Friday Night Lights: Homecoming
Most notably among those is Smash. We did have the brief introduction of Mrs. Williams earlier, but this week Smash finally got a story all his own. I liked all of it right up until the end. I'm still undecided on the steroid angle. Given the quality of the show to this point, I'll give the writers the benefit of the doubt and wait to see where they go with it. There is a story to be told about high school steroid use. Possible future gripes aside, Gaius Charles was really good tonight. We've seen hyper-confidant Smash before, and he plays that well, but watching him self destruct as the pressure mounted and he saw the opportunity of the scout watching him slip away was fantastic.
The Tyra/Billy Party Inc. story had a couple problems. It's one thing for a group of high school kids to get together a keg and throw a party. But something the size of this party, full of high school kids, strippers, cover charge, how is that not busted by the cops? The good that did come out of the forced story angle was a little fleshing out of Billy, and along with it, some background on why Tim lives with him. I did like the line about Tim's failed golf career, "So what? It's the terrorists fault?"
Speaking of Tim, I like where the story is going. Finally getting some direction, despite all the distractions and troubles he faces has potential for a good story. He did get another of those just doesn't ring true story bits though. I can roll with Tim having a drinking problem, the bad home life, the screwed up Lyla/Tyra relationships. But him walking around the pep rally drinking beer? Isn't that pushing it a little far? Nitpicky I suppose, but it stood out. His speech after the game was good just as a standalone thing, but even better when put in the context of what is coming between him and Street.
It almost feels like the Street story is taking place on a different time line than the rest of the show. I don't know a lot about spinal injuries, paralysis, and recovery times, but doesn't he seem to be bouncing back awfully quick? Of course, Street stuck in bed wearing a halo for six months wouldn't make for the best story, so I guess we let that slide. It was good to see Mr. and Mrs. Street again. That was something I thought had been lacking. Both the scene before the game, and the one in the locker room after were great moments for Street.
I'm curious about the Lucas character. Was he brought in just to show how isolated the kids are by being the heroes in the small town? Or will he be coming back to cause more headaches for coach Taylor? There wasn't a lot of time for Eric this week, but what we did get was really good. I liked both of his scenes with Smash. Kyle Chandler just owns the screen. "You don't play for UT! You play Dillon Panther High School football and you play for me!" The homecoming game itself was done just right. It looked great, and took just enough time to tell the story. Bonus points for using Nazareth's "Hair of the dog" as the soundtrack for Riggins leading the comeback. Good stuff.
And finally, Saracen and Julie. They teased in the previously on clips that they would be getting back to that, and given that it was homecoming, it seemed likely. Although, another nitpick, wouldn't the homecoming dance be more of a big deal for the kids? I think an opportunity might have been missed to have Saracen take Julie to the dance, all nervous in his suit picking her up from the coach's house. The scene we did get was good though, even if it did leave us hanging. Saracen is just so nervous, "Will you go on a date with me? Maybe. Or not. I just thought I'd throw that out there." Great stuff with Landry and Saracen this week as well, although I hoped we would see something of the reconciliation.
All in all, this wasn't my favorite episode. There were just too many little things that didn't quite work. In the bigger picture of the series though, it did deliver a lot of pieces that will figure in, so it certainly wasn't a bad episode. The Panthers have a bye week coming up, so look for another new episode in two weeks.