If you thought the events that comprised the end of last season were intense, wait until you see this episode. The show's fourth season not only keeps the realism intact four seasons in but it also gives us a completely new set of possible stories to explore, including most noticeably the arrival of the East Dillon school. Not only is Dillon split into two now, but there's also a noticeable difference between the quality of schooling in both places. East Dillon is comprised of people who have made less money and West Dillon seems to be made up of people like the slimy Joe McCoy, who have the money to send their kids to the West.
This new dynamic meshes completely with Coach Taylor's new arc as coach of the East Dillon Lions. Except there is no East Dillon Tigers. He's forced to throw a rag-tag group of players together to play their first game and it's an absolute disaster. I would go as far to say that this is Kyle Chandler's best acting job by a mile though. His frustration as he attempts to get the team up to snuff before realizing that it's not their fault for not being as good as the other teams is heart-breaking. It really was one of the best scenes of the show when Coach Taylor goes out and forfeits the game. He really has nowhere else to go at this point but up.
I was so caught up in the football shenanigans that I almost forgot how entertaining everything else was. Tim leaves S.A State in the first week after he realizes he really wants to be back in Dillon. Meanwhile, Matt stayed in Dillon so he could take care of his grandmother, but that means facing J.D and his former teammates as they grow cockier and cockier under a team run by Joe McCoy and Wade Aikman. J.D's turn as a skeezy cocky teenager is an interesting turn, especially after he seems interested in going after Julie. And Zach will have none of that (I was really disappointed to see Zach Gilford off of the regular cast. He's a great actor and it's a shame to see him gone from the credits... hopefully he stays around).
There's so much going on here and it should be fun to see how the show fleshes out the arcs, especially since they know in advance that they have a fifth season.