For an episode where so much is happening, this episode still felt a little low-stakes, if only because I wasn't as invested in these new developments. That's not to say that they weren't constructed well, because I definitely got the sense that these were supposed to be big things that were happening. But at the same time, I just didn't care all that much.
I'll start with Smash's plot. Smash gets invited over to Noelle's house for a family dinner and learns, randomly, that they're uncomfortable with Smash and Noelle, a white and black kid, dating. I had no idea that racial tensions were that high in Dillon... last year, we had that plot point where Coach Mac nearly gets fired for saying the wrong thing, but it was paved over. I thought it was a bit random for that to happen to Smash but it did pave the way for the interesting fight that he has at the movies with Noelle and his sister.
Another weird thing the show did was suddenly focus on Santiago. Santiago was introduced and sporadically gets stuff to work with. In "The Confession," he got a lot to do and I enjoyed seeing him and Buddy have scenes together. This week, the scenes with him in it were a little weaker. I still like the character of Santiago, but I can't be 100% sure why. We don't see him enough.
Meanwhile, Carlotta finally leaves Matt and he's heart-broken. Remember last season when Matt was one of the better characters of the show? Me too. I miss that. Oh yeah, and where the heck is Jason Street? We got one random scene with him in it and that's it. We need more Scott Porter.
I wouldn't go as far to call this a bad episode, because it really wasn't. It was just lesser compared to some of the other stuff this season has done so far.