I read a review recently where somebody said the relationship between Landry and Tyra was developing organically and at a perfect rate, so bringing them closer together via the murder was a poor decision since it ruins all that perfectly structured development up until that point. I definitely agree with that point. It's something that wasn't exactly evident to me until I read it, and watching this episode, I can't help but agree even more. It helps, though, that the actors playing the characters are more than just your average "actors/actresses on a high school show." They give powerhouse performances here, despite the content of the plot being a bit weak.
This episode was a big improvement over the premiere and only suffered from a huge mess of random plots and moments being introduced so suddenly. I was hoping that the show might slow down and try to do a little balancing of the football community and the character development like last year did, but unfortunately, we get very little of Smash, Sarasen or Riggins here, just like in the premiere. The little bit we get of Matt consists of one of the lamer plots of the show so far: the nurse that moves into his house to help take care of his grandmother. The nurse just seems a bit irritating, as if she's there just to create some tension when none is really needed.
Once again, Connie Britton continues to knock it out of the park. I love the material she's being given, especially since she sells it so well. She has so many good scenes here, whether it's the scenes with her daughter, the scenes with the new guidance counselor or the touching little scene where Jason Street and her talk. Street hasn't been given much to work with, but maybe this new-found urge to move past his paralysis will give him good material (also, did they re-cast Herc? It was really jarring to see a new actor if that's what they did.)
Right now, and as I said in the review for the last episode, the show is so close to having everything in place for a good season. But with only fifteen episodes to work with, the show's going to have to move a lot faster and work a lot harder at giving the characters better stuff to work with if it wants to be as strong, emotional and powerful as last season.