I felt that a lot of the problems with the series before was a general sense of immaturity. It felt like Michael and company were role playing. Everyone was making lewd comments and spying on intimate moments thinking it was funny.
That changed heavily in the last episode, with everyone taking a seriousness to the proceedings. but it still kept a lot of the baggage from earlier episodes.
This episode really changed everything around. Instead of several dozen miscelleneous office workers, authority figures and field agents, you got three people working information gathering and Michael was caught up helping people caught in the crossfire of a bank robbery. Guess who got a rifle butt in the face for it?
What made this episode work was that these characters seem to have grown up. There was still some juvenile humor between Zoe and Billy, but it was a much more tolerable level. The fact that everyone was exhausted from their previous mission and sleeping in the middle of the day indicates that they are not goofing around like they did before.
But what was really surprising was that they were still the same characters as before, just more enjoyable. Zoe still had the obnoxious flirtation but it felt offhand instead of thrown in your face. Billy's brief conversation with 8 year old Maddie was cute: Maddie- "My mom is in the middle of a bank robbery, I'm sitting next to an injured cop and riding in a talking car. How do you think I'm doing?"
Billy- "A little too precocious for me."
I also enjoyed the teamwork played between Michael and KITT. It was very well presented in the opening sequence, almost movie like. Overhead shots of the area and KITT moving to provide cover made things clear what exactly was going on. These robbers were clearly not playing around. They were willing to kill and that made things more intense. You weren't sure who was going to survive.
But what really helped this episode come together was the tight pacing, not everything was as it seemed and there are just enough questions asked/ answers given to keep things moving. Mission control with Sarah, Billy and Zoe was putting together the pieces of the puzzle alongside Michael learning what those pieces mean.
It is still not perfect, Mission Control was still just a bunch of people sitting at computers and the cop was a little too trusting of Mike to hand him a rifle for support, even if he claimed to be DEA. And the hostages switched as robbers is obviously taken from The Dark Knight. But these are problems just about any series will have. If anything I am grateful for this exchange when the robber finds out about the text message.
Robber- "Who is Sarah."
Mike- "Sarah is my girlfriend. I just wanted to let her know I was okay."
Robber- "You mentioned KITT. Who is KITT?"
Mike- "You're going to hit me if I tell you...okay, KITT is my car." (SLAM, rifle butt in the stomach. Mike rolls to his side in pain) "Yeah, I called it."