Friday Night Lights: “New York, New York”

You’ll be swell! You’ll be great!
Gonna have the whole world on the plate!
Starting here, starting now,
Honey, everything’s coming up roses! – Mama Rose

So ends Six’s story, with the tearful reunion of an accidental family and the broken heart of a lifelong friend. Nothing ever could stop Jason Street, not even a broken neck. So while yes, the kid with the GED getting even an entry level job at a New York boutique agency is a bit crazy, I can *almost* believe it. Scott Porter is that good. He’s so good, I could watch Jason lie outright to Wendell about being on his way back to Dillon and stopping in just to help the poor kid make the right decision and *still* believe every word he said.

That’s a testament to Street as a character and Porter as an actor.

Jason rolls off into the sunset on $40K a year and the knowledge that he’ll be running that agency someday. At least he should know that.

While I expected Porter’s always stellar performance to bring the money in that final scene, it was really the perfect reaction shot on Tim that pushed me over the edge. In a season where he’s already shown remarkable growth as a performer, Taylor Kitsch did more with his silent expression to close out the episode than he’s done in three years on the show. ((Obligatory joke about Kitsch’s dreadful approximation of a Texas accent here: Of *course* he was better silent.)) Tim still has his brother and Lyla, but his BFF, his blood brother, is gone from his life now. Those miles represent more than distance. They represent life paths.

Meanwhile, back in Dillon, practice continues apace. ((It’s good that Tim’s such a natural and dedicated athlete that all the time he misses from the practice field doesn’t impact his game. It’s also good that Coach is so lax about discipline that he doesn’t mind. What the hell? How does Tim even have a spot on that roster anymore?!?)) Frustrated by receivers who can’t run their patterns, Matt asks Coach if he can demonstrate. He runs the route, catches the pass, and causes Mac McGill’s heart attack. What? You thought that was coincidental? No way. We all know Mac’s feelings on white athletes and black athletes. Learned that the hard way back in season one. Nope. Mac had a heart attack because he realized subconsciously that Matt Saracen – his fleet of mind but slow of foot QB – was going to become a WR for the Dillon Panthers. Dropped him on the spot.

Not that it should have. Coach is a stubborn man. No way was Coach Eric Taylor going to risk playing his backup QB as a receiver. No way was…right. Julie wins the day with her powers of nagging. She persisted and persuaded and droned on enough at that dinner table that Coach knew the only way to stop her was to give Matt an impromptu tryout.  So back to the street where Julie once proved her arm to her father for Matt to prove his legs to his surrogate father. ((An aside: if the Dillon receivers are too stupid to learn the difference between a skinny post and a slant, they deserve the splinters in their asses. I figured the tryout was going to be far more about sharply delineated timing routes, not the patterns that we learn when we’re seven or eight.))

So Matt’s got a new position, JD’s got a new favorite target, Tim’s so good at tailback he doesn’t need to practice, there’s an Aikman taking Mac’s spot, and the Dillon Panthers are *doomed*. Seriously? This isn’t a juggernaut, this is a Flag Football D-League team at this point. I mean, I’m glad the show is generally back and hitting its marks well. Emotionally, I’m on board with everything. But the football decisions? Crap.

As for our other two story fronts…

We got to watch Tyra make yet another incredibly stupid decision, primarily because the last person she talked to before heading out for her interview was her mother. Had she spoken with Tami before going over, she’d probably have aced the interview and never given Mr. Deadbeat Dad a second thought. Had she spoken with Landry, she’d probably have…acted really strange and quirky in the interview, but still done well enough. But she spoke with her mother, and acted accordingly. Tyra’s been written as such a weak-willed young woman, she bends her behavior and attitude to accomodate whomever she’s speaking with. She’s a classic appeaser, which makes little sense, as she’s also been shown as the accountable and responsible one in the Collette household. It’s inconsistent and it bugs the hell out of me.

And Tami. Cute and pleading and cajoling and flirty and…Coach has an iron will. I’d have bought the house just to see one of Connie Britton’s smiles. But I do *not* have an iron will. ((Or much sense.)) What she wanted most of all wasn’t for Coach to buy her the house, but to make the decision *with* her, so his thoughtful, reasoned, emotional explanation ended the discussion on a positive note.

As always, I’m impressed by the maturity and complexity of the Taylor relationship. It’s so nice to see two adults treating each other the way real people do. Theirs is a believable relationship, filled with petty bickering and squabbling, but grounded in open and honest love. It looks real and looks lived-in because it looks like every strong couple you’ve ever seen. It looks like two people who are each other’s rocks.

Other thoughts:

  • I thought the quote in the lede was apropos because it fits Jason’s arc a bit, but mostly because while watching I had to laugh at the thought of Tim watching Patti LuPone chewin’ up the scenery in Gypsy. Seriously? Who can’t see Tim sitting there asking “where are the strippers?”
  • I’ve never understood Jason’s relationship with Erin. She seemed to go from one-night stand to loving bride-to-be without much intervening relationship building.
  • If Jason were ruthless, he’d have brought Wendell in on the condition that he be his agent. Except…Wendell’s a football player and the NFL has very strict licensing guidelines for agents.
  • I fear we’ve seen the last of Herc, so let’s all pour one out for our favorite wheelchair-bound homey. *Sigh*. Maybe he’ll buy an orphanage in Dillon and will stay around for awhile.
  • I love that real estate agent. I’ve loved her since she came on to Tim back in the pilot. She just cracks me up.
  • I’m going to miss Street.

What did everyone else think?