Friday Night Lights is a show I've watched from the beginning. I remember taping season one episodes on VHS. Naturally, I barely wrote about the series in a public forum except for a few posts during my "I Don't Know What To Write About Now That LOST is Off of the Air" era of the Summer of 2010. When the series concluded on DirecTV in February, I thought about writing a post about the series but I decided to wait until I actually watched the fifth season. News soon broke that the final season of FNL would hit DVD shelves in early April, before its network premiere on NBC. I planned to buy the series immediately and review each episode every day but those plans changed. I eventually will watch the season via DVD and write about the episodes as I see them. Until then, I'll write about the episodes as they air on NBC.
FNL has changed so much in the last four years. Beloved characters have been written off for new characters. It's a creative decision that I wish more shows were brave enough to commit to because it resembles real life. "Expectations" bids farewell to two more Dillion originals, though Julie Taylor will continue as a regular character (I think). Still, Julie and Landry's respective goodbye storylines were handled as well as past characters' farewells. The FNL writers don't have any dramatic exits. The exits are quiet and reserved. Landry remarks that he thought his last night in Dillion would be epic. Of course, his best friends have left Dillion for greener pastures, and Julie cannot even relate with Landry's feelings. Each storyline had great moments, such as Landry's goodbye to Grandma Saracen and Coach Taylor as he simply states that he'll miss spending time with his daughter.
As the show said goodbye to more characters, the ones introduced in season four had story laid out for them. "Expectations" is a typical season opener. Various arcs were established. Thankfully, Vince's criminal past has been seemingly dropped. In place, he's become a role model around Jess' home, or rather, a figure of encouragement for Jess' younger brothers. He and the little brother had a conversation about fathers, and the importance of stepping up when the father isn't around. Becky moved in with the Riggins following an awful time with her step-mother in her father's house. Billy dealt with guilt stemming from Tim's decision to do the jail time so that his father could raise his child and support his family. Also, the East Dillion Lions seem on pace for a miraculous season.
Now, season five is the final season of the show. I'm always interested in the first episode of a final season because it might set the tone for the inevitable end of the show. "Expectations" felt like any other premiere of FNL (besides the season two premiere, which was a trainwreck). The Taylors go about their business. Tami tries to change the culture of East Dillion High. Eric's focused on the team. Essentially, I have no idea what to expect from the final season. I'm hopeful that some of the original characters return to Dillion once last time. I hope the characters returns are natural though. I'm curious about how the story concludes. It began with tragedy so maybe it will end in triumph (and not just on the football field). I'm looking forward to the final twelve episodes.
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK