Mark Watches ‘Friday Night Lights’: S03E07 – Keeping Up Appearances

In the seventh episode of the third season of Friday Night Lights, Tami and Eric struggle with off-field conflicts that may affect Friday night’s game. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Friday Night Lights.

It’s a day of the week. I cried watching Friday Night Lights. What’s new with y’all?


I’m not even kidding here. The second that Landry kissed Devin, my first thought was, “Wow, she’s definitely gay. There is no doubt in my mind.” I didn’t need a confirmation of this, and if the show had gone in some other direction with her character, I would have written an angry post on the Internet about how clearly wrong the writers were about Devin. And then they had her flirting with that girl, and that was all the evidence I needed.

I’m interested if any queer or gay folks have had to deal with the exact same scenario as Devin, because I feel like a lot of us have? And it sucks! It sucks sometimes to have to tell a person that your interest in them is entirely platonic when they obviously want something else. It’s always an awkward situation. Of course, there’s a more sinister version of this same scenario when people think they are The One who can turn you back to the World of Straight People. Which… gods, that’s so ARROGANT. No, trust me, you’re not the one. You are not the Last Straightbender. Go away.

Anyway, I was far more interested in Devin than Landry here because CANON QUEER CHARACTER, HELLO. However, Landry’s story is worth just for that adorable conversation he has with Tami. I do wish I had someone in my life when I was in the midst of suffering in high school who told me that Riverside, California was not the world. I didn’t necessarily need someone to tell me that things got better, but I like the idea that Tami passes along to Landry: He has such an exciting future ahead of him, and he should embrace that.


We also need to talk about Tami outright stating that she is right 100% of the time. I don’t need to ask her husband. The evidence is clearly everywhere I look. Even when it comes to the complicated issue surrounding JaMarcus, she’s the one who eventually figures out how to reach the kid’s parents. That takes some talent, y’all, considering that JaMarcus’s parents have every justification for keeping their son off the football team. HE DIDN’T EVEN TELL THEM HE WAS ON THE TEAM. I think I would have liked to have seen a bit more from his perspective. Once his father reveals that the family moves often, I got an idea in my head that JaMarcus didn’t tell his parents specifically because he wanted something for himself. Regardless, Eric tries his best to impart the significance of football, but he can’t see that these people don’t care about football. I love that Tami steps in, admits that football is hard to understand, and implores JaMarcus’s parents to just give Coach Taylor and their son a chance. That’s all. Just one game! And it works. Oh god, that hug that JaMarcus’s father gives his soon is everything, and I wish I could expect this family to show up again, but I’m not holding out any hope for it. Actually, I feel like Devin won’t be around long, either.


Holy god, whenever this show makes me feel bad for Buddy Garrity, it’s always in the most gut-wrenching way. This episode sees the return of Buddy’s other kids, who have been gone ever since they moved to Northern California with their stepfather. Lyla accompanies them all on a family camping trip, and it is an utter disaster. Obviously, there’s a clash between what young Buddy and Tabby have learned from Kevin and the life they had in Dillon. However, this manifests in pure meanness. Both the kids are openly rude to their father, despite how hard he’s trying to give them a fun weekend. Buddy’s a big goofball about this, sure, and he stumbles through trying to impress his kids.

But it’s the kids’ deep-seated resentment of what Buddy did that comes to the surface. As uncomfortable as it is, I like that the writers don’t force Buddy to keep trying to please his children while they’re being so awful to him. He gives up. His conversation with Lyla that night is tough to watch, too, because he realizes he’s lost them. What else can he do? He cheated on his wife, and they’ll always hold it against him. I’m glad, then, that Lyla is there to let him know that he hasn’t lost her yet. Forgiveness is a complicated affair, and people come to it on their own terms. For young Buddy and Tabby, it takes the whole weekend for them to warm up to being around their father. That doesn’t mean they hate their life in California or that everything is perfect with their dad, but it’s a step in a more positive direction.


TEARS. ALL THE TEARS. Jason’s story did not go in the direction I expected, at least towards the end of it. Initially, though, it seemed like the plan to flip Buddy’s old house was heading in a bad place. Despite that the guys managed to complete it, I worried about Jason’s higher price. Well, wait, I take that back. I worried about Jason when he very matter-of-factly asked the group how hard it could be to sell a house by themselves. ARE YOU SERIOUS. IS THAT A SERIOUS QUESTION JASON. Because it is extremely difficult. But that isn’t something that stops Jason Street. He rushes headstrong into difficult situations, and he’s managed to come out fine on the other side of plenty of conflicts.

And then the fighting starts. I’m not surprised that Herc and Jason came to blows because there are four guys with different desires and dreams working on a single project that cannot fail. They had to sell that house, and Herc and Billy were willing to take less money just to ensure they weren’t stuck with a mortgage. It takes Herc calling Jason out for him to admit that he is basing his decisions on his child. I love it, then, that Jason owns up to it, and then uses that to justify why he needs to do this. He’s doing it for his son, he’s doing it for Billy. I know that Jason flirts with naïveté at times, but I thought he was being more optimistic than anything else in this scene. He wants a future for his family and for Billy’s family. He wants Tim to go to college. And it just fills me with SO MUCH ADORATION FOR THIS DUDE. Oh, hell, don’t even get me started on that video he made. Don’t even get me started.

Of course, I couldn’t have predicted the appearance of Halbert. However, the evidence that Jason would be perfect as a sports agent has always been there. He can negotiate and reason with people. He has a natural talent for sales. He knows sports. My god, it all fits. I mean, like Lyla, I’m extremely sad that we’re probably seeing Jason Street’s exit from the show. He’s totally leaving. How could he not? He could build a whole new life on the East Coast. It fits so well! And now that there’s an offer on the house, he’s one step closer to leaving Dillon for good and joining his family.

Oh, Jason.


OH MY GOD, JOE MCCOY TERRIFIES ME. I am not backing off from my characterization of Joe because he’s so obviously acting inappropriately with his son. It goes beyond being over excited or intense. He is hurting that kid, y’all, and I’m so thankful that Coach Taylor pulled J.D. into the locker room before his father could humiliate him anymore in public. Nope, I am done with Joe McCoy already, AND I HAVEN’T EVEN TALKED ABOUT THE WORST PART: He wouldn’t even drive his son home.

Y’all, he’s like a child throwing a temper tantrum. His son succeeded in that game specifically because he chose to listen to Coach Taylor and ignore his father. Look how well J.D. performed once he took Coach’s advice! Not only that, but Coach did something Joe hasn’t done once on-screen: He flat-out told J.D. that he had faith in him. There’s something to be said for such pervasive criticism in this environment, and I think Coach Taylor recognizes how harmful this is. He pretty much confirms that his own father did the same thing, so he does what he can to stop this happening with J.D.

I don’t think this is over, though, and I’m frightened. Mrs. McCoy is doing her best to show her son she loves him, and I admire this so much. That kid needs her right now just as much as he needs a positive force like Coach Taylor. But how much can Joe stomach? Is he going to break?


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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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1 Response to Mark Watches ‘Friday Night Lights’: S03E07 – Keeping Up Appearances

  1. Merissa says:

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