While there was still plenty of angst to behold, "Stay" certainly wasn't as heavy as "The Son" and nor would I want it to be. After an episode like that, you need some time to decompress, though on Friday Night Lights, that still means there's going to be plenty of emotional content.
Eventually, the Lions have to win, right? Will it be when they face the Panthers? There certainly can be some great drama there. In the meantime, I was impressed that the writers didn't play into expectations and have their losing streak broken in this episode, which raised the stakes as the Lions were facing an undefeated team, on television no less. And Stan's impulsive "guarantee" to reporters that the Lions would win only put more pressure on them. I must admit, I thought they would pull it out in the end and win but it was not to be.
It came down to Vince not throwing the ball when he should, in the wake of his proud feeling seeing his mom (in the midst of some rare sober time) coming to see him play for the first time. It was a nice bit of heartbreaking material, as we're left to ponder if maybe they could have finally won if Vince's mom wasn't in those stands. What was great was seeing Eric not dwell on the loss though and rightfully tell the Lions that they'd just won the respect of those in the stands, by keeping the other team on their toes and making it a genuine battle in a way no one expected.
Luke and Vince had a brief, tense encounter with J.D. and his friends here the first time they were all together since Luke and Vince became friends. While it was fun to see how this one ended, with Stan stepping in and telling the boys to get out of Sears before he does something he regrets, I hope we can finally get back to a more nuanced portrayal of J.D. soon. We got to know this kid in Season 3, leading up to the terrible moment where his constantly overbearing father finally hit him. Sure, we understand why he became the way he is, but is that it for him now? His only scenes are showing up to be a dick. Perhaps it's time to go home with the McCoys again.
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