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Posts Tagged ‘JD’

Matt's not the only one crying.

Yes, I know my TV blogs became few and far between as I got caught up in my fic writing but that doesn’t mean I stopped watching my beloved shows.  And now that they’ve all faded to black for the summer, the only new thing going right now is Friday Night Lights.

I was thrilled to get it back but I’ve had a bit of disconnect this year.  This is not surprising since it was gone for an entire year, plus the majority of the young cast that I know and love was either gone or limited.  Sure, Matt was there but he was only a shell of a man most of the time (I’ll get back to him in a moment as he’s what this post is about) and Riggins is back to being a wastrel.  I hated JD from the get go and I’m certainly not going to like him now.  Coach Taylor has had to be a complete hardass to get his new football program going and Mrs. Taylor’s all caught up in politics and football.  I was watching and still interested but not nearly as much as I was previously.  That’s all changed due to the last two episodes, but I’ll be back with that shortly as well.

First, I want to discuss the new guys.  Specifically Vince and Luke.  I love the similarities and dichotomies between these two.  Both are poor, although Vince’s circumstances are far worse than Luke’s.  Luke works on his family’s farm and has to deal with getting up at the crack of dawn, doing chores, school, football, more chores…etc.  Now, he was at Dillon West, starring on the team there but it was found that he didn’t live in the new boundary line and they lied to try to keep him but he was forced to go to Dillon East and he wasn’t happy about it.  But he wants to play so he’s out there and working.  JD and his fellow assmunches are still trying to drag Luke into being a prick and attacking his teammates but Luke told them to go to hell recently which I enjoyed greatly.

Vince is in a single parent family and his mother is a drug addict who doesn’t pay the bills.  He’s got similar friend pressures like Luke but his are pressuring him into a life of crime.  He’s already got a record and if he gets caught again he’s in juvie.  He and Luke have butted heads several times but seem to have reached a detente now that Luke isn’t hanging around with JD and Coach laid down the law.  Vince’s situation tears are the heartstrings.  He found his mother passed out on a couch outside and carried her into their powerless apartment.  I find myself rooting for him to stay the hell out of trouble.

What’s interesting is just how real this situation is but it doesn’t hit you until you see it raw and personal like FNL portrayed it.  My school has been well known for taking on kids from “bad” backgrounds.  Some of them stayed out of trouble, others didn’t, and of course the ones that didn’t get all the pub.  I myself have muttered about “thug” players a time or two but never really stopped to think about the circumstances that might have created them.  Vince’s situation opens my eyes in a way that they rarely have been before.  I find myself rooting hard for him to stay on the path that Coach has put before him but fearing the worst.  I really like the kid, though not as much as I love my Matty and Smash and co.

My heart breaks for Matt.

Matt…good God he’s broken my heart two weeks in a row.  Like, I’ve been a sobbing mess several times over.  FNL is one of the only shows that does to me consistently and Matt and Smash have probably been my two biggest culprits.  Oh, before I launch into Matt, let me say that I was nearly screamed with joy when Coach was watching a game on TV and the announcer talked about Brian “Smash” Williams whipping off a 22 yard run and being something spectacular to see and saying he might be a starter soon.  I love that Smash is doing well.  And yes, I am aware that he’s fictional.  He doesn’t feel that way though.  None of the kids on this show do.  That’s why I adore it.

This season was sorely lacking in Seracen, at least in my humble opinion.  Understandable since he’s out of college and just working as a pizza deliveryman and dating Julie, but still, I missed the hell out of him.  And I hated seeing him look so defeated and stuck.  I never wanted that for him even though I did want him to stick around for my own selfish purposes.  I adore Matt Seracen, plain and simple.  He put aside his art school aspirations to take care of his grandmother and be there for Julie and he’s just been treading water ever since.

It wasn’t until his father was killed over in Iraq that things came to a real head for Matt.  His “artistic apprenticeship” with some weirdo really did nothing for me except show how much Matt didn’t really belong there anymore.  And it broke my heart because I truly want nothing but happiness for that poor character.  The ironic thing about his father’s death waking him up is that his father did the selfish thing by leaving his family behind.  Now, I’m not saying that going and serving in the military is selfish.  It most certainly is not and my father spent 26 years in the Air Force so that would be beyond ignorant to say.  But his dad knew that his family needed him, he was out and he couldn’t deal with family life so he went back in.  He died the way he wanted to and that was fine for him but it was terribly hurtful for his son, who was selfless for his family and truly just wanted his father to be someone he could love, someone like Coach Taylor.

And it killed me when he went to dinner at Julie’s after finally getting to see his father’s body.  He had to confirm with his own eyes that his father was dead and seeing it destroyed him.  He tried to hold it together but he just lost it, telling them that he had to give a eulogy for someone he hated and he just wanted to tell him that he hated him but how could he talk to someone who didn’t have a face?   He freaked out and left.  Watching him walk away and watching Coach Taylor go after him and give him that shoulder to lean on, act like the father he always wanted…well it’s making me cry again and I can’t begin to capture it in words.  It just killed me.

A happy moment before the tears, sorry so small, NBC did not have it any bigger, damn them.

This week, Matt was Mr. Solid.  He was fine; joking, throwing the football, wondering why anyone would be worried about him.  Julie convinced him to go to a concert in Austin with her, without her parents approval.  All was well until Landry called him and told him that Mrs. Taylor had not given Julie permission to go and that triggered an argument with Julie wherein he revealed that he didn’t want her parents to hate him, particularly Coach.  Again, the father he wishes he had.  Their argument led to Julie saying that he should go, she could feel how much he wanted out.  She cried and they made up and went to their concert and he asked her if she really did want him to leave.  She told him no, she loved him and he kissed her and that was that.

Tami Taylor is a fabulous mother, putting aside her anger to comfort her daughter.

But it wasn’t that, because the idea was there, in his head.  He went to drop her off and they had a sweet kiss and whispered I love you’s and a heartbreaking smile and “I’ll see you later,” from Matt.  Julie went into the house and just broke down, because she knew.  And I knew.  And Mrs. Taylor even knew, because though she’d been waiting to lay into Julie, she ended up holding her while she cried and told her mother that she knew she was losing him, that he was going to leave.

We cut to Matt’s house, where he sat in the car and listened to his mother and grandmother though the window talking about the $100,000 in death benefits she was getting from the military and what they could do with it.  And just like that, he was free.  His mother was there with grandma and they had enough money to get by and he could go.  So he did.

The next shot, the final shot, was of him driving past a field, the sun shining and finally, blessedly, a small and real smile on his face for the first time in ages.  He was free and he was going somewhere to do something.  Maybe to Chicago to go to his art school, maybe anywhere.  And I cried then and I’m crying thinking about it.  I’m so happy for him, striking out to find his happiness, but so sad for Julie and for myself for not getting to see him until maybe a cameo in the 5th season.

Zach Guilford is a completely talented actor and I hope he tunes up in something soon.  I connected with his character more than any other on this show and the thought of not seeing him weekly makes me completely sad but at least Matt got to go out on his terms to find his dream.  I don’t ever want to see him beaten down again.

I need a hug from Coach Taylor, stat.

Bravo, FNL.  Just when I was thinking you’d lost your magic, you brought it back in a major way.  I will miss Matt more than I can say but I will enjoy the new characters you have given me.  The title of this episode was aptly named “Stay” and that’s what I’ll be doing, when it comes to this show.  Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.  My eyes aren’t clear since I’ve been crying, but this show always fills my heart.  I’m glad it’s back.

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Coach gets a surprise to end the season, not a good one.

Coach gets a surprise to end the season, not a good one.

The thing that sucks about FNL only being 13 episodes a season is that it feels like it ends too quickly.  I’m not complaining though since I get two more 13 episode seasons to enjoy the Taylors and the show.  This week was all about changing and moving on.  Some voluntarily, some not so.

Tyra & Landry share a happy moment when she gets into UT.

Tyra & Landry share a happy moment when she gets into UT.

I guess we can definitely kiss Lyla and Tyra goodbye next year.  Both of them are headed to the schools of their choice, Vanderbilt and UT respectively.  Tyra had to claw and scrape to get into UT but she found out that she was in and got to share that moment with Landry.  I know those two probably won’t stay together but damned if I didn’t enjoy them this whole episode.  I loved it when he laid into Tyra about believing in herself and stopping her pity party.  And I loved that after that, when she got the letter and he was driving away she stopped him and he was there for her as she read whether or not she got in.  They’re an odd couple but they work.

Will Tim really go to college?  For now it looks like yes.

Will Tim really go to college? For now it looks like yes.

Lyla, meanwhile, was going to go to San Antonio State with Riggins much to her father’s dismay but he decided to swallow his pride and ask his brother for money so she could go to Vandy.  Lyla was going to give up that opportunity to stay with Tim but he talked her out of it.  Of course, part of the reason he did that was he was hoping to not go to college at all and just work with his brother in his new auto shop.  I thought for sure that’s where we were headed but Billy actually put his foot down and told Tim he’s going to college to make something of himself and to make his family proud.  I suppose the door is potentially open for a Riggins return, no way do they want to lose all the guys we have grown to love, but we’ll see.

Hee, this picture does not fully capture the wedding cheese but you get the idea.

Hee, this picture does not fully capture the wedding cheese but you get the idea.

Before I get on to the Taylors, I must express my joy at the fact that we got to see Mindy and Billy have their cheesy wedding.  While I didn’t get to hear the Finding Nemo vows (BOO) at least I got to laugh at her ridiculous dress.   I know, I’m a bitch, but that was hilarious.

Anyway, for once Coach Taylor doesn’t feel the axe hanging over his head at the end of the season, so of course this season he gets dumped.  Or, gets a new job I guess.  He and Buddy were out on the recruitment trail (which I totally didn’t know high schools did, but okay) and they were informed by a recruits parents that Joe McCoy and the QB trainer who called plays at the end of the season had already visited.  Coach was a bit perturbed by this and by the news that QB trainer was supposedly head coach of the Panthers.  He stopped off to confront Joe and Joe told him that if he could guarantee that JD would be starter unless injured then he could stay.  Coach is not about that so he refused and walked out.

Tami tells her man she'll always be standing by him.

Tami tells her man she'll always be standing by him.

Tami is told by one of the school officials that she might not want to go to the board meeting since they’ll be discussing her husbands job.  She refuses not to attend and tells Coach that he should come and fight for his job as well.  He’s not too thrilled about it but he does show up and make a little speech about loving Dillon and how it would be a mistake to let him go.  Tami finds him at the wedding after and lets him know with facial expressions and head shakes that he was not retained as head coach of the Panthers.  But it seems that they want him to be the coach at the new high school they’re creating, East Dillon, the Lions.  Seems to me he needs to take that job and then go out and beat McCoys ass, doesn’t it?

I didn’t like this one little bit but I knew it was coming (the only spoiler I stumbled across) so I was prepared.  The one thing that did please me is that Buddy was actually clueless to the treachery behind the scenes.  It would have angered me if he knew and didn’t clue coach in.  Buddy is few good things but he does seem to genuinely like Eric Taylor, so I can accept him for that purpose.  Joe McCoy is a gigantic ass and I truly hope that he has to eat a ton of crow next season.  I hate that guy.

Matt & Grandma at the nursing home, not for long!

Matt & Grandma at the nursing home, not for long!

I had to save my favorite for last.  Matty!  Matt took his grandmother to the nursing home and was preparing for heading to Chicago.  Julie was struggling with it but not saying anything, only telling her mom that she loves him and doesn’t want him to leave even though she knows he has to.  Matt was also extremely guilty about putting Grandma in the home and things came to a head at the wedding.  Julie decided to break up with him so they wouldn’t waste time trying to have a long distance relationship and breaking up down the road.  Matt just looked at her and told her “No” and she said “You can’t say no to this” and he said he could and got her to sit on his lap.  He told her loved her and they’d make it work.  My foolish heart melted.

Julie also made a comment about how much Grandma would have loved the wedding and Matt ran off to the nursing home to pick her up.  He told her that she had taken care of him all his life and he was going to do the same for her and he wasn’t leaving.  I know, this is not the right life choice for Matt, he should go out into the world and learn and become whoever he’s going to be.  The unselfish part of me recognizes that.  But the selfish part?  Rejoiced when Matt and Grandma showed up at the wedding and it was clear that he was going to stay in Dillon with Julie where he belongs.  He deserves better but I deserve to see him next year, for he’s probably the only player that I love that will be back full time.  I’ve lost Smash (who got a mention, I cheered!) and probably Riggins, so I need my Matt.  I just do.  And though it’s ridiculous to think that Matt & Julie will stay together forever at least I can live with the illusion for awhile longer, right?

So those were the big happenings to wrap things up on season 3.  Everybody was still together but some big changes were coming and we’ll see what season 4 holds.  Hopefully we’ll get to see some of our departing seniors now and then, or at least hear mentions of them.  I was hoping against hope that Smash would show up at the meeting and stick up for Coach Taylor but it didn’t happen….sigh.  Maybe next year.  At least we’re getting a next year!  I guess next year I’ll be saying Go Lions huh?  That’ll be different, but no doubt still good!

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Tim leaves high school football behind.

Tim leaves high school football behind.

Way to harsh my buzz, Friday Night Lights!  There we were, the championship game, little Matt Seracen has lead the team back from a 27 point deficit and the crowd is going wild.  This is a time when being a real football fan pays off, because I looked at the time remaining in the game, 1:30, and I said, oh no, that’s way too much time.  And sure enough, the other team drove the field and kicked a field goal.  I was given enough to time to hope that someone would block the kick, then enough time to hope that it would bounce off the goal post and the Panthers would be victorious.  But no, no, they had the ball sail through the uprights and the other team won the state championship.  Major bummer.  Reminded me so much of watching my own team lose close games over and over again that I actually felt a little sick.

Coach Taylor sees the championship go down the drain.

Coach Taylor sees the championship go down the drain.

I know, the show peaked too early.  They let the Panthers win the championship in their first season, which was great.  Last year was a failure for the team (and the writing staff).  This year everything was back on track.  Seracen and Riggins were departing seniors, the freshman phenom was stepping up and taking charge, things were great.  And then, you let them lose!  WHY?  WHY??  I know why, so the town can turn on Coach Taylor as they tend to do in these situations.  Still, I didn’t like it.  I wanted my boys to go out as winners.  Coach tried to tell them they still were after the game but it didn’t look like they bought into that whole idea.  The show ended poignantly with Riggins leaving his shoes behind at his last high school game.

In other news, Matt is thinking about going to art school in Chicago, much to Julie’s chagrin and his grandmother’s horror.  I was glad Julie acted somewhat mature about it but Grandma had to act like a helpless 2 year old again and guilt Matt into likely staying.  She seemed to regret that during the game, telling Julie she didn’t want to hold him back, but we’ll see if her actions end up backing up her words.

Bonding time in the truck over an essay.

Bonding time in the truck over an essay.

Things are looking up for Landry; he got promoted to a special teams starter and seems to have Tyra back (for now at least).  Of course he nearly ruined the special teams thing by getting drunk and missing the bus to the game but Tyra got him there in time.  I really do like those two together, he makes her a much better person.

I had to laugh out loud when Lyla announced to her father that she was going to go to San Diego State with Riggins and get a place together!  The look of horror on Buddy’s face was awesome.  That’ll teach you to steal your daughter’s college money, Buddy!  HA!

Let the war again, McCoy vs. Taylor.

Let the war again, McCoy vs. Taylor.

Looks like the Taylors are going to have some major issues with the McCoys from here on out.  They reported Joe McCoy to Child Services because they are required by law.  JD stormed in and demanded to know why Coach would do that and gave him a lot of attitude.  Mrs. McCoy and Tami no longer seem to be friends either thanks to them having to attend parenting classes and losing their kid if anything happens again.  JD responded to the family pressure by having a crappy game and screaming at his teammates so he got benched.  Next week Coach is yelling at Joe McCoy about destroying his family or something, so clearly retaliation is at hand.  Fun!

The Taylors will weather this next storm together, as always!

The Taylors will weather this next storm together, as always!

This episode was definitely a bummer with the small exception of Tyra/Landry and Lyla pulling the rug out from under her father.  I do think things will turn out well for Matt and Julie will have to deal with whatever he decides; the crappy thing about dating an older guy in high school.  I was there once upon a time!  Ahhh the memories.  I am still thrilled that FNL has been picked up for 2 more years, I need the Taylors in my life (and hopefully guest appearances by Smash and Matt and Riggins from time to time? PLEASE???)  Clear eyes, warm hearts, we’ll win again!

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