TV Club

Week 7: Was That Scene Between Lyla and Street Maudlin or Touching?

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS -- Pictured: Minka Kelly as Lyla Garrity -- NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth
Minka Kelly as Lyla Garrity 

Emily, you’re totally right that Joe McCoy wants “the best” for his boy in a ham-fisted way. Check. The problem is that he is convinced he knows best—and we all know what happens when father knows best: Children rebel. Meanwhile, Lyla. I haven’t until now minded Lyla’s good-girl shtick—in part because she and Tim have had their flare-ups. She seems to be in one of those calm phases teenagers do sometimes go through. She’s got a boyfriend. She’s waiting to find out about college. (Or is she in? I can’t remember. I guess that’s a bad sign.) She does seem to have no real female friends—which reminds me of the apt point you made about the relative friendlessness of her adult counterpart, Tami. And it reminds me, too, of how much sharper the bite of this show was early on: Remember when all the girls in school were mean to Lyla because she was sleeping with Riggins after Street’s injury? But when you think about it, back then, Lyla was striving even harder to be a helpmeet. She was saccharine in her desire for things to be “all right” after Street’s injury; I think back to all those heartbreaking scenes in the hospital where she was coaxing him to be chipper about the future, and his surly face showed us that he knew the future she imagined would never come. But that’s exactly why the scene between her and Street, sitting together in the twilight, touched me. It did have that post-breakup sense of loss—the loss that accompanies getting used to things, accommodation, and plain old growing up. Just a few short years ago, they couldn’t even look at each other: Street was so mad at her, and Lyla was so disappointed that her fantasy of their life together had fallen apart. It would be kind of funny if now she ditched Riggins to sleep with J.D. Somehow, I doubt that’s going to happen. And, yes, Emily, I did wonder if Devin would feel comfortable coming out to Landry. Then again, she referred to it as her “secret.” So I assume it was Landry’s goofy, sincere openness that made her feel safe.