This is what Kurt Sutter does best: He brilliantly writes himself into a corner, as he has done once again with Tara this season. The dicey part, however, comes when Sutter tries to remove his characters from that corner. There, the results are mixed. He either kills the character (Opie), finds a too-convenient excuse to save the character (Tig, Clay, Tara, Clay, Tig), drops in a deus ex machina (Clay) or he comes out shooting (Tig, when Jax killed Damon Pope). At this point in season six, however, it doesn’t look like there’s any outs left for Tara Knowles, which means she either has to die or Sutter drops in another deus ex machina.
Not for nothing, but Shakespeare’s Ophelia, who Tara is based on, went mad with grief, climbed into a tree, fell into a brook, and drowned, essentially killing herself, around the equivalent of the sixth season of Hamlet. How do you extrapolate that into Sons of Anarchy? A bleary-eyed, weeping Tara crashes her car into a tree trying to escape Charming? Maybe.
See You On the Other Side — For a series that I often worried would buckle without the Jax and Clay feud to drive it, this season — the best since season two — has done remarkably well, despite little screen time for Clay, and more importantly, despite the fact that Clay and Jax are on somewhat amicable terms. Last night’s episode, “Huang Wu,” was basically set into motion by the court’s decision to move Clay’s trial date up, forcing the Irish to push up their own plan to pull Clay out during the trip to his court date. Before the extraction, however, Clay continued to show his decent side by signing everything over to Gemma, so that she won’t have to divorce him to retrieve his assets, which would be difficult if Clay disappears, as he plans to, in order to run guns for the Irish in Northern California. I get the feeling that Clay is not optimistic about the plan, however. “See you on the other side,” he says with what are perhaps his final words to Gemma.
Sorry About the Blood, But We Had to Send a Message — The Irish, who are now short on time, have a plan for Clay’s removal, but not the manpower, so they cajole Jax and the MC to take care of the extraction. Having no choice but to agree to Galen O’Shay’s demands, Jax accedes, but there’s one more piece of business to take care of: Making the Italians agree to continue their contract with the Irish. Galen helps move those negotiations along by testing their new weapons on the Chinese, much to the dismay of the Italians, SAMCRO, and especially the Chinese.
This Is Our Territory. We Earned It. We Deserve It — Galen’s assholery also put Jax’s plan to hand Galen O’Shay over to the district attorney in jeopardy. Basically, the Chinese demanded at gun point that SAMCRO give the gun-running business up to the Chinese in Northern California, and let the Chinese kill Galen O’Shay. They’re holding Happy hostage until the agreement is settled, although Happy is eating Chinese food, watching cartoons, and having the time of his life with the Chinese.
All of this sets up next week’s episode, which should be a fantastic, action-driven hour (or hour and a half), with a lot of competing interests. Jax is scheduled to help the Irish extract Clay, and Jax doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether Clay lives or dies, escapes or doesn’t. Meanwhile, the district attorney and a buttload of cops will be there to prevent the extraction and take in Galen O’Shay, while the Chinese will also be on hand to take down Galen O’Shay before he’s taken in by DA Patterson and inherit the gun-running business. So, basically, there are three factions — the Irish, the Chinese, and the cops — each with a lot of weaponry, pitted against each other. I am guessing that there will be a lot of casualties, and whoever remains standing after the bullets stop flying will get what they want. SAMCRO will duck out, and probably and let their enemies take care of themselves.
Unfortunately, I also think it may mean the end of the road for Eli Roosevelt.