I have to say, this was as well written of an episode I've seen from this show as any other. It jumped from one scene to the next effortlessly and somehow managed to address countless different story threads at the same time without feeling overwhelmed by any of them.
I'll start with what was my favorite: the plot between Smash and Matt. It's been building all season, and while I still think that the fight after their first game was a peak for it, this was a perfect resolution. They still have tension between them so Coach Taylor, being the daring coach he is, decides to bench them during their next game. I have to say, while I've gotten used to seeing the team mostly win games, the writers made me worried here. They set up the game very well to make it seem like they might lose.
Involved in this story thread is also Landry's ascension to starting status. Coach Taylor puts him on the field for the second half, and as a result, we get to see Landry bring the heat as a tight end. He didn't have a perfect game, but he had some great tackles and a couple of catches. I thought the ending of the game was a bit lame (seriously, a flag on the last play? I know it happens but it felt contrived so that the Panthers could get the win).
Then there was the Mexico plot, which comes to a fantastic and emotional end. When Jason throws himself off of the boat and Tim and Lila realize that he's sinking, it's a chilling moment, mostly because I really believed that the writers would kill off Jason right now. For the most part, he's not doing anything huge for the show (although I really enjoy his character) so if that would've happened, I wouldn't of complained because it made sense in the way the show was unrolling his story. I'm not sure how I feel about the three-way kiss between those three, but whatever... that's for next episode, I suppose.
And I have to give props to whoever wrote the episode... there was a great flow to it all. Matt's dismissal of Julie felt real, the tension between the characters felt real, it just felt like a great episode of the show in the vein of Season 1.