Serial Watcher: Friday Night Lights – Episode 1-21

With just one episode to go, Friday Night Lights is delivering the goods big time. Yes, I write that every week and I may come off like a mark for the show, but that’s because I am – FNL is just that damn good.

Troubles are brewing in the Taylor household, as Eric commits to the Austin Job after he told Tammy he won’t do it. To tell the truth, I can’t blame him. He had his back to the wall and had to make a decision one way or another. Seeing how Tammy was very supportive at first (Until Julie’s objection) and that Julie can be persuaded to come around, I don’t fault him for saying yes.

But I also can’t fault Tammy for not wanting to leave Dillon. Not only is Julie still firmly against the move, Tammy finally feels like she’s doing something important and meaningful. She’s getting to the kids and making some progress. Especially now, that’s she’s working so close to Tyra and helping her cope with the assault, she knows that she won’t just be leaving her and the others behind, she’ll be abandoning them. Her idea, to stay behind with Julie may be sensible, but it can’t lead to anything good. My guess is that next week Eric changes his mind and stays in Dillon with his wife and daughter. I’m surprised, though, that the Austin job is still a secret, especially after Julie told Matt they’re moving.

Speaking of Tyra, she’s showing the classic symptoms of being assaulted. She feels ashamed (even though she has no reason to), she keeps to herself and alienates her friends. Landry shows he actually cares for her when despite her direct request not to tell anyone, he talks to Tammy and she then takes her to the police and tries to start her healing process. It takes Tyra time but she finally appreciates Landry and her actions. She turns him away first and he think she’s hooking up with Tim again, but at the end she sets the record straight. Landry had a good moment this week, as he told Matt he’s not just the comic relief or his sidekick. It came in a perfect timing, just after I was thinking that Landry started as a comic relief and grew as the season progressed and then he went and made that statement.

I mentioned Tim earlier. While he tries to do the right thing with Jackie and Bo, she makes it hard on him, as she wants to end their relationship in order to not hurt Bo. At first Tim agrees, but he finds it hard to stay away from the kid and Bo doesn’t want to leave him alone. Even though he promises Jackie to stay away, he can’t. There’s hope for Tim after all.

Over at the Garrities things are braking apart. The parents are getting a divorce and Lyla isn’t taking it well. But that’s not her only problem she catches Jason and Susie hanging out in town. Again, nothing happened between them (yet) but Lyla’s already on the edge and she just can’t take it any more and wails on them. If I’m Susie I’d stay away from Lyla, as she met her twice and both times she was ready for combat.

Jason, on the other hand he seems to be doing well. He accepted Coach Taylor’s offer and he’s now officially an assistant coach, with Matt as his personal project. I also think that Julie will be better for him than Lyla, because she symbolizes the new phase in his life. I think he’ll try to be there for Lyla, as a friend, but not a boyfriend.

All of this week’s events take place as the Panthers prepare for the state finals. There’s a special team roast (As in comedy roast, not BBQ) and everyonw has issues going in. Tyra is coping with her problems (Together with Tim and Landry), Smash is still feeling like Waverly is pushing him away, Tim has no tact and the Taylors try to keep a straight face and not give anything away. Surprisingly, the evening goes smooth and without any problems. Smash even manages to get closer to Waverly, even though she wasn’t there and basically gave him carte-blanche to fool around.

Next week? It’s the finals. If you thought things were intense at the mud bowl, think again. I have full confidence that next week’s episode will as dramatic and engaging as anything we’ve seen so far, and more.

The first season of Friday Night Lights blew away really quickly. Without noticing we’re faced with the season finale next week. I’m baffled that NBC hasn’t announced yet that FNL is picked up for a second season. Rumors say that the show is safe since the network execs love it, as well as the critics. This week the show won the very prestigious Peabody Award which honors excellence in broadcasting. If that doesn’t send a message to NBC to go ahead and make it official, I don’t know what will. Please NBC, please pick it up for a second season so I’ll be able to sleep quietly. It’s the best new show of the 2006-7 season and one of the best shows on TV today, period.

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