Friday Night Lights “I Can’t”/ “Injury List” Review (4×10/4×11)

16 Aug


“I Can’t”–Season 4, Episode 10

What an episode this is. It’s not every day that you see the topic of abortion handled with the nuance provided here by the writers and the actors, and the situation is heart-wrenching to watch unfold. Becky’s strained relationship with Cheryl is very much on her mind throughout, and she realizes that she’s the product of a situation akin to her own, that her mother harbors resentment for the impact teenage pregnancy had on her life. Yet, that abortion never happened, and while Becky wants to go on to do bigger and better things, she now also wonders about her own child. Enter Tami Taylor.

Mrs. Coach lays out her options and gives this girl what she needs: not a decision and not a nudge one way or another, but rather someone to listen to her and comfort her, to exhibit kindness. Becky goes through a whole range of emotions there at the dinner table, and Madison Burge is impeccable at conveying those emotions (Connie Britton is, as always, amazing). So, Becky decides to go through with the abortion. Why? “I can’t take care of a baby”, she says. “I can’t.”

Just like Tami lends a supportive hand to Becky, Virgil does it for Vince, not in the former of money, but in the form of moral support. He’s saying no to the money, not to Vince, and that has a profound impact. Vince is a kid who’s had to mature beyond his years, but he’s still a kid who wants and needs his mom to be around. He blames himself for the addiction, but it’s not his fault. He breaks down at his mother’s side. He turns back to crime.

Also,”Tim Riggins is gonna be a father?” —Coach, understandably horrified

“Injury List”–Season 4, Episode 11

This episode deals with the fallout from Tami and Becky’s conversation, with Tami becoming the punching bag when Luke’s mother takes everything out of context and twists the situation against her. It’s certainly a frustrating situation that’s bound to get even more so–with the School Board getting involved–but as expected, Tami handles the heat in a way that only she can.

Elsewhere, the Cheryl storyline isn’t my favorite because although I understand she’s in an emotionally fragile place, her actions seem contrived, her character reduced to a plot device in regards to the Tim-Becky relationship. However, it’s very nice to see Tim talking about his plans for the future; he’s finally able to buy a piece of land, and he looks so damn happy. As Becky says, he’s kind and he’s worth something. Shaky way to get to that scene, but worth it in the end.

Finally…oh, Matt. I’ll defend you any day, but Julie has every right to act as she does in this episode. I understand getting away from Dillon, but if you’re going to call, you have to realize that everything isn’t normal.

Photo credit: NBC, Friday Night Lights, DirecTV

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