Mark Watches ‘Friday Night Lights’: S02E10 – There Goes The Neighborhood

In the tenth episode of the second season of Friday Night Lights, I can’t help but make a million storm references and puns below. You’ve been warned. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Friday Night Lights.

Because get it? There’s a “storm” in Dillon and it’s like a tornado tore through the locker room and everything is a mess and okay… perhaps I don’t have that many puns at hand. Hmph. Well, I tried.

The Panthers/Laribee Lions

Oh my god, I really hate Coach Daniel Dickens. Every time a human being says, “Boys will be boys,” a toddler drops an ice cream cone. It is one of my least favorite things in the world because… jesus, boys will stop being “boys” as soon as WE START HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR TERRIBLE BEHAVIOR. While there’s no direct evidence, I am fairly certain that Coach Daniel encouraged his players to prank and troll the Dillon panthers. Even if he didn’t, he’s certainly not doing anything to stop them from being horrible people. I cannot forget that Coach Taylor is doing his best to accommodate the rival team, and they don’t care. They complain, they whine, they damage the facilities, they do whatever they can to act is if these people didn’t help them out in a time of need. Fuck ’em. Fuck all of them. You could have no gym or field or tape room to use, so stop looking the gift horse in the mouth and be appreciative. But I don’t sense that these people even possess the capacity for this sort of behavior, so I’m worried about the upcoming game between these two teams. It’s going to be ugly as hell. Dare I say it’ll be like a storm??? Har har, whatever.

Buddy/Pam

I do wish this show had actually shown us more of Pam and Bradley’s relationship. I think Bradley has only appeared maybe three times? Because of this, we’re left to just accept Pam’s word about the love she has for her now fiancé. Ultimately, that’s fine, because it does represent the same journey that Buddy is on: He has to accept that his ex-wife is no longer his, that she’s moved on, and that his life will be okay without her. I’m not necessarily super sympathetic to Buddy all the time, but holy shit, that moment where he realizes Pam really isn’t going to accept him back into her life? That face that Brad Leland makes is GUT-WRENCHING. Up until that moment, he truly believed that he could get her back just by being himself, by apologizing and throwing himself down at her feet, and then he realizes that this can never happen. It’s a raw moment for his character, and I’m impressed with how Leland played the scene.

What I am most curious about is how this is going to affect Lyla. She hasn’t been around as much as she used to, but I did catch that she wasn’t too pleased with her mother’s plans to remarry. What’s Lyla going to do? Will she eventually accept Bradley?

Landry/Tyra

Okay, putting aside my relentless desire to continue to make “storm” references, everything going on with these two is a complicated mess, one I’ll do my best to sort through. In hindsight, I think it was naïve of me to assume that Landry and Tyra would be able to move past the murder and just resume a relationship. There has been an emotional spark between them before the murder, but it’s impossible to ignore how that played a huge part in the two of them finding solace in one another. Without the threat of this hanging over their lives, what do they do? Are they still drawn to one another?

I can’t really come down on the side of one character being “right” about what happens in “There Goes The Neighborhood.” It is far too complex and layered for me to see anything in terms of black and white morality. Obviously, Tyra does feel a lot of affection and possibly even love for Landry, but she cannot get over the fact that it would probably ruin her social standing to publicly date him. Whether that’s truly tied to her self-esteem and her perception of herself might help explain all of this, but even then, it’s still not that simple. Just because Landry helped her doesn’t mean that she’s obligated to continue seeing him, and I’m thankful that the writers don’t take Landry in this direction. Yet I couldn’t ignore a very subtle Nice Guy mentality coming from Landry, especially when he started telling Tyra that she deserves better than her date. Like, it’s so close to him saying that she shouldn’t date douchebags because he’s better. At the same time, as uncomfortable as his little speech to her is, he stands up for himself. He refuses to sit around and wait painfully as Tyra tries to sort out her feelings for him. In that moment, he’s trying to prevent himself from getting hurt even more than he already has. If he places unfair expectations on Tyra, it’s only going to end in disappointment if she doesn’t choose Landry in the end.

Basically, I’d like to see them together and explore a relationship, but I appreciate the complexity that the writers have given us. I’m willing to admit that it’s entirely possible that they’ll both part ways and never try out a relationship. I’d believe that, too. I do have Landry to thank for indirectly starting a food fight, though. Bravo!

The Taylors/Tim

All right, y’all can finally count me as a firm fan of Tim Riggins. This episode doesn’t give Tim a very easy situation to deal with, and while he isn’t perfect, he does the best he can with a chaotic life. I learned many years ago that if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who is willing to help you out by giving you a place to live, you better be a source of positivity around that household. I still do this at my boyfriend’s house! I wash the dishes whenever the sink has dirty stuff in it; I do the laundry; I vacuum; I take out the garbage. Anything I can do to make the people who do live there feel like I’m contributing is something I’m gonna get done. What’s interesting about this aside from my own personal perspective on this is the fact that you can contrast how Tim acts in the Taylor household versus how the Laribee Lions act in Coach Taylor’s “house” at Dillon High. They’re polar opposites to one another! Tim is thankful, appreciative, and helpful. CLEARLY THE LARIBEE LIONS ARE NOT. I mean, think about how this episode opens. In the midst of a tornado touching down, he protects Julie, which is foreshadowing for the end of this episode as well as a hint towards the problems Tami (and, later, Eric) will have with the way Tim interacts with Julie and Shelley. I think it’s entirely reasonable to state that Tim is eating up all the positive attention he’s getting from Shelley and Julie, but look where he just came from. This is a huge step up for him from a closet full of ferret cages, you know?

I think a lot of my respect for Tim, despite his faults, comes from the fact that he recognizes Julie is drunk and the guy she is with is clearly taking advantage of this. So he steps in to stop a potential disaster, takes Julie home, and makes sure she is safe. Which is why it’s so frustrating that Coach Taylor walks in at the last second, and it totally looks like Tim is trying to make out with Julie, and UGH NO, HE WAS HELPING HER. But what is Eric supposed to do? His wife had already brought up the fact that she felt extremely uncomfortable with Tim being in the house, and he’d dismissed that. Then he sees this? Oh GOD.

This episode also further explores the rift growing between Shelley and Tami. It’s difficult to watch because both characters are right and wrong here. It is inappropriate for Shelley to flirt with Tim, but Tami is most certainly rude and dismissive of her own sister and the life she leads. It’s totally unfair on both ends, and I don’t see an easy solution in sight unless these two sit down and talk through their problems.

Ugh, so where is Tim going to go now??? POOR TIM. 🙁

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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