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.