eric staying at the bar actually made me wonder if he wanted some distance because a part of him thought that Tami might have suggested abortion to Becky. But i really don't think that's the case. I like the build up of stress explanation offered here. Still, coach and Tami are dealing with a lot and we're not seeing them deal with it together, as usual.

Finally, Matt and Julie. How much time has passed since Matt left? Everything Julie hurled at Matt seemed right on. Considering how close they were why wouldn't he call? They didn't leave on a bad note, Matt just left. But there to us and to Julie Matt's silence seemed odd. I hope it's not the last we see of Matt b/c I like the character and that there the talented writers give us something good for both of these characters.

Michael Hickerson said...

I felt like we missed out on seeing a scene between Becky and Luke's mom talking about what happened and how Becky arrived at the point where she did what she did.

I think if we'd seen Becky and Luke's Mom talk about it and seen just how the conversation unfolded, it might have allowed us to know how Luke's Mom arrived at the decision to take the actions she did. I wonder if Becky might have brought up that she asked Tami about what Tami would say to Julie if Julie were in the same situation. I have a bad feeling that is going to come back before the season is over.

Rebecca Jill said...

I'm so sorry I responded my emotional reaction without reading through the comments, hence it being an emotional reaction. I know I'm not the first to ever do so. And I fully stick by my first emotional reaction which I posted.

Luke's mom and the school board member thinking that it shouldn't even be an option makes the most sense.

perimeterpost said...

I'll add my two cents about the Becky/Tami situation-

When Luke's mom showed up at Becky's door she seemed to be super sneaky to me, like she had an agenda. She was very nice, not upset, and just wanted to 'talk' but she was clearly upset about the termination. By playing the empathetic supporter she manipulated Becky into letting her guard down and speaking freely. Becky may have mentioned speaking to Tami in passing like "Before I told my mom, a friend took me over to Principal Taylor's house and she told me what my options were. I then told my mom I was pregnant and wanted an abortion and my mom agreed to take me."

Luke's mom wants to place blame (because it can't be her baby boy's fault) so she started with Becky (is she a tramp that used my son?), and if not then probably would have went after her mom (bad parent), but when Mrs Coach was casually mentioned it was like JACKPOT! I now have somewhere to place my misguided rage.

I hope that Becky (maybe with the encouragement of #33), steps up and defends Tami. we'll see.

Anonymous said...

FNL writers are masters of illusion. There are a number of story line and events that we never see transpire but are eluded to and developed after the fact. We never *saw* anything happen between Luke & Becky, then several eps later we learn of their one night stand. Same goes for the trip to the abortion clinic...we never actually see Becky enter or exit the clinic, only speak about 'taking care of it' when Luke phones. Likewise, we are left to fill in the blanks of the Becky-Mrs. Cafferty conversation. I still believe there may be a bombshell ep concerning some of the unspoken and unseen details of the Becky storyline.

Stav said...

>>but some of the characters opposing Tami are coming across as straw men<<

Uhn. I am a financial advisor. I had an office in a Professional Building in Brookline, MA where one of the tenants was a Family Planning place (not the same one as where one of your "straw men" murdered a half dozen people in '96). From my very real world point of view, the FNL writers nailed exactly how these people would react...if anything they have muted them too much.

Every morning, lunch time and evening I would face the same kind of aggressive idiots Tami faced, as would my clients. Except of course, none of us had ever expressed any opinion about family planning choices or abortion, we just happened to lease space in the same building as the clinic.

In the real world your "straw men" are not kind, thoughtful or understanding people. They are zealots who are just a little bit meaner and more vindictive than the plausibly attractive and honorable characters that are besieging Tami and Coach Taylor.