Friday Night Lights

Season 3 Episode 5

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 29, 2008 on DirecTV

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
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  • Jason Street returns and Matt is officially replaced.


    I suppose every season is allowed to have a couple of clunkers, even the best of them. It's not necessarily that this episode was bad or anything. It just didn't focus as much on what was working originally. For the first four episodes of the season, with the focus on Smash, we were getting the best of everything. But there's just something lacking in the scenes where we see Jason Street trying to do right by his new kid (who randomly appeared at the end of last season) and having him, the Riggins brothers and Herc invest in buying Buddy Garrity's old house to flip it for a profit.

    If that seems like a lot to wrap your head around, that's because it is. It's a bit out of left field and not nearly as interesting as the other stuff going on. I do like the chemistry the actors have together, and it's nice that Scott Porter will get a send-off like Gaius Charles did. Let's just hope there's more to the arc than this.

    My interest continues to be invested in Panther football. Saracen finally gets benched in favor of J.D McCoy, something we all saw coming. Normally, we'd be thinking "Take it like a man and wait your turn, come back and prove yourself," but Saracen is such a decent guy that it sucks to see him get benched because of pressure from the town and the boosters. It's clearly hurting Coach to do that to Matt, but that's the thing about these characters: they're not afraid to do the uncomfortable thing, even if it differs completely from what other shows would do. Now we get to see how everyone handles it.

    And I'm sort of forced to eat crow this week after I said last week that Julie wasn't getting anything to do. As it turns out, the writers were using this episode as anopportunity. Julie gets a tattoo and infuriates her parents. I don't think anybody does frustration on television right now better than the Taylor family, especially Coach Taylor. It was a nice set of scenes for the characters though.

    Not sure I really care about Tyra and Cash yet. There's potential here, depending on how interesting Cash actually is as a character, and I have a feeling it won't be bad. But right now, I mentally put it on the backburner. As for Matt and his mom, now that's a different story. It's interesting to see an adult that isn't a nurse or his horrible father in the house. Kim Dickens plays the role very straight-forward and very well, and I hope that they don't reveal she's secretly a drug addict or something because it's nice to see Matt catch a break.

  • Great television

    Every Rose Has Its Thorn is a perfect title for this episode as we are exposed to the good and the bad for all these characters. Matt's story stood out the most for me, as he is dealing with the demotion to QB2 having to remember why he was QB1 in the first place, as the honor fell to him through Jason Streets injury. I think of season one and how QB1 was just a pipe dream for Matt and how, for the last 2 years, he's worked harder than ever to meet the needs of his team and an entire community, and he's risen to that challenge with an extraordinary amount of hard work, and now it's all being stripped away from him to sit on the sidelines and watch as some younger quarterback seemingly takes away, all that he's worked so hard to accomplish. I like the parallel between Matt and J.D. most specifically that they come from two totally different socio-economic groups, where on the one hand there's this spoon fed rich kid who's had everything and been given everything necessary to be the type of athlete that he is, and on the other, there's this valley of hard knocks Matt Saracen dealing with every difficulty life could throw at a teenager, and now his mother who he hasn't seen since he was a child and doesn't want to see for it, is trying to integrate herself back into his life. Matt has reason to be angry.

    Tyra's relationships are always her obstacles to fullfilling her potential, and her new boyfriend is helping her do exactly what she wants, ignore responsibility to school and continue on with a whole lot of history repeating itself, just like her mother. Her relationship may be fun and 'new guy' might be good to her, but her thorn is her own disregard for responsibility.

    Jason is trying to get his life back on track by buying Buddy's house and trying to flip it with the help of the Riggins brothers and his friend. When Buddy denied the buy to his realestate agent, I was thinking that they'd all try to get Lyla to sweet talk him into selling it, but getting Jason to do it worked out better than I thought. Twice he played the crippled hometown hero, and twice, it worked. His thorn is that his girlfriend and child are moving away.

    I love that Tim used Buddy's own line twice to get everyone in on the entire house flipping deal......

    "When all the scared rats are leaving a sinking market, that's when a real entrepreneur steps in, a true visionary."


    Great episode with a great football scene at the beginning. I'm really happy FNL is still on the air, one of the few shows with real heart and a story of substance.