Did anything huge happen? Not really. The humor still exists just as it always has (Tommy trying to look at Feinberg while they were in the bathroom, Sean setting Mike's house on fire), but the dramatic elements are much more subtle. It's less in your face than it's been in past seasons.
The way Janet has slowly slipped into post-partum depression has been saddening to watch, especially when I know how lively a character she really is. The same goes for Mike as I've watched him cope with his mother's death or Sean deal with Maggie's alcoholism. Rather than explosive confrontations, everything is just simmering. Stuff never simmers on this show and that just leads me to believe that it's building up for one heck of a season ender.
New conflict has arrived with Bart ("Sean"). Tommy for whatever reason has rejected him. It's interesting to watch. It's almost as if Tommy is jealous, but not quite. Angry, but not really. He's being challenged by Bart in more ways than one. From joining the basketball team to questioning Tommy's faith. It's just great to watch those two play off of each other. What happens when Bart's faith is revealed though? Tommy wants Bart to do what all Probies do so that he gains trust. But if push comes to shove, can Bart trust Tommy? Or should I say "Stretch?"
To make up for the fact that Tommy's ghost parade has been far and few between this season, there were some returning characters to stir the pot. Lou's Cousin Mike is back in the fold and the next episode marks the return of Alicia (Susan Sarandon). I can only hope that since Tommy has realized that Janet really isn't well, that I get some of Johnny's ghost soon. The next episode would make sense especially since Tommy will be questioning Sheila's offer more seriously.
So after all that, there really is no serious plot... still. But look at all the questions that are just sitting dormant, waiting to pop. How will Alicia affect Natalie's feelings for Franco? Will Tommy find peace as his family falls apart for the hundredth time? Where'd Maggie run off to? Will Lou forgive Theresa? What happens when Mike finds out it was Sean who lit the fire?
Stuff like that is what I'm talking about though. It's slow now, but I'm looking at the big picture and trying to imagine how it's all going to play out. Leary knows what he's doing. He's earned my trust.