Review: Friday Night Lights - In the Bag
by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 17th 2009 1:28AM
(S04E07) Friday Night Lights is a show that's as much about subtle touches as it is about bone-crunching hits on the football field. This episode was all about pain, but not just the kind that requires a doctor's touch. Julie felt it, as did Landry, Becky, Vince and Tim in their own ways.
For a change of pace, Tami wasn't getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop, and for Coach Taylor, things were looking up even though the sheriff was snooping around the locker of one of his players. And if you're wondering what happened after Matt left Dillon last week, read on.
The pain that Julie felt was the result of Matt's abrupt departure. What made it even harder to take was that after three years, Matt had left and not bothered to call her. He contacted his family, but nothing for Julie. Throwing herself into Academic Smackdown turned out to be therapeutic. In fact, the question about Thomas Wolf's novels seemed like a plant.
That's right, I think Tami put that question into the contest just so Julie would realize "You Can't Go Home Again" was all about her and Matt. And how perfect was it that Tami was there with the comforting shoulder for Julie to cry on when she realized it was over?
Becky had romanticized her trucker father's visit -- and his getting her a dog -- because she didn't want to face the fact that he had emotionally abandoned her. Tim learned the truth about his Seattle family, and because he'd been abandoned by his own father, Tim couldn't let Becky keep fooling herself. He forced her to hear and see reality and then, guilt-ridden, went back to get the dog from the pound. And when Becky's father came after Tim for ratting him out, Tim was more than happy to beat the crap out of the asshole. Every punch could just as easily been for his own father.
Tim Riggins has so much more going for himself than brother Billy. That last scene in the 25 acre lot was fraught with subtext; will Tim be buying the land or will he be sucked into another harebrained scheme with Billy? You'd like to think he learned something after the last criminal escapade that nearly got Tim thrown in jail.
At least Landry cleared his head about Tyra. That one-sided phone call was all he needed to answer his questions ... and steer him back in Jess's direction. I don't think it's the prospect of being the subject of a song that made Jess say yes to a date.
Vince stepped up and repaid Eric's faith in him by giving him the bag. With Luke's injury likely to have a major effect on the team, I can see Vince taking on more of a leadership role in the weeks ahead. And how great was it that Tinker worked on the fence with Luke's dad? See what I mean about subtlety? That was a great touch.
Other points of interest
-- Glenn beat himself up for making a pass at Tami, but if I could see it coming, why couldn't Tami? He was gushing too much over her for it not to be a sign that he had a crush on Principal Taylor.
-- Tami didn't tell Eric about the pass. Smart wife.
-- Every time they show Ray's barbeque, I get hungry. Whataburger, however, is not appetizing.
-- What a shocker, Billy Riggins is one of the 47 million Americans without health insurance.
-- Even if Matt didn't want to talk to Julie, he could have sent her a postcard. That was cold.
[Watch Friday Night Lights episodes and clips at SlashControl.]