You are Jason Street. Life keeps throwing you obstacles and yet you find some way to persevere. Sure, you complain about how tough your life is, about how difficult things are for you, but you just know that no matter how bad things get, everyone on this show will go out of their way to look out for you, and you can depend on being able to bilk some schlub into buying a car and make yourself feel better. Somehow, you go on.

My god, how many times is the show going to have Jason Street going to do something kind of awful and then expect the audience to not only be on his side, but view it as some sort of "overcoming adversity" parable. Yes, Jason faces challenges given his disability, but his woe-is-me yet entitled attitude persists, and I'm sick of having to follow his trite adventures from episode to episode. Here's hoping that his role as a car salesman means he makes enough money to drive far, far away from Dillon.

In another throwback to the show's early, terrible missteps, this episode is awash in love triangle. Hey, are you invested in Lyla/Riggins/Chris the Christian? Because god knows, we haven't been tortured with enough nonsense between Lyla and Tim Riggins, and throwing in a bland religious kid is surely the recipe to liven things up. The fact that Lyla gives TIm $3,000 to pay off his meth head benefactors at least does us the service of nominally closing the book on this romance, though we've been promised that several times before and unfortunately it's never seemed to stick.

The same goes for the confrontation with the meth head kingpin himself. Billy is a stealthily interesting character -- a complete fuck up who loves his brother at the same time he's too boneheaded not to undermine him emotionally and in life. But Billy mixing it up with the ferret guy felt like a way to stretch out the drama of what's already been an odd storyline. Given the fact that the money is square and things are otherwise fine, hopefully this is the end of that too, though god only knows.

Also on the romance front, we get the introduction of Jean, a nerdy freshman who serves as a rival to Tyra for Landry's affections. I have to ask, can this show do any sort of romantic storyline without turning it into a love triangle? I appreciated how FNL closed out the storyline previously by having Landry tell Tyra that he couldn't just sit on the sidelines waiting for Tyra to figure things out, but the fact that Tyra basically needs bait in order to be jealous and realize her feelings for Landry seems like a retread and delaying of the inevitable. What's more, Jean is more device than character, a suspiciously perfect girl for Landry who fits his interests better than Tyra does.

At least the comic relief is good. Tami coaching the volleyball team is another contrived plot development, and tying it into Tyra's frustrations is even more of a stretch. But it's amusing enough seeing Tyra channel her anger into volleyball spikes, and it's good to see Tami get a literal win after everything.

Again, the one storyline that's actually functioning well is Brian's. You can see how Brian's brash nature and sense of right and wrong would conflict with the "be better than them" message that his mother has tried to instill. It's hard to be in the right and have to suck it up because it's what you need to do in order to achieve your goals. There's some not so subtle commentary about the media stirring the pot on that front, but the real conflict is within Brian himself, holding his sister and feeling like he shouldn't be punished for doing nothing wrong, and then trying to hold his future together in the face of an industry that heavily scrutinizes young black men, even when it makes its money off of them. His was really the only purely good part of the episode, and even that was a pretty predictable development after last week. Maybe the show is just out of surprises, at least ones that don't involve out of nowhere stalkers and murder.

loading replies