Monday, June 7, 2010

"Friday Night Lights" recap: "The Son"

Just a few thoughts on this week's episode of "Friday Night Lights" after the break. Don't click through if you don't want to know.
This week's "Friday Night Lights" recap will be short, as it's late and, frankly, I don't feel there's much I can add to what was absolutely one of the best episodes of television to air in the past year. "The Son" was a searing, honest examination of the grief one feels upon losing someone -- even someone he has complicated feelings about. The death of Matt's father sends him into a tailspin, even though the father and son weren't close. In a way, their somewhat strained relationship makes the loss harder, as Matt can't properly process his pain. What exactly are you supposed to feel when the father who basically abandoned you dies? Matt's feelings are a combination of shock, sadness and guilt. After all, as he tells the Taylors, this the man who was basically the receptacle for all of Matt's hate over the years. And when that receptacle is gone, where does the hate go?
His grief was made no easier by seeing his father's mangled body in the casket. By the way, that scene made me nothing short of furious about the way the Emmys ignore "Friday Night Lights." Zach Gilford's horrified, shell-shocked expression upon seeing what was left of Matt's dad was one of the finest pieces of TV acting of seen all year. Denying him a nod seems nothing short of criminal.
Anyway, here are a few more thoughts on "The Son":
* Once again, we see the Taylors step up to be a surrogate family for Matt. Tami makes sure he doesn't get ripped off by the funeral director. Julie holds his hand during the wake. All the Taylors are completely understanding and kind when Matt melts down at their dinner table. But, even though we didn't see it, I'm imagining that it was his walk home with Coach that finally helped Matt pull it together enough to deliver that eulogy.
* Leave it to the McCoys to not know when they're not wanted, showing up at the wake with the Booster basket. Matt's reaction -- simply exclaiming "Are you serious?" and slamming the door -- was perfect.
* Elsewhere in Dillon, Tim continues to get in over his head with Becky. Despite his desire to keep her at bay romantically, Tim knows that she needs a friend. So, he lets her get a little closer than he should. And yes, he does push her away when she kisses him, but lets it go on a little longer than he probably should.
* Vince and Luke are finally getting along better on the field. However, Vince's money troubles have led him to take up car theft -- even when his star as a football player is rising. On the up side, Vince is able to re-purpose the car thief's lesson into an inspirational (well, serviceable) statement at the pancake breakfast.
* By the way, why do they call it a "breakfast" when it's at 1 p.m.? I totally agree with Vince on that one.
* Sometimes the dialogue on this show is broad, cliched and over the top. And sometimes,  they give us gems like "J.D. McDick." Awesome.

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