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Friday Night Lights Recap: Episode 12, "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Friday Night Lights Rundown: Episode 12, "Who Do You Think You Are?"

This week's Friday Night Lights wasn't the most subtle episode of the show, with its twin themes of separation and prejudice leaving their mark on almost every story line. But amid the occasional heavy-handed nonsense, there were some interesting developments for Smash, Tami, and even Matt (finally). Want to read my thoughts and add your own? Just


Sometimes I think FNL just let its cast grow too big; even I'm having trouble remembering the last time we saw some of these people. Take Lyla: After a several-episode absence, she popped up as the new co-host of a Christian teen radio show that Tim Riggins prank-calls while he's hanging out with Jason Street. (Yes, I said Jason Street. We can cancel that missing persons' alert now.) While the radio show — and the associated makeout session with the boy formerly known as Logan from Gilmore Girls — came out of virtually nowhere, a few things about it worked. For one, I like seeing Lyla getting more comfortable with expressing her faith. For another: That moment with Tim Riggins walking in with drugstore flowers just as Lyla and her co-host started kissing was fantastic. I'd nearly forgotten Tim was still carrying a torch for her, and while he might have tossed the flowers aside, I don't think he's going to give up on Lyla so easily.

Onto Smash: As skeptical as I am of the idea that his mom and Noelle's parents would throw a dinner party to announce that a black guy and a white girl shouldn't date, this was an intriguing story. Dillon's a place where players of all colors share space on the field relatively easily, but we've also seen how tenuous that racial truce is, and I'd believe an interracial relationship could still raise some eyebrows. I wish we could have seen a little more of that eyebrow-raising before this episode's big blowout, though — not to mention some more of Smash and Noelle actually dating, rather than her acting as his football adviser.

Tami got a big dose of separation anxiety when she realized that leaving Gracie with Shelly and with strangers at day care were two very different things. I loved the way Coach and Tami ended up having essentially the reverse of the conversation they had about TMU in last season's finale: In that episode, he said he wouldn't take the job because he didn't want to hurt the family, and she insisted she had to follow his dream; this time, she said she was ready to give up her job, and he refused to let that happen. Their scene on the couch, with Coach assuring Tami that Gracie could always come to her for counseling, was one of my favorites.

Some other thoughts:

  • So, Carlotta's gone. I guess I'm glad it's over, but why did it even happen?
  • Santiago's story with Buddy's grandpa's watch and his juvie friends was about as telegraphed as anything gets on FNL — I mean, Buddy practically said aloud that one of Santiago's friends would steal the watch. Also, between this and the watch Landry lost, this show has quite a fascination with heirloom watches.
  • Speaking of Landry, we finally got a scene of him and Matt hanging out! What's a little murder between friends?
  • Guess that drug dealer had better things to do this week than come after Riggins.

Your thoughts? Was this episode too predictable, or was the payoff worth it? And why didn't Riggins just go live with Herc and Street in the first place?

Photos courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
Entertainment Entertainment 9 years
Ohhhh no, lickety split, I hadn't thought of that either. I'd totally believe it, though. Ack!
MissKate919 MissKate919 9 years
Lickety Split OMG Carlotta might be pregnant! Good call, I never thought of that one. I hope she isn't though, b/c I really like Matt and Julie. And Julie seems to finally have gotten what she deserves for hurting Matt, and hopefully learned her lesson. I hope for reconciliation there soon. Riggins is hilarious! And yes the crazy roommate had an episode off, but he'll be back for his money. He is so creepy. Was nice to see the romantic side of Riggins. He won't give up on Lyla, he doesn't fold that easily. Remember how persistent he was and got back on the team after he missed practices to help Street out in Mexico? I love the Taylors and the whole Gracie/daycare story line is just so real. Millions of families go through this and can relate. Although not all husbands are as sweet as coach Taylor was in this episode. LOL.
lherzik123 lherzik123 9 years
So this episode was missing football but other than that I agree that there are too many people on the show. It is like greys anatomy when it got bad during the 3rd or 4th season. The Smash and Noelle story line bores me and I feel bad for his little sister but other than that Noelle just annoys me. Tim is so hot but so is the christian radio host. Lyla is so lucky. It seems like Matt and Carlotta are not over yet. The note probably said something or she will re-appear because that story line seemed to end abruptly. I think Jason should leave the show as well as Noelle and bring back Tyra and Landry.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
since the show was a "maybe" to return this fall, i'm guessing they added more story lines to see what would "catch" and try to get a bigger audience. you know something for everyone, working mom, drinking teen, christians, divorced dads, etc. and if any of the featured players decide to leave it's not that big a deal. i'm thinking the reason the in home support worker left was because she is PREGNANT! i was afraid that would be the story line and her "my mom needs me" line was out of the blue. matt told landry he loves her so there is still story there. the tim riggins call into the radio show was classic :ROTFL: that is so something he would do. dh is hooked on this show now and is watching it online from the start. there was a big racial thread that went on involving smash and the co-coach. i think the tension is always just under the surface.
nomerz nomerz 9 years
Is it just me or has practically every characters' role been reduced with the exception of Smash, Coach, Tami, Julie, Riggins, and the brief Landry/Tyra storyline? It's like they have so many characters that they've forgotten or just don't know what to do with them. I love this show and it's still my "must-see" but they need to get FNL back on track.
sq2 sq2 9 years
I knew I recognized him! thanks!
Entertainment Entertainment 9 years
I've also got a chart of the winter premieres that have been announced so far over here. sq2 — It's Matt Czuchry, who most recently played Logan on Gilmore Girls
sq2 sq2 9 years
anyone know who the actor is that played the Christian radio show co-host? i recognize him but can't put my finger on where from. thanks!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
This is actually a really helpful little strike chart, with a bunch of different shows.
Entertainment Entertainment 9 years
ktc71 — they finished 15 episodes before the strike shut down production, so we still have three more.
ktc71 ktc71 9 years
I was wondering about Waverly too! I still love this show so much! Some weeks are better than others, but I still always look forward to getting my FNL fix. :) Does anyone know how many more episodes are left?
Entertainment Entertainment 9 years
Yeah, tlsgirl, they totally never explained what happened to Waverly. I thought maybe the actress got cast on another series and couldn't do the show anymore (which is what happened to the guy who plays Herc), but the only conflict I can see on her imdb page is South of Nowhere, which I think she was doing when she started on FNL anyway. So yeah, I think she's just gone.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
I'm glad that they got rid of Carlotta. Not only did that plot annoy me, but I feel ya on the too many stories/characters problem. Last season just seemed a little bit more focused in that way, and I hope that this will help move FNL back in that direction. As for the Smash/Noelle storyline, that dinner party was pretty ridiculous, and can I just ask what the heck happened to Waverly? Did she just disappear, or did I miss something? I know she went off her meds, but still...
mallomar mallomar 9 years
*ave = have. (or maybe Im from a Dickens novel lol)
mallomar mallomar 9 years
Yeah I agree with you Buzz, too many characters with too many storylines. I liked the nurse but hopefully with her gone that gets rid of a storyline, and honestly I think its time for Jason Street to go because he doesnt seem to ave much purpose storywise. So maybe give him a farewell episode where he moves away- didnt it seem like they were heading that way at some point anyway? And then we can focus on the Taylors and a couple other characters- like Riggins yum!- as opposed to having to drop sttorylines to pursue new ones.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
As always, great recap, Buzz! I, too, loved the scene where Eric told Tami that Gracie could come to her for counseling and the final scene where Tami was fretting about the fact that Gracie was already "so over [her]" as they walked away from the day care. What I love about FNL is its doses of reality; that was such a real scene for me! Glad that Carlotta is gone and that Matt is back; while it was good to see that Jason Street is still with us, I honestly don't miss him much. I agree that story lines are getting dropped or delayed as we touch base with the lives of the growing cast of characters; still, most of them are interesting and worth the effort. In the past, Lyla was never one of my favorite characters, but she has grown on me this season; she seems more comfortable in this new role than she ever did in her cheerleading gig. Guess we'll have to wait even longer to find out about Tim's fate with the drug dealer and his future with Lyla.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
Hmm, I liked this episode. I loved the Riggins brothers prank call "I think Jesus was hot." Immature, yes but Tim is so gorgeous he makes it endearing. I wish Lyla would loosen up and cut him a break. I hope they get together. He needs someone to be there for him. Glad the maid is gone! That plot was pointless. I didn't enjoy Smash's storyline-- I can't sympathize with him because I hate Noelle. Loved the Santiago storyline mainly because of Buddy's reaction when he came back home bloody and beaten with the watch. Very touching.
mediafreak mediafreak 9 years
I totally forgot about that drug dealer!
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