FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS Review – “The Confession” (Season 2 Episode 9)

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - Adrianne Palicki as Tyra Collette and Jesse Plemons as Landry Clarke in “The Confession”

So Street’s discriminatory act against the brunette with the urophilia fetish results in a serendipitous romance. The waitress he asks to bail him out from his hell date (I guess won’t use his testimony) seems very likeable and their resulting romantic connection seems as genuine and promising as Saracen’s and Carlotta’s.

And thank God for cradle-robbing Carlotta. Saracen is such a glutton for bad romantic advice that this episode of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, “The Confession,” finds him yet again listening to Smash. But just before he tries to parrot Smash’s Mack Daddy-isms to Carlotta, she recognizes that he’s about to say something stupid and heads him off at the pass:

“I think I am going to teach you to make Mole,” she says.

And with that simple sentence she manages to stop a perpetually awkward and hesitant Saracen from inserting his foot squarely into his pie hole.

For that piece of skill, men everywhere are in love with Carlotta – because all we really want from our women is for them to anticipate our hurtful utterances and stop us before we say them. Because if a man says something to a woman and that something could be taken one of two ways, one of which will make her cry, then he meant it the other way. Carlotta gets that and that’s why Saracen is a lucky so and so. The rest of you women – watch and take notes.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - Zach Gilford as Matt Saracen in “The Confession”

And there is so much to learn from Friday Night Lights people. For instance, guys, if you’re not one of the cool kids at school and you have a thing for the hot girl, forgot about winning her over with your math skills and all that highfalutin’ learnin’, try, even though you don’t possess an ounce of athletic ability, to make the football team instead; and if that doesn’t work, kill the guy that’s trying to rape her. It’s that easy. Otherwise, you may have to settle for going steady with pee pee chick.

Anyway, I was glad to see Tyra show her deep affection for Landry who confesses to murder (damn, white folk can’t even go to jail when they say: “I did it.”)

But why am I happy to see Tyra show the most decent kid on TV love? Because Landry worships the ground she walks on, and in the long run, when she’s old and gray and full of sleep and nodding by the fire, thinking of how many loved her moments of glad grace, and loved her beauty with love false or true; Tyra will remember that it was Landry who loved her pilgrim soul, and the sorrows of her changing face (with apologies to William Butler Yeats).

But enough about Landry, except to say this last thing: his decency is highly commendable, if not bordering on stupid, and Tyra would be foolish not to hold on to a man like that with both hands. The man you’ve been dreaming about is under your nose Tyra baby, try not to get distracted by the fact that he doesn’t look like Riggins.

What else happened last night? Let’s see Santiago threw Buddy (who gets his daddy mojo back), the “I hate you” tantrum on the way to his first game, which makes Santiago the male Julie.

Santiago however triumphantly channels the aggression and frustration he unleashes on Buddy into his first sack of the season; and FNL director, Peter Berg, does a good job of showing how Santiago’s heightened senses in the swirling, heady aftermath (of what has been his greatest athletic and emotional achievement) confirms his feeling of belonging to something positive.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - Aimee Teegarden as Julie Taylor in “The Confession”

Julie, facing her own sense of rootlessness, rebuilds her bridge with Tami after weeks of that eternal struggle between young estrogen and old estrogen but only after Tami, the adult, apologizes first, which is so American. But it was nice to see Tami finally win back her daughter from Shelley’s clutches. It was an important step towards healing, just as Julie’s steps were similarly crucial when she finally talked to her dad and mom about feeling overwhelmed by all the tension and stresses attendant on the approach of young adulthood.

But for all the familial conflicts, at least Julie is under adult supervision. Not so for Riggins, who finally realizes that Ferret Guy is not just a meth dealer but also crazy, which Riggins would have seen a lot sooner if he wasn’t raised by a football. However it seems, Riggins, who moves in to Coach Taylor’s garage, will be fine – at least until high school finishes, at which point he may realize that he peaked at 17.

And so it is that the various storylines and the immediacy of their various crises have been more or less neatly tied up until 2008. I say more or less because, one thing in particular didn’t sit well with me. And yes, it breaks my heart to say this, but I think Julie softened towards her mom a little too quickly to be convincing. But I blame this quick wrap up of that story line on the writer’s strike.

So where next for the little show that could? The one that Stephen King in his Entertainment Weekly column calls a soap opera with “purdy” high schoolers.

Beats me to tell you the truth. How long can these kids be seniors? Where can the storylines go next?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.