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The Televangelist: 'Friday Night Lights' Season 4, Episode 12

This week's title, "Laboring," was about as apt as I've ever seen.

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This week's title, "Laboring," was about as apt as I've ever seen - not a character was seen this week who wasn't carrying a heavy burden. I mentioned last time about the bleakness of this season, and yet for the first time in as long as I can remember, I'm actually acutely anticipating the next (and final) episode.

"Friday Night Lights" does a lot of things well - its portrayal of rural America, of daily struggles and real concerns lovingly crafted (and acted) through conversations full of truth and pathos. It's look at how something as simple and yet complex as high school football can be the heartbeat of a town. But in seasons past, each episode was just another chapter - narrative arcs ebbed and flowed and crested at different points throughout so that not everything built up until the last possible moment in the finale. The things that were technically resolved this season (Matt's life in Chicago, Becky in a post-abortion world, Luke's prescription drug dependency), were, in realistic fashion, not resolved at all. And now the larger struggles (Eric at East Dillon, the witch hunts against Tami, Julie's changing future, the Vince-Jess-Landry love triangle, the Riggins Brothers Against the World) are all coming to a head in the final episode. How can it be anything less than explosive? (We got a preview of the tremors this week with Vince's silent cry and Eric destroying the portable phone).