"When all the scared rats are leaving a sinking market, that's when a real entrepreneur steps in -- a true visionary." Tim Riggins, echoing Buddy
Ok, I started commenting on FNL probably a week too late, as last week's episode ("Hello Goodbye") was probably the best since the first season, working well as a send-off for the Smash Williams character to ride off into the sunset. Mrs. Coach was finally back, and we also got to meet the Principal's husband, as Tammi and Eric got back on the same page. Maybe it's just the day (Friday the 13th), but this week's episode ("Every Rose has its Thorn") seems to catch FNL at its low point in the season, which makes me a true visionary, I guess, working in the pulled quote from above.
As if to clue us in early to the episode's problems, the Panthers are having trouble with their alternating set formations. Coach's indecision about who to go with for QB1 leads us to this near catastrophe, but both JD and Matt pull out the win in the end, thanks to the misdirection (and backed by the song "Game On" by Disciple, a musical callback to Matt running the offense from the season premiere). Matt wins the game, but as our frequently unreliable announcer tells us, JD McCoy has already been crowned QB1. Somebody better tell coach (and the rest of the coaches do just that).
Illustrating Coach and Mrs. Coach's once-again united front, this episode throws us some pedestrian drama for them to tackle in the form of a little tattoo on Julie's ankle. We haven't had a good Eric and Tammi vs. Julie issue this season, so in that regard, it was good seeing them work out the situation -- but over a tattoo? Really? On her ankle I detect neither rose nor thorn, which is surprising given the episode title. And then, in one of the few bright spots, Landry and Matt pull into school blasting a power ballad, but it's not the song from Poison we expect to hear. Instead, it's Skid Row's "I Remember You." The sad look Landry gives as he sees Tyra with Cash offsets the pain of hearing that song again.
We need to cut FNL slack, though, as this is a transition episode, as we move into the Jason Street four-episode arc. And with Street, thankfully, comes some more Herc. His demeanor before and after the baby arrives provides much needed comic relief. ("Babies love vaginas! They just took a great trip through one; it's like looking at a postcard.") And what a cute baby that is ... as much hassle as a baby would be to a storyline like Street's, I'm still going to miss him after only a few seconds of watching him sleep. Which brings us to the flipping house-flipping scheme. Maybe it's just the economy, but flipping a house seems like a terrible idea. Street (like Matt and Landry) is feeling inadequate as a provider, so it's understandable that he's willing to try just about anything, but the inclusion of the Riggins brothers make it a disaster waiting to happen, right? But if it means more scenes with Herc ("you don't know who Burt Bacharach is? What am I doing here with you!") than it's worth seeing it through
Speaking of disasters waiting to happen, we almost forgot about Tyra and Cash. Sure, Cash had some nice things to say to Tyra at the restaurant, but did you notice the song playing in the background? That was The Walkmen's "If Only It Were True," providing some serious foreshadowing. "And now, you love me too? If only it were true."
Playlist: Friday Night Lights - Episode 3.05