Coming to this late, so I'll go straight to the random thoughts, and hopefully work in an overview somewhere in there:
- Somebody needs to sit the kid playing Riggins' new l'il buddy down with the "Little Miss Sunshine" DVD and tell him, "See? This is what it looks like to seem cute but natural." I know setting the bar at Oscar Nominee doesn't seem fair, but all the other actors on this show (save Minka Kelly, and even she's grown on me) come off as so realistic that a stock Precocious Child Actor sticks out like a sore thumb.
- Also, Taylor Kitsch and Brooke Langton (as the MILF next door) practically look the same age, which is getting in the way of whatever Mrs. Robinson vibe they're going for. (None of the actors, save Aimee Teegarden and Jesse Plemons, are actual teenagers -- for all the grief "90210" took about Gabriele Carteris and Ian Ziering and Luke Perry, that cast had more actors close to high school age than this show does -- but it stands out more sometimes than others.)
- So many of the kids on this show are having to raise themselves, and even take care of parents or grandparents far too early. Saracen's alone with Grandma, the Riggins boys are on their own, Tyra's more responsible than her mom, Lyla has to look out for her brother and sister when her parents fight, and Smash's mom, while wise and strong, only has so many hours in the day when she's not working.
- I wasn't in love with the episode overall -- a lot of set-up and/or elements introduced far too quickly (notably Waverly) -- but the Tyra/Tami scene was superb, even though it put too neat a bow on the problem.
- Something that's been bugging me for a while, though on a pure nitpicking level: if Street's family is already so hard-up for cash, how did he afford that sweet quad rugby chair? In "Murderball," they make a big deal of how expensive those things are and how long all of the athletes have to save up on them. Then again, Street's on the verge of qualifying for the Olympic team like, three weeks after he got paralyzed, so I should probably let this one go.
- At this point, Landry makes me laugh just anticipating what he might say or do in any situation.
- Is the TMU subplot supposed to be a follow-up to that long-ago dropped bit about Coach getting a college job offer? Because I could swear that was an offer to work for Mack Brown at Texas proper.