Joe Dyton

Posts Tagged ‘Tami Taylor’

Friday Night Lights recap: “Tomorrow Blues”

In Friday Night Lights on April 11, 2009 at 2:49 am

Editor’s note: This entry was originally posted on January 19, 2009 after DirecTV’s run of “Friday Night Lights'” third season. It has been updated now that NBC has concluded its run and the announcement has been made that the show will be back for two more seasons.

Hello Dillon Panther fans! Tonight, NBC finished its Season Three run of “Friday Night Lights” with the season finale, “Tomorrow Blues.” Now everyone has had a chance to watch this wonderful season unfold!

As for the season finale itself, what else can I say besides it was excellent. Even without any game play, there were plenty of stories that kept us in suspense, mainly Coach Taylor’s future with the team. We also spent the hour wondering if Tyra would get into college and if Lyla would stick with her plan of going to San Antonio State with Tim or attend her dream school Vanderbilt courtesy of funding from Buddy’s less-than-beloved brother, Gary. Let’s take a look at what happended, shall we?…

Coach Taylor, thanks for the memories.

Wow, football really is a, “What have you done for me lately” type of business, isn’t it? Despite leading Dillon to three straight playoff appearences, which included a state championship and another state finals appearance, Eric was shown the door to make room J.D. McCoy’s personal quarterback coach, Wade Aikman. Did anyone find this as ridiculous as I did? I guess money talks, as the board felt they’d rather have Joe McCoy’s financial backing amongst the boosters than Coach Taylor’s coaching experience. I think what surprised me the most about the situation was when Joe was more or less threatening to have Eric fired, one of his demands that J.D. would be the starting quarterback next season. Was there any doubt he would be? The kid led the team to the state finals (although he was pulled), was named the high school player of the year and Saracen was graduating. Of course, he was going to start at QB next year.

Joe’s other demand is probably what more so made Eric tell Joe to “stick it.” He wanted Wade to call the plays, which would make Eric’s current offensive coordinator, Mac obsolete. I was happy that Eric stuck to his guns and told Joe he knew what he could do with his “opportunity,” even if it did cost him his job. I liked that Coach did the right thing and showed up at the board meeting to defend himself.

His speech was short and sweet, but true: “If you want to replace me with a guywith a lot money whose son has a rocket of arm, you are wrong. You are dead wrong.” I was paraphrasing, but you get the idea. And who knows, maybe by him showing up, it helped him land his new gig: as head coach of the East Dillon Panthers. I wonder if I could place a bet somewhere that next season, East Dillon will face Dillon in a crucial winner-take-all matchup. It’s just a hunch, that’s all.

Tyra’s going to be a Longhorn!

After what seemed to be an uphill battle a season and a half, Tyra battled her way into not only college, but a good one, Texas U. It’s funny how when this show started, she was more or less a fringe character, but now she’s front and center and a wonderful part in this cast. When she opened her acceptance letter, I felt that was one of the most triumphant moments in the show, maybe the most triumphant since Smash dove into the end zone to win the state title in the Season One finale, “State.”

With this storyline, came a great pep talk, or maybe it was more of a venting session from Landry. After Tyra stormed the Texas admissions office begging for a slot on the freshman call sheet and found out she had a one in a thousand shot of getting off of the wait list, she really began feeling sorry for herself. Thankfully, Landry, the voice of reason, finally got out of the car because he couldn’t take her whining anymore. Basically he told her she can be anything she wants to be and needs to believe in herself. I can’t help but wonder what will happen with these two, who make a good couple. They bring out the best in each other.

Lyla and Riggins part ways

Well, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Tim and Lyla were going to San Antonio State together in the fall. As it turns out, Buddy may have found a way for his fisrt-born to go to Vanderbilt after all. It seems like he’s willing to swallow his pride and his brother for the money. Which begs the question, why didn’t Buddy think of this weeks ago when Lyla moved out because she was so mad that he blew her college fund? Wouldn’t that have saved everyone a lot of heartache and aggrevation?

The answer is yes, but of course that would not have made for great drama. As great as “FNL” is, it is still a TV show.

To add more drama, Lyla had the ultimate decision to make: go to SAS with Riggins, or attend her dream college? She predictably decided to stand by her man and go to the lesser school. But Tim unpredictiably wouldn’t let her do it. He didn’t want to be “that guy” that asks his girlfriend to stay only to resent him for it later. I have to say that Tim has really grown from the slacker who only loved girls and football in the beginning of the series. He really has become quite wise, even if he almost decided not go to college. Thank goodness his brother Billy told him he had to go to college if for nothing else to show his future niece or nephew, or maybe even his own kids that anything is possible if you go to college. That was a very touching moment between the Riggins Bros.

Speaking of bad decisions…

Matt’s staying in Dillon?

Last week we learned out of nowhere that Matt was an incredible artist, which got him into the Art Institute of Chicago. Everything looked like it was set up for him to head up to the Windy City. He and his mother were packing up the house so Grandma Saracen could make her way to a retirement community. But then he pulls a 180 and decides to take his grandmother out of there and that he’s not going anywhere. Huh? I understand Matt feels he owes his grandmother because she’s the only person who never left him. And that he didn’t want to break up with Julie, I get it. But I just don’t buy him giving all of that up, even though it’s something his character would do. I guess I was more suprised that his grandmother didn’t give him the same “Go” speech that Tim gave to Lyla. I can’t wait to see what Matt’s doing with himself next season. I’m hoping after he and Grandma danced, she talked some sense into him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s working at the Alamo Freeze in the Season Four premiere.

What happens now?

With Riggins, Lyla and Tyra all headed of to college and Coach Taylor taking over a new team, our beloved show will have a new look next year. I have to give Jason Katims, the writer of this excellent episode, a lot credit. The episode ending the way it did (with Eric and Tami standing in the center of the poor-looking East Dillon field looking around) made it a perfect season or series finale. Fortunately, we now know that this was only a season finale.

Two random notes because I didn’t know where else to put them:

*I loved the cowboy hats Billy and his groomsmen wore during the wedding.

*How nice of the Eric and Tami to buy Julie her first car.

What did you think of this episode, and this season as a whole? How excited are you that “FNL” will be back for not just one, but at least two more seasons? Feel free to comment below!

Have a comment, question or criticism for Joe? He can be reached at thedytonian@yahoo.com.

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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: “Hello, Goodbye”

In Friday Night Lights on February 17, 2009 at 9:13 pm

 Hello Dillon Panther fans! In this week’s episode, we bid farewell to a Dillon great and welcomed a new scoreboard, a rodeo star and possibly a new QB1. Here’s how it happened….

Smash is going to college!

Hey, no point burying the lede, right? The main, and the best, storyline of this episode was this one. I loved that coach Taylor thought rescheduling Smash’s tryout was unacceptable and marched right on the field and told the head coach if he didn’t give Smash a look today, that he may not get another chance. I loved how Smash played the Big Call as if it were just a call about his shoulder pads. I loved the moment of triumph when he told him mom that he got in and the Williams family celebration. I loved the final two on two football game with Smash, Riggins, Matt and Landry at Hermann Field before they head to A&M. But most of all, I loved the final scene between Coach and Smash. It was a little short, but the point got across. It was a treat watching a humble and grateful Smash thanking Coach for everything that he had done for him. I could go on a lot longer about how much I liked how Smash’s exit was handled, but there were other storylines in this episode like…

Tami vs. the Boosters

Oh, poor Tami. All she wants is for her students to have good supplies and a fully-staffed faculty. How dare she want what’s best for the school! The heck with that darn school-learnin’, Dillon High needs its Jumbrotron! At least in the boosters’ eyes they do. I really felt for Tami in this episode. She knew she was fighting a losing battle, especially with her less-than-successful “stalking” of the superintendent. When he told her that the boosters gave that money for a Jumbotron, she knew her fate was sealed. I still find it hard to believe a decision like this would fly, but football is taken pretty seriously in Texas.

The best part of this storyline was watching Eric being the “prinicpal’s husband” that Tami had been dying to meet. His pep talk to her about fighting the boosters even if she knew she was going to lose was phenomenal. I’m as big a fan of football as anyone, but my favorite part of this show is the interaction between the Taylor family. It’s so real.

Tyra, Landry and the rodeo cowboy

As much as I felt for Tami in this episode, I felt just as bad for Landry. The poor guy goes through the painful wisdom tooth removal, only to find out Tyra blew him off to make time with rodeo cowboy, Cash. The Smash-Coach good-bye scene was the best of the hour, but the Tyra-Landry blowup which ended with her saying she was choosing Cash came in a close second. It was a flurry of incomplete, interrupted sentences until Tyra finally laid it out there and sent Landry combing through his power ballad collection. Poor guy.

And I liked the not-so-subtle touch by the costume department of putting Cash in a black cowboy hat. In the old cowboy movies, the villain usually wore the black hat. It could be a coincidence, but something tells me Cash isn’t the charming well-behaved cowboy he seems to be.

The Saracen’s

I was glad to see Matt’s mom, Shelby offer to stick around Dillon for awhile to help him take care of his grandmother. I think one of the most bizarre situations regarding this series was Matt having to go to school, play football, work and take care of his grandmother without any help. The kid’s a miracle worker, I tell you. With that said, it was a bit of surprise he wasn’t interested in Shelby’s offer, you know since she ditched him all of those years ago. I can’t blame him for not wanting her around, but seeing that this is her senior year and all, this isn’t the best time for him to be proud. I was happy that he (and his grandmother) finally came around. I loved when Grandma Saracen said she could have done more for Shelby when she left and when Matt asked what she meant her reply was, “I meant what I said, let’s not make a big ol’ soap opera out of it.” She’s the best. Now that Matt’s got some help back at home, he’s got some bigger fish to fry. Such as…

Is a quarterback controversy brewing in Dillon?

Last week’s loss coupled with a bye week was not a good thing for young Saracen. All that did was give the town (and Eric’s coaching staff) time to consider switching to the golden boy, J.D. McCoy. Like I’ve said over and over, I just can’t understand why there is any debate about this. Why in the world would people expect a coach to replace a senior with state title under his belt with a freshman? But, it looks like that could happen as Coach is struggling with the decision. His struggling did lead to the best exchange of the episode though:

Eric: “I need a drink.”

Tami: “We have wine at the house.”

Eric: “I need a scotch-flavored drink.”

So, after clearing his head, Eric took the easy way out and named Matt and J.D. co-starters. That can’t mean good things for Matt who after being QB1 for two seasons will be sharing his snaps with a freshman. Next week’s game should be very interesting.

What did you all think of this episode? Did the writers give Smash a good farewell? Will coach Taylor’s two-head quarterback scheme work? Feel free to comment below!

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

Friday Night Lights recap: “Tomorrow Blues”

In Friday Night Lights on January 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Hello Dillon Panther fans!

On Wednesday DirecTV’s 101 Network finished its Season Three run of “Friday Night Lights” with the season finale, “Tomorrow Blues.” I for one was very grateful for DirecTV pitching to keep this fantastic show alive. I also enjoyed watching these episodes without having to sit through commerical breaks. And as much as I hated seeing a shortened season (13 episodes), I think that number of episodes worked perfectly. Since this show deals with the high school football season, there’s no need to worry about what stories to tell during the offseason with only 13 episodes. If the show is brought back (fingers crossed!), I wouldn’t be surprised it there’s another 13 episode run.

As for the season finale itself, what else can I say besides it was excellent.  Even without any game play, there were plenty of stories that kept us in suspense, mainly Coach Taylor’s future with the team. We also spent the hour wondering if Tyra would get into college and if Lyla would stick with her plan of going to San Antonio State with Tim or attend her dream school Vanderbilt courtesy of funding from Buddy’s less-than-beloved brother, Gary.

Let’s take a look at what happended, shall we?…

Coach Taylor, thanks for the memories.

Wow, football really is a, “What have you done for me lately” type of business, isn’t it? Despite leading Dillon to three straight playoff appearences, which included a state championship and another state finals appearance, Eric was shown the door to make room J.D. McCoy’s personal quarterback coach, Wade Aikman. Did anyone find this as ridiculous as I did? I guess money talks, as the board felt they’d rather have Joe McCoy’s financial backing amongst the boosters than Coach Taylor’s coaching experience.

I think what surprised me the most about the situation was when Joe was more or less threatening to have Eric fired, one of his demands that J.D. would be the starting quarterback next season. Was there any doubt he would be? The kid led the team to the state finals (although he was pulled), was named the high school player of the year and Saracen was graduating. Of course, he was going to start at QB next year. Joe’s other demand is probably what more so made Eric tell Joe to “stick it.” He wanted Wade to call the plays, which would make Eric’s current  offensive coordinator, Mac obsolete. I was happy that Eric stuck to his guns and told Joe he knew what he could do with his “opportunity,” even if it did cost him his job.

I liked that Coach did the right thing and showed up at the board meeting to defend himself. His speech was short and sweet, but true: “If you want to replace me with a guywith a lot money whose son has a rocket of arm, you are wrong. You are dead wrong.” I was paraphrasing, but you get the idea. And who knows, maybe by him showing up, it helped him land his new gig: as head coach of the East Dillon Panthers. I wonder if I could place a bet somewhere that next season, East Dillon will face Dillon in a crucial winner-take-all matchup. It’s just a hunch, that’s all.

Tyra’s going to be a Longhorn!

After what seemed to be an uphill battle a season and a half, Tyra battled her way into not only college, but a good one, Texas U. It’s funny how when this show started, she was more or less a fringe character, but now she’s front and center and a wonderful part in this cast. When she opened her acceptance letter, I felt that was one of the most triumphant moments in the show, maybe the most triumphant since Smash dove into the end zone to win the state title in the Season One finale, “State.”

With this storyline, came a great pep talk, or maybe it was more of a venting session from Landry. After Tyra stormed the Texas admissions office begging for a slot on the freshman call sheet and found out she had a one in a thousand shot of getting off of the wait list, she really began feeling sorry for herself. Thankfully, Landry, the voice of reason, finally got out of the car because he couldn’t take her whining anymore. Basically he told her she can be anything she wants to be and needs to believe in herself. I can’t help but wonder what will happen with these two, who make a good couple. They bring out the best in each other. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall where Landry said he’s going to school

Lyla and Riggins part ways

Well, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Tim and Lyla were going to San Antonio State together in the fall. As it turns out, Buddy may have found a way for his fisrt-born to go to Vanderbilt after all. It seems like he’s willing to swallow his pride and his brother for the money. Which begs the question, why didn’t Buddy think of this weeks ago when Lyla moved out because she was so mad that he blew her college fund? Wouldn’t that have saved everyone a lot of heartache and aggrevation? The answer is yes, but of course that would not have made for great drama. As great as “FNL” is, it is still a TV show.

To add more drama, Lyla had the ultimate decision to make: go to SAS with Riggins, or attend her dream college? She predictably decided to stand by her man and go to the lesser school. But Tim unpredictiably wouldn’t let her do it. He didn’t want to be “that guy” that asks his girlfriend to stay only to resent him for it later. I have to say that Tim has really grown from the slacker who only loved girls and football in the beginning of the series.  He really has become quite wise, even if he almost decided not go to college. Thank goodness his brother Billy told him he had to go to college if for nothing else to show his future niece or nephew, or maybe even his own kids that anything is possible if you go to college. That was a very touching moment between the Riggins Bros. Speaking of bad decisions…

Matt’s staying in Dillon?

Last week we learned out of nowhere that Matt was an incredible artist, which got him into the Art Institute in Chicago. Everything looked like it was set up for him to head up to the Windy City. He and his mother were packing up the house so Grandma Saracen could make her way to a retirement community. But then he pulls a 180 and decides to take his grandmother out of there and that he’s not going anywhere. Huh?

I understand Matt feels he owes his grandmother because she’s the only person who never left him. And that he didn’t want to break up with Julie, I get it. But I just don’t buy him giving all of that up, even though it’s something his character would do. I guess I was more suprised that his grandmother didn’t give him the same “Go” speech that Tim gave to Lyla. I can’t wait to see what Matt’s doing with himself next season. I’m hoping after he and Grandma danced, she talked some sense into him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s working at the Alamo Freeze in the Season Four premiere (fingers crossed!).

What happens now?

With Riggins, Lyla, Landry (?) and Tyra all headed of to college and Coach Taylor taking over a new team, our beloved show will have a new look next year. I have to give Jason Katims, writer of this excellent episode, credit. The episode ending the way it did (with Eric and Tami standing in the center of the poor-looking East Dillon field looking around) made it a perfect season or series finale. I’m hoping for the former, but if it does end with this episode, at least we know what happened to all of our favorite characters. But I’m not ready for this show to be finished. So, please cross your fingers along with me that “Friday Night Lights” gets renewed!

Oh, and two random notes because I didn’t know where else to put them:

*I loved the cowboy hats Billy and his groomsmen wore during the wedding

*How nice of the Eric and Tami to buy Julie her first car.

What did you think of this episode, and this season as a whole? Do you think it will come back for a fourth season? Feel free to comment below!

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

 

 

 

“Friday Night Lights” recap: The Giving Tree

In Friday Night Lights on December 12, 2008 at 3:36 pm

On Wednesday’s episode of Friday Night Lights, the Taylors found out Julie was no longer their little girl, Lyla discovered that her college fund was drained because Buddy made a bad investment with the money, young J.D. McCoy started to become his own man and Landry finally took a stand against Tyra.

 

I thought this episode was good. The scenes with Tami and Julie and Buddy and Lyla were especially strong. The stuff with J.D. and his dad was OK, but all the storylines can’t be home runs (or I guess I should say touchdowns for this show, right?). And I always enjoy the episodes where there’s a game, which there have been plenty of this season because of shortened amount of shows (13). Speaking of which, I can’t believe there are only three episodes left of this season! Where did the time go? Anyway, here’s my breakdown of the main storylines from Wednesday’s episode….

 

Landry and Tyra

 

This week’s episode’s title, “The Giving Tree,” was the basis for the one-sided friendship of former lovers Landry and Tyra. After blowing off school and SAT preparation to go on the road with Cash, Tyra fell woefully behind with her schoolwork and asked Landry to come to her rescue. Being the good guy that he is, he said yes, despite his band mates mocking him and telling him he’s basically a prostitute. Except, “he doesn’t get paid, and he doesn’t get laid.”

 

Fortunately, Landry saw the light when Tyra asked him if he could delay his band practice so they could finish their SAT vocabulary session. Landry finally put his foot down and gave her “The Giving Tree” breakdown of their friendship. The little boy would take and take and take from the tree that loved him so much, but eventually there was nothing left but a stump. Tyra’s the little boy who Landry, the three, loves to death and she continually takes from him, but gives nothing back. It was nice to see him have a backbone when it comes to Tyra for once.

 

As for Ms. Collette, she redeemed herself by getting Landry and his band a gig. Part of me couldn’t help but wonder if she did it because she cared about Landry, or because she wanted to prove she wasn’t selfish. The optimist in me is going to go with the former. I was just happy to see Tyra do something nice for him after all that Landry has done for her.

 

Buddy and Lyla

 

Is it wrong that I felt a little bit sorry for Buddy in this episode? I know that he lost Lyla’s whole college fund in a risky investment, but I couldn’t help feel bad for him when he was on Tim’s doorstep pleading for her to come outside or when he left that apologetic voicemail for her. I guess I’m such a big fan of Buddy that I can’t help but pit him a bit. If you want to get technical, one could say his relationship also had a “Giving Tree” feel to it. Buddy provided for Lyla his whole life, but now he’s just a stump and she wants nothing do with him. I couldn’t blame him for calling her spoiled.

 

In the end however, Lyla was right; this mess was Buddy’s own doing starting with cheating on his wife and then compounding it by using Lyla’s college money for that business venture without even asking her. Something tells me that she’ll still find a way into college though.

 

Matt, Julie and the Taylors

 

This was my favorite storyline of the episode because it shows how real this show is. Eric and Tami’s reactions to finding out Matt and Julie were sleeping together and how they went about handling it was spot on.

 

Let’s rewind for a minute though. I cringed when Coach went into the Saracen house to get Julie when no answered his knock. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. Julie’s shriek was priceless. As was Eric’s about face back to the car. When Julie finally got into the car, her and Eric’s silence was deafening.

 

As for the parental guidance on this delicate matter, I love, love, loved Tami’s talk with Julie. It was so real and heartbreaking all at the same time. I loved Tami’s honesty about how she hoped Julie would wait. Her advice was just as good from always being safe to letting Julie know if she and Matt broke up, she didn’t have to feel like she had to sleep with her next boyfriend. If this scene doesn’t get Connie Britton an Emmy nomination, then I just give up trying to understand awards shows.

 

While I enjoyed Tami and Julie’s talk, I think I liked Eric and Matt’s talk better. It may have been shorter and more one-sided, but it hit the same points. I got a kick out of Matt telling Tami that he was there to pick up Julie and bring her right back home and his deer-in-the-headlights look when Tami told him he could go outside and wait with Eric while Julie got ready.  He looked like he was walking The Green Mile as he headed to back yard. As Eric forcefully cleaned off the grill, he made his point with just a couple of sentences, “I know your dad is in Iraq, but I think he’d agree with me when I say women are to be respected,” and “That is my daughter.” All Matt had to say (and all he should have said) was, “Yes sir.” I was just happy to see that this personal stuff didn’t affect the football stuff. A more clichéd show would have had Coach put Matt on the bench, the team struggle, and Matt give Coach the old, let’s put personal stuff aside and win this game type of speech at halftime and then Coach puts him and Dillon wins the game. Luckily for us, this isn’t that type of show.

 

Joe and J.D. McCoy

 

This storyline felt a little like filler to me, but it is important to establish J.D.’s character if this show gets a fourth season. With most of the players graduating this year, J.D. will at the forefront of the cast next season. It’s sad that there are actually parents out there that are so wrapped up in their kids’ athletics, that they forget to let their kids have a life outside of sports.

 

It was so silly of Joe to ask J.D. to put his thing with Madison aside until the playoffs were finished. Doesn’t he trust his son to be able to handle being a football star and high school relationship? I cheered when Katie saw J.D. sneaking out to see Madison and didn’t say anything to Joe. It’s good that J.D. is standing up to his dad and doing what he wants, thanks to some advice from Tim Riggins of all people.

 

The Game

 

Honestly, could a referee crew really get away with not calling any penalties on the other team because they don’t like coach Taylor? That was so ridiculous. Maybe things are different in Texas, but in my youth sports experience, there’s no way officials could get away with letting their personal feelings get in the way of calling a fair game. I mean, they weren’t letting ticky-tack stuff go; there were late hits and blatant pass interference calls. When Riggings ran in for the winning touchdown, I was worried that the refs were going to throw a flag against Dillon for a phantom holding penalty. My favorite part of the game (aside from the Panthers winning) was Eric getting thrown out of the game for arguing after he told his team that they were going to control their tempers no matter how bad the officiating was. Practice what you preach, coach!

 

The other key thing that came out of the game, the accolades Mac McGill’s replacement and J.D. quarterback coach, Wade, got for leading Dillon to victory with that last drive. Could there be a coaching controversy in Dillon? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

 

Well, that is it for this week. What did you all think of the episode? Will the Panthers make it back to the state championship? Comment below!

 

Joe Dyton can be reached at thedytonian@yahoo.com