Everyone else is leaving Dillon, so why not us? Street and Riggins headed for the Big Apple so Street can pursue his dreams. The trip came fully equipped with a fish-out-of-water sequence that had some surprising laughs. Of course, The City is not what MTV has trained the boys to expect (What did they expect? How old is Street now, 19? And he doesn't even have a college degree?). Plus, Jason's sudden desire to become a sports agent was quickly snuffed out.
As the agent points out, this isn't Dillon, where knowing the boosters is enough to get you a job. But it's a small world after all, and Jason's former Panthers teammate-gone-pro ends up being the wedge that opens the door for him after Jason pulls his sweet, terribly sincere, linguistic magic on him. Even though "the applicants for the entry level positions are all Harvard alum," Jason Street is special. He does have a gift, and since the first episode of "Friday Night Lights" we've watched him struggle to find himself and his new identity beyond Jason-Street-high-school-star, and it looks like he's finally succeeded.
Of course, the Riggins-Street bromance is tested as Tim contemplates the reality of Street's east coast move. With Riggins' pain comes much comedy gold, until the heartstring-tugging last scene. But as Riggins himself says, "OK ... drop the violin." There was plenty of other Dillon action this week, however, that actually took place in Dillon.
Eric, always struggling with attacks from several different fronts, tallied a final outcome of win-lose-and-draw in this episode. In the loss category, Eric went up against Buddy and the boosters after Coach McGill gave himself a heart attack on the football field. Buddy wanted to hire JD's personal coach as the new offensive coordinator in the interim. Eric, whose future is intimately tied to the Panthers' winning percentage, sees the light in Buddy's suggestion, and ultimately caves. And though Eric won his battle against Tami regarding a new home, it nearly came at the price of their much ballyhooed domestic harmony. Still, this would be Eric and Tami that we're talking about. Even though Eric had to stand firm with his wife regarding fiscal responsibility, Tami, being the wonderful, rational woman she is, is OK with not getting her dream home. Sure they fought about it at first, but when they both looked at it again with fresh eyes and open hearts they did the right thing and ended with a hug.
The draw in this scenario came in the form of one Matt Saracen and his bid to become a wide receiver. It's good to see Matt coming out of the shadows and pursuing something he's interested in. I doubt anything particular will come from the wide-out position for him, but it's like a foreshadowing of Matt really starting to break free and come into his own.
This week's episode was one of the deeper, more textured of the season. Perhaps because it was the resolution to so many emotional story lines (Riggins and Street, Eric and Tami, Matt Saracen and everyone), or that the focus was just on a few of our more well-developed characters. "FNL" is often good at exploring different outcomes to tough choices through juxtaposed narratives. In this case we saw that happen twice, both with Tyra and Street. On one hand we have Street, the wonderful boyfriend and father, who will do whatever it takes to provide for his family. Then we have Cash, who denies he's a deadbeat baby daddy, and can't even promise Tyra that he'll be faithful to her on the road. Changes in home life cause Street and Tyra to reevaluate their futures, but where Tyra turns her back on college after one middling interview, Jason goes on to succeed after a setback thanks to his passion and drive something Tyra hasn't seemed to find yet, to her unfortunate detriment.
Next Week: Cash's hidden addiction unleashes his inner Chris Brown on Tyra
Musings and Miscellanea:
- I love how Julie silenced Matt at dinner she sounded awfully like her mama!
- More fancy Dillon houses with a note on foreclosures. (Tonight's fiscal theme was like an well-written after-school special.)
- "Your legs tired?" "Well you know, I haven't been using them much sitting on the bench." Saracen is not often funny, but when he is it's always perfect.
- Huh, Jason makes more money than I do ... all without a high school degree. Great.
- Riggins explaining "Gypsy" was absolutely hilarious.
- "Jason, I'm pregnant." "Jesus, Riggins!" "I'm just being your girl, what if she throws a curve ball at you?"
- Episodes are always beautifully shot, but for some reason this one seemed particularly gorgeous. Texas forever! (Even when it's in New Jersey.)
(Photo courtesy NBC/Universal)
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Finally - common ground!
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