Friday Night Lights: How Did I Get Here
(S02E06) And you may ask yourself - Well... How did I get here?
It's a great title for this episode as we find a lot of our pals in Dillon questioning, being questioned about, or owning up to the situation they are currently in. That doesn't make for huge plot points that you can point to and say, "Look at that!" But it does bring up some interesting questions, and pave the way for stories in the future. With so many of the characters getting time this week, all of these changes actually overshadowed the one big, holy smokes, moment of the episode. That little thing you see in the screen cap.
Gallery: Friday Night Lights
Since Chad and Landry got the picture this week, let's kick things off there. I liked how this played out, but I have to say, it left me questioning whether the creative team changed their mind on this story midstream. With all the set up that went into that moment in the garage, I kind of expected that story to get more focus when it finally came around. Instead, it felt like just one small part of the episode. Given the very mixed reaction that whole plot line has received, it seems there might be a possibility that somewhere along the way someone decided to tone it down a little bit.
Either way, the story is what it is and it has to be resolved. It was clear last week that Chad was onto the whole conspiracy. I think he was just biding his time to see whether or not anyone was going to come up with anything concrete, and once they did, it was time to act. He was so cool about the whole thing at the station as he found out that there was real evidence. And once again we need to applaud Glenn Morshower. The big scene with Landry in the garage was great. "If you had something to do with this, you have got to tell me right now. Time to trust me." For me, that's the best bit of casting this season.
Now that the car is torched and that evidence is seemingly destroyed, Landry is one step closer to getting away with it. However, I don't think we're done with the whole thing yet. There is still the issue of the watch hanging out there. Are the detectives going to turn that up at some point as well? And we still have some unfinished business where Tyra and Landry are concerned. That was another part of the story that I thought was oddly limited in time this episode.
Moving on, Eric's return to Dillon continues to be quite the bumpy ride. Really, you have to think he should have seen this coming. Is there any reason at all for Eric to put the smallest amount of trust in Buddy after what we saw him do in the first season? That said, even with a wary eye on Buddy, who could have imagined a 40% pay cut after winning the championship? I like the solution of making Eric the A.D. It's already started to pay off with the arrival of Bobby Roberts. The preferential treatment of the football team, especially in relation to less popular sports like women's soccer, is fertile ground for a story.
It's not exactly smooth sailing for Eric at home either. The arrival of Tami's sister, Shelley (Jessalyn Gilsig) wasn't exactly what the coach needed. Shelley is a piece of work, with her over the top personality that just doesn't mesh with the Taylor dynamic. She does play well as Tami's sister though, and the pair of them delivered a nice scene at the end as Tami confessed her fears about the new baby. "She's going to turn into Julie and be mean to me." Gilsig has had quite a run of recurring gigs over the past few years, with stops at NYPD Blue, Prison Break, Nip/Tuck, and Heroes to her credit.
Street made it back to Dillon in time for his 19th birthday and continues to search for who he is, and who he wants to be. It's an ongoing theme, but one that I think works particularly well here, and they are doing a nice job showing his growth. The scene at the party where Buddy makes the comment about what could have been is something that would have set season one Street off in a rage. But here, he handled it well, showing that there is progress being made. He was also there for what I thought was the best scene of the night. That being when he gave all of his highlight tapes to Eric and told him that he was leaving the team to figure out how to be a new guy. Eric's answer, "Let me tell you something. Coaches and players, they learn from each other. It goes both ways. You lift up everyone around you. I hope I didn't let you down." was awesome. It's Kyle Chandler at his best and the reason that I watch this show.
That close coach/player relationship they share is not something that Riggins has working for him. I was actually surprised by that turn of events. I had just assumed that he would return to Dillon and go right back to playing football. With Eric just returning and so many things in flux, it seemed there would just be a clean slate and a starting over for everyone. I still think we'll see Riggins back on the field before too awfully long, but I'm curious to see just what hoops he has to jump through before Eric allows it. It was also nice that Smash got something to do this week. He's still been underused thus far in the season, but dinner with the whole Williams family was a nice addition. At this point, I'm less interested in Riggins mentoring Santiago. I know they have bigger things planned for that story, so I'll wait and see before passing judgment on it, but what we got tonight was one of the weaker parts of the episode. Hog catching?
And that leaves us with Matt, Julie, and Matt's new lady friend. For her part, I was happy to see Julie at the burger shack with a heartfelt apology. It put a period on that whole story and gets Julie back on track, now with more angsty teenage romantic drama to deal with. What they are doing with Matt continues to impress me. He's also changing, just at a really slow pace. The crazy nervous guy still comes out with great regularity, but the fact that he was able to put the moves on Lauren is a big sign. And Lauren, I'm crazy about that character. But then, I'd be crazy about Matt with any girl that wasn't the live in care-giver, because I really didn't want them to go there.
And there we have it. A lot of set up stuff this week as we get some balls in the air for the next arc of episodes. Overall, all the various parts came together well. After a bumpy start, the show is getting into its rhythm and season two is looking pretty good.
|Riggins is back on the team.||231 (53.6%)|
|Matt and Julie are back together.||22 (5.1%)|
|Case closed on the murder.||66 (15.3%)|
|Smash gets a story of his own.||112 (26.0%)|