‘Sons of Anarchy’ – ‘The Push’: New members, old business

Senior Television Writer
10.12.10 52 Comments


A quick review of tonight’s “Sons of Anarchy” coming up just as soon as I take an escorted therapy stroll…

“I’m done.” -Jax

I thought “Sons of Anarchy” took a while to find its footing in the first season, and when people ask me roughly when it became the show it is now, I tend to point to episode eight, “The Pull,” in which Jax killed Kohn and he and Tara had sex next to the corpse. Because of the parallel title, and Jax’s decision to shut Tara out of his life for what he thinks is her own good, “The Push” works as a sequel to that episode, and I can only hope that the rest of this season is as strong as what season one had to offer from “The Pull” onwards.

There’s a sense in this episode of the members of SAMCRO trying to put their affairs in order before the trip to Belfast, because who the hell knows what will happen there? They’ll be on foreign territory, likely going up against Jimmy O’s army, and they’re not even sure if the Belfast charter of the club is on their side in this fight.

So the club officially welcomes Happy to the charter, and tries to do the same with Kozik, only to hit a speed bump with Tig. We finally welcome in some prospects (one played by Leo Fitzpatrick, Johnny from “The Wire”) to replace Half-Sack, and it looks like this time we’ll get to see how prospecting works from the start. (Though I hope we’ll get some sense of how these guys came to be prospects in the first place.) Clay cuts a deal with the Mayans and Grim Bastards to bring peace back to Charming, and Tig and Kozik take out the drive-by shooter by injecting cyanide into his IV. Stahl begins fulfilling her end of the bargain with Jax, and in a way that appears to be selling out her (professional and romantic) partner.(*) Clay pushes away Unser (“Cancer Boy? Dead to us”) when Wayne doesn’t tell him about the drug raid on the clubhouse, and of course Jax decides to push Tara away, even jumping into bed with Ima to seal the deal in his own very messed-up head. And in one other piece of unfinished business that the club isn’t even aware of, we get our first glimpse (outside of a deleted scene on the season two DVD) of Darby after the Cara Cara fire, as he rats out Jax and Tara for selling the prescription meds to his clinic.

(*) I’m not exactly sure how this is going to work, since A)everyone in the ATF knows Stahl was alone in the safe house with Edmond Hayes, and B)I figure Agent Tyler was in a place where her whereabouts could be verified at the time that everything in the safe house went down. But I guess Stahl wouldn’t be Stahl if she wasn’t silling to betray even the woman who shares her bed.

“The Push” was, in fact, so much of a set-up episode for what’s to come that I don’t have a lot to say about it. It was necessary to the various stories of the season, and featured some fine work by Charlie Hunnam and Maggie Siff as the tension between Tara and Jax built and built, but it was essentially a piece-mover.

I look forward to what happens to all these pieces in the coming weeks.

What did everybody else think?

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