When this excellent, moving finale aired in February on DirecTV, I reviewed it here. I felt like I owed it to the fans of the show and the people on the show to make it a great ending. “The season as a whole, particularly the last four episodes, were really moving toward that resolution… We really wanted to do an ending that was not mysterious or ended on a question. TVLINE | OK, then what’s your personal regret?
After being released from a juvenile detention center, Santiago made friends with Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly) and was soon taken in by her father, Buddy (Brad Leland) who, while being somewhat well-intentioned, also saw the clear potential in him as a football player. “They’re people who are really struggling, people who are misguided, who haven’t necessarily been raised well. I love her–you can fill in the blanks with all that, she’s the light of my life, whatever. On Friday, July 15, 2011, the series' NBC run came to an end. And it’ll probably be no until the sun burns out.” Though it’s always been secondary to other stories, you could argue that the defining thread of all five years of FNL has been Coach’s relationship with Matt, as he nurtured him into a quarterback, eyeballed him in his courtship of Julie, helped him through his troubles at home—and all the while, scared the living hell out of him in a way that somehow still managed to convey love. There’s no sense denying it: One of the best dramas in the history of TV is over (or is it?! When the writers came back for season 3, they decided to simply move on with a fresh start, rather than trying to shoe-horn in what they'd originally looked to do with the rest of season 2. Friday Night Lights, which wrapped up its five-year run last night on DirecTV’s The 101 Network, ended much as it had begun: with its heart full. I also really liked the scene in the mall with Eric showing up. Matt’s grandma is losing her presence of mind but is passing the torch, and her wedding dress, to another generation. The last seconds of that game—the long bomb with three seconds left on the clock, and the crowd hanging on it—inspired me in writing the end of my column, which I had to phrase so as not to give away any spoilers or indicate that this was the scene I was referencing: “FNL is a football show, but one in which what matters above all is not the Hail Mary pass but the faces in the stands watching its arc.” That really is what FNL is to me—a series that has always ultimately been about not winning or losing but how you play the game. What the conclusion of Friday Night Lights does achieve, in an age where profitable shows often overstay their welcome by several years, is to wrap up the storylines of Eric and Tami Taylor, of the football players on the Dillon Panthers and the East Dillon Lions, and offer each character a new beginning. Next: Friday Night Lights: What Happened To Santiago After Season 2.
The scene did not disappoint. So I do regret that storyline. To me, having it dissolve to another pass, thrown by another kid under Coach’s eye, underscored what the series has always been about: teaching, and learning, and caring.
And you are despairing — majorly despairing. The players being interviewed in those director chairs, we tried to shoot that to look like [the scene] in the pilot where Eric, Jason and Smash are getting interviewed. [Laughs]. Yep, that’s it. And you are despairing — majorly despairing. After what we had been through with Billy and Tim over the entire series, that felt like the most logical way to go.
She was the former fiancée of Jason Street and former girlfriend of Tim Riggins. I simply could not see the series squandering five years of good will for Coach by having him make such a selfish decision as to put his career first, or (maybe even worse) to passively accept Tami’s self-sacrifice. Like a great novel, these are characters that will resonate long after the final shot of the show, which depicts the Taylors united once more on a football field, this one in Philadelphia, where they have newly moved, their lives ahead of them. Jace Lacob talked to Executive Producer Jason Katims and star Connie Britton about its legacy. If anyone wonders why “Friday Night Lights” earned an Emmy nomination this week for best drama, this episode explained it all. Absolutely. Last night, one of TV's greatest drama about family, community, faith--and, incidentally, football--Friday Night Lights, came to an end on NBC. She also has a soft spot for horror ever since she started watching it at too young of an age. Plus: Check out more of the latest entertainment, fashion, and culture coverage on Sexy Beast—photos, videos, features, and Tweets. But the beauty of it—the FNL of it—was that this was clearly not a husband and wife at each other’s throats, each trying to win a zero-sum game. To really hit home, and to demonstrate the strength of one of TV’s most mature, realistic marriages—the decision has to have a real price.
He just wanted the experience of doing the scene. But life will go on. TVLINE | Was Scott Porter’s Jason supposed to be in that penultimate scene with Billy and Tim?
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