Friday Night Lights, “Stay”

Some quick thoughts on last Friday’s Friday Night Lights right after the jump.

I’ve been busy with my “real” job lately, which has put me behind on some television watching. That means to catch up on all the recaps and posts I need to do, each one might be a little shorter than usual.

Anyway, on to “Stay,” which was a nice follow-up to “The Son.” It was going to be impossible to follow that episode and I’m glad that the series didn’t really attempt to. The emotional carnage of that episode still hung over the proceedings of “Stay,” however.

With Matt still dealing with his father’s death, the news that his grandmother would be taken care of financially planted a seed that one final — for now — trip with Julie helped water. For Matt Saracen, it was finally time to leave Dillon. It was finally time to let go of the responsibilities and the people keeping him from whatever dreams he wants to pursue, even if those are the people he loves. And so, after a nice slow dance in the hotel room and the conversation at the concert, Julie and Matt knew it was time to put a hold on their relationship, at least the in-person version of it. She might want him to stay and he might want to be with her, but neither of them is going to grow up and be the people they need to be unless he goes for now.

I appreciated that the series didn’t make Matt’s departure overly dramatic because we’ve had enough of that. And we didn’t need a big Julie-Matt blow out to end their relationship, that wouldn’t feel real. Instead, they were portrayed as two people that loved one another but needed to move on to something else, at least for a while. I loved the look in Aimee Teegarden’s eyes after the conversation at the concert. She knew right then that Matt was leaving and he knew that she knew. They didn’t need to say anything, because their eyes actually said it all. Fantastic acting.

Meanwhile, the funeral brought Lyla back into town and we finally got to see what leaving Dillon does to a person. Or should I say what leaving Tim Riggins does to a person? She and Riggins shack up for her quick stay in Dillon and although Lyla rapidly finds herself hooked back in to the Dillon life and the aura that his Tim Riggins, she is smart enough to realize that it can’t go anyway. Despite Riggins’ dreams of Lyla staying in town, ditching college and becoming the manager of Riggins Rigs, that’s not her life either. And much like Julie and Matt, the two of them realize that this is not the right time, feelings be damned. Again, nice to not have much drama, just an emotional acknowledgment that the love is there, while the timing is not.

Oh, hey! The Lions are getting better. So there’s that. All in all, another wonderful episode. Right?

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