Look: I can’t beat up on a show every single week just for the sake of beating it up. At this point, most of us have come to recognize the many, many flaws in Sons of Anarchy, and we’re still here. Why? Because with the exception of season three, Sons of Anarchy has always been fun to watch. We’re invested in the characters, and they’re like the members of our family who are often annoying, do ridiculously dumb things, and murder each other during Thanksgiving dinner. But hey! They’re still family, right?
One quick announcement: Thanks everyone for commenting and sharing, and being all-around brilliant members of the Uproxx community and especially these discussion posts. The Sons of Anarchy T-shirts have officially all been claimed. A huge thank you to the Jarret Myer and the Uproxx Overlords for making those happen. Hopefully, we can do it again with another show soon.
1. Tara Accepts the Job Offer in Providence — I thought at the end of last season, when Tara stood behind Jax at the head of the table looking all menacing and “I’m the Queen of the Old Ladies Now, Bitch” that this season would concentrate heavily on the Tara/Gemma rivalry, and that any question of Tara and Jax leaving Charming would be put to rest. The decision to accept the job — before getting the OK from Jax — is a recycled plot line, and we all know it’s going nowhere because there’s three huge obstacles likely to derail a move to Providence: 1) Jax, who clearly isn’t ready to leave yet; 2) the potential conspiracy charge hanging over her head, and 3) …
2. DONAL MOTHERF**KING LOGUE — It was AWESOME to see Logue again, and beating the bloody snot out of Otto was a fun way to introduce him. What’s his role? In the episode, he’s played up as a bit of a mystery character whose motivations are so far unknown. But — and I guess this is a SPOILER if you don’t follow Sons of Anarchy news — his character was identified when Logue was cast as U.S. Marshal Lee Toric. The woman that Otto killed with the crucifix given to him by Tara was Nurse Toric. The woman could be Lee Toric’s wife, but since Nurse Toric was played by Logue’s real-life sister, Karina Logue, it’s likely that she is also the character’s sister. Mystery solved. Lee Toric plans to make Otto’s life a living hell for the next few months, as as a US Marshall, he was some authority to do that. It looks like (and this is the #3 above) that he also has an eye toward making Tara’s life miserable, too.
3. Unser is in Chemo — Really? He’s finally getting chemo treatment. AFTER 5 SEASONS? After he was at death’s door five years ago. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HOW CONVENIENT. I’m sure that his chemo will work itself into a major plot turn, but last night, it was used as a means for Tara and Unser to bond, although I thought it was odd that Tara expressed so much fondness for Unser. I’m sure over the course of five season that the two have shared a few scenes, but I have no recollection of the two characters ever being close, so that all seemed very out-of-place. Anyway, the bonding moment provided Tara the impetus for accepting the surgeon’s job.
4. I Manipulate the Law, I Don’t Write It — I just want to mention here that I think it’s a shame that SAMCRO’s attorney, who is played by Robin Weigert, is given so little face time on the series, coming in every couple of episodes for a meeting. SHE WAS CALAMITY JANE, FOR GOD’S SAKE. Give this woman her own plot line, will you?
5. The Puzzle Pieces Keep Changing Shape, But the Puzzle Nevertheless Is Coming Together — The rest of last night’s plot lines all weaved together, and while everything played out way too conveniently at times, I have to admit that Kurt Sutter did a good job of lining up his ducks. It started with the fall of the RICO case, which prompted Clay to try and make his move, first by trying to recruit Tig as an ally. Then he came clean with Clay about Romeo’s intentions to take Jax down and install Clay, though Clay told Jax that he turned down that role. I think after Jax threw that confession back into his face, Clay kind of resigned himself to the fact that he was all out of moves. He could continue to run around the chess board, but it would be only a matter of time before Jax caught up with him.
6. Nero’s Batsh*t, Completely Nonsensical Backstory — This whole side diversion came out of nowhere, and honestly, didn’t make a damn lick of sense. Let’s try and connect the logic: Nero’s old crew were having trouble fending off other gangs because Nero’s brothel moved away. Why? I don’t know, but they were upset the territory change and demanded guns from the guy who they were supposed to be friends with, and Nero was all, like, “No bro! We’re nonviolent gangsters,” but Jax was like, “It’s cool. Let’s give them some pee shooters to make their dicks hard.” So, Nero was like, whatever, and they set up a meet out in the middle of nowhere, where — for some reason — the Mexicans brought too many people, SAMCRO decided to bail, and the Mexicans inexplicably decided to start shooting AT THE PEOPLE WHO WERE BRINGING THEM GUNS. Jax and a station wagon full of SAMCRO take off, run their crappy car down a mountain, flip the car, celebrate like they just won the goddamn lottery, and drive off.
What the f*ck was that? It was stupid as hell, but I have to admit, it was worth it for Happy’s “Rapturous” line.
Apparently, it was all a nonsensical backstory Sutter slapped together in order to give Nero a reason — after he suspected his old crew abducted Jax (when in fact, it was the Galinda Cartel) — to take revenge on his former crew by killing two before finding out that it was all for naught, and all the bad news he tried to avoid by getting into clean businesses (which, a prostitution ring apparently counts as) had caught up with him. Now, Nero is a gangster again, and he’s probably got the Mexicans on his back. JUST WHAT WE NEED. MORE ENEMIES.
7. I Don’t Want to Be Crushed Under the Weight of Greedy Men Who Believe in Nothing — In order to keep the Galinda Cartel from taking him out, Jax orchestrated a deal to pass off the guns and coke to some other gangs, specifically Henry Lin and the Chinese, the Mayans, and the Niners (and he even got SAMCRO a 10 percent referral fee). Romeo was cool with the plan, as long as it all comes together OK.
I have one tiny problem with the plan, and it is this: WHY DIDN’T JAX DO THAT AT THE END OF LAST SEASON. Remember at the end of last season, when Jax was ready to kill Clay, and he didn’t need silly things like EVIDENCE and PROOF, but he couldn’t do it because the Galinda Cartel needed Clay. Well, why the hell didn’t Jax orchestrate this plan then, and take out Clay before Jax became Mr. BURDEN OF PROOF.
He’s a smug little prick now, that’s for sure.
8. Oh, Juice — Meanwhile, Juice finally found the legal documents that Jax needed to convict Clay among a jury of his peers, but he slipped out and between the time that Jax planned to finally take out Clay, got abducted by Galinda, and made the deal, Clay managed to move the legal documents again, which really pissed off Jax. Juice got a beat down, and Clay got ANOTHER stay of execution, although Jax did confess to Bobby and Chibs that Clay was behind Piney’s death, his dad’s death, and the hit on Tara.
Oh, and by the way: Juice is a pu**y.
9. Gemma’s Derp Derp Derping — This whole plan to use Gemma to get to Clay doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and once Juice found the legal documents, was temporarily moot. But she’s still hanging in there, all the while keeping a now crazed Nero at arm’s length. However, she definitely needed Nero to know that she loved him, and that he shouldn’t go anywhere, and, you know, thanks a lot for killing those two guys he didn’t need to kill.
10. “You here to kill me, VP?” “No, I”m here to keep you alive.” — That was the bizarre twist at the end of the show. After Bobby finds out what an unrelenting bastard Clay is, what does he do? Oh, well, he offers to help Clay, of course!