Friday Night Lights: Backfire
(S03E04) "The Eagle has landed. It's a done deal." - Buddy Garrity
Another Friday night spent with NBC, and this one came across as a little bit strange. Not bad strange, or good heavens, what now strange. Just that the story here caught me a little off guard. It's a little early in the season for what you might call a pivotal episode. Usually at this point things are being put in motion, or big picture stories are getting a break for a stand-alone episode. Such is not the case in Dillon, as three big stories had big moments this week. To balance it out, we also had more from the shark blood road trip, and the quickly getting away from us Lyla crusade. All that, and some other junk, after the jump.
Gallery: Friday Night Lights
I think the biggest news has to be the return of Eric to Dillon. That's all well and good, but I have to say, it was all a bit rushed. I was really expecting a large part of the season to deal with how Tami and Eric cope with the separation. And, while that was going on, it looked like we might be in for some interesting turmoil as the Tennessee Tyrant lost control of the team.
Instead, it all wrapped up pretty quickly as Buddy made the pitch to Eric last week and the deal was complete by the end of this episode. Rather, mostly complete. There are a couple little threads left dangling that may or may not pay off with some good stuff later down the road. Coach McGregor's threat certainly leaves a door open. I'm awfully curious to find out what he means by "I'll be seein' you again." But I'm hoping it's not a rehash of the Voodoo story with McGregor getting a gig at another school and showing up against the Panthers in the playoffs. And while Eric's return should do a lot to bring the team back into focus, that doesn't mean that the issues between Smash and Saracen are just going to disappear.
Even though the whole process came across as rather quick and convenient, it might have been for the best. I'm sure we could have had some great scenes with Tami and Eric with a more drawn out story, but I don't think I'm going to miss Eric at college. The head coach never really worked for me, and the one story there that did show promise, his mentoring of Antwone from "Bad Ideas", was dropped almost as soon as it appeared. So, like Eric, let's mark the college experiment down as experience, and move on.
Also hitting a big point this week, the story of daughter Julie. I actually thought that this was what we were going to be getting after the bar incident, where Eric had to come and pick her up. Apparently, Julie just needed a little more convincing that this was not the path for her. Here's hoping it sticks this time. The rebellious daughter has given us some great scenes between Tami and Julie, but I think the story has been told now.
And our third story getting a big development, the controversial Tyra/Landry murder conspiracy. I'm just not sure on this one. On the one hand, the police telling Tyra that they were going to close the case was music to my ears. I haven't been a fan of the murder sub-plot from the start, so filing that case away sounds like a capital plan. Still, how they went about it doesn't really sit right either. It just strikes me as odd that they go out of their way to add on that her attacker was wanted in two other rape cases. Just to make sure we know he was a really bad guy and it's ok that they killed him? It makes it stick out even more that they really should have just called the police immediately.
Of course, the closing of the case may just be wishful thinking on my part. That little detail of Landry's watch is still floating out there. I have a sneaking suspicion that there may still be something to come of that. If I had my choice though, I'd rather they let it go and take the good that came of this strange choice, the Tyra/Landry relationship, and run with that. They really are good together on the screen and there is a lot of ground that one can cover.
Meanwhile, back at the cantina... Going to Mexico for an experimental surgery is crazy. That said, I think it actually works for Street's story. Keeping in mind that he was the golden child. The caliber of athlete who has the whole path all laid out in front of him. Having it all taken away like that, it rings true that he would be willing to try anything to recapture whatever part of that life he can. Something we saw in his comments to the crowd at the bar when he talked about Dillon being a terrible place and how he wants to walk away from there. I don't think there is anything necessarily bad about Dillon, what is terrible is living in Dillon with the memory of who he used to be. Right now, Street probably needs a good dose of therapy much more than he needs shark blood.
Watching it unfold though, I am left thinking it would be better if Herc was his wingman for the adventure. It would make sense for him to tag along, using every available opportunity to try and stop it. And then, when it looks like he can't actually change Street's mind, calling up Lyla, Riggins, or Ma and Pa Street looking for help.
Speaking of Lyla, her story is losing me a little bit. I'm on board with her looking for some kind of order in her life as her home life has become so chaotic. And I think up to now they have done a pretty nice job with it. The scene at the church with Lyla and Riggins in particular was really well done. But, the trip to the boys home? After what, three weeks since she accepted Jesus and joined the Teen Messengers? It felt off, and as each domino fell after that, picking up the kid, Buddy hiring him, I was left thinking that there are a whole host of other stories I am more curious about. It's not the show at its best.
So, after week four where does that leave us? In a good spot I think. Quick or not, having Eric back in Dillon is a great thing. His presence offers hope to the town, the team, and the viewers. It's also nice to see at least the beginnings of a resolution to the murder. For me, that has clearly been the worst decision the powers that be have made for this show since the pilot, so it's nice to look at moving on. Hopefully those that were put off by the story will take another look.
|Yes, it could have played out over more episodes.||114 (30.1%)|
|No, clearly his family, the team, and the show all need Coach in Dillon.||207 (54.6%)|
|I don't know. I'm having surgery tomorrow so I am completely drunk right now.||58 (15.3%)|