Mark Watches ‘Friday Night Lights’: S02E09 – The Confession

In the ninth episode of the second season of Friday Night Lights, Landry’s decision at the end of the last episode is painfully explored as the rest of the characters face monumental problems in their lives. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Friday Night Lights.

Hey, it’s another episode of this show that made me cry. Are we keeping track? That’s like a quarter million times by now. Don’t worry, I checked my math twice.


Oh god, didn’t you experience a disaster the last time you listened to Smash’s advice? Matt, stop listening to Smash when it comes to women.

Y’all, I just don’t know what to say about Matt’s relationship with Carlotta. It is a mess of emotions and the possibility for some horrific ending. I am not sure of Matt’s canon age. I know the age of consent in Texas is 17, and it’s possible that Carlotta is not three years older than him, so… yay? This might not be an illegal relationship? But let’s put that aside just for the sake of discussing what this could mean. It’s hard watching this because it’s clear Matt is simply not emotionally mature enough to deal with a relationship like this! He’s still confused and uncertain, and that’s evidence that this can’t end well. And then I can’t deny that Carlotta is sweet, affectionate, and honest, and I am so worried that in the next few episodes, she’ll be the one who suffers the most in this arrangement. She’s one of the few women of color left on the show, y’all. As decent as this show has been about race and representation, her role leaves me worried that if something does go down between Matt and her, she’ll be the one facing the brunt of the wrath from his family and friends. Basically, I’m just frightened.


I’m glad that Herc’s back in the story, especially in such a huge way. But before we get to that point, let’s deal with AWKWARD INTERNET DATES. I have not ditched a date like Jason did in “The Confession,” but that’s only because I could never find a way to just up and leave an awful date. I have, however, ended quite a few dates in my time. Most recently, I ended a date a couple years ago when the guy I had lunch with said he only dates white men! To my face! That was fun. I once left someone at a restaurant with the bill after they revealed they had a boyfriend for the past decade and were looking to add another long-term partner. That was less about my feelings towards polyamory (which I experimented with once years ago) and more about the fact that this asshole led me on for six weeks until I was smitten with him, and then he introduced his super creepy, predatory partner. No. No. I definitely went on a date where a guy revealed his ~super special~ fetish to me over a meal: Latino men. I am not even remotely joking, y’all. (And there’s something to be said about experiencing both ends of that racist spectrum, which is so common for people of color when we try to date. We’re either invisible or unattractive to others, or we’re fetishized for some imagined worth.)

So I empathize with Jason’s reaction to having a fetish ceremoniously dumped on his lap during a first date. The woman’s honesty is awesome, though! I respect that she’s forthright about it, but I think that announcing that she’s into water sports right before getting up to go to the bathroom creates a viciously uncomfortable atmosphere. Then Jason’s fears are kind of validated once the woman is exposed as a total asshole. Yeah, I definitely believe that if you treat people in service positions terribly, you’re a terrible person. Totally. It’s through Jason ditching Isabella that he finds himself hanging out with Erin, the waitress who helped get him out of the mess. Oh gosh, she’s nice! I like her! We’ll have to see how this pans out.


OH MY GOD, IT’S THE ROOMMATE FROM HELL. Guy is horrifying, and it’s so strange to see Tim in such a vulnerable, terrified position. Now, I’ve had my fair share of mortifying and uncomfortable living situations. A lot of times, I didn’t have much of a choice about what to live, and so I spent time with people I wouldn’t choose to hang out with in any other context. Determined not to see his brother, Tim does what he can at Guy’s house. Except Guy is really inappropriate. Part of me thinks that Guy is just like this all the time, but I’m also willing to entertain the idea that because Tim discovered Guy’s meth operation, he’s trying to intimidate Tim. He’s trying to tell Tim that he can’t get away from him, that he’ll haunt him at school, reminding him of what he’s capable. And that whole scene where Guy wakes up Tim with a rifle? No. NOPE. Nope forever, that is FUCKING TERRIFYING

So here’s what I’m worried about: Guy will find Tim at the Taylors. Well, actually, having Tim around the Taylor household will be strange enough as it is, but still. I’m way more freaked out by Guy than anything else at this point.


Just BLESS THIS SHOW and for Benjamin Ciaramello for this storyline. Beautifully acted and written, “The Confession” manages to have another plot that’s just as compelling as Landry’s, which I’ll get to at the end. There’s a similarity here with the early stories for Matt and Smash, and that’s because this show is just so stellar at portraying the myriad of pressures that these players are under. But the context here for Santiago is far more dramatic because he comes to realize that he’s at a crossroads in his life. While the writers got a little close to a white savior narrative in Buddy Garrity, they cleverly choose to focus this journey almost entirely through Santiago’s eyes, which helps this feel more genuine. I admit that I feel much better about Buddy Garrity as a character, especially when he doesn’t take the bait and dismiss Santiago’s angry concerns about him. I expected him to disagree with the kid and insist that he wasn’t doing this to feel better about himself, but perhaps he thought Santiago was right. So he chose to instead keep quiet about his own feelings and try to inspire Santiago to face the immense challenge in front of him.

God, it was just so amazing to see Santiago finally get it. It was the first of four times I teared up in this episode. Y’all, I’m caring about football. What have I become?


I have no idea if anyone was nominated for an Emmy from this show, but can I submit both Aimee Teegarden and Connie Britton for their work in “The Confession”? Because they are mind-blowing here. I have never seen such a convincing and genuine portrayal of teen angst on television. And we all know how I feel about Queen Connie Britton. It is frustrating to watch these two fight with such bitterness and fury in their voices, but it’s mesmerizing. How did they even script that fight? They were both yelling over one another at every second, and it was overwhelming, just as it should have been.

At the root of this is how these two women perceive on another. Julie is, of course, frightened and upset at being “replaced” by Gracie. I personally feel like Tami wasn’t asking Julie to do too much; if anything, what the show has portrayed in Julie is a daughter who is largely unwilling to help out. Still, we get a chance to see Tami examine what it is that makes Julie so upset about all of this. Even if she might be more “right” than her daughter, she humbles herself before Julie to apologize and tell her that she is loved and appreciated. It’s lovely, y’all, because you can see in Tami’s face how proud she is of Julie and how much she loves her.

Ugh, my heart. Just look at Tami’s face during the christening. I cannot fucking deal with Connie Britton, y’all. I CAN NOT.


You know, it’s been fascinating for me to experience this show in the way that I do because I am having such a different take on this than most of the fandom. I don’t feel like Landry and Tyra’s story is jarring or uncharacteristic of Friday Night Lights. But I come to these shows on this site without background info, without any knowledge of how the show was made, nor with the anticipation built between one season to the next. So, for me, this just fits. It’s the same show, it’s the same tone, and the same characters. If anything, this just feels like an attempt by the writers to ensure that they’re not telling the same story over again. (Which they have failed in other regards, but not here.) Plus, I am so thankful for a chance to get more of the Collettes and the Clarkes. This story would not work as well without Chad Clarke acting as the conflicted moral element of Landry’s life.

So, given the end of “Seeing Other People,” Landry’s story was the one I was most interested in. I was scared because I couldn’t see a way out of this that didn’t involve prison time. What the writers choose to do here is play Landry’s need for honesty against his father’s desire to defend his son. It is absolutely fascinating to see their expected roles swapped because you’d expect that the cop would be the one gunning for a full confession. Instead, Mr. Clarke implores his son to consider the idea that his killing of Tyra’s rapist was justified. And it’s something Landry can’t wrap his mind around. He is so convinced that he must face some horrific penance for killing a man that he refuses to accept that legally, he might not have a case against him. I love this because it allows the writers to condemn the disgusting man who was a serial rapist, but then allows them to explore what this means for Landry’s conscience. He’ll always have the knowledge that he killed a man, and living with that is a separate journey from the legal one. Will Landry’s father be there for that journey, too?

And this whole story was responsible for me getting all teary-eyed TWICE. The first time? When Landry’s father said his heart would be broken if Landry went to jail. The second time? Landry telling Tyra that they weren’t pressing charges against him. TEARS OF PURE JOY. HELP. I hope that Tyra and Landry are able to move past this, too, because I adore them both so much.


Mark Links Stuff

The Mark Does Stuff Summer Tour is happening soon! Check out the posted dates, suggest new ones, help bring me to YOUR TOWN.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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