IGN: Though "A Whiter Shade of Pale" gave us a somewhat feel-good side case (context is important, it involved horrible racists but it ended with Sam getting Brian a rent-free living situation), it didn't have much else to offer other than baby steps forward.
At the end of the previous episode, Sam went on a bender and wound up attacking Charlie, but this huge move didn't really feel like it created many ripples here. After falling off the wagon and almost beating a man to death, Sam seemed fine. And he was certainly well enough to work a case to help out Brian's living situation. I guess the idea now is that he's just going to move ahead as a functioning alcoholic. Which, I suppose, just makes him like everyone else in his precinct (If Aquarius were a bit truer to its era than it actually is). But yeah, there just weren't any signs that Sam drinking again was a dangerous, dark thing we should care about. Or something that might cause further problems.