It won't be a surprise to anyone that knows me that I was on the 'kick his ass out on the street' side in regard to Vince's father. I was horrified for Vince when he came into his house... Vince and his mother have managed to pull together this positive home environment out of nothing, out of ashes, and then this third party comes in, the one who broke their home apart in the first place? That's horrible. It's not about trying to be a family. Vince and his mother are a family. Vince's father had done nothing to show he wants to act like a family. He just showed up and expected everyone to cede to him. It was also a slap in the face from his mother, who (probably out of fear and her own neediness) didn't respect Vince enough to ask for his involvement in decision making about that.
I think the material in this episode about pride was particularly powerful. It's clear that despite Vince enjoying the euphoria of being a team hero, he lacks pride in himself deep down still. When Coach said he should be proud, I loved his reaction, one of awkwardness with that suggestion. His self-image is still one of being a fuck-up, and I think everything else feels a little like a dream that could vanish. I also liked that the scene with his father riffed on the one with Coach in regards to pride. That his father had never felt pride gave Vince an 'in' to seeing his father as human, and also being able to see a difference now between him and his father. He doesn't have to become his father because he has something, some experience now to draw on in terms of feeling pride in himself, in striving to be better.
Vince's speech to Coach about his father was incredibly moving--one of the classic Friday Night Lights scenes. 'I'm supposed to be better but he never taught me how'. That is so true. The situation Vince is faced with is one for which he has absolutely nothing to draw on in terms of personal conditioning. Where is he supposed to draw from? You could feel the tension palpable in him that comes from breaking your conditioning, the constant hard tug back towards your previous, familiar behavior, however destructive. Vince has been re-conditioning himself for so long, he's come so far, I can definitely see why he snapped when asked to dig deeper and find more on top of that. In the scene I was awed at his outbreak and wondering what on earth Coach could come up with to respond to him. Of course, as always, he had the perfect words. How does this show keep on doing it?!
In terms of the resolution, I am so so glad that Vince's father DID leave. I think that was necessary. I think it was also clear that something shifted in a positive sense between them. His father's speech to him was moving at times but hurtful at others (what right does he have to feel pride in his son? I suspect that there were conflicted feelings on Vince's part at that point). Vince stayed very still and contained throughout it, something he often does when unsure what to think of a new situation. I feel he gave just enough to his father without losing anything of himself. And I have to say I reveled in seeing his father watch Vince with Coach at the game. Yes, that's right: another man raised your son.
I loooove that Jess wants to be part of the team in a practical way, not as a rally girl. I adore it! I fear it's going to be a tough road for her but I love her enthusiasm despite that. I also loved the genuine mix of jealousy and feminist disbelief with which she viewed the rally girls. That she had some genuine concern for the girl in question, I don't doubt. I also think she was jealous as hell at some slutty bitch hitting on her boy. With good cause. &hearts
I love Tami, but I don't know if that public lecturing was the best way to reach those kids. In fact, I'm pretty damn sure it wasn't. I think it's more likely to reinforce the idea that drinking in moderation is something adults want you to do, something uncool and a bit ridiculous. It was an interesting contrast/parallel to the public shaming of putting the video on the internet... both could have resulted in other girls thinking 'I don't want to be like that' but I actually think the lecture did more damage in terms of framing the girl as the 'cool rebel'. I thought Tami's personal approach with the girl was far, FAR more effective and I really wish she would stick to that. I understand her concern, but I think she herself doesn't really understand or appreciate how to tackle the dynamics involved. Take the 'knickers in the locker' incident--she told Jess that was something she just had to put up with. Really, Tami? Really? You didn't think that was a time to step in with the girl in question and do some private counselling about self-pride? I don't mind that she's out of her depth... in fact, I love it when either her or Coach are because it makes for much better plots. And I'm sure she'll work wonders long term. :)
It's an interesting place for the show to go to, this issue of binge drinking and particularly abuse of girls... I don't know if it's the same in the states but here there are a lot of problems with football teams and sexual assault. There have been a lot of high-profile cases related to rape, gang rape, assault, and video footage. It seems an endemic problem in the professional leagues which makes me wonder how prevalent it is at this high-school level in America? (I have no idea.) I must say the stuff about it here in Australia makes me sick with the genderfail. For example, a footballer recently tweeted a statement that implied that girls needed to realise that if they got drunk around footballers they were going to end up getting screwed by them. Of course there was an outcry, but I think many of the players themselves believe that. Whether deliberately or not, this plot on Friday Night Lights seems to hint at how that attitude is born.
And ok, who is this slimy asshole Julie has got herself involved with? Ugh! I was screaming at her to run the other way from the get-go. Oh well, it's very first-year college, I guess. Though I would love to know from any Americans out there whether that 'salon' thingy is at all realistic? Because it was farcical from an Australian point of view. You're lucky to get three hours of class time in an arts degree, let alone a social event. And if there was a social event it would have wine in plastic cups and be very very uncool.
I am totally not on board with the Buddy Garrity plot of the year, but meh, that's fine, there's enough else in the series that I love. But on principle I don't see Garrity as the 'good dad' that will solve his son's delinquency. *eyeroll* I kind of hope his son tells him to shove it. :p (Where's Lyla? She'd do a better job!)
Final note: Vince looks so handsome in a suit! And Jess is adorable in her little team uniform. &hearts &hearts &hearts
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