Joe Dyton

Posts Tagged ‘Saracen’

Friday Night Lights recap: “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”

In Friday Night Lights on February 27, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Greetings Dillon Panther fans!

 

Just as soon as we saw Smash Williams move on to greener pastures at Texas A&M in the fondest of farewells, we welcomed back another Dillon hero, Jason Street. It was great to see him on the show again. Meanwhile, Julie made an ill-advised decision regarding body art, Tyra continues to carry on with her cowboy-friend and Matt looks like he lost his job as QB1 to a freshman. Here are the highlights…

 

Welcome back, Jason

 

It was great to see Street again on Friday. It had been too long. The last time we saw him he found he was miraculously was going to be a dad and was begging the mom, Erin, to keep it. Well, it looks like he wish was granted as he’s a proud papa. Unfortunately, he’s not making the kind of money he needs to support his son, Noah. This is definitely not the time to be a car salesman.

 

But, Jason is smart and resourceful, so his plan is to buy Buddy Garrity’s house, fix it up and sell if for a profit. That part of the plan isn’t so bad. Part 2 of this plan is where things go south, since he can’t afford to buy the house on his own, he’ll need some investors. Unfortunately, the only ones he can think of (or get) is the idiot brigade of his roommate Herc and the Riggins brothers. Yikes, no wonder Buddy was hesitant to sell the house. Although, I felt this part of the storyline was unrealistic. He was desperate to get rid of that house, so much so that he was willing to sell it below market value. Why would he care who buys the place? I thought he’d be happy just to get out from under that mortgage.

 

Oh well, at least this unrealistic scenario gave us a chance to hear a brilliant monologue by Jason. It was very moving watching him convince Buddy to sell him the house. It was a brilliant move by Street to convince Buddy by bringing up a big football game that he won for Dillon during his sophomore year. As they say, you have to know your audience. Jason knew his, and Buddy sold him and his crew the house. Yippee! Now all they have to do is get it fixed up. After seeing the boys arguing the first day on the job, it looks like it’s going to be a major uphill battle. And is anyone else worried that the Riggins’ share of this big investment came from money the got by selling stolen copper wire?

 

I felt awful for Jason when he found out Erin was taking Noah and moving back east. After all the hoops he went through to get his plan going, it didn’t seem fair for her to just up and leave like that. He is doing this for her and Noah after all. I also found it naïve of Erin to tell Jason he could visit, “whenever he wanted.” Something tells me it might be a little tough for him to jet off to Jersey whenever he had some spare time. I hope for Jason’s sake, she comes to her senses and moves back to Texas. Street’s a good guy and has had enough bad breaks already. He needs something good to happen.

 

What I did like during the farewell scene was after Riggins saw what was going on through the window, he didn’t call Jason on it. He just asked him what happened and let Jason lie by saying Erin was really excited about it. It wasn’t much, but I just thought it showed a lot of character on Tim’s part.

 

Julie gets inked

 

One of the biggest mysteries for me is how Eric and Tami, the greatest TV parents this side of Clair and Cliff Huxtable, could have raised such a brat like Julie. It really blows my mind. It really bothered me how nonchalant she was about getting a tattoo and then not understanding why her folks were so upset about it. I gave Eric and Tami a lot of credit for not absolutely losing it when Julie gave them the, “It’s on my body now and there’s nothing that can be done about it” remark. I don’t know Eric didn’t drag her out of her room after that.

 

I enjoyed the second conversation Eric and Tami tried to have with Julie about her new artwork. The sequence when Eric asked her what the (heck) she was thinking, followed by Tami asking in a more PC way, “We wanted to know what your thought process was,” and then Eric saying, “Like I said, what the (heck) where you thinking” was hilarious. That of course was followed by another classic line by Tami after she told Julie she was going to get it removed, “Until you’re 18, that leg belongs to me.”

 

The storyline wrapped up with another classic mother-daughter scene between Tami and Julie. Who would have thought Tami was a wild child when she was in high school and it was Eric who helped her find her way. Wouldn’t you have bet it would have been the other way around? I loved this scene, especially when Tami told Julie that she thought she was smart and independent and wouldn’t need a man to pull her on the straight and narrow path. Let’s just hope Tami’s faith in her first-born daughter isn’t blind. As for the tattoo removal? I think Tami said it best, “By time you’re 30, you’ll want to remove it yourself. I’m not paying for it then though.”

 

Tyra & Cash

 

Despite Tami’s warnings and wishes, Tyra thinks she’s found herself a good man in Cash. Never mind the fact that she’s skipping class to hang out with him at his request. A good guy wouldn’t encourage his girlfriend to just ditch class like that. Unfortunately, Tyra’s too head over heels about her cowboy to realize he’s no good. I mean, he took her to see a newborn horse, so he had to be a good guy, right? Run, Tyra, run away while you can! I know Cash is the exciting option, but Landry is the better man for her.

 

The Game

Despite Coach’s oddball strategy of rotating quarterbacks, Dillon topped Ft. Hood in a barnburner, 42-39. Things looked bad early for the Panthers due to the running different offenses with a different QB every other play. This led to multiple delay of game penalties until Coach was able to settle down J.D. and Matt. It was great that Saracen was the one who got to score the winning touchdown, but the look on face made it seem that he knew he might have run for his last score.

 

There’s a new QB in town

 

I found it very interesting that even though the Panthers won with Eric’s multiple QB strategy, Mac and the other coaches were, “done with that.” Excuse me? Isn’t Eric the head coach? Doesn’t he decided when the coaches are done with anything? I guess Eric doesn’t feel that way because he opted to choose one starting quarterback—J.D. McCoy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t know how a coach could bench a senior who’s in his third year starting in favor of a freshman. I don’t get it. I know J.D. is talented, but hasn’t Matt earned the right to finish his career at Dillon as QB 1? To make this situation more believable, the writers should have had Matt stumble out of the gate and had the Panthers win a game or two in spite of his poor play. That way, it would make sense that people would want a change at QB. It would be one of those, “Coach I know we’re winning, but if we don’t make a change now, Saracen could kill us down the road” situations. It wasn’t like that though, Saracen had been playing great; why in the world would Coach bench him?

 

I have to give Coach Taylor credit for doing the right thing and delivering the bad news to Matt personally. He could have called, and I’m sure he wished he did when Grandma Saracen pulled up and gave him her patented overly excited welcome whenever Coach stops by. The pained, awkward looks on Eric and Matt’s faces were priceless; especially when Grandma Saracen said Coach “practically walks on water at their house.” Ouch.

 

I loved the showdown between Matt and Coach as well. I always thought football was something Matt did, but never cared too much about. But after watching him bang helmets all over the place, it’s obvious he cares, a least a little bit. I was happy to see he was able to vent his frustrations to the coach. He said everything I had been thinking, he won a state title and did everything Coach asked, but somehow he’s not good enough anymore. I can’t blame him for wanting to quit; I was surprised Coach was able to convince him otherwise. I liked the heads up he gave Eric—that he’d come to practice and sit the bench, but he’d hate it, and Coach would hate it too. I guess time will tell if that is true.

 

The Saracens

 

Ah, there hasn’t been a dull moment in the Saracen household since Matt’s mom, Shelby blew into Dillon. She’s offered to help Matt out with his grandmother until he graduates, much to Grandma Saracen’s chagrin. I loved how Grandma Saracen gave Shelby a hard time about every item she purchased from the grocery store. Poor Shelby was just trying to help, but doesn’t she realize that nobody likes grape jelly? I did find that admission from Matt strange because I thought grape was the standard jelly flavor.

 

I liked the tender moment between Matt and his mom when he admitted to her that he lost his spot as QB1 to a freshman. I thought she was very supportive—almost like a mom! I hope Matt becomes more accepting of her presence as this season wears on.

 

So, what did you all think of the episode? Did Coach make the right call about his quarterbacks? Were you happy to see Jason return? Will he and his pals be able to sell Buddy’s house? Comment below!

 

Have a question, comment or criticism for Joe? Contact him at thedytonian@yahoo.com.

Friday Night Lights recap: “Underdogs”

In Friday Night Lights on January 9, 2009 at 3:45 am

Hello Dillon Panther fans! Last night we to see what we’ve been looking forward to all season, the State Championship game. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the ending we were looking for. Wow, what a heartbreaker of a game. Well, the Brooklyn Dodgers said it best, wait ‘til next year.

 

Off the gridiron, the Taylors did what they thought was best regarding the McCoy Family, Lyla reluctantly moved back in with her dad, Matt saw some light at the end of the tunnel otherwise known as searching for colleges and Tyra and Landry came through for one another in major ways. Here’s how it happened….

 

The Game

 

Usually, I save the game paragraph for last, but why bury the lead?  I thought for sure that after getting knocked out of the playoffs last year, Dillon would rebound and win the title this season. What a great plot twist to have them lose on a last second field goal. I was concerned when they were down 27-0 at halftime because I thought we were going the game play out the same way the title game did in Season One. You know, big halftime deficit, which they over come punctuated by a last second game-winning touchdown. I believe in the Season One title game, they were down 26-0 at halftime.

 

I hated to see the Panthers lose, but I was glad that we were given a less predictable ending. I mean, a 27-0 deficit screamed for a 28-27 come-from-behind win. But when Dillon scored the go-ahead TD with about a minute and a half left, I thought to myself, “Wow, they’re actually going to have to defend a lead.” And as South Texas booted that field goal at the gun, I was rooting for the ball to sail wide, but alas it split the uprights and Dillon is now in a two-year title drought.

 

My favorite part of the game was that Saracen got to go back to playing quarterback. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t live in Dillon, because would have been one of the few who thought he should have kept the job in the first place. I was stunned when coach Taylor took the job away from Matt, a senior who led the team to a state title, and gave it away to a freshman who while talented, hadn’t proved anything yet. When J.D. was throwing the game away (more on him in a second), I kept thinking to myself, “Put Saracen in, Coach!” I cheered when he did, and what do you know, the grizzled veteran led Dillon to an improbable comeback. If only the defense could have held on for another 90 seconds.

 

I also loved coach Taylor’s postgame speech, and the fact that he asked the players’ family and friends to be there when he addressed the team. I’m not sure the crazed town of Dillon will be so pleased with the loss, but his words were touching. Speaking of touching, I liked Riggins’ last moment; leaving his cleats on the field.

 

As for J.D., could he have picked a worse game to melt down in? Holy cow he was bad. I know he had other stuff on his mind, but he couldn’t get out of his own way. I found it interesting that he kept yelling at his offensive line (never a good idea for a QB to do that) to “protect” him. He kept using that word, “protect.” It sounded like a cry for help from what was going on in his home life. I’m probably just reading too much into it, but I just thought his choice of words was noteworthy. Speaking of the McCoys….

 

The Taylors vs. The McCoys

 

As tough as a choice as it was for Eric and Tami, they had to report Joe to the authorities. He whaled on his son for crying out loud. Who know how much worse it would have been if Eric didn’t run out there to break it up? It’s just too bad that all this had to happen before the biggest game of J.D.’s life (so far). Although the Taylors made the right decision, I thought the McCoys reactions to the Taylors was pretty realistic and honest. Obviously what Joe did was wrong, but they would have preferred to have kept the matter in-house.

 

While I enjoyed Katie’s tongue-lashing towards Tami, I really, really liked Joe and Eric’s confrontation. I just liked his ice cold demeanor when he was talking to Eric while the team was boarding the bus. Even with the sunshades on, you could tell Joe’s eyes were burning. I can’t wait to see how this plays out in the season finale. I have a feeling it’s not over. Especially since Eric lost the big game and Joe’s one of the team’s biggest boosters. And if Eric does survive the chopping block, he and J.D. have three more years together. Interesting times…

 

The Saracens

 

So Matt likes to draw, who knew? Maybe everyone did, and I just hadn’t been paying attention. It was great to see one these players find an avenue to college that didn’t involve football. It’s too bad he has to move so far away (Chicago), since he’s got a good thing going with Julie (she looked heartbroken when they were looking at his sketches) and his grandmother will be lost without him. I love Grandma Saracen, but I was disappointed in how selfish she was towards Matt. I know he’s been her saving grace, but she had to know he was going to leave eventually. I was happy she came around at the end and realized she couldn’t and wouldn’t hold him back from doing something that made him happy. I thought it was a great and touching moment when Julie realized the same thing at the same time and they grasped each other’s hand. The little nuances like that are what make “Friday Night Lights” such a good show.

 

The Garritys

 

Not much to say here except Lyla’s moving back in with Buddy and it looks like she’s going to San Antonio State with Riggins. I’m sure Buddy doesn’t like that, but he’s got no one to blame but himself. If he hadn’t squandered her college fund, she’d be far away from Tim at Vanderbilt. I was happy that Lyla decided to forgive her dad, but I feel the only reason she did it was because she didn’t want to live at the Riggins’ house anymore. I was surprised she lasted in that frat house as long as she did. What a hilarious scene it was when Billy walked in on Lyla using the bathroom. I honestly thought he said he’d go in the sink to prove how badly he had to go, but nope, he went in the sink. I hope no one washes any dishes in there anytime soon. I also got a kick out of Lyla using coffee filters as a toilet seat cover.

 

Tyra and Landry

 

And finally we get to one of TV’s most unlikely, but most adored couples. Landry, forever loyal to Tyra was helping her with her college essay, which from the sounds of it really needed some help. But after several tries and finally opening up about what makes her tick, Tyra came up with one heck of an essay. It was phenomenal actually. I was surprised that the initial reason she changed her outlook on life was because of what happened to Jason Street. She’s right though, bad things happen to everyone.

 

So, in exchange for helping Tyra with her college essay, she gave Landry a ride to the championship game. It seems Landry had a little too much to drink at the party the night before. Honestly, I didn’t buy this at all. Landry learns he’s actually going to play in the state finals, and he decides to get drunk the night before? Way out of character for him, even if he was bummed that Tyra wasn’t going to make the game. And what about his teammates? None of them thought to get him home? That was my only nitpick of the show. Otherwise, I though the episode was very good. Anyway, back to Landry and Tyra. It was great to see them help each other out; Tyra owes Landry a ton of favors, so it made sense that he cash one of them in for a ride to Austin. And it looks like they’re going to get back together from that smooch. I guess time will tell.

 

So, what did you all think of the show? Did you like that the writers switched gears and had the Panthers lose the big game? Do you think Coach will be able to hold on to his job? Who’s going and who’s staying after graduation. Feel free to comment below!

 

Joe Dyton can be reached at thedytonian@yahoo.com.