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'Friday Night Lights': Agt. Pierce is on the case

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Jesse_lHey, I was much obliged to read so many of your postsexpressing agreement with me that last week’s season premiere of Friday Night Lights was troubling forthe Landry-murders-a-guy-for-Tyra subplot. But now I wonder if you agree withthis: I thought last night’s second episode was a big improvement, in a numberof ways.

I thoughtthe episode’s writing was really on a par with Lights at its first-season best. The producers even injected alittle much-needed bleak humor into the murder plot early on, when Landry(Jesse Plemons, pictured) insisted he and Tyra go search for his watch where they dumped the body. When Tyra expressed skepticism about the importance of this, Landry did one of thosedeadpan takes he does so well, noting that the watch was, after all, inscribed,”To Landry From Grandpa.” (And speaking of Landry’s family, did you see who’splaying Landry’s cop-pop? Glenn Morshower, a.k.a. Agent Aaron Pierce from 24! Did we know this before?)

Loved allthe stuff with Connie Britton’s Tami, her isolation while hubby Kyle Chandler’sEric continues to be treated like dirt in his faraway college-football job, andher post-partum depression/exhaustion. This is the kind of stuff that makes Friday Night Lights such essentialviewing: The show is unafraid to make a main character look tired and crabbyfor a week or two; the show doesn’t underestimate our intelligence. Theintroduction of the substitute guidance counselor was both hilarious andmoving — he caught Tami at her most vulnerable, even as she behaved, as she saidlater, like “a bitch” to him. Bravo to her character all the way around: fornot holding back, and then for acknowledging it later.

Onequestion, though: When Tami was stuck for a ride home from the emergency roomwith the baby, why didn’t she call her daughter rather than Glen-the-teacher?Was daughter Julie just not answering her phone? If you ask me, that young ladyneeds a good talking-to — she’s becoming a rebellious hoochie-mama way tooquickly. And before you write to complain about what I just said, here’s what Imean: I think it’s great that they’re doing this with her character — it adds tothe drama. I’m just saying, half-jokingly, that I hope we also get some scenessoon in which Julie is made to understand that she can’t keep acting like thiswithout repercussions. Which I bet is what’s being set up here so nicely.

I could goon and on, but just want to acknowledge once again the welcome return ofLandry’s sense of humor (him telling Matt he has his “testicles in [Julie’s]panty drawer”? Great stuff…) and I’m really liking the way they seem to besetting up Chandler to be fired from his college job.

Some thingsto discuss: Do you think Matt is going to hook up with that attractive newlive-in caregiver, now that Julie has dumped him? And if so, is that anotherexample of the dumbing-down of FNLfor ratings? And I’d really like to hear what you think of the slightshift in the Landry-Tyra subplot this week.