Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Night Lights - The Giving Tree

"The Giving Tree" was a strong episode, both because and in spite of it's reliance on a number of callbacks to classic FNL moments from earlier this season and the first -- we're still pretending much of season two didn't happen. Thematically, we only have to go back a few episodes ("Keeping up Appearances") where fathers and sons was the gist, and this week it's mostly daughters that get the father's attention.

First daughter up to bat is J.D. (that's right, I called him a daughter,) as the episode begins with him attending a party, no doubt his first since the infamous one a few episodes back ("It Ain't Easy Being J.D. McCoy"). It's here our golden boy gets a glimpse of his father's worst nightmare: A cute redhead named Madison. In a bit of foreshadowing fun, the song playing is "Dita Dimone" by Pop Levi, featuring the refrain "Daddy daddy don't be mean to me / I'm forever hearing Dita's plea." After daddy meets Madison a bit later, the lyrics make a lot more sense, and it's quickly apparent that J.D. is treated more like a daughter that needs protection. Leave it to mommy McCoy to aid and abet young J.D. in the re-securing of his balls.

Another storyline from "It Ain't Easy Being J.D. McCoy," that gets revisited is the one of "Matt and Julie doing it." Despite the lack of visibility over the past few episodes, the lovebirds are apparently still shaking the sheets, so to speak, as we find them clothesless in bed early in the episode, while Joseph Arthur's "Could We Survive" plays in the background. That song begins with the telling lyric: "Hallelujah stop and stare, when will Jesus find us here? Could we survive?" Coach, fresh from doing a little savior work at the jail with Buddy, is indeed going to find them there, and the way the scene was shot was quite wonderful. Shot entirely away from the action, the camera focuses instead on the exterior of Matt's house as we only hear Julie scream and see Coach come storming out, which is really all we need. In dealing with Julie, it's Tammi who naturally ends up taking the reigns, and we're treated to a wonderful sequel to the mother-daughter conversation from season one's classic episode, "I Think We Should Have Sex."

Buddy and Lyla inhabit the final father-daughter relationship explored, and after attempting to portray him in a more positive light earlier this season, he's back to being the old unlovable scamp, losing Lyla's college savings and ending up in jail after a scuffle at the Landing Strip. Exactly how does one cause $30K in damages at a dilapidated strip joint, anyway? The only hint we get that he's willing to recognize he's wrong with Lyla is through the backing music. "Till I Get it Right" by John Doe and the Sadies plays during the first Buddy rant, and the episode ends with him leaving a message to Lyla to the tune of Soulsaver's "Revival." "Forgive what I have means my soul's survival," the song goes, and its use also underscores Tyra's recognition that Landry is more to her than someone she takes advantage of. That ties together the title's implied theme, which Landry brings up in referencing the children's book "The Giving Tree." (And how about Crucifictorious sounding like a real band now? They might be aping old Kings of Leon, but it actually sounded pretty promising.)

I guess there was another playoff game this week as well, right? The game again took a backseat to all that was happening, but what happened on the field did two great things. First was a callback to the troubling referees from season one's "Black Eyes & Broken Hearts" episode, where Coach Taylor turned the other cheek repeatedly, late hit after late hit. Still stinging from the Matt and Julie discovery, Taylor loses his sh*t and his voice, tearing into the referees, backed by one of the most daring music choices the show has had, the joyously angry "adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood" from Future Of The Left. The Welsh band, who rose from the ashes of the great mclusky, does angry very well, and, as FNL has occasionally shown, sometimes a well-timed cathartic release can do a world of good.

Playlist: Friday Night Lights - Episode 3.10
1. "Dita Dimone" - Pop Levi - Madison's party.
2. "Could We Survive" - Joseph Arthur - Matt & Julie talk in bed.
3. "Till I Get It Right" - John Doe and The Sadies - Buddy rants to Eric about his money problems.
4. "The Debtor" - Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - Tyra tells Landry she got his band a gig; Matt arrives at the Taylors'
5. "Remember When (B Side)" by The Black Keys - The game starts
6. "Sound Of Madness" by Shinedown - End of the first half
7. "adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood" by Future Of The Left - Coach Taylor leaves the game
8. "To West Texas" - Explosions In The Sky - The game ends
9. "Revival" - Soulsavers - Tyra watches Landry perform; Buddy leaves Lyla a message.

Previously: Man-Hatin' Music (Episode 3.09)


Carrie said...

Hey, so this is random - I'm trying to find the artist for the song that played on this episode during Tyra's stint to get Landry's band to play at the bar, coming into Matt at the Taylor's house. Everyone says it's "The Debtor" by Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, but those lyrics just don't match up. Do you have any idea??

drake lelane said...

on the tv airing it was indeed "The Debtor," but NBC will often replace these songs when cutting for the web, which I'm guessing is where you saw it, right?

Anonymous said...

So, what was the song on the web airing?

drake lelane said...

Rescue Records typically supplies the replacement music, and they've got all the music listed season by season here, available for sample and purchase.

Here's all the season 3 replacement songs.

They don't list which song was where, though... but they are in order so it shouldn't be too hard for you to narrow down.

Anonymous said...

Friday night lights is an interesting show and the characters of the show have played very good Role.I have seen all the season But some episodes i have missed to Watch Friday night lights online i found a good Source here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the tip on Rescue Records I found the song used for Tyra's scene to get Landry's band the gig. It is "Hello Hello" by Skin N bones on the Rescue Records website. A search on the Rescue Records site should locate it.

Spanco said...

The music of FNL episodes is very fine. I always get crazy to listen it. While listening these songs i always sleep and so i have no idea about matching of Lyrics.

Mr.Timmy said...

how do i get that song by skin n bones? i couldnt find it on the rescue records website