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Friday Night Lights “The Right Hand of the Father” 

Photo Credit: DirecTV

Where would we be if no one had daddy issues? Some of my favorite shows like Supernatural, Lost, NCIS, and even this season’s Hawaii Five-0 would never have made such an impact on you or me if these characters didn’t have unresolved issues with their fathers. The same can be said for Friday Night Lights. Not only is Vince unprepared for his father’s parole, but his very presence – in Vince’s life, in the house, on the field – are throwing Vince off his game. I don’t like seeing the return of this Vince. I’m afraid he’s going to go back to his life of crime and not make much of his life. Now, I don’t think Coach Taylor will allow that to happen but I’m worried. 

Things were going so well for Vince – he’s received all those letters of intent, his mom is clean and has a job, and things are great with Jess. Isn’t that always when things fall apart? The return of Vince’s long absent father sets off a chain of events. Unbeknownst to Vince, his mom invites his father to stay with them. But Vince isn’t ready to forgive and forget. Jess is too busy to notice what’s going on with her boyfriend because she’s the new equipment manager for the team. So he can’t talk to her. His mother can see his turmoil but wants Vince to give his father a chance for her. Coach finally gets through to Vince, after Vince shows him how much distress he’s in. Coach tells Vince to strive to be a better person. That’s all he wants. The struggle is what will make Vince stronger.

Another father/son relationship in dire need of some rehab is the almost nonexistent one between Buddy and his son, who lives 1,500 miles away with his ex-wife Pam. Even though Pam hasn’t wanted Buddy to be part of his son’s life for a while now, she asks him for help. Buddy only seems interested in complaining about his ex until Coach Taylor reminds him what’s important: his son. Buddy needs to get past whatever resentment he holds for his wife and do right by his boy. So Buddy Jr. is heading back to Dillion. I can’t wait for him to start making trouble.

Julie’s not immune to daddy issues either. Of course she’s attracted to the guy who was watching a football game her dad has seen a million times. Of course things move much too quickly and of course he’s unavailable. I do understand why she isn’t necessarily interested in college boys (or at least the ones at that history salon – how pretentious!) but she really does pick one of the worst guys to go after. And what’s her deal with football players or guys who love the game? She says she wants to get away from all that but that is the type of guy she usually goes for.

Speaking of girls I don’t understand, I’m not sure what Mara’s issues are but she’s got a ton of them. She doesn’t think it’s a big deal that she was so drunk last week she was some guy’s puppet. She tells Jess she’s gonna take her man. She’s caught making out with a random guy in the supply closet (oh so Grey’s and appropriate oh so high school) by Tami. This girl worries me. I’m so afraid she’s going get herself in some real trouble – with alcohol, or a guy, or God knows what. I’m so happy Tami’s trying to wake her up. We see Tami’s words landing, but I wonder if Mara will change her attitude or her behavior. I hope she does.

I’d like to spend a little more time with Tami and Eric Taylor. I kinda feel like they’re a little lost in the shuffle right now. They are the emotional center – the heart – of this show. So, more of them please. Speaking of the Taylors, I did like it when Coach Taylor instituted his coat and tie rule. No more jersey’s on game day and the team’s got to do community outreach. The town is looking to the football players as an example and they just won’t tolerate bad behavior. Coach reiterates that he’s only holding the guys to his standard, the team’s standard. And he kicks two players off the team when they don’t hold to it. I think that’s fair.

The Lions have now won all the games they’ve played. I can’t wait until they have to play the Panthers. That should be very interesting.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

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