Friday Night Lights - Zach Gilford Friday Night Lights - Zach Gilford

Cheers to Zach Gilford for scoring an emotional touchdown on Friday Night Lights. Ex-Panther quarterback Matt Saracen may have graduated from West Dillon High, but the deeply sympathetic character has thankfully stuck around the Texas town, delivering pizzas, taking care of his Alzheimer's-stricken grandma (Louanne Stephens), interning with a misanthropic artist (John Diehl) and clinging to his college-bound girlfriend (Aimee Teagarden). As if that weren't enough, he was blindsided by the death of his long-absent father, who was serving in Iraq. In this week's shattering episode, "The Son," Matt confessed to hating his dad, demanded to see his disfigured body, told an anecdote about toilet paper in lieu of a eulogy and ultimately buried the old man himself. As he navigated this tough terrain, Gilford didn't miss a step. His gift as an actor, like his FNL costars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, is to take a fundamentally decent character and still make him fascinatingly complex. Emmy voters have dropped the ball during FNL's first three seasons, but to overlook Gilford would truly be a fumble.

Do you think Zach Gilford deserves some Emmy love?

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!