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Friday Night Lights “Game of the Week” Review (3×09)

22 Oct

fnl-gameoftheweek

When the spotlight is on you and the pressure is mounting, sometimes that’s when everything becomes clear; all you can focus on is that one game, that one relationship, that one future, that one family. And so it goes in Dillon.

Strangely enough, the most low stakes-feeling aspect of this episode is the first playoff game, hyped up pre-opening credits by the presence of the national TV spotlight before becoming toned down post-credits. I would’ve liked to see more of how that spotlight both motivates and pressures the Panthers, because otherwise it doesn’t feel all that important. That’s fine, but then why introduce the TV crew?

What does feel high stakes, though, is everything involving Tyra and the Saracen household. First up, Tyra. Adrianne Palicki is fantastic here as a woman realizing “Hey, you know what? I’m a grown woman, and I’m not just someone to be objectified and used…no matter how good-looking this dude is.” The expression on her face as she looks around the bar is a great acting moment, and her conversation with Landry is beautiful. She doesn’t ask him to come get her; like she says, she just needs someone to talk to, and that scene is filled to the brim with love and friendship. Then, Tyra calls Mrs. Coach for help, interrupting her and Coach’s birthday getaway complete with hotel robes. You can tell on the car ride home that Mrs. Coach is a bit annoyed, but you also know that she loves being a Coach-like figure to the kids. Also, you’re a douche, Cash.

I also really love Matt’s storyline here, as tensions arise between him, Lorraine, and Shelby over his college future. It’s selfish of Lorraine, but it’s understandable; it’s scary for her to even fathom Matt going away, much less Shelby being her guardian (of course, who wouldn’t want Kim Dickens taking care of them?). Lorraine and Shelby bonding over Matt being put in the game at WR is a bit too easy for me, but considering the problem won’t go away soon, it’s a sweet moment.

That brings us to Tim Riggins. At episode’s end, he gets into college, but not before being abandoned by Lyla on the side of the street due to him blowing off a recruiter. I like that Lyla forces him to really look at his future, and although Tim gets accepted waaaay too easily, it’s a good storyline that gets Minka Kelly dancing and culminates in a scene on the porch in which they’re both laughing and smiling. Those two crazy kids are going to college.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Lyla bonding with Mindy makes a lot of sense. She’s come a long way from the popular cheerleader back in season 1, and it’s understandable that she’d bond with different people. However, what differs is the fact that Lyla can be mature about her relationship with Tim.
-I feel like this is the first time they’ve shown a field goal.
-“You made the right call, Coach.” Yeah, because it worked.
-Where are the McCoys? Ah, who cares.
-I like Mrs. Coach putting her hand over Coach’s mouth when he tries to interrupt the phone call. I also feel bad for Coach.
-Landry has a 4.6 GPA.

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

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