Friday Night Lights: The Catastrophe & The Cure

Sorry this is late, but honestly, I don’t know if I am done recovering from the multitude of Friday Night Lights things that have occurred this past week. Things, including, the return of the show to NBC in April, the departure of Taylor Kitsch/ Tim Riggins, and the CRAZY AMOUNT OF HAPPENINGS that happened on the latest episode. If you were a character on this show, something happened to you this past week (you are not a character on this show). Most of the stuff was bad, but not Matt Saracen level trauma.  Actually, some of it was Matt Saracen level trauma.

I don’t know if people track my feelings about different characters on this show (you shouldn’t! there are more important things!), but I am usually not too kind to Becky Sproles. I make references to her by alluding to Glenn Close’s role in Fatal Attraction. I take back those bad things I said about Becky because she has been having some HARD TIMES. Becky is pregnant.  WHA?! When did that happen? You might as well call that plot development Daniel Murphy because it is out of left field. I mean, there was the date that Becky and BMOC Luke Cafferty went on where Luke was shirtless and it was 10PM. Later, Becky acted odd about the whole thing (odd in that original context where the audience did not know anything).  There was so much we didn’t know!

If anything, this episode of FNL taught me some lessons about my reaction to characters.  I admit that I used descriptors for Becky that characterized her as “crazy” & “Ali Larter in Obsessed”  & “Glenn Close’s role in Fatal Attraction.” At the time, I was making a surface judgment of Becky and her interactions with the other characters. When the nice, likable Luke asked her on another date that she declined, I assumed that Becky was declining because of Tim Riggins. Now, I see that Becky’s reaction could have pointed to a bunch of different things. Becky’s not crazy! She’s scared because this development is a big deal!

I kind of feel uncomfortable about this story arc in general though.  Becky and Luke already had a bunch of other stuff going on (Luke’s injuries, Becky’s relationship with Tim Riggins, Luke’s relationship to the team), and a pregnancy story comes off as lazy writing during the middle of the season.  In addition, the sexual nature of Becky and Luke’s relationship was never discussed explicitly until this episode.  The story sort of makes sense for these two characters in a way, since they both have goals of ultimately getting out of Dillon. Now, they are being seemingly punished for something that lots of other characters on the show have enjoyed without consequence. I think I’m coming off as more upset with this development than I actually am (it’s just a show!) but it seems like there’s a ton of stuff getting packed into this season and I am not sure if it will all come together.

To get back to what happens in the episode, Becky decides she wants to terminate the pregnancy. She asks Luke to pay for half of the procedure. Eventually, Luke expresses that he is uncomfortable with Becky seeking an abortion because they do not know how they will feel about the decision in the future. Eventually, Becky tells Tim Riggins she is pregnant. There are many heavy things in this episode and this story is the heaviest.

Vince also has some heavy moments. He wants a job to keep him out of trouble. Coach Taylor helps him get a job at Mr. Merriweather’s restaurant working with JESS. There is a history there. Now, there is a Landry Clarke there. For most of the season, the Jess/Vince dynamic has painted Vince as sinister, but recently more sympathy for Vince in the situation has appeared. Also, Jess seems like she is THIS CLOSE from leaving Landry but they keep making out in cars and restaurants (Landry does not have a heavy week. The Unbearable Lightness of Landry!). Vince eventually is cool with things. Vince also gets thrown around a lot during a scrimmage with some local ragamuffins who hang out in the park.

These ragamuffins constitute the main part of the episode in regards to Coach Taylor. Coach goes looking for Tinker (Tinker!) but eventually sees a 12-year old get shot. In order to stop 12-year olds from getting shot, Coach proposes having the lights in Carrol Park turned on for more time.  Buddy proposes football! Both things happen. Also, FNL follows up Michael B. Jordan’s casting with the appearance of another The Wire alum. D’Angelo Barksdale (Larry Gilliard Jr.) plays a community leader/ reformed criminal who teaches people about chess and the politics of chicken nuggets.  Next week, Omar Little plays a rival football coach (No, he doesn’t/ I am now caught up with the rest of the internet in making The Wire jokes).

Julie Taylor makes out with a guy during a Habitat for Humanity project. File that under who gives a fuck.

Coach Taylor scouts some young talent at the Carrol Park scrimmage. He also learns that Principal Taylor got kissed after the karaoke party by Glen. That part was funny! Later, Coach and Principal Taylor have a lovely date. That part was cute!

Also, JD McCoy’s dad is getting a divorce from JD McCoy’s mom. JD McCoy doesn’t show up (thank gosh) and Mr. McCoy isn’t too much of an asshole. I don’t know where that is going.

NEXT WEEK: Crazy happenings continue!  Luke’s parents make holy family comparisons! Mr. Merriweather is mean to Coach Taylor! Vince has another tough week. Take it away, YouTube!

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