Oh season 2. Much, much maligned season 2. And not entirely unfairly. I won’t argue that season 2 isn’t the weakest season of Friday Night Lights. But as weakest seasons go, it could be worse (I’m looking at you, season 5 of The Wire). There is a lot to like here, and, frankly, the Landry-Tyra murder storyline isn’t as bad as advertised.
Okay, it’s not good. But it isn’t awful. It is just a wee bit soapy, but no soap would ever handle it so well as FNL. Nor is it entirely out of place. Criminal activity will remain a part of FNL. As is fitting for a show based on a book written about a town that was at the time the murder capital of the United States and remains pretty damn dangerous. Tim would go on to live with that meth-cooking ferret boy, steel a shitload of copper, get involved in a chop shop scheme, and serve time in prison. Vince came to Coach Taylor on a last chance program. Yeah, Dillon is the sort of place that will lock Tim up (after his glory years are spent), give a kid a chance on the basis he is real fast, and look the other way when a cop’s son kills a guy who, everyone agrees, was a fucking asshole and had it coming.
Coach Taylor’s re-entry is a bit awkward (did they really plan for that or think they were going out as a one season wonder?). But it neatly leaves Coach Taylor without any political capital despite winning a state championship the year before, and Brad Leland’s work as scheming booster Buddy Garrity is always a highlight (he also got a nice mini-plotline with Santiago, and it is a shame Santiago disappeared somewhere between seasons 2 and 3). I have mixed feelings about the trip to Mexico, but this is a very strong season for Street. And Coach Taylor throwing Saracen into the shower may be the best scene in the entire five season run.
Season 2 still has three big problems. One is the Landry-Tyra murder storyline, yes. The second is the Smash recruiting storyline. Smash continues to get stuck with the worst plotlines. The biggest, though, is the abrupt end that gives little to nothing in way of resolution to the season. (We only find out Smash hurt his knee during the playoff—and that the Panthers got bounced early—in season 3!)
3.5 of 5 Stars.
You can find all of my Friday Night Lights Friday posts here.
 Admittedly, this was also during season 2.