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Friday Night Lights “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” Review (3×11)

31 Oct

627-19Just a few quick thoughts coming up…

-The best part of this episode is easily the Matt-Shelby-Lorraine storyline. It’s not something we haven’t seen before, but it works because a) it’s realistically not something that will go away, and b) all three actors are brilliant. It’s devastating watching Matt lose control of the one thing that’s remained constant for most of his life: his ability to take care of his grandma. I also have to compliment Kim Dickens here for making Shelby likeable; she’s excellent here portraying a woman who not only has to be there for her family, but also has to be willing to take the verbal abuse from Matt. She deserves it, and she knows it.

-So, Joe McCoy has really gone berserk. The beating scene is shocking and cruel, and he’s absolutely despicable here. It’s certainly not an unrealistic type of parent, but the problem is that it seems a tad bit cartoonish and rushed when a guy we spend time at his home with comes across as a complete stranger. I guess that’s the point, but I would’ve liked to see an inkling of compassion or new character development somewhere within the mess. Of course, the whole arc’s been building up to this moment, and it’s not badly handled; it’s just that some things could’ve used more work. For example, Joe could get hit by a bus. The fallout, though, is fantastic; J.D. acts as a regular teenager would act, and Coach/Mrs. Coach continue to be the wonderful people they are.

-Tyra’s attracted to control, like we see when Landry tells Mindy to back off with the questions. She wishes she could be like Mindy and want what Mindy wants, but she’s a completely different person that’s treated the exact same way: like a person who is directionless in life. So, it’s great to see her mom actually compliment her; the fact that she hasn’t before is pretty terrible and, for me, cheapens the moment a bit, but on the other hand, this is exactly what Tyra needs.

-Oh, Tim Riggins, you’re awesome. Tim’s really matured now, noticing that Lyla’s taking on some of his former characteristics. He hasn’t really thought through much when he brings Lyla back to the church, but you can tell he’s trying hard to get her on the right track. Lyla’s looking at everything like it’s the end of the world, and Tim has to make sure he tells her there are other options. It’s excellently handled by Kitsch and Kelly, and their “I Love You” scene doesn’t come across as cliched or overly mushy. It’s a matter of fact “I Love You”, not a “When I look into your eyes, my heart becomes a butterfly, flapping its cupid wings and doing shit butterflies do when I need it to work for my stupid metaphor and the stupid audience.”

-Redistricting! This paves the way for some intriguing new storylines going forward, especially between Coach, Buddy, and Tami. Once again, Chandler does a great job conveying the uncertainty in his mind in just a few looks.

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

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