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Friday Night Lights “New York, New York” Review (3×08)

20 Oct

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“New York, New York” is a tricky episode from a plausibility standpoint, but it’s emotionally affecting in a way that only a show as good as FNL can pull off. It’s all about our characters’ persistence: Matt is determined to switch to WR, Mrs. Coach is determined to buy a new house, Jason is determined to get a job and be accepted by Erin, and Tyra is determined to escape.

In fact, going off that last point, we also see signs of Tami’s need to “escape”. In a small town like Dillon, you oftentimes feel the need to escape, the need to start anew and accomplish a huge goal. For Tami, that’s the house. Connie Britton is fantastic and very cute as the persistent wife here, both pleading with her husband to really take a look at their future together and accepting his decision to not get the house. She realizes that hey, maybe this isn’t who the Taylors are; they don’t need the house. There’s a fantastic shot of her right before that final conversation: Coach is pacing in the background, and Tami’s looking away; you can see both the anticipation and the nervousness in her expression. It’s a wonderful acting moment.

With Tyra, it’s frustrating to watch her dig herself deeper, but it’s entirely realistic. She’s raised with low expectations, and while she certainly desires to go to college and desires someone like Landry, she just as easily turns to that idealistic symbol of her future: smooth, good-looking cowboy Cash. Sometimes you just have to get away from your monotonous life, and it’s both understandable and heartbreaking to see Tyra go down this path with a man that has basically told her that it’s possible he’ll cheat on her if he’s alone. Sadly, they’re doomed to fail.

One relationship not doomed to fail, though, is Matt-Julie. I’m really glad that they got back together, because they’re pretty much a perfect couple and all is not right in the world if they’re not together. I laughed out loud when Julie brought up the receiver position switch at the dinner table, and the scene in which Coach runs routes with Matt in the street is FNL at its best. It’s so freaking cute watching the chemistry sizzle on screen with just a few looks, and…yeah, I adore that scene.

Of course, the main storyline here is Jason’s goodbye, and it really showcases Scott Porter’s acting skills. Although much of his and Riggins’ adventures in New York is unrealistic, I’m cutting the show some slack because here’s the thing: Jason Street’s lost his legs. Jason Street’s lost his chance at the NFL. Jason Street’s had his heart broken more than once. He deserves this. He deserves a happy ending, and that final scene sure is beautiful. The last shot is not of Six, though. It’s of Tim Riggins trying not to cry, and it’s fitting because Jason’s just as much of Riggins as Riggins is of Jason. It’s almost as if Tim’s a proud father watching his son go off to college, and there’s only one thing he has to say: Texas Forever.

 GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Another funny moment: Coach needing aspirin after throwing too much.

-We get one quick, fantastic scene between McCoy’s dad and Coach which sums up that relationship in a few seconds. He’s still trying to weasel his way into Coach’s life, and Chandler’s really awesome in that scene, as you can see the gears turning in his head.

-I like Smash’s goodbye better, but both were great and tear-inducing.

Credit to NBC, DirecTV, and Friday Night Lights for all pictures. I own nothing.

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