Serial Watcher: Friday Night Lights – Episode 1-19

Friday Night Lights returned this week, for one episode, after a few weeks off. I’m happy to report that the time off didn’t take anything away from the show and it was again clicking on all cylinders.

Jason is back in Dillon, after being cut from the Olympic team. This news crushed him, as he bet everything he had on making the team. Sure, he’s engaged to Lyla, but it’s not something that he truly wants. He got engaged because it was the only link left to his past, and to piss off Buddy, but that’s it. There’s no real reason to be engaged and he tells her that.

Speaking of Lyla, she’s slowly but surely losing it. As if getting drunk in Austin and going all “I am woman, hear me roar” on his ass, this week her freefall continued. I realized that she’s hurt after learning her dad did a bit more than just have a one time thing with Tyra’s mom, but she didn’t even listen to Jason. He did not have an affair he hitched a ride with a girl. Yes, that girl also gave him a tattoo, but last time I checked this doesn’t constitute cheating. Jason tried to reason with her but she wouldn’t listen and did the mistake of asking him the engagement question without knowing how he’s gonna answer it, and then she went completely bonkers. She later found a creative way to channel that anger, as she trashed all the cars in her father’s lot. As screwed up as it was, it was a great scene and a beautiful visual, seeing her crash car after car. Good for you Lyla.

Tim Riggins continues to play “big brother” to Beau, the neighbor boy. I guess after having such a loser dad, he sympathizes with that kid who has no father figure in his life. He’s even beginning to get it on with the mom. Of course she rejects his first attempt but later she seems open to it. Riggins has always been one of the more complex characters this show and this storyline is very intriguing. It’s obvious that this will have a bad ending, but the road there will be good.

Tammy continues to make Tyra her own pet project but she runs into an unexpected obstacle Tyra’s own mother. She tries to sabotage all of Tyra’s efforts. Not only that, but she actively discourages her and tells her she can’t amount to anything. It seems like she’s jealous of Tyra and doesn’t want to be passed by her daughter; to have her daughter make her seem like more of a loser than she already feels. But after Tyra finally confronts her, she breaks and hopefully Tyra will be able to break the Collette mold.

Then we have the Taylors’s move. In an earlier column I wrote that they won’t go through with move, and this week cemented that. Eric and Tammy started planning for it, but Julie won’t let that happen. In a way, she has the childhood of an army kid, constantly moving from town to town. At the end Eric managed to see her point and postponed answering he offer, but it’s safe to say the answer he’ll finally give will be negative.

The best scene this week was on the empty football field. Jason, Tim, Smash and Matt have a young male bonding experience. They all share their problems, issues, worries. A lot of tension was released there and it was also a breakthrough for Jason. It looked like he finally accepted the fact that he’s in the chair and not standing up. Once he realized that, he had no problem coaching Matt and guiding him. In a way, he was mentoring Matt. It He knew he’ll never be able to play QB for the Panthers ever again, so his best shot at a legacy is by doing his best to give the Panthers a season to remember, and if it means coaching his own replacement so be it. It was a growing experience for all four of them and a wonderfully written, directed and acted scene.

Friday Night Lights is back on vacation after this week’s episode. I don’t know when then next episode will air, but I’m guessing it will be towards the later part of April or even in May, during the sweeps. I’m glad they gave us this episode though, as a way to remind us what a great show this is and that the wait is worthwhile.

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