First off, I've got to dis FNL for breaching the strong reality boundary in "Gut Check" that it usually respects to a fault. How thrilled am I that Matt's back in the show, even if he feels like Julie's safety net? But seriously, he's living in this posh "loft" in Chicago now. And from personal experience, being an assistant in an art gallery pays nowhere near enough to cover that crib, unless it's in a share with four people. I mean, remember his house in Dillon, that tiny little rundown shack? It should feel more like that, but urban.
Also not believable is that Julie, now at least five days after her departure from Dillon for, supposedly, Burleson (that's 2 days of driving plus a long weekend with Matt), has not called her parents? Or if she did, that they wouldn't have immediately suspected she was lying? Not plausible, especially after she was practically on a suicide watch at home. In any case, the tortured Julie story line continues to be tiresome. She has a dreamy time in Chicago, which apparently feeds her soul, but Matt pretty much wants her to commit, which she's not ready to do yet.
Ah, but her empty bedroom (assuming Gracie hasn't moved in yet) beckons another troubled young lady now under Tami's guidance, Epyck. She has become a victim of bad luck, tussling with Tami's weird foe/BFF coworker after being accused of theft and accidentally sending Tami flying into the wall, requiring medical attention. Epyck's led away in cuffs upon the presumption of guilt, in no small part because of her prior rap sheet, and in the face of Tami pleading her innocence. She'll be placed in a new foster family, whose name, I'm guessing after some paperwork and interviews, will start with with T and end with R, in a certain ex-golden girl's bedroom. Also, Epyck displayed mad childcare skills with Gracie while visiting Tami for homework help. Win-win, amiright?
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The other young gals on the show are not faring well either. FNL
has always focused on the male-centric world of Texas football, which by its very nature excludes half the population. Even when, say, Luke is being overlooked by scouts and we begin to feel sorry for him, he still has way more potential for near-future personal and professional achievement than Becky and Jess. Jess has impressive knowledge of the playbook and strategy, but she is stuck picking up trash and laundry. But she seizes the opportunity to coach Luke, who's thrown into the QB position when Vince is benched for basically splintering the team and its morale. (Jess also breaks up with him, tired of his big head, although she's torn by it and has a nice convo with Coach, who reminds her he has two girls.) Vince begins to doubt his dad's advice.
The benching is less of a gamble for Coach since the team finally lost a game and the pressure of an undefeated season is off. But Eric seems to be the only one with enough faith in Luke to get the job done; Luke himself, with his low self-esteem and bad karma, doesn't think he can win. In the late minutes of the game in which they trail, he does his best Tim Tebow and runs it himself after getting sacked several times dropping back. And ... Lions win!
Luke and Becky have now settled into a relationship, which is all hunky dory until he re-introduces her to his parents, would-be grandparents of their aborted child. Seriously awkward. Becky is managing in strange and difficult circumstances, now firmly under Mindy's wing at home and seemingly indispensable at the Landing Strip. Mindy gets sick (dunh-dunh-dunh! dramatic foreshadowing), and Becky volunteers to fill in waiting tables. Not a big leap from beauty pageant meat market stuff, plus, the tips rock. She looks perfectly natural wearing a foxy veiled hat and midruff-baring outfit, tucking tips into her bra. Wait'll Tim sees this -- next week, hopefully!
Plus, Tim will be an uncle again, since Mins is pregs again with another Rigglet! At least the series should end before poor Stacy Oristano has to wear a prosthetic again. We don't see Stevie at all this episode, which is a bit odd. Hopefully he's strapped to Billy's chest. She's nervous because she needs to work for the money, even though Billy tells her he's earning enough ... as an assistant coach? That's tough to buy. Is Riggs' Rigs closed? Also, has Billy been making payments on Tim's land? Is that another hollow promise to welcome Tim home? Four more eps to discover the answers to this and other heavy questions. Sniff.
(Image courtesy of NBC)