5.5/10. At least the whole Landry thing is done. Frankly, for a storyline that's been such a misfire, it was one of the few good parts of this episode. Landry wants to be punished. Everyone, from his father, to the cops, to the lawyers, want to keep him out of trouble, but Landry is struggling with the guilt and isn't looking for a way out. That's been the strongest part of this narrative -- how Landry is a deeply moral person and can't live with the guilt. The idea that between his father's heart-to-heart about how he couldn't bear to have Landry in jail, and Tyra telling him that she genuinely feared for her life and he protected her, it was enough to convince Landry that what he'd done really was the right thing to do sold his following the attorney's script with the cops and being able to enjoy the state not pressing charges. The moment where he tells Tyra and they embrace is a big one.

But man, the rest of the episode has problems. First of all, Jason Street is a complete asshole. Sure, it's understandable being put off by someone's kinks, but ditching his date in the middle of their outing was a horrible thing to do, and the show seemed to be on his side for it. The fact that he then hooked up with the waitress (who was an obvious love interest from the moment she had more than one line) and it's treated as sweet rather than her being a reprehensible accomplice in his dickery is the pits. I guess this is to provide motivation for him moving out? God willing, he'll be moving on from the show soon.

And we get more of Matt and Carlotta, which is a relationship that continues not to work. The show's trying, but part of the problem is that Matt is 16, Carlotta is older than him, and even if we don't know how big the age gap is, given her instructive bent and the way she basically guides him around, she feels more like an adult than a peer, which makes the whole thing kind of creepy. There's a nice echo of Matt trying to use Smash's advice on Lauren and it blowing up in his face, whereas here, he tries the same sort of thing on Carlotta and she smoothly directs his energy elsewhere, but this whole thing is kind of tainted.

At the same time, I get what the episode was going for with Santiago and Buddy, but the whole thing felt like one big after school special. In particular, the episode telegraphed that Santiago was going to make some big defensive play to revitalize the team's fortune, and the whole "no one's ever believed in me or thought I can do things and I can't the pressure" was really trite. The heart of the storyline was in the right place, especially with Buddy trying to be a good dad to the kid, but it was really just too cheesy to be any good.

The Julie-Tami feud is another plot where I like what the show is going for, but the execution is pretty rote and unimaginative. The performances are still good. In particular, the writing for their confrontation and reconciliation is corny as all get out, but both Connie Britton and Aimee Teegarden perform it with such conviction that the storyline gets by on their talents.

And I don't really know where they're going with Riggins's storyline. The tighty-whitey-guy is weird and I take it we're supposed to think he's weird. I guess it's supposed to be a warning to him that this is what his life will be if he continues in this life? Of course Riggins living with the Taylors is destined to cause problems.

Overall, one good plot within an episode isn't really enough to raise this one too far above "meh" territory, and there's a lot that brings it down.

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