Mark Watches ‘Friday Night Lights’: S02E13 – Humble Pie

In the thirteenth episode of the second season of Friday Night Lights, everything hurts forever, and no, and nope, and why must you do this to me. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Friday Night Lights.

I can’t.

Jason

I think more than anything, I’d like Jason to end this season with some hope. His path over the course of season two has been an aimless one. He’s gone from being a coach, to pursuing an experimental procedure for his paralysis, to working for Buddy Garrity. Holy awkward, y’all. Can I point out that Buddy Garrity has become one of the most charitable, kind characters in this show? Like… what. Oh my god, I love character development so much!

Anyway, it was fascinating to see the writers address ableism in the workplace, showing the challenges that Jason faced from the other employees. Of course, you can view this all through the lens of capitalist competition, and that’s certainly an aspect of why the salespeople take Jason to task and haze him in his first couple days. But they also think Jason, who is quite genuine and caring here, is simply using his disability to make more sales. Ugh. Ugh. Shut up. Shut up! It’s so messed up. And yet, Jason proves to be a pretty good salesman, you know? He manages to sell a truck to the one person no one expects, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy. There’s that really quiet moment when he comes home and tells Herc about his sale that day. He doesn’t look excited. If anything, he looks bored. He looks sad. Once again, Jason is unsatisfied with who he is in life, and he doesn’t know what to do anymore.

Poor Jason. This is why I want him to find something soon. It’s hard to watch him wandering so much.

Tami/Tyra

True story! I once played competitive volleyball, and I was exceptionally good at it. As far as I know, I still hold the school record for the most consecutive serves in a match at my junior high: 45. If you aren’t familiar with volleyball scoring in certain games, that means I won all three games. With serves. So that’s like… whatever that baseball term is for when a pitcher doesn’t allow a single hit in a game? See, I don’t do sports anymore. I forgot all of this! Wait, it’s a shutout. I KNEW THAT.

Anyway, then I got to high school, super excited that I was going to be awesome on the team, and found out that guys weren’t allowed on the volleyball team. It was a women’s sport, apparently? The team turned co-ed after I graduated, because everything improves at your high school the second you leave. That’s just how it is.

THE POINT OF THIS IS THAT I have a lot of feelings about volleyball, and it was a goddamn treat watching Tami and Tyra spend so much time together. Particularly, it was lovely to watch Tyra use Tim Riggins as motivation to spike. Good for you. I do think, however, that it was kind of callous of Coach Taylor to sign his wife up to be the coach. I say this given that the previous episode specifically addressed Tami’s stress level, so this might just be an issue of placement than anything else. How great is Tami as a coach, though? I love that this episode shows both Taylors as coaches and details how their styles are so different. Ugh, honestly, I would be okay to see way more of Tami as the volleyball coach.

I’d also like to see more of Tyra, who has been strangely absent for the past few episodes. Her dynamic with Landry is just… weird. Right? Like, I guess I don’t understand why the writers are giving us such a simplistic plot here. Jealousy? That’s it? I mean, Tyra rejected Landry, so why is she acting jealous that he’s hanging out with Jean? (Who I like in general, but those “dreads” need to go. White people, stop it.) I guess I just have no interest in a story like this, so I’m hoping this develops in a direction I don’t expect.

Tim

Lord, what are you doing??? Okay, first of all, Guy and his friends terrify me, and I am in awe of Joey Oglesby’s ability to create a character that makes my skin crawl. I knew that stealing the $3,000 wouldn’t end well, but I didn’t expect them to beat the shit out of Tim. So while I do feel bad for Tim because of this, fuck emotional manipulation. Tim uses his injuries to lure Lyla to his house just to blindside her with his love for her, and it feels real gross. Like… DUDE. DUDE. DON’T DO THAT. DO NOT DO THAT. It’s underhanded, and even in terms of what he’s trying to do, it’s entirely ineffective! That’s one of the reasons Lyla is so quick to storm out of Tim’s house. You can’t treat people like that. Plus, she gives Tim a very definitive answer, and now I’m worried Tim’s going to be unable to let this go.

I’m glad Lyla was honest with her co-host, and I think he seemed to be very open and accepting of her regardless of her past. I think? I DON’T KNOW YET. But good for Lyla, and I’m glad she’s found acceptance and love in her church.

Smash

After everything I wrote for the last episode, this is all just another punch in the heart. I’m shocked, to say the least, though not in the details of what happens here. It is not surprising to me at all that the teenager in that theater chose to press charges and then chose to lie about what actually happened. I’m not surprised that Smash is asked to apologize in order to be practical, to put all of this behind him, despite how humiliating this all is. I am not surprised by that white dude’s language when he describes the “attack” on him. Pay attention to the way he positions himself and his friends as the “civilized” ones. It is a common racist trope to portray people of color, especially black men, as “savages.”

What hurts about this is how Smash is ultimately the only one who is punished for this. Those boys sexualized and threatened Smash and Noannie, and they are racist assholes, and they will get away with this. White people get away with this shit every day, and this looks to be no exception to that rule. And now, Smash’s future at TMU is up in the air, and the look on his face at the end of this episode is too much for me to handle. It’s heartbreak. His mother and Coach Taylor are both heartbroken, too. I am SO FUCKING UPSET. Goddamn it, please don’t let this end Smash’s career. Please. And can there be an earthquake in Dillon so that the earth can open up and eat those assholes who threated Noannie? THANKS. I’D LOVE THAT.

Just a reminder: Due to a scheduling error, reviews for Friday Night Lights 2×14 and 2×15 will go up this Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Mark Links Stuff

– I have redesigned MarkDoesStuff.com! Check out this post explaining the new changes, which includes the start of a permanent archive of all Mark Watches videos!
The Mark Does Stuff Summer Tour is happening soon! Check out the posted dates, suggest new ones, help bring me to YOUR TOWN.
– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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