Landry in the bathroom calling Matt in Friday Night Lights

Remember, The Last Time a Strike Happened, Landry Killed a Guy

He killed a guy and got away with it!

I was personally late to the Friday Night Lights fandom but I remember very clearly when the last WGA strike happened. It was a time in history that television fans will never forget. The strike itself put a lot of beloved shows on hold and after it was done, a lot of those shows went through some pretty wild growing pains as they worked to find their footing again. And so even watching Friday Night Lights after the fact, the rockiness of season 2 had me going “oh this was for sure post the strike” based on one specific storyline: Landry just murdering some guy.

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When you think of Friday Night Lights, you probably think of football, and rightly so. The show launched with an already highly dramatic premise, with the star quarterback Jason Street (Scott Porter) getting injured on the field and becoming paralyzed from the waist down. But what fans didn’t expect was sweet Landry (Jesse Plemons) to suddenly murder a guy in season 2 for everyone to forget about it by season 3.

Yes, you read that right. It happened and then the next season we all said “nah this is fine” and moved on. So it isn’t exactly surprising that as the WGA Strike is underway, fans are remembering the moments in television that happened because of the last strike. Like Landry getting away with murder in primetime. Did this murder color everyone’s thoughts on Plemons for a while? Yes, they all knew him as Landry. But it is funny to think about how the show let it happen and then just said “this is too dramatic, even for us” and left the murder behind.

https://twitter.com/dansolomon/status/1653258151271997440?s=20

Truly television went off the rails

Landry and Tyra together on a couch in Friday Night Lights
(NBC)

When it comes to the murder plot … the idea was that Landry was doing it in Tyra’s (Adrianne Palicki) honor. He killed her attacker and so we as the audience I suppose were supposed to root for him since he did it to protect her. But the reality is that it gave a lot of “nice guys finish last” vibes and also he murdered a man! And the show clearly realized it was a bad idea because they very quickly forgot about it the next season—a fact that actually might not have been possible without the strike:

The writers who create these things we love deserve to actually be heard by the studios and the producers who claim to want the best for them. And all of this, as I’ve said before, is on the studios, not the writers who work tirelessly to give those shows to us. Hopefully this strike won’t lead to any Landry-is-a-murderer-level nonsense but if we feel anger or frustration about how it affects the entertainment we love, it’s important to remember where to direct those feelings, and it’s sure as hell not at the writers.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the current television landscape, depending on how long the strike lasts. Jesse Plemons is on television right now in Love & Death (a show in which someone does die!) so really, anything can happen.

(Featured image: NBC)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.