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Love to Hate ‘Em: Ornette Howard from Friday Night Lights 

Cress Williams

What makes a good villain great? For me it’s thinking some pretty evil thoughts about them and wondering why people are allowing this person to remain in their lives. It’s thinking about how I’d try to get them out of my life if I had the misfortune of knowing them. It’s wanting to punch (or otherwise injure) them every time I see them on the screen. It’s wanting to continue to see them wreak havoc on characters we love to see how far they can get and how much damage they can do.

The Friday Night Lights writers were very clever about re-introducing Cress Williams’ Ornette Howard back into Vince’s life and introducing him into ours. He had a lot of overcome with Vince although his wife, Regina, welcomed him back with open arms. And he did win me over. I thought maybe his time in jail reformed him. I thought maybe he finally realized how important his family is and wanted to do everything he could to show them that. Most of all, I wanted Vince to have a strong father figure to continue the lessons Coach Taylor has been teaching him. It’s just too bad Vince decided to give him another chance, although I certainly can’t blame him. It’s now clear Ornette is only looking out for himself. He claims to care about Vince, but all he cares about is how far Vince’s talent on the football field will take him in his life. Ornette took care of Vince’s little problem violently and has now managed to get Coach Taylor out of the decision making process on colleges. And Ornette’s constant stroking of his son’s ego has led Vince to go back to some of his old ways. All he seems to care about is himself. I don’t like it and neither do his teammates.

Right now I’m still enjoying the hate but soon I’m going to want to be done with Ornette Howard. Coach Taylor’s eyes have been opened and now it’s time for Vince and his mom to realize he’s not good for either one of them. Let’s not forget he got Regina hooked on drugs before he went to prison. He’s never been there for Vince before now and as soon as he gets what he wants, I think he’ll disappear again. Only this time, Vince and Regina won’t know where he is or when (if ever) he’ll come back. With Vince’s payday all but guaranteed, Ornette wants to make sure he gets his piece. I really hope he doesn’t succeed.

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