Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Night Lights: Negotiations

This is the second goodbye for FNL this season, with the first being the best episode of the season so far. But while that one ended with the camera lingering on the face of Smash as he contemplated his new life outside Dillon, our goodbye to Jason Street (Scott Porter) instead focuses on the face of Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch,) as he contemplates his good friend living his life outside Dillon.

The theme for the episode is 'negotiations,' but there were and you can see the negotiating going on all over Riggins' face, thanks to Kitsch great piece of acting here. In the span of a few seconds, happiness, sorrow and reconciliation are presented -- all without the need for words. And while the strings that the writers pulled to get us to this point were often questionable (flipping the house,) convenient (old teammate showing up at right time) or both (Jason somehow getting a job at a sports agency*) all was forgotten in those final moments.

*To be fair, Jason Street is a master negotiator -- whether it's convincing Buddy to sell your house to him, or talking his one night stand into keeping her baby, he can sell ice to Eskimos.

The scene was backed by the hauntingly beautiful "Gentle Moon" by Sun Kil Moon, a song that could have a couple interesting meanings in this context. The repeated line "dreams escape fire, they won't tire," is both Jason's escape from Dillon and overcoming all the obstacles set before him to reunite him with his new family. Singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek has said the song was written about September 11th, so having the action here be in New York makes it an even more appropriate song.

There were plenty of other negotiations going on in the episode, including the rather pointless Eric and Tami real estate storyline. But my favorite has to be Julie's take no quarter negotiations with her father about Matt getting a shot at wide receiver. And that led to the other highlight of the episode, the ten pass test that Eric gives Matt, complete with Eric asking for aspirin under his breath after wearing out his arm in the process.

Getting back to the music, besides the ending, I think my favorite placement was T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" playing while Tim and Jason wander through the streets of New York. It's been used a lot, to be sure, but here it takes on new meaning, with the Texas boys looking every bit like 20th Century boys in a 21st Century New York. Besides that, any inclusion of Drake fave The Hold Steady is always welcome, and "Stay Positive" is the perfect song for Coach Taylor to cave into Matt's request to be a wide receiver:
There's gonna come a time when the true scene leaders
Forget where they differ and get the big picture
That's negotiations, y'all.... The Hold Steady style.

Playlist: Friday Night Lights: Episode 3.08
1. "Feel Alright" - Steve Earle - celebrate the sale of the house
2. "Guilt By Association" - Louis XIV - practice
3. "20th Century Boy" - T. Rex - Jason & Tim wander around New York
4. "The Inspiration" - School of Velocity - Jason & Tim go to meet sports agent
5. "Forever" - Chris Brown - Tim tells Jason how to get what he wants
6. "This Isn't It" - Giant Drag - practice with new offensive coordinator Wade
7. "Stay Positive" - The Hold Steady - Matt gets a chance at wide receiver
8. "Gentle Moon" - Sun Kil Moon - Jason is reunited with his family while Tim watches

Previously: Paternal Instincts (Episode 3.07)


Anonymous said...

Great show, great episode, and thanks so much for listing the songs, i thought the music was great on this episode.

Anonymous said...

Friday night lights is an interesting show at least for me.I missed so many episodes of the last season and Looking to watch Friday night light episodes online.I agree that the music was great and the song given in this Blog.

Serena said...

I like Taylor Kitsch in this show. And in comments somebody post a link and its a good site for tv shows. Thanks buddy for sharing this...

Spanco said...

Firstly thanks for this good article and listing for songs. I am huge fan of this show. Recently they have started the new season 4, after a long wait. I have seen 1st episode of new season and this is mind blowing. Now i am waiting for the next episodes of Friday Night Live tv show.

stephen said...

Friday Night Lights TV Show is an awesome series I have ever seen on television. The concept of the show is excellent and cast is just amazing. I like this show very much.

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