TV Club

Week 12: We All Have Television-Induced Amnesia

Photo of Taylor Kitsch as Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights. Click image to expand.
Taylor Kitsch as Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights

Any television show that lasts for more than a couple of seasons demands a certain amount of amnesia from its fans, and FNL is no exception. Case in point: Vince and Landry. You both seem riotously skeptical that Jess would ever choose the nerdy, square Landry over the agonized, manly Vince. Vince faces a life-and-death choice about whether to commit murder. Landry, meanwhile, frets over a bike lock.

You’ve tried to forget Season 2 of FNL. I’ve tried to forget Season 2 of FNL. But we can’t. Remember it is Landry who is a stone-cold killer. It is Landry who murdered in revenge. It is Landry who was so worked up about his crush that he took a life. FNL let Landry get away with it, excused his murder and sent him back to singing indie rock and trolling the Web for hipster T-shirts. So it’s a little irritating that we are now supposed to see Landry as a harmless geek and Vince as the smoldering, shirtless embodiment of bottled-up male violence.

Speaking of shirtless, I expect that next week’s finale will complete the martyrdom of Timothy Riggins by stripping him down to his BVDs, chaining him to a Texas flagpole, and inviting bowhunters to take target practice on Dillon’s very own St. Sebastian. Like most men in America I want Tim Riggins to get his comeuppance, so that otherwise reasonable women stop swooning over him and start swooning over, say, me. But even I find the destruction of Riggins too contrived. I know we’re supposed to find the contrast between Tim’s elation and his disgrace stark, but I just found it manipulative. He was more interesting in Season 1 and 2, when he was less saintly. And no, Tim and Becky shouldn’t get together. A boyfriend in lockup? That’s the last thing that spunky girl needs. You’re wrong about her, Hanna—she’s going to make it out of Dillon, Tyra-style. The girls all do. It’s the boys who get stuck.

You both make excellent points about Tami’s conundrum. Emily, your question about why Tami doesn’t ask Becky to bear witness for her is brilliant. (Although, now that I think about it, could that ever really happen? It would require Becky to admit publicly to getting an abortion, surely something no 16-year-old should have to do.) And Hanna, I share your appreciation for Tami’s interview with the lawyer. I liked his straight talk, but have you ever heard of a contingency-fee attorney who actively discouraged a potential client from filinga lawsuit that she would win? No wonder that guy was working out of a closet.

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