Friday Night Lights
Black Eyes & Broken Hearts

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: B+ | 5 USERS: A+
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Of The Souls Of Strippers

Next day, a crowd is seeing the football team onto the bus. Tami hugs her husband and then something catches her eye. Explosions in the Sky's "Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean" in the background as Coach turns around to see all the African-American players approaching the bus in their letter jackets, carrying their gear. Smash approaches Coach and asks if there's room on the bus. Coach pauses, with tough lips, and just nods his head yes. The music is mixed louder as the scene progresses, and a lot of this is filmed with a slightly fisheye perspective. Mac comes up to Smash as the kid is about to board the bus and says, "Listen, son -- " but Smash cuts him off and tells him that him being there doesn't change a thing, "I know who you are." As everyone boards the bus, the music crescendos, a camera swirls around Coach Taylor just before he gets on, then a shot of the overly crowded bus -- with, uh, the black kids in the back of the bus, WTF? Random Assistant Coach Black Man shooting lasers into Mac's neck. And I just want to point out the artfulness of this scene. Because in this scene, nothing surprising happens, in fact pretty much what does happen is all pretty worn -- the man in charge Does the Right Thing; the young upstart Swallows His Pride Just That Little Bit. And all the camera work giving us this worn material is all pretty chintzy, too -- the The Right Stuff slow motion boys-in-a-group-walking shot, the swirling camera to represent a swirling mind, the shaky hand-held shot of a crowd from the p.o.v. of one person a window in a lonely world. But all of it together, with the music mixed so loudly, gives at least this viewer the pitter-pats. It's a nice testament to how you don't have to reinvent the wheel when you're telling a story; aesthetic shorthand oftentimes really works.

Okay, moving on, now. At the game with the Dunston Valley Cardinals. The announcers exposit that the Cardinals are known for playing a bit dirty. On the field, some trash talk between a Cardinal and Smash, but nothing out of the ordinary. The game starts, and some stuff happens. Matt calls some plays, and some more stuff happens. Smash gets a good run, but then takes a big hit which almost immediately turns into a fight which gets broken up pretty quickly. More football stuff, more ball-running by Smash, this time to the end zone. Lots of hooting and hollering and Smash trash talking: "Put up or shut up, baby!"

Cardinals have the ball, and Dillon gets one good hit. Cut to the bench, where Mac is pep talking his offense, telling Matt to just keep getting the ball to Smash, "He can run it!" On the field, the Cardinals run it into the end zone to tie it up. Dillon's back on offense. Dillon takes a dirty hit from behind, but the refs don't call it. Coach is pissed. Another snap, Smash runs the ball but gets taken down with a blatant facemask. Which the refs don't call again. Coach is freaking out, the announcers are tsk-tsking over the bad calls, and the crowd is booing. Coach calls Smash over to the sidelines and tells him that he sees what's going on and that it's up to Smash to not let them get in his head.

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Friday Night Lights

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