January 28, 2010

Dillon Texas: We're Kind of Stupid, But We're Well-Meaning!

I don't think the tourist board will be putting that on the welcome sing, but they really should because it turns out that stupid but well-meaning is becoming a fucking epidemic in Dillon.

I caught two weeks' worth of Friday Night Lights last night and shed a fair amount of tears, because how can you NOT when you watch this show?

"I Can't" - Becky is still pregnant and because her "relationship" with the baby daddy (Luke) is so weird (in the sense that they've probably spoken a grand total of 100 words to each other ever, yet they've had sex...wtf?), Tim is her only friend and the only person she has to talk to about her predicament. Tim is the kind of awesome where he knows he can't really help but he'll go out of his way to help you find someone who can help which is why he takes Becky to see Tami. That is officially my favorite thing that Tim has ever done.

The thing I love about it is, it's not as though Tim and Tami have had much of a relationship in the past. I don't recall Tim ever coming to Tami to talk about anything himself. Even when she was his guidance counselor. Yet he instinctively knew that when Becky needed to talk to someone about her pregnancy predicament, and she couldn't talk to her own (shrewish nut-bar of a) mother, then Tami Taylor, surrogate mother to all the world (or at least all of Dillon, Texas) was the next best thing. And he was completely right! Plus the scene between them and the resulting scene when Tami tells coach ("Tim Riggins is gonna be a father?!" hee!) was some genuinely entertaining stuff.

Anyway, Becks chats up Tami about the situation, and Tami very carefully does not mention abortion. She tells her about free health care available throughout her pregnancy and about adoption services and only when Becky asks "what if I don't want to have it?" does Tami say "I can direct you to literature about that." I take such pains to tell you exactly how that went down because you know this shit is fixin' to blow right up in Mrs. Coach's face, right? In Texas?

Regardless, the thing Tami actually does advise Becky to do is tell her mother. Which, I mean, I agree that a knocked up teen should tell her mother (unless, as Tami noted, the girl fears for her safety if she does), but Becky's mom is a train wreck of a woman. Naturally she flips because having a kid as a teen ruined her life (hey, way to make the kid you had as a teenager feel good about herself!) and she won't let that happen to Becky. So off they go to the clinic where the doctor says "by law I must tell you this..." and Mom interrupts all "don't want to hear it" and he's like "well I don't want to be arrested by the abortion police" and then she just thew a fit about how his "right-wing" speachifying implied that they're trashy people. The whole thing was very uncomfortable.

With her mom on the militant "get it out, get it out NOW" tirade, Becky starts to question what she really wants and heads back to the Taylors' (in the middle of the night) to talk it out with Mrs. Taylor one more time. She tells Tami what she's been thinking, about maybe keeping the baby but they have no money and she doesn't want to resent him or her someday...then asks Mrs. Taylor what she'd say to her daughter in this situation. Tami says she'd tell her that she knows it's an impossible situation, that she can only imagine how awful it is for her, that she loves her and that she'd support her in whatever decision she made.

Becky has the abortion.

Meanwhile Luke tells his dad he knocked someone up and Dad tells mom and the holy rolling shit hits the fan as Luke's mom starts comparing Luke and Becky to Joseph and Mary and let me tell you, you can see disaster coming from Dallas on this one! In the end, Luke calls Becky to tell her that he's sorry he hasn't really been there for her and that they don't really know each other (again, then why did you sleep together?). He says that he'll be there for her to help her raise the baby and she thanks him but lets him know there is no baby to raise anymore. Then she cries and cries and cries. So do I.

Elsewhere in Dillon, Coach is trying to teach Vince some advanced plays and Virgil "Big Mary" Maryweather is critical. They go to a bar together and Virgil says he doesn't think Coach knows how to coach Vince and Coach gets pissed because he thinks this is another one of Big Mary's black vs. white things and a fair bit of drunken coach hilarity ensues.

But Virgil isn't exactly wrong. Turns out it isn't a black/white thing but rather that Mr. M knows what it's like to be the "most athletic guy on the field and be told not to trust [his] instincts" and it ain't easy. Coach takes a little advice from the big man and it works out surprisingly well to let Vince think for himself on the field.

If only he was that smart off the field!

After his mom ODs, he goes to Virgil asking for a $4,000 salary advance to get her into a rehab facility immediately rather than waiting a few months to get her into a free rehab program. Big M ain't got the scratch to help but he tells Vince that he'd give it if he had it and that he's proud of him. This sticks in Jess's craw somethin' fierce because she doesn't appreciate how Virgil is prouder and more fatherly with Vince than he ever is with her or the boys. Good for her for sayin' so!

Vince, God love him, only ever gives the smart, LEGAL solution one shot and if it doesn't work out, off to Corn Rows he runs. He purloins some cash from the Hooligans, checks his mom in, and then receives a gun and an expectation of servitude from Hooligan One and Hooligan Two. I deeply, deeply hate the Hooligans!

The Riggins brothers are still up to their ears in being in over their heads, if you know what I mean. The junk man doesn't want trouble so he's done taking their stripped skeleton cars. Billy is so dumb he suggests driving them off a cliff (Tim: "they don't have engines, Billy! We've stripped them and SOLD them!") and sinking them in a lake (Tim: "oh, yeah, I'll just strap them to my back and swim on out there!") until finally they settle on burying them. While digging the mother of all holes (seriously, you've got to dig a GIANT hole to bury a couple of car frames right?), Tim lays down the law with Billy - they are absolutely done running a chop shop, Billy can no longer give Tim the business about not going to college, and they are officially partners at Riggins Rigs.

And finally, Julie brings that creepy new boy home for dinner and he and her parents have the most awkward dinner conversation I've ever witnessed (until the next episode, anyway). Creepy asks Coach: "so, I hear it might rain tomorrow for your game. What's that like?" It was unreal. Then he mentioned that he'd be moving on to Arizona (lucky me) soon and all of a sudden, the threat of this older guy corrupting their young daughter dissipated, Coach and Tami are just as chatty as they have ever been (Coach: "Oh, Arizona is beautiful!" Tami: "It's dry." Coach: "It's a dessert, honey." I laughed and laughed!).

"Injury List" - The stupid continues.

Luke's Bible thumping mother has gotten wind that "her grandchild" was aborted so she shows up on Becky's doorstep faking sweetness and inquiring about the steps that led her to end her pregnancy. Out of the story she gets from Becky, she takes away this: Mrs. Taylor told me to do it. So now the school board is holding an emergency hearing to determine whether or not they should fire Tami. Just one of the members of the board is an unreasonable right-to-lifer who refuses to listen to the facts so Tami's job is safe but this shit is getting out there and trouble is headed for the Taylor house again, mark my words (and also the scenes from next week).

Luke, to his credit, pretty much tells his mother that she's an unbelievably inappropriate and he's pissed. Unfortunately, that's the only time this episode his brain appears to be in full working order. His hideous hip bruise is not looking any better than it did four weeks ago when it was fresh and he's popping pain pills at an alarming rate. He refuses to tell anyone that he's hurt and therefore gets a helmet to the hip a dozen or so times a day in practice and he's getting to the point where he can barely walk. His pills are running low and the pharmacist is not giving him more so he takes his sad story to that sketchy park from a couple of weeks ago and asks around about buying some Oxycontin. But remember that sweet kid, Tink, who helped Luke fix the fence? He sees what's goin' on at the park and he is not about to let it slide. He confronts Luke, who FINALLY shows someone what is going on under his pads. So Tink takes control of the sitch on the field by telling the rest of the team and encouraging them to shelve the play that coach called which would have Luke going left and getting hit smack on his right hip, and instead send Luke right so that at least if he's tackled he can live to walk another day. That goes over about as you'd expect with Coach, who still doesn't know Luke is hurt. So back to the left they go and Luke gets creamed.

He gets assisted off the field and the coaches gather 'round to check him out and when they see what's going on, one of them says it's a broken hip and Luke is "out for the season" and Coach flips his lid! He wants to know how long that's been there and when Luke fesses up to 4 weeks, oh I thought Coach's head was going to fly right off!

Vince isn't just ignoring Coach's play calls to help out a teammate, he's also tagging along with Corn Rows and Hooligan Two on their "pay up or die" house calls. He's packing heat and threateningly standing over people with tire irons. He's keeping the car running while Corn Rows and Hooligan Two are roughing people up, and he's driving the getaway car after a house call goes bad and Corn Rows gets shot and killed right in front of his face. Then he's crying on the curb outside Jess's house.

Incidental, Jess is torn between two lovers and feeling a little like a fool. I believe she does like Landry (and well she should because he's AWESOME), but she's got the lingering feelings for Vince. Anyway, Landry invites her to a family dinner that ties with last week's Creepy Guy/Taylors debacle for most awkward dinner ever. His dad asks about her mom (dead) and his mom talks about Obama (random). But the two of them are still super cute and Landry is ridiculously smitten. But all the while she's trying not to let Vince see them schmooping, she's visiting Momma Vince in rehab and bragging up Vince, and she's hugging and comforting Vince when he breaks down after Corn Rows is killed.

Tim has taken his ill-gotten gains to the bank and bought his dream land with cash. In celebration of being a land owner, he takes Becky and her mom to dinner. Mom gets smashed and tries to jump into Tim's pants (again) but Tim ain't havin' it - that goes down in history as the first time Tim's turned down sex, I'm sure. She takes the rejection pretty well but then while she's working one night, Becky has Tim in to watch a movie and keep her company because she doesn't want to be alone. They're watching in Mom's bed and Becky falls asleep under the covers, and Tim lies next to her, on top of the blanket and fully clothed, and tells a sleeping Becky he thinks he needs to move out. That's when Mom walks in and freaks the fuck out. She accuses Tim of fucking her daughter (he totally isn't) in her bed (with is clothes on?) and kicks him out of the trailer. Then she tells him he's a loser and an asshole who will never amount to anything.

He leaves, sad as a puppy. He goes to stay at Riggins Rigs and Becky comes a knockin'. She tells him that since he won't be living there anymore, they probably won't see each other so she just wanted to make sure he knows that her mom is wrong - he is a kind, nice, wonderful person who's been a good friend to her and helped her more than anyone else ever has. They hug and she leaves and again...I cry.

Coach is in a weird place - drinking a little too much, stressing over Luke and the lost game and playing the Panthers next week. I'm worried about him.

Julie is making plans to run away and join the Peace Corps...or Habitat For Humanity I guess, but same dif. But then out of the blue, Matt calls and it is soul crushing. He tells her how his life is going pretty good. He's in Chicago with a job (at an art gallery) and an apartment (with GORGEOUS windows) and he'll be starting school next semester, but it feels empty because he misses her. But she tells him that that's not good enough because if he loved her, he shouldn't have left without saying anything and then not called her for over a month. She tells him that she hates him (because she does but only because she still totally loves him) and that he should find a way to get though like on his own because she is so done with his ass. It was a hard convo to hear and it was awful and heartbreaking and Matt looked like he was being kicked in the gut the entire time but Julie isn't really wrong. He broke her heart and it's a pretty heavy load of bullshit for him to call her now and tell her he misses her and expect that to make everything ok.

Next week: The Panthers, a campaign of hate against Tami and abortion, and I think Mom has Tim arrested for statutorily raping Becky whom he's never even had sex with!

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