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'FNL': Don't whisper-yell at me

November 17, 2007 |  8:59 am

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That wandering puppy thing with Riggins was getting terribly old, so thank God "Friday Night Lights" had him arrive at a story line at the end of the episode.

I get that Riggins is adrift and hurting oh-so-much inside, awaiting reinstatement to the football team by Coach Taylor. But his brooding love affair with the camera was coming at the expense of the character.

Now he will apparently move in with a guy who doesn't wear a shirt around the house and has ferrets for pets.

Come to think of it, there was lots of movin' in last night. That Santiago kid moved in with booster Buddy Garrity; Tim moved in (temporarily) with Tyra (who's become a bit too officious and goody-goody, if you ask me), before moving in with the ferret guy.

I thought Riggins should have moved in with the Williamses, so he could have some sense knocked into him by "Smash" -- although he's busy having some sense knocked into him by his mother, trying like heck to keep the recruiters from preying on her vulnerable son.

Mothers rule the roost on "FNL" (OK, maybe not Tyra's).

Meanwhile, let's hear it for the shy guy. QB Saracen's got the ladies coming out of his ears now, what with the new chick at school and an older-woman, younger-dude thing brewing at home with his grandma's nurse Carlotta (who moved in with them recently).

Those two are bound for the bedroom, at which point Matt will have his heart broken, at which point Julie's latest looking-for-her-father flirtation (do they happen by the hour?) with her journalism teacher (actor Austin Nichols, by the way, refugee from HBO's "John From Cincinnati") will have run its course, at which point Julie and Matt will, as the Beatles would say, come together. Right?

Last night's episode moved like the wind. This was either my absorption or the editing, and despite the fact that the whole Pantherama rally story line felt like lip service to the idea that "FNL" is still about, after all, people in high school.

I so hardly can remember that sometimes! But one thing happened on the show last night that really mattered: Coach's wife, Tami (pictured), reasserted her presence at Dillon High as an empathic high priestess of advice, buzzing around everybody's business.

Best line of the night came when Coach said to his wife, "Don't whisper-yell at me," when they were arguing, behind closed doors, about Coach's scheme to get that Santiago kid on the team. 

But Coach knows, as we do, that his wife is a sage. That character is the show's eyes and ears -- its conscience and its crooked little heart.

-- Paul Brownfield

(Photo courtesy NBC)

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