So far, I’ve enjoyed this season of Sons of Anarchy maybe more than any season since the second, and I think it has something to do with letting go of the fact that Sons may never be as truly good as it was in the second season, when it felt like the kind of transformative series that The Shield was. Sons had taken itself so seriously, and seemed to aspire to so much that our expectations outgrew its capabilities. But once you settle into the fact that Kurt Sutter’s show is not a lofty Shakespearean drama, but dude soap opera — Scandal on motorcycles — it is really fun, and last night’s episode was kind of perfect in Sons of Anarchy terms: It advanced the plot forward, but it had a blast along the way. Bogged down in rivalries, deaths, and shocking moments, that’s what this show has been missing since season two: A real sense of fun. That returned last night.
Even better news is the fact that, according to Kurt Sutter, it’s what we can expect more of for the rest of season six.
That’s exactly right, too. It was old-school SoA.
I Know You’re a Good Cop — The way to get back to old-school SoA is to return to where it started: It was a show on a smaller scale, about the conflict between a motorcycle club engaged in illegal activities, and how that relationship worked within the town of Charming. Last night’s episode opened basically by trying to recalibrate that relationship between the club and Eli Roosevelt, who has increasingly become more like old-school Unser. He’s a good cop, but he also wants what’s best for Charming, even if that rubs up against the law. I hope this relationship continues in this vein.
Gemma Makes It Rain Sass — That same sense of fun, and the understanding relationship between SAMCRO and the Charming PD also extended to Gemma this week, who was a terror to the cops in trying to see and secure the release of Nero. The cops were pretty cool about it, and Eli continues to believe that Nero had been framed by Toric. In fact, Eli teased that out, investigating Toric’s hotel room and discovering that Toric had bleached the place, and that he was into some heavy pharmaceuticals.
Time to Go Hood, Sister — To that point, the district attorney knows that Toric is dirty, but she doesn’t give a sh*t. She wants to connect SAMCRO to the weapon in the school shooting, and she’s determined to go through Tara. After Tara turned down an an immunity offer to turn against Jax, Patterson — who is still holding Nero, at least until the DNA evidence from Toric’s place comes back — whipped off the wig, and pull out the whoop ass. She let Tara know that she’d be prosecuting Tara’s case personally.
I did have a small quibble here: When Toric planted the prostitute’s hair in Nero’s car, the DNA results from the lab came back the next day. But with Toric’s DNA evidence, the lab may not “return it for days.” That’s one inconsistent lab.
Living This Way Can Make You … Gemma — Speaking of Tara, while she did turn down the offer to turn against Jax, she conceded that she still loved him, and loves him knowing who he is, but she still has plans to go through with the divorce, not because of her, but because of the kids. The bombing of the clubhouse last week provided some pretty compelling reasons to get the kids away from SAMCRO. She also let Unser in on her secret, and while Unser seemed skeptical, he agreed to help. Wendy also knows that Unser knows, too, for whatever that is worth down the line.
Her Ability to Drain Semen from the Front Seat of a Parked Car Far Exceeded Her Ability to Raise a Boy of Questionable Orientation — And YES! Venus Van Dam returned. Was there any point to the ongoing narrative in his return? DOES IT MATTER? It’s Walton Goggins, people. If he wants come in and cry on Gemma’s shoulder without servicing the plot, HE CAN DO THAT ALL DAY AND NIGHT. I suppose that, by consoling Venus Van Dam, Gemma may have earned a favor, which may or may not necessitate another return. Whatever. All that matters is, VENUS VAN DAM.
He is a pretty woman. I couldn’t stop staring at his cleavage. Should I not have said that out loud? Also, GIVE THIS MAN THE GUEST STAR EMMY HE SO RIGHTFULLY DESERVES, DAMNIT.
SAMCRO’S Future Is in P*ssy Not Bullets — The real point of last night’s episode was to shape the conflict between the Sons and the IRA. Jax agreed to the IRA’s demands: He’ll let Clay run guns for the IRA, and he’ll help transition Clay into the position, in exchange for a peace. Of course, he didn’t mean it. He and Clay are now allies, which is weird: Jax is using Clay to get inside the inner circle with the Irish. More importantly, Jax met with the leaders of the other chapters, and they all agreed to get out of guns and go legit. The IRA is going to be super pissed, and judging from a few looks, the supreme leaders over in the IRA aren’t particularly happy with Galen O’Shay, either.
BOBBY’S BACK — And, folks, is really what this season needed the most: The return of Bobby, who wasn’t actually creating a Nomad chapter, but recruiting new guys for this season. I get that sense, however, that that wasn’t Kurt Sutter’s original plan, since Hopper — Shameless‘ Steve Howey — apparently had to bail, having been spooked by the explosion. I doubt the original plan was to bring in Steve Howey for three or four scenes in which he nodded a couple of times. But I’ll take this, anyway, because it means Bobby is back in the club, where he belongs. Bonus: He brought with him three new members who, let’s just admit, will probably be dead by the end of the season.
If You’re Going to Go Outlaw, Boys, Use Half a Brain. You’re Making Us All Look Bad — The highlight of last night’s episode, of course, was the side diversion, which saw the Sons actually having a good time beating up some dirty cops and forcing them to apologize to each individual member. That was great: The whole thing, from the motorcycle chase — which saw Rat Boy and Juice worked together to thwart the cops — to Tig’s line (“I’ve seen Smokey & The Bandit a hundred times. Love that movie”) to Happy ringing that bell, to Jax’s grin when he elbowed one cop, and said to the other, “Do you think I’m kidding?” Just terrific.
“I’m sorry for my behavior today. I’m sorry for my behavior today. I’m sorry for my behavior today.”
Now, THAT was old-school, classic SoA.
Three more things: 1) Juice’s balls are regenerating; 2) It’s time to patch in Rat Boy IMMEDIATELY, and 3) am I the only one that has a tiny suspicion that Chibbs may be working with the Irish?