'Friday Night Lights' Season 5, Episode 8 Recap
by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 6th 2011 8:45AM
['Friday Night Lights' - 'Fracture']
You might think that with the East Dillon Lions undefeated and possibly on the way to state, all would be harmonious among the team. You'd be wrong. Instead of unity and solidarity, dissension has filtered into the team and the direct cause is Vince's star complex.
But that's not the only turmoil on 'Friday Night Lights'. Julie's situation remains a sore subject, especially for Eric, who's more disappointed in his child than he can say.
Also, after weeks of nothing being addressed about Tami's troubled charge, Epic, she was back with a whopper of a story to play on Tami's emotions. There was also Becky's story and her conflicting feelings for Luke. All in all, it made for one tense, complicated episode.
It was a relief that Julie finally came to her senses about Derek, and he proved himself to be classier than we previously assumed. It took guts for him to show up at the Taylors and face Julie. However, Bishop underestimated the depth of Eric's anger and was fortunate to get only his taillight busted and not his entire face.
Still, Derek resigning from the university was somewhat noble, although he had crossed the line with a student. That was unforgivable. I question why Tami was proud when Julie announced that she was returning to school, because her pride was misplaced.
Julie showed bad judgment and continues to rebel and lie to her parents. She was raised to do the right thing and recognize it when she sees it. Instead of going back to school, she wound up on Matt's doorstep. Is she returning to the comfort of a safe past lover because she's afraid of moving on with her life?
Tami's big heart for Julie is understandable; she's her mom. But Tami should have more armor when it comes to Epic. Epic is an epic liar and her tale of woe about being a foster child was a crock of garbage. Tami's got a bleeding heart so we expect her to care, but ultimately Epic is selfish and heartless more than she is smart and feisty, and Tami is missing those signals.
Becky has grown in leaps and bounds since getting knocked up by Luke last season. She wisely resisted falling back into a sexual relationship with him, and even showed maturity in her decision to compete in pageants to earn scholarship money. Becky's trying to make something of herself.
Her choice of a support system is questionable -- Mindy and the stripper girls -- but in revealing her insecurities to the ladies about having sex with Luke, Becky showed her vulnerabilities. They didn't really "get" her, but Becky needed to vent. I appreciated Becky's decision to ask Luke for a "do-over."
The biggest problem overshadowing everything else, however, is Vince's attraction to stardom. Ornette is like the devil, luring Vince down a wayward path. And even though Vince was initially wary of his father, he's allowed himself to be swayed. Even Jess hasn't been able to get the stars out of Vince's eyes.
Coach Taylor was wise to Vince's lies. I had the feeling that Eric knew that Vince was using his mother's addiction as an excuse for his failing to show up for practice. It was a nasty lie, and one beneath Vince's dignity.
And the team knew about Vince's deception, too. They resented his run-away ego, and the brotherhood they displayed just weeks ago when they got branded in Kingdom was like a distant memory. The undisguised loathing they felt for each other during the pep rally was a sight to behold.
The booster that Vince got to visit Oklahoma Tech was another form of seduction, right down to the XBox and swimming pools. This is how real boosters lure recruits to schools and get around NCAA sanctions. The coach of the university offered Vince a starting role on the team for a verbal commitment ... without ever speaking directly to him.
There's definitely a battle of wills going on between Ornette and Eric for Vince's future ... and probably his soul. Ornette is sharp and he has an emotional tie to Vince that Eric cannot counter. In fact, Ornette went so far as to question Taylor's true commitment: Was it to the team and Vince, or to his next career move?
As the story progresses, this season will turn on Vince's decision. Will he do right for the future, or do what's right for the moment?
'Friday Night Lights' airs Wednesdays, 9PM ET on DirecTV.