Friday, June 11, 2010

"Friday Night Lights" recap: A whole pile of bull

Spoilers for this week's episode of "Friday Night Lights" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

This week's episode featured a lot of bull. Julie fed a line of bull to her parents about not going to Austin. Then she fed a line of bull to Matt about having her parents' permission. Then Matt fed a line of bull to Julie about not wanting to leave Dillon. Landry, as usual, got in trouble for refusing to feed a line of bull to Jess...then to Tami...then to Landry.
And Lyla -- well, the girl actually rode a  mechanical bull!
Corny jokes aside, this week's episode was all about making hard decisions about staying and going. Lyla is sure she doesn't want to stay in Dillon. Then she sees Tim again and, though we never really doubt she's going to go back to Vanderbilt, it seems like maybe she would stay, if Tim gave her a reason to. Tim tries, but he knows he doesn't have much to offer her. Instead, he tries to make the most of the limited time they have together (during which Buddy seems oddly unconcerned that his little princess is spending her entire break with that no-count Riggins. Hmm.  He must be REALLY into his new role as a Lions booster).
Meanwhile, Tami has to decide whether she's going to chase Julie to Austin, once she realizes her daughter has lied to her. After a heart-broken, tear-filled night, she ultimately decides to wait for Julie to come home. But her daughter's rebellion has once again reminded her that her little girl isn't long for the nest. Though this is hardly news, it's never easy for a parent to let go -- particularly one as involved as Tami.
Anyone, Julie has her own heart-break to deal with. After angrily telling Matt that she doesn't want to be responsible for him staying in Dillon, she panics, begging him to stay. But Matt eventually decides he needs to move on. The death gratuity has left Grandma on solid ground financially, and she has Shelby to watch over her. Plus, Matt realizes how miserable he's making not just Julie, but poor Landry, who can't figure out the right thing to say to his best buddy.
So Matt goes. Lyla goes. Tami stays. Julie stays. Oh, and in the middle of all this, the Lions play a football game and almost beat a tough opponent. Um, yay?
Here are some more thoughts on "Stay":
* The best comedic moment of the episode goes to baby Gracie, who, upon hearing Tami leaving angry messages for Julie exclaims "Uh-oh!" Bonus: after Tami tells Gracie that she is now her favorite daughter, the baby offers a broad smile. Heh.
* The football stuff played a back seat to all the Matt-Julie-Tami-Tim-Lyla drama, but it offered plenty of great moments. Stan was second only to Grace in comedic gold this episode, first guaranteeing a victory to the TV reporters, then clamming up after what we can assume was a massive chewing out by Coach Taylor (we never see it but come on -- you KNOW Coach was pissed!). But this was also the episode where we saw that Stan has some real value. He takes no guff from J.D. when the rich punk tries to hassle Luke and Vince as they watch game film on the Sears TV. This earns him the respect of both his star players. Good for Stan.
* Another funny moment from the TV-interview segment -- Tinker's unrestrained laughter when he's asked if the Lions can win.
* The episode had plenty of drama on the football side as well. When Vince's mom gently insists that she has to see him play, it seems like it could turn into cliched melodrama. But, refreshingly, mom is true to her word. She cleans up and cheers on her boy like any other mom. Very nice.
* OK -- Matt and Landry have been friends since they were BOTH 5 years old? They're supposed to be the same age? So, what -- did Landry (clearly the more scholarly of the two boys) get left back a grade? This makes no sense. This show is so frustrating when it comes to kids' ages!
* Poor Landry. He can NOT say the right thing. First, he gets smacked by Jess after revealing the (admittedly tactless) truth about his lingering feelings for Tyra. Then he lets Matt and Julie's location slip to Tami. Then he tells Matt that Tami didn't know about Austin. Oh, Lance. Just keep that weird mouth of yours shut from now on, OK?
* Last thought: Lyla riding, then falling off of, a mechanical bull, was simply inspired. And hilarious.


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