Friday Night Lights

Season 4 Episode 5

The Son

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Dec 02, 2009 on The 101
out of 10
User Rating
179 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Taylors and other familiar faces rally around Matt as he deals with the untimely death of his father.
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  • The funeral of Matt Saracen's dad

    Why is Zach Gilford not in the main credits? This was his best episode yet as he attempts to fight through his feelings towards his father, and by the end, I actually felt as if I was there at the wake, listening to him tell stories about his dad and fight back grief. It was an amazing performance by Gilford, and as a result, everybody else stepped up.

    Saracen goes through a lot in the episode, fighting off well-wishers who tell him his dad was brave, trying to hide his frustrations from Julie and Landry, breaking down at the Taylor's house as he tells their family he hates hating people and the terrifying moment (even though we don't see it) when Matt peeks into his dad's casket to see him. Gilford's eyes say it all. By the time we get to the end, when he gives the touching eulogy and then buries his own father, I was thinking, "I wouldn't care if this show was never about football." That's how good the performance was.

    As I said before, it seems as if everybody else stepped up the plate and delivered some strong scenes. Matt Lauria continues to be my tentative vote for mid-season MVP. Sure, he hasn't gotten nearly the same amount of scenes that other characters have, but if there's something I like about him, it's his willingness to yell back at the cocky idiots on the Panthers who berate the Lions. The game at the beginning of the episode show Luke's willingness to put aside his differences with Vince, and despite the fact that they lost, it still helps that they got a couple of touchdowns in a row plus a forced fumble. Like I said in the previous review, it's not about winning anymore for this team... it's all about the little wins.

    There's other stuff going on with Tim and Becky, but for the most part, I didn't care for that. I was focusing more on the other fantastic stuff going on. For instance, Aimee Teegarden also did a great job here. She's been under-used lately and I'm glad to see her in some good scenes with Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. Also, Lyla returns, although for just a few seconds. I'm sure we'll have some other scenes with her next week.moreless
  • Matt comes to terms with his father's death while trying to prepare for his funeral.

    This is one of the best episodes of the entire series. The writing and acting were pitch perfect and I'm not one to get teary eyed, but Zach Gilford had me pretty damn close. Not since "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" have I seen death treated in such a real and powerful way. The focus isn't so much on the deceased as it is on those who are left behind. More specifically, a son who had felt abandoned long before his father's death. There are even some political undertones about being in the army and how dangerous it is, even nowadays. In the end, it's Gilford's performance that drives this home. He goes through many stages of emotion (anger, regret, confusion, hopelessness) throughout the episode and he hits every note. Just another reminder why this is the best drama on television period.moreless
  • Best episode of Season 4 so far.

    This was an extremely impactful episode. I was in tears at the end. Even though Matt's father has been absent most of the series (serving in the military) and Matt seems disassociated from him, you can never underestimate the powerful impact parental relationships have, even when seemingly strained.

    It was fun to see Lyla back in Dillon. The ongoing development of other characters and new relationships is also intriguing. Only FNL has been capable of eliciting this kind of emotion in me. It's like watching a first-rate movie every week. Acting is amazing, writing is amazing, show is amazing. It's hard to believe that a last-place network like NBC can't find a spot for it in its mediocre lineup until after its run on satellite.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Julie: You don't have to eat if you don't want to.
      Matt: I'm hungry
      Tami: Well do you want something else, hun?
      Matt: No, I'm sorry... I don't like carrots and I don't like when they touch the meat.
      Tami: I'll just take it away.
      Matt: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm being rude, I'm sorry. I don't like being rude. I don't like being rude. I'm just having a moment here. I'm just having a moment, I don't think I'm ok.
      Julie: Matt
      Matt: I hate him. I don't like hating people, but I just put all my hate on him so I don't have to hate anyone else so I can be a good person, you know to my Grandma, to my friends, to your daughter. That's all I want to say. I want to tell him to his face that I hate him but he doesn't even have a face. I'm sorry, Mrs. Taylor. I'll see y'all tomorrow.

    • Matt: I gotta get up there in front of everybody and say good stuff about this man. And all I really want to say is 'Hear lies Henry Saracen, his mother annoyed him, his wife couldn't stand him and he didn't want to be a dad so he took off to be in the army because that's the only way he could come up with to get out of here and ditch all your responsibilities and no one could call you out on it and that worked out great so you just decided to enlist four more times and that ended up getting you killed and now here you are. And all you left behind is a mother with dementia, a divorced wife and a son that delivers pizza. Thank you for coming 100 people I do not know.' You know what the worst part is? Even if I did get up and say all that I don't even know if I'm saying it to him because I don't know what's in that damn box. It's a closed casket-- might be someone else, someone funnier or a bunch of rocks.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Featured Music:
      Driveway by Great Northern Playing During Funeral
      Drivin My Life Away by Eddie Rabbitt
      What's the Matter Man By Rollins Band
      Atamakkatahizaashi by Junkface