Friday Night Lights, Episode 509: Gut Check

We’re in the stretch run of both the series of Friday Night Lights and the football season for the East Dillon Lions. Proceed past the jump for discussion of tonight’s episode.

As they say at the start of the episode, the dream is over and the unbeaten season is not to be. The Lions lose 28-17. Loved the different way of presenting the win – showing Jess cleaning up, the chaos in the locker room – and having it spliced together with shots of the team falling apart during the game. I’m not sure I’ve seen them present action like that since the start of Season Three when they had to sort of rush through what was missed with the writers’ strike. It was a cool change of pace. Clearly, no matter how much they tried to put up a good front at the pep rally, that fracture was more than a hairline crack and there is a real problem.

Coach Crowley lays it out there: “Look, we all know the problem. It’s Vince. He’s lost this team.” As it turns out, Vince winds up losing way more than that. Vince has lost his new rock of strength – his dad – because he’s beginning to realize exactly how unhinged he is. He’s lost Jess by the end of the episode, perhaps the one thing that could snap him back into reality. (“We’re done jackass. We’re through.”) And you can tell, that might be the moment the fog starts to clear from his vision. He starts to see how crazy his dad is, with an assist from his mom. His dad even gives a very Iverson-like speech about missing practice. “Not a game! One practice.”

It seems like both of the parents in the Taylor house are watching their own rehab projects fall apart. So much of the work OCach Taylor has done with Vince is being undone. And it unravels even quicker for Tami with Epych. Things appear to be positive, as Epych has a nice, soft moment with Gracie Bell. By the end of the episode, Epych is being accused of theft and winds up nailing Mrs. Coach in the head with a bad, which leads to her arrest and removal from her current foster home to another home. Tami’s work with Epych is through, it would seem.

The Chicago story is an interesting one to me. That Matt has clearly figured out his life without Julie, and as much as he puts on that happy act, he seems to be struggling with this idea that, as he puts it, he’s got to be Julie’s safety net and her escape as she’s clearly running away from something else. Their end in Chicago is one of total depression, if not for a late dash to the car before she goes. Maybe there’s hope for them yet before the series ends.

And then there’s Becky. Oh, Becky, Becky, Beck. Have you not been reading what I’ve said? Did I not tell you to stay away from The Landing Strip as a means of making money? This seed was planted a few episodes back, and as if Luke’s parents didn’t already hate her for the abortion, I can’t imagine this will particularly endear her to them when they find out. Oh, and please believe they will find out.

As for the second game of the episode, the one they win 19-17, I’m not one to question Coach Taylor, but why did they take so long to switch to the shotgun. OK, it’s a nitpick, but I feel like it was a package they used last season, so it should’ve been an easy switch. But I guess that just wouldn’t have created as much drama.

On to the notes…

— That Shane State gig doesn’t seem to be going away. Don’t know how I’ll feel if it ends that way … but I’ve already had others point out the parallel between that and other versions of FNL. If I were Eric Taylor, I’d have to think long and hard about that after the nonsense of this season.

— And now we’ve got another Riggins family pregnancy – one Mindy doesn’t seem too thrilled about, even if Billy is thrilled enough to put the test in his mouth. (“I peed on that.”)

— “I hope this doesn’t freak you out, but I think we need to go get breakfast.”

— The Lions head to the playoffs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: