Last night’s episode was a mess. It seemed to want to set up the arc for the rest of the season, but I’ve thought that a lot through the first seven episodes, and Opie’s death is barely a factor anymore. As we’ve already seen throughout, story lines are aren’t given much time to develop before a SHOCKING twist or a SURPRISING death concludes them, sending Sutter scurrying off to find a new plot line to mine. Last night’s episode was all about re-igniting one rivalry (Jax vs. Clay) at the expense of a far more compelling one (SAMCRO vs. Damon Pope).
Let’s just get to it, but before we do, another reminder that on the week of the Sons of Anarchy finale (November 20th), UPROXX is giving away a very cool new T-shirt to 100 people. To be eligible to receive the shirt, you need to unlock the ALLY badge. Find out how to unlock that badge here, and check out the bad ass shirt here.
1. If She Was Drunk Or High, I Swear to God … — After the accident last week, in which a stoned Gemma got into a car accident with her grandkids, the Jax’s offspring came out OK. Abel got a boo boo on his head, and had to have a irregular heartbeat straightened out, but the BIG SHOCKING CLIFFHANGER was quickly resolved. Sutter didn’t have the balls to kill the kid, and for now anyway, it’s probably for the best because Sutter needs some slack to play with.
2. The Cover-Up — As we predicted last week, the accident would lead to a cover-up, although in this case, it was Clay who took the initiative on behalf of Gemma, suggesting that Gemma was pushed off the road by the same van that tried to take out Jax last week. Gemma quickly went from goat to hero, compounding her guilt about being the real cause of the accident. But …
3. TWIST — Before the episode ended, Jax and Tara learned the truth, Gemma confessed she was high, and Tara knocked the holy snot out of Gemma. “You’re done! You don’t call, see, or come near my kids again.” At this point, Gemma is dead to the family. Clay is all she has left. But …
4. CURVEBALL — By the end of the episode, Gemma already has a redemption opportunity. Jax decides to use Gemma to take down Clay. “Be with him. Sleep with him. Make him feel like a king,” Jax said. Find out all his secrets, and if she can’t, she will be left to fend for herself among the bangers and whores. If she can, she will be welcomed back into the family, although Jax doesn’t seem to give Tara’s feelings on the matter any weight.
The whole set up felt incredible contrived and convoluted: Kurt Sutter took the scenic route in order to pit Gemma against Clay, when I’m certain there was a more direct route that didn’t necessitate the fake-out cliffhanger in last week’s episode. More on this in a moment.
For now, Juice sums up this plan perfectly: