Friday Night Lights, Season 5

Seeing Dillon Through Tim's Eyes
Talking television.
Oct. 29 2010 4:34 PM

Friday Night Lights, Season 5

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor.

I experienced this episode very differently than the two of you did. I did not find it soothing or gentle. I found it totally unnerving. Since we kicked it off with Tim, I was experiencing the unfolding plots from his point of view: All the people I know and love in Dillon are leaving or already left and I am powerless to stop it. And by the way, that scene with Tim had a Jason Street echo for me. There was sweet Tim suddenly gone hard and sickly, and refusing any aid or comfort from friends—just like Jason Street used to do from his hospital bed in Season 1. Fast-forwarding to the end of this season, we'll have to come up with the prison equivalent of Murderball for Tim. The Shawshank Redemption?

This is how those interruptions played for me, David. We just could not relax, because things were not flowing the way they were supposed to. No heartfelt speeches in prison, no smooth entry for new guidance counselor Tami, no heartfelt goodbyes with Julie. This is something FNL has done well at the start of other seasons: throw things off balance so they can be set right over the course of the season. Remember early on in the previous season when Coach Taylor was trying to give his talk and the team kept interrupting with snickering? This episode similarly set up a few tensions to resolve: Tami and Levi, Billy and Tim, Jess and all of her boys, Becky and the deadbeats, the team and Huckleberry Hippie.

Advertisement

Don't you love how FNL drops in those random drifters? Julie's annoying Habitat for Humanity boyfriend from last season, that hot neighbor of Tim's who looked like she'd just flown in from Brooklyn, the convict turned counselor from Carroll Park, and now Hastings "I'm a free spirit" Ruckle. Useful to have so many great characters coming through Dillon. And while I'm complaining: Why do they always have to ABC Afterschool Special the black plots? Vince's speech to Andre was utterly generic, while all the creative imagination went to the Great White Hope on the basketball team. (The Vulture recap of the episode,by the way, heartily disagrees, calling Vince's speech "emotionally rich and compelling.")

Once again the Tami and Julie plot provided me with future life guidance, only this time in reverse. I'm with David here. Tami was pushing too hard while Eric handled it just right. It reminded me of the Deborah Tannen story from this week's New York Times on studies about how having a sister makes you happier. Tannen was countering that women's styles of friendship are not superior, just different, and sometimes the "troubles talk" women like to do can backfire. Men meanwhile can comfort each other by doing the routine things they like to do—going to ballgames or fishing—while not saying a word about the situation at hand. Hence, the ping-pong. And the envelope of cash. Much more useful than a cobbler.

Now what do we have to look forward to? Tami being a molder of women? Julie having a psycho roommate? Hastings introducing marijuana into the Dillon social scene? Becky being annoying? I'm ready for all the drama, so long as it comes with an occasional moment of Tinker comic relief.

Hanna Rosin is the founder of DoubleX and a writer for the Atlantic. She is also the author of The End of Men. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

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

Ken Burns on Why Teddy Roosevelt Would Never Get Elected in 2014

Cops Briefly Detain Django Unchained Actress Because They Thought She Was a Prostitute

Minimalist Cocktail Posters Make Mixing Drinks a Cinch

How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

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

Books

Rainbow Parties and Sex Bracelets

Where teenage sex rumors come from—and why they’re bad for parents and kids.

Books

You Had to Be There

What we can learn from things that used to be funny.

Legendary Critic Greil Marcus Measures and Maps Rock History Through 10 Unlikely Songs

Catfish Creator Nev Schulman’s Book Is Just Like Him: Self-Deluded and Completely Infectious

Behold
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
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. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
  Life
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.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 14 2014 7:10 PM Watch Michael Winslow Perform Every Part of “Whole Lotta Love” With Just His Voice
  Technology
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
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?