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Friday Night Lights Rundown: Episode 2, "Bad Ideas"

Friday Night Lights Rundown: Episode 2, "Bad Ideas"

Friday Night Lights sure is shaking things up this season. With Coach Taylor in Austin, Tami dealing with a new baby, Julie going after the Swede, and of course that crazy plot twist with Landry and Tyra, Dillon is looking a lot different right now. To talk about this episode, just

If I had to pick a theme for this episode, it would be: "What have we just done?" Tami is verging on losing it, Matt is dealing with Grandma's new nurse, and Landry is trying to figure out how to live with himself after killing a guy and dumping his body in the river.

Doesn't that last bit sound a little ridiculous? Even though the Tyra/Landry story was only a small portion of "Bad Things," it's the story line that looms over everything else right now. Executive producer Jason Katims has said that the murder was intended to bring Tyra and Landry together, and that's what we saw this week: Landry's declaration of love; Tyra's surrender to the person who did something courageous (albeit stupid) on her behalf. It's an interesting place to take the two of them, and they're acting the heck out of it, but really — was this the only way to get them there?

More interesting to me is the way the Taylor family has been shaken up. Tami's really on the edge right now, and she knows that she put herself there. Glenn, the replacement counselor, is probably the last person in the world who should be comforting her, but at least he's in town. (Also: Tami doesn't have any girlfriends?) Julie, meanwhile, is inches away from a full-on teenage girl freefall, dumping her nice-guy boyfriend and rushing headlong toward The Swede — who, by the way, is way too old to be flirting with high schoolers at the gas station.

Matt finally got the help he'd been demanding for Grandma in the form of Carlotta, a live-in nurse who's already managed to unearth his stash of nudie magazines. Things are definitely going to be changing around the Saracen house — no more junk food, way less TV, and this new person telling Matt how things should be done. I seriously hope the two of them don't sleep together.

A few other thoughts:

  • You know who told Street that he might want to consider experimental surgery in Mexico? Murderball star Mark Zupan! Nice cameo, FNL! But do we really want Jason searching for a miracle cure?
  • Buddy Garrity sure has fallen from grace, huh? Not that long ago, he was the guy with the ear of the state champion football coach; now, he's being told he's unwholesome and unnecessary. How perfect that his reaction to being snubbed would be to get drunk and tell stories about his glory days as a Panther.
  • There's so much else going on with Landry right now that this seems like a minor quibble, but: I find it hard to believe that he'd make the varsity squad of a state champion football team. That said, I did love Landry meeting his "sort-of" rally girl, who seems just as awkward and out-of-place as he does.
  • I'm having trouble getting invested in Coach's TMU storylines, but it was great to see flashes of his brilliance in the way he dealt with Antoine — and I loved how the suggestion that he was "one hell of a high school coach" came off as equal parts compliment and insult.

Other thoughts? Theories on where this show is headed? (If it's headed anywhere — the ratings were bleak this week.) And hey, where's Smash?

Photos courtesy of NBC

beram1220 beram1220 10 years
I liked Landry as happy and sarcastic. This whole killing thing puts a damper on his usually quirky character.
nomerz nomerz 10 years
oh, Julie, how you continue to disappoint me *sigh* I couldn't help but cry right along with Tami a little bit. I mean, it must be really hard to have no one to turn to, especially when you encouraged one of those people to move away from you. I feel for her, but I'll be glad when the "old" Tami comes back.
dblgoldens dblgoldens 10 years
I am late to FNL, but my BFF made me watch and now I am hooked. Tyra/Landry story is the reason I committed so heartily. The murder? Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh, why???! I agree, where are Tami's girlfriends?!?!?
bizzyatwork bizzyatwork 10 years
Hingham, Nielsen invites you to be a polling family, based on your demographics and how well they match up with the "typical American" family. They install boxes on all the TVs in your house that tracks all of the viewing that the particular family does. I was in college when we did it, and they even had to box my TV in my dorm room. It's pretty technical stuff. I don't know if they can approximate Tivoing from this data, or if they get that directly from the cable/satellite providers etc.? That would be something that I would be curious about.
hingham hingham 10 years
Actually that's a good point - how do they track viewers?
ktc71 ktc71 10 years
I hope FNL gains more viewers. I really LOVE this show. I wasn't able to be home this past Friday to watch, but I did record it and left my TV on my NBC channel to help the ratings. :) I'm not even sure how they measure the ratings, but I'm trying!
Entertainment Entertainment 10 years
hingham — the premiere episode did better than expected ratings-wise, but this episode did very poorly. I'm hoping that's because of baseball and people curious to check out Women's Murder Club for the first time.
hingham hingham 10 years
Love this show! Anyword on how it's doing in this time slot, more or less viewers? I seriously hope this show makes it - Best show on tv.
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 10 years
I love this show. I mean, I LOVE this show. But Friday nights are the graveyard for TV shows. I admit that I usually watch it online during the day on Saturday or Sunday. But I AM watching!!!!!! I just can't believe it got moved to that timeslot. Awful.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
Thanks for the great recap, Buzz. FNL writers certainly aren't afraid to tackle new story lines this season; everyone seems to be exploring new territory, which keeps the show fresh and real. Connie Britton is right on in her portrayal of the confused, distraught Tami who is trying to keep everything together for herself and her family. Like you, Buzz,I am having trouble getting invested in the TMU storyline, but maybe that soon will come to an end if Coach Taylor comes back to Dillon where he is "one hell of a high school coach." FNL faces some still competition from Women's Murder Club--and from real life--on Friday nights. Let's hope the Panthers can score a victory and come out on top!
genvessel genvessel 10 years
i'm not quite sure where they're going with a lot of this, but in the midst of the pain, i'm so glad that FNL is not willing to shy away from the awkward pain and the awkwardness of life. One of the things I love about the show. That's it real.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 10 years
I loved this episode. First of all, I totally agree with you Buzz. If they have Matt Saracen sleep with that Mexican nurse I will seriously be PISSED. Haven't we already done the older woman, young guy thing when Tim Riggins slept with his neighbor? I was shocked to see the way the once-very-together Tami just completely lost it with the birth of this baby. The condition of their house says it all! I loved the scenes with Eric and Antoine. Reminds me of the football players we have here at UT-Austin. Julie is fast becoming my most hated character on this show. She is selfish, whiney, and rude. The Swede is greasy. Honestly, WHAT is her problem? I don't like the direction her character is going in. Eric needs to get home and discipline her because obviously Tami has her hands full already. I'm very interested in the storyline with Lyla and Tim Riggins. I always thought these two were meant for each other. And despite being annoying, I love Buddy Garrity. I heard he's instrumental in bringing Coach Taylor back to Dillon. The story with Landry and Tyra wasn't my favorite, but it is portrayed realistically to the credit of the writers and actors. They both are scared beyond belief. All in all, I think this season is starting out very well. I love this show and I hope more people start watching!
eyela eyela 10 years
there was definately a moment between riggins and lyla i wonder if they will get back together?!!
Liss1 Liss1 10 years
I was sad Julie and Matt broke up i hope they can work things out. I also hope that he does not sleep with the nurse and i was embarrassed for him when she found his magazine stash. I was also surprised with Tammi, does she seriously not have any friends? I hope they don't have her and the new counselor have an affair, hopefully they will be bringing Eric home soon. I love this show, I hope more people start watching it i would be very sad if it got cancelled!
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