I didn't think anything could be better than J and Tim in Mexico but J, Tim and LYLA in Mexico proved me wrong. Wow. Firstly I'm so glad she came. I had this irrational pit-of-my-stomach fear that she might not. And then all geared up for the big rescue, my heart went out to her when she rocked up and Tim hadn't even told Jason she was coming. That was the sort of ridiculously human anti-climactic, awkward scene that FNL does so well at, and they kept coming in abundance in this episode. The Tim, Jason and Lyla plot was definitely the highlight--so much so I had to go out and get an icon straight away.
I'm not always able to empahtise with Lyla but in this episode she really worked for me. Her position as the girl tagging along on a boys' boozy holiday was really easy to sympathise with. I loved her staring at them crashed out on their beds in their clothes and her deadpan 'sounds like you guys found a whole new level of dumb down here'.
I love the scripting of their exchanges too. They are as inarticulate as real teenagers. The fact that Tim could only reply 'yeah, kinda sorta' to Lyla asking if he really thought a booze cruise was the best way to talk to Jason was so painful it was true. It was easy to feel frustrated by Tim, that's for sure, though his heart's in the right place and I like that he stuck to HIS plan and made Lyla come along, because in the end it did work and because although he couldn't articulate it, he was trying to find a common ground with Jason rather than put him offside straight away. Lyla meant well too--neither of them were completely at fault in that situation, but ultimately I think Tim had a smidgeon more commitment to Jason and Lyla knew it. I loved that bringing Lyla along worked but totally not in the way that Tim had planned. She wasn't suddenly the angel of mercy saving the day--she was still bossy and judgemental and stroppy but she also told Tim some things he really needed to hear like 'man up and have a conversation'.
But also I'm glad that Jason confounded both of them and rescued himself. That makes me happier than anything. No Hollywood cheese crying on shoulders and telling Lyla and Tim they were right all along... just a crazy cathartic gesture that was mad and dangerous and shook him to his OWN senses.
My favourite line from Lyla was 'you don't want religion? ok, fine. how about the fact that this is just a stupid idea and you're being an idiot'. Hooray for straight talk over giving the pat religious line that 'everything happens for a reason'. I love that she gave both--so very Lyla!
And that speech of Tim's?! WOW. That is love. It was (again) so genuine, so raw and so desperate--I do believe Jason really took that in before he jumped overboard. I think the extremity of it all hit him then. I am SO glad that Tim was completely blunt with Jason, saying he was never going to walk again but maybe he might DIE. Tim risks being hated here, he risks losing a friend, but all of that is nothing to the risk that Jason faces--he may lose his life.
The scene where Jason threw himself overboard was so amazing--I gasped when he did it and I cried and grinned when he made it back to shore and when the others caught up with him. It was such a high but then I loved how they made it so ordinary too, with the 'I'm just contemplating how I'm going to get you in the truck' line.
I loved their dance too, and especially the respective reactions of Tim and Jason watching the other one kiss Lyla. Tim smiled when J and Lyla kissed--it's always been all about J for him, even though I do think he needs Lyla. J found it harder to watch and instead smiled with an amused look when Lyla said she had to go pray. Somehow that little vignette summed all three of them up perfectly. They're flawed and tangled but there's so much genuine heart beneath that.
Coach trying to get some was rather adorable though it was even better to watch Tami turn him down. I love that she can do that with so much grace yet determination. Tami saying 'I don't want to go to book club: those ladies are crazy!' cracked me up.
The controversial Tyra/Landry plot was actually really well handled in this episode, I felt. I'm glad that Landry's father clued on, because I think he would and I'm glad it was obvious that it was just personal suspicion too, but that it didn't even matter if it WAS just personal suspicion because he loved his son so much. I would normally not be ok with a father asking a girl not to date his son, but in this instance I actually could empathise. I think Landry's parents truly love him, he's a good kid and it hurt that he was lying to them, but Landry's father doesn't reproach him because he suspects his son is in a difficult position. I don't think he means Tyra harm either--he made a point of saying he hoped it would 'never come' to him visiting in his official capacity. I do think the Landry/Tyra relationship was unhealthy but it was still really painful to see the break-up, especially since Tyra, for lack of anything else to say, fell back on painful personal insult. Poor Landry. Though I still think he's better off without her.
It pains me to say that. I love Tyra--she's always been one of my favourite characters, and I'm still aggrieved by what they've done with her plot. I feel like she was cast first as victim, then as a dangerous outsider figure. But because they had her actually cover up a murder I feel like there's no recourse to say that she's NOT a dangerous figure. I just really hope her plot gets better from here because it's a bit horrible to see the stereotype of people from low-socio-economic background having no morality or respect for the law being reinforced.
Speaking of someone who's better off, I was so glad to see Matt NOT pick up exactly where he left off with Julie. Julie needs to learn that lesson. And Matt needed to know he was strong enough to turn her down. He was also amusingly frustrated and sullen through the rest of the episode in his conflict with Smash. And wow, if he keeps giving lip like that, he'll start to rival Lee Adama a run in the pissy bitch stakes! His behaviour with Coach was such a funny contrast to the way he looked for Tami's advice. Oh, Matt! He really acts like they're his parents--getting mad at his father and looking for advice from his mother. He was completely blind to how inappropriately personal either of those exchanges was. He put both of them in a difficult position. But since Coach acts as a parent figure to the team and Tami used to be school counsellor, it's also easy to see how that dynamic came about.
I'm not sure what I thought about Landry becoming the hero of the hour. It worked from a dramatic perspective, and I did like his awkward but appropriate speech and how shocked he was by its acceptance. But it's still an adjustment for me to see him as a footballer. I did love seeing Smash and Matt sidelined though, especially Matt's 'well I guess we could start cheering louder'. *giggle* He's just such a sullen teenager it cracks me up. Good to see them put it behind them and get back to football though.