Someone in the NBC promo department needs to be taken out and flogged. It’s bad enough to give away elements from the last five minutes of the show, but to give away the entire end to a plotline as they did this week?!? It’s enough to make you want to tear your hair out.
Plus, it creates false expectations for the episode.
I mean, did we really need to know that Jason propsoes to Lyla in the promos? It’s not bad enough Ausiello ruined this twist for us weeks ago in his column. But to see it flashed across the screen all week when I was trying to watch the genius that is The Office.
Man, it just makes me mad.
But I can’t hate Friday Night Lights.
Instead, my love for this show only continues to grow. And this week’s episode was no exception.
As the Panthers prepare for a must win game to go the playoffs, things aren’t going so well off the field. Smash’s steroid use comes to light when his mother finds his stash in his room. She immediately confronts Eric Taylor, who is suddenly between a rock and a hard place. He should report Smash, but if he does so, the team may have to forfeit all their games, thus costing him not only his job here but the potential college job we heard about a few weeks ago. As I’ve said before, the great thing about this show is that as the story unfolds, you’re never certain where it’s going to go. As Smash wonders about his future, we do as well. In the end, Taylor gives Smash another chance if he’ll get off the juice and tells Smash he’s risking his neck. But you know without Smash, Taylor is up the creek.
As the news of Smash’s having to be benched for a game gets out, we get to see Buddy Garrity in rare form. His desire to be an insider and demands to know what’s going on are great. But the Buddy plots don’t end there this week. Buddy sets Lillah up a date with a guy from SMU. Buddy wants to show Lillah she has a whole life ahead of her and there are other fish in the sea beyond Jason Street. This leads to one of the top three best scenes in the episode when Street confronts Buddy, demanding the truth and gets just that. Buddy’s no holds barred, you’re bad for my daughter and I’m putting a stop to it is great and it leads to the proposal so blatantly given away by NBC and Ausiello.
Buddy also figures into the storyline of Tyra’s mom. He’s hiring and Tyra sends Tim Riggins to pull some strings to get her interview. Tyra’s mom needs a job having thrown out her boyfriend. The storyline of Trya not wanting to become her mother but loving her more than anything rings so true and authentic it hurts. And it’s interesting that Tyra’s mom gets the job after Buddy notices her at a celebration of the big win and without really asking if she’s qualified. I only expect this plotline to get juicier as the weeks go along.
Meanwhile, Tami is asked to be part of the mayor’s re-election campaign. We find out the mayor is a lesbian, a fact that makes Eric uncomfortable. This leads to another top three scene as Eric and Tami debate if she should or shouldn’t work on the campaign and what the real motive for her being asked to be part of it could be. Is it that Tami is a smart woman or is it that she’s the coach’s wife? What I love about this is that it makes Taylor very un-PC and even a bit unlikable for telling Tami she shouldn’t work on the campaign. And it makes him human.
In all of this, there’s still a football game. Scaracen thinks his dad will be there, but dad heads back to Iraq. He misses Matt’s coming up with the game winning play and executing it to perfection.
I love how the game looms over everything. The stress, the hope, the relief of winning–all play a factor here. And it’s the desire to win that leads to the best scene of the week. Back to the Smash story, the two scenes he has with his mother, a nurse, about his roiding up are fantastic. Smash’s realization he could have flushed his dreams away and his mother’s responses are superb. Again, everything just feels so authentic and never played for melodrama in this show.
Well, except the proposal that is. I’m not sure where this is going…but I’m willing to give the show some slack. It’s easy when everything else about it is so good.