One thing I love about this season so far is the balance between football, family life and all the stuff in between. There hasn't been too much straying from the important stuff, and when we do, we don't stray too far. This episode had one thing I saw as questionable but the rest was fantastic as usual.
For me, I thought the episode was, for the most part, about Matt Saracen and his attempts to prove himself on the field. There's no denying that Saracen is a good football player. He's just not greatlike the new J.D McCoy character. I love the idea of bringing in the McCoy family, because they represent a type of villainy to more than one character: Taylor vs. the father and Matt vs. J.D. We get our first real scene with J.D here and it seems sort of like he doesn't fit in well. I'm looking forward to seeing how the show will handle J.D's character over time.
But back to the balance: there was plenty of football scenes here for people who miss it. The game against Arnett Meade was intense and I loved watching Saracen prove himself throughout four quarters, only to drop the ball at the end (I still think it was a touchdown... he had control of it almost all the way throughout). It also makes us wonder whether or not Coach Taylor will be brought back. He lost one game after winning blow-outs the first two games yet the town is already for him to pack up and leave. It should be interesting to see what happens.
Meanwhile, Smash gets offered a full-time job at Astro Freeze. After hearing his mom is getting a second job to support his potential college career, he decides he doesn't want to make his mom do that and wants to work for money instead. The scene between Smash and his mother was one of their best yet, mostly because it was never over the top. Also, if these are the last scenes we're going to get with the Smash, I couldn't hope for anything more.
The story I was a bit "ehh" about was the one between Riggins and his brother. I will first say that I enjoy the rest of the stuff between them: I think Riggins' relationship with Lila is actually interesting, and that Billy getting married to Tyra's sister sets up all sorts of potentially great scenes between certain characters. But the whole "Billy doing illegal things to make money" just seems a bit out of place. I liked the scenes for what they were, but overall, I could do without them.
But wow, there was a lot to like here: the whole McCoy party, the football game, the potential reuniting of Julie and Matt (who I think never should've broken up)... we even get some good Matt and Landry scenes, which were missing from last year.