Friday Night Lights Season 4, Episode 4: "A Sort of Homecoming" - Review

Wow. How this show can continue to be this emotionally wrenching and involving is a mystery. Week after week, Friday Night Lights manages to feel genuine and moving in a way few TV series ever achieve.

Still working hard to pull the Lions up, Eric was planning a pep rally this week which turned into the "sort of homecoming" of the title. In the meantime, we saw the horrible treatment Tami was still suffering, including constantly being called out on the radio as the source of the Panthers problems, not to mention her car being defaced with the worst words you can imagine in West Dillon: "Panther Hater."

The fact that Tami is the principal of West Dillon while her husband coaches East Dillon is of course a recipe for trouble. But it was interesting to note that Tami volunteered to make dinner for some former East Dillon players Eric was reaching out to only after her car was defaced, hinting that by accusing Tami of secretly trying to help the Lions -- and the treatment that was going along with it a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy was at work.

Once again, there was some terrific material for Buddy Garrity. A scene when he sat drinking with Eric, bemoaning no longer being a Panther was a standout. Let me mention something I don't think I've brought up in my reviews for awhile now I don't personally care about football at all. I don't watch it, and I don't even really understand the rules. But the thing about Friday Night Lights is you don't have to love football to still be able to connect to the characters Buddy's passion for football and the Panthers feels so genuine that it's easy to completely invest in him and the misery he's going through, even if he's one of the more over the top characters in terms of his Panther-adoration. It sold as completely sincere when Eric asked him to come to his dinner with the former Lions and he earnestly replied, "You can't fake boosterism. It comes from the heart. That's the beauty of it."

But Buddy did show up after all, in a joyous moment that completely turned around what had been an uncomfortable meal until that point. Seeing the friendliness between Buddy and three guys who used to be his rivals was a really sweet and poignant scene.

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