Emily, I’ve been watching VH1’s Dad Camp, a reality show about reforming deadbeat dads, and that Riggins moment definitely could have been in there. (The show involves lots of men hollering at their pregnant girlfriends about their terrible childhoods.) No, he should not have yelled at Becky that her dad was never coming back. But it was an interesting moment, because it finally helped me understand what Riggins is still doing on this show.
Everyone else has some magic in their future. Tami tells Julie that someday in the distance, things will look different. Matt has rewritten his own future. Landry just ended one chapter with Tyra and opened the next one with Jessica. Lyla Garrity is off to college. Vince’s life is about to change. Billy has a baby on the way. But Tim already lives in the future, and he can assure us that it’s not all that magical.
Commenter Will Bush asked whether anyone fantasizes that they could move this show out of Dillon. Well, one of the charms of this show has always been its intentional claustrophobia. It locks us into a town where no teenager goes to the movies, listens to Miley Cyrus, or talks about VH1. And while everyone else is drifting off to bigger and better things, Riggins has already moved on and gotten stuck. Insofar as he has big dreams, they take place in the lot next door. If this season is about loss, Meghan, then Tim embodies it, because he lives in a permanent state of having lost.