Friday Night Lights, Season 5

Week 1: Please Explain the Interruptions
Talking television.
Oct. 28 2010 3:39 PM

Friday Night Lights, Season 5

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 If Tim is three months from freedom, FNL should get him back in mid-November, in time for state playoffs (not to mention ratings sweeps).

I want to ask you guys about a quirk of this episode. Did you notice how many of the most important scenes hinged on interrupted conversations? To name a few:

 —Tami interrupts Levi's staff meeting to suggest handwritten letters of recommendation.

 —Vince interrupts Jess when she's about to chase after naughty Andre, and pursues Andre himself.

 —Billy interrupts Coach Taylor to read his Ronnie Lott quotation.

 —Julie interrupts dessert to see Landry's show.

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What's the pattern here? In each case, it's a character who has been down taking charge of his or her life. The interruption marks an active resistance to the authority figures or the bad habits that have been dragging the character. Julie is breaking with her childhood and her parents. Tami is changing her role from embattled principal to active counselor. Billy and Vince are trying to behave like the men they now know they have to be.

Or does it mean something else? Or nothing at all?

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David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.

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