Friday Night Lights, Season 5

I Want Julie To Transfer to Northwestern
Talking television.
Jan. 14 2011 10:48 AM

Friday Night Lights, Season 5


Madison Burge as Becky Sproles. Click image to expand.
Becky Sproles and Luke Cafferty 

David, I have a quibble or two with your seamless five-paragraph essay on The Communitarian Values of Friday Night Lights. I don't think Mindy actually rejoiced over Rigglet No. 2 when she told Billy to spit out the pregnancy-test stick she'd peed on. I think she remained mighty ambivalent, legitimately worrying about rushing a second kid when she has a feckless husband, a job she likes, and not much money. I say Mindy has more thinking to do about this baby, even if it would be asking too much of the show to take its second trip to an abortion clinic with a happily married mother. (Most women who get abortions do have kids, actually. But I will save that lecture for another time.)

I also don't think that Julie is heading back to Burleson sunny and sure of her place in the world. Hanna, you wonder if Matt has outgrown her. I found him the opposite—self-protective but still smitten. She is chatterboxing away, and he can't bear it because he doesn't know what it means. He puts down his fork and delivers, for our Matty, a long interrogation: "What are you doing? What are you doing here in Chicago? Don't you have to go home at some point? Do your parents know you're here? I wish you lived here. But you don't live here." This is the question, where does Julie live? For the sake of every fiber of her Taylor being, she has to go back to Burleson and face the slut-shaming music. But she doesn't have to stay there, if you ask me. She could transfer, say, to the fake-name equivalent of Northwestern. Is this a bad retro idea or a perfectly acceptable out for a confused 18-year-old with a gem of a high-school boyfriend?

I share your relief that Vince talked down Ornette after the game. It's time for the spell his father has cast to break, though I hope they are left speaking to each other. Still, were either of you more than a tiny bit smug that the Lions won without him? I was, not just because of Vince's self-promoting blindness and obnoxious TV posturing, but because all of us non-QBs out there want to think a team can win without its star. Now Vince can come back into the fold, but he should be like Joseph after his brothers cast him out—humbled.

Did Epyck really hit Tami by mistake, or was that speedily shot melee in her office Bug Eyes' fault? Does it matter whether Epyck actually stole the $20 from Bug Eyes, as opposed to being falsely accused? The ambiguity surrounding both questions kept me interested in this subplot. Also, the resolution was stark and terribly unfair, and I do not agree with Eric that Tami did absolutely everything she could for Epyck. She could have explained about Bug Eyes' accusation. She has three more episodes to come up with a better future for Epyck than a step down in foster-care placement. Tami, get moving.

If your theme of the week is communitarianism, David, mine is the cusp of adulthood. I will do it fast. Becky, sallying forth to take tips from grubby guys at the Landing Strip: "I'm basically an adult." Vince, talking down his dad, as we've mentioned. Jess, breaking up with Vince to get through to him (this one is a stretch but I am throwing it in). Julie, getting in her car to head back to Burleson, for real this time. Matt, snapping Julie out of her reverie but then also running after her car to tell her he loves her. I can't believe you guys are cracking jokes about his gallery lasses and his Sketchers, you heartless Rosinplotzes. He only makes me melt.

Like Slate on  Facebook. Follow us on  Twitter.


The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

Should the United States Grant Asylum to Victims of Domestic Violence?

The Apple Watch Will Make Everyone Around You Just a Little Worse Off

This Was the First Object Ever Designed

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 


How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest jewels.


A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now …

The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.

Is Everyone Going to Declare Independence if Scotland Does It? 

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Trending News Channel
Sept. 12 2014 11:26 AM Identical Twins Aren’t Really Identical
  News & Politics
Sept. 14 2014 2:37 PM When Abuse Is Not Abuse Don’t expect Adrian Peterson to go to prison. In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 13 2014 8:38 AM “You’re More Than Just a Number” Goucher College goes transcript-free in admissions.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
Sept. 14 2014 11:44 PM A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now … The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
Sports Nut
Sept. 12 2014 4:36 PM “There’s No Tolerance for That” Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh say they don’t abide domestic abuse. So why do the Seahawks and 49ers have a combined six players accused of violence against women?