Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Night Lights "Injury List": Paying the Piper

With only three episodes left in a short season, "Injury List" had to juggle a lot of subplots, bringing many previous conflicts to a not so pleasant head. While the episode was as powerful at times as last week's "I Can't," it strained under the weight of too many story lines, a few of which I can't clame to be my favorite.

One of the first unpleasant repercussions came in the form of Luke, who's bruised hip rooster finally came to roost, taking a possible victory away from the Lions in the process. Seeing him walk through Carroll Park looking for hillbilly heroin with his wallet out was both ridiculous and yet so very Luke (right?). Sadly, this also benches him for the big game against the Dillon Panthers, a match that's been building since season four's premiere.

Luke's other indirect repercussion involves Becky's abortion, and his very religious mother getting involved. Poor Tami, even after following protocol she still finds herself in the cross hairs, of a woman looking to avenge the loss of what could've been. Becky, eager for the attention, must have fed Luke's mom exactly what was needed to bring the meddling to a boil. FNL has been careful not to paint anyone involved with this hot button issue in too villainous a light (well, aside from that one fire-breathing school board member), which they easily could've done with Luke's mom.

An even more unwelcome repercussion befalls Vince, who had fallen back into thuggery with Calvin to help pay for his mother's rehab. It hadn't been very long since we finally figured out Calvin Brown's name, and he's already a casualty. R.I.P. CB - we'll miss your gold necklace and bug-eyed stare. Calvin's death makes Vince vulnerable, bringing to a head another subplot -- that of the Landry-Jess-Vince triangle. Between Vince's tears and the combo of stroganoff and Obama talk at the Clarke residence, Jess appears to be edging back to team Vince. Funny looking Landry isn't done yet, though, rest assured. Twinkle toes still has some fight left in him. It might be time to write a Jess-centric Crucifictorious song.

Another repercussion sort of came out of left-field, with Tim the land baron and his landlord sitch. First came the ill-gotten gains deposit on his dream land, and, given the theme of the episode, you had to assume something bad was going to come of it. But, instead the paying of the piper came in the form of Cheryl's misreading of Tim's big brother-like attachment to Becky. That Tim spurned Cheryl prior only made it easier for her to over react.

The final shoe to drop was one that's been brewing since "Wait," when Matt up and left us all without saying goodbye. Julie had been a wreck until Habitat for Hunkity showed up, so Matt's timing is impeccable as usual. Julie's anger is understandable, but did she forget that it was her college applications and whining about being his Dillon anchor that spurred him out of town in the first place?

I'm writing this while my kids watch Ghostbusters 2 (forgot there was such a thing) in a mini-theater while on vacation out of state, so forgive the lack of digging this week. There's still some coins loose in the sofa cushion, though, so on to bullet points:

  • "Dear Lord, please let me get some more drugs before Friday."
  • Buddy Garrity as radio host is an unexpected joy
  • When Coach chose to drink another beer because he couldn't face being at home, it was hard to watch, especially when crosscut with Tami waiting on the porch with troubling news.
Friday Night Lights - Episode 4.11
1. "Say What You Want" - White Denim [download]: Lions practice
2. "Hard Times" - The Parlor Mob [download]: Luke keeps getting hit in the game.

Previously: "I Can't" (Episode 4.10)

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