Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Friday Night Lights, "The Son"

Over the years, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been recurring plot points in prime-time TV. But this Season 4 episode of Friday Night Lights, which aired on DirecTV in 2009 but was broadcast on NBC this summer, may be TV's finest hour on how a death over there upends lives over here. "The Son" handled the subject with the emotional realism that this Texas high school drama is known for. When Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) gets word that his father — a distant man he scarcely knows — was killed in Iraq, he's racked by loss, lingering abandonment issues and the expectations of others as to how he should grieve. Gilford should have won an Emmy for taking the normally even-keeled Matt through a confused, messy journey, and the script gave us FNL at its emotionally honest best. (DirecTV/NBC)