Friday Night Lights: Humble Pie
(S02E13) Oddly enough, the thing I found foremost in my mind after this latest FNL installment was Seinfeld. More specifically, "The Bizarro Jerry." Not that the FNL writers went all nutty and decided to try their hands at comedy. They did, however, present us with a lot of characters that were in the opposite position of where we are accustomed to seeing them. For the most part, it worked very well. The episode was not without its issues though.
Gallery: Friday Night Lights
So, in no particular order, we'll begin with Bizarro Tyra. Not only do we see Tyra joining up with the volleyball team, which is rather out of character, but we also see her on the opposite side of the relationship with Landry. Despite my issues with the murder story, I really like the possibilities here. The new girl, Jean (Brea Grant), is a welcome addition, and the scenes between her and Landry were all very good. The CD scene at the restaurant, with Saracen and Riggins cackling away in the background, was my favorite of the bunch.
Frankly, the way they have forced everything about Tyra/Landry this season, I have to believe there is more to come for the two of them. That's not necessarily bad. Jean, and the newly inspired jealousy in Tyra at least offers a new angle. And it is an angle that rings much truer than what we saw earlier in the season.
Getting back to the volleyball, that brings us Bizarro Tami taking on the coaching role, while Bizarro Eric cheers her on. I was kind of up and down on the whole volleyball angle. As soon as Eric suggested the idea, my initial reaction was, "Hold on now. Didn't we just go through how Tami was ready to quit her job because she didn't have enough time for everything?" They did manage to diffuse that somewhat with Eric's announcement that it would only be for a few weeks.
I also felt that they overplayed just how bad the girls were. No coach, not even the wife of the great Coach Taylor, is going to take a group of girls from scared of the ball to winning team in just a few days. The winning end was mitigated somewhat as one of the players snuck in the comment that the opponent's best player was out. Having Riggins hanging around, still helping out as part of Eric's punishment, was a good bit of continuity. Although, having him be the inspiration for Tyra's anger seems a little misguided at this point. So, it was hit and miss and I didn't hate it. On the other hand, I couldn't help thinking as the game went on that we could really be watching some football.
In other bizarro goings on, we find Billy doing something reckless while little brother Tim is the voice of reason. As reasoned as you can be when you decide to pay the money you stole from your not-so-friendly neighborhood meth dealer anyway. This one is not a huge stretch I suppose, as we've seen both of the Riggins boys demonstrate great ability at poor decision making, but it did still feel a little opposite.
I have to say, I was worried for Billy there. As it all played out, there seemed to be the very real possibility that we were going to see Tim's world rocked just a little more. I think I was actually more surprised that Guy didn't shoot Billy than I would have been if he had. I'm glad it played out that way. Tim has had a rough run of it this season and killing his brother would really seem to be piling on. I think he's due for a run of smooth sailing.
Of course, it doesn't look like that smooth sailing is going to have much to do with Lyla. Tonight didn't really bring us the bizarro Lyla, but she's kind of in the middle of a bizarro season, so we'll go with it. I find myself believing her little speech on the Riggins doorstep that she isn't coming back. Maybe this whole change is for real and she has moved past all of that. At the same time though, something about her new pal Chris just rubs me the wrong way. I suspect that he's not set to be with Lyla for the long haul either. Also, was I the only one questioning where the $3000 came from? Christian Teen Radio can't pay that well.
After weeks of waiting, we finally get a nice update on our old pal Street. His character was more what we expect than many of the others. I did think that his role in the Herc/Street dynamic was quite different though. Gone are the days where Herc always held the upper hand and Street looked up to him as a mentor. The two are clearly peers now, and that's nice to see.
Nicer than the new job down at Garrity Motors. While it did offer up a couple of nice scenes, I can't see this being the answer for what Street is looking for. Ultimately, he's going to have to get out of Dillon. All of those same things that chased him away from coaching will make their way into selling cars. Speaking of selling cars, that had to be the most annoying thing in the episode. Not Street getting Gerald into a new hybrid. Rather, NBC whoring their show out to Chevy.
I'm well aware that advertising fuels the network engine. Given that, I'm OK with product placement, promotional consideration announcements, and the like. Hell, I'm even willing to overlook the fact that Garrity Motors changes makes on the whim of whatever automotive advertisers NBC can drum up. That said, their little flashback/commercial for the new Tahoe hybrid crossed the line. It's a fuzzy line, and I'm not sure just where it is in the sand exactly, but that was over it.
And finally, Smash. This was certainly not an example of Bizarro Dillon. Everything about this was exactly the Smash we have come to know over the last two seasons. He went along with being pressured into the apology because it seemed to be the path that would get him where he needed to be. But when push comes to shove, you just knew he wouldn't be able to hold back. The final scene with Mrs. Williams, Coach Taylor, and Smash was outstanding. His coming to the realization that despite the fact that he told the truth, he only made things worse for himself was sad, but rang true.
I was actually a little surprised to learn that there are only three regular season games left in the season. The question now becomes whether or not Smash will play in any of those. And I suppose there is the question of whether or not we will ever get to see how they play out. My guess is that the suspension won't stick. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to find out.
And there we have it. All in all, a very good episode. The crappy Tahoe advertising was out of line, but that falls on the doorstep of NBC, not FNL. With just two more episodes to go, I like where the show is.
|Street. Eric, Buddy, or someone is going to get Smash out of the suspension.||173 (61.8%)|
|Smash. Street is not destined for the automotive sales.||107 (38.2%)|