Friday Night Lights S3E3: How the Other Half Lives

* why hast thou forsaken me?

I’ve given up hope for any mention of Santiago. I haven’t given up hope for mention of Street, but I’m still irritated that it hasn’t happened yet. That being said, this episode brought some good ol’ friction back into Dillon, TX.

When Katie McCoy sweet-talks Tami into letting her host the annual Panthers BBQ, Tami is delighted to have it off her plate while Eric is livid, believing this to be a maneuver to increase J.D.’s standing. And sure enough, during the BBQ Eric gets cornered by Buddy and Mr. McCoy. At home that night, Eric snarls that he misses the coach’s wife, to which Tami retorts that she can’t wait to meet the principal’s husband.

When Smash realizes his mom is working two jobs just to stay afloat – and then is offered a substantial promotion at the Alamo Freeze – he ponders whether or not to accept. While I understand why Mama Smash would want her boy to go to college instead of straight into the workforce, I’m still bothered by the message that the practical path is somehow lesser. I guess it’s a plot contrivance to keep Smash around, but this is three episodes in a row, shoving it down our throats.

When Billy gets embroiled in a scheme to steal copper wiring from a recently closed plant, Riggins allows himself to be dragged along too. Nothing new here, except a nice side scene of the friction between the Garritys and the Collettes. Lyla is quite funny this season, which is whole new side of her. First the pigeon comment, and now the Finding Nemo thing. Hilarious!

When J.D. overhears Matt & Julie making fun of him during the BBQ, we catch a rare glimpse into the character, which thus far has been underdeveloped. Perhaps, like Eric, J.D. doesn’t believe all the hype about himself. This would be interesting, and would mean that the immaturity of J.D.’s character is not about poor writing or acting, but about the fact that he’s kind of a ghost in his own life, dragged along by his physical abilities and parental pressure.

At the Arnett Mead game, Matt is feeling the pressure, worried that if the Panthers don’t win he will be benched. And naturally, he fumbles the final play. Poor Matty.

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