As Danger might say about this episode, ‘Whoo boy!’ So they took away the fun from the last two episodes of Sons of Anarchy, which was a little disappointing, but they did manage to replace it with violence by featuring two of the series’ more violent scenes. That’s saying a lot considering this is the show 1) where a character had his head bashed in with a lead pipe, 2) another character had his back tattoo BURNED OFF, 3) a character bit off his own tongue, 4) and another character was BURNED ALIVE. I dont’ know where gang member splatty-splats against a car windshield ranks among the series’ most violent scenes, but it has to be way up there.
Let’s get right into the episode’s entrails.
The D.A. Plays Dirty Pool — CCH Pounder’s D.A. Patterson has become a compelling character in the absence of Lee Toric. I like the way she slithers her every word; it always feels like she’s on the cusp of slipping a verbal knife into Nero’s jugular. She played dirty this week by leaking a story to the media that would endanger Nero’s gang, as well as Robocop’s Stockton escort biz (where did Kim Dickens go, anyway? She, C. Thomas Howell, and Steve Howey have all had very unceremonious exits), all in an effort to apply pressure to Nero so he would rat out SAMCRO and connect the school shooting to the M.C.’s gun-running business. Nero is a clever boy, though. Instead of ratting out Jax and the Gang, he made a deal to get his son put in a fine learning institution, and then ratted himself out. I think I might have seen snakes come out of the District Attorney’s hair when he dropped that bomb. I’m pretty sure she bit off a tiny bit of Nero’s soul with that stare.
The Dirty Biker Whore with the Record — Gemma managed to maintain her cool after she was arrested for allegedly kicking Tara in the stomach and causing a miscarriage. Eli, however, wasn’t buying Tara’s story, and after a talk with Unser, Eli kicked Gemma loose. Eli has been great this season, bringing back that dynamic between SAMCRO and the Charming police that Unser once had. “Tellers, the MC, they’re so deeply woven into the fabric of this town,” Unser said to Eli. “On some level, you know, if you rip them out, Charming unravels.”
Unser managed to be the voice of reason with Gemma, too, explaining to her that there was still a path available to her to get her family back, though it would take some patience. Gemma, I think, opted against that path. She’s got it in for Tara, and Tara’s story is already unraveling. No one seems to believe her at this point except for Jax.
I’ll Make Sure Jax Doesn’t Kill You — Wendy is stuck between Gemma and a hard place. Gemma knows that Wendy knows, and Wendy knows that Gemma knows, and the only thing keeping Gemma from ripping out Wendy’s heart and going to town on it like Daenerys on a horse heart is the fact that Wendy might be able to help her. “Might” is the operative word, because Wendy couldn’t deal with the pressure, and gets back on the smack train like the useless character she is. I’m sure she just nodded off here, but I like to think that she OD’d. She obviously couldn’t take Jax’s boys, not just because she’s back on the junk but because — living will or not — no piece of paper is going to keep Jax from straight-up murdering her (if she’s not already dead).
Also: Worst. Fanservice. Ever.
Kersplat — With the police presence building in the Byz Lats’ territory, they assume a cop is surveilling them while they’re chatting with SAMCRO about how to keep cool under D.A. Patterson’s pressure. They find out otherwise when the father of one of the school shooting victims rolls the f*** over one of the Byz Lats.
That wasn’t my favorite moment in that scene, however. Nope. The best thing in that scene was Juice, who just stood there, stone-faced, as the car came within an inch of taking him out. “F*#K YOU CAR. I’M NOT SCARED OF YOU, CAR!
The Byz Lats think it’s all part of a turf war, but when Jax informs them that it’s a grieving father behind the kersplat business, they let the Dad off. But when the cops show up, the man punches his own card in one of the squickiest ways imaginable. HEY. IS THAT A KNIFE IF YOUR NECK, OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME?
The guilt of having that man’s life on her conscience was enough for D.A. Patterson to spring Nero free, but not before chipping off another piece of his soul her guilt stare.
The Irish Has a Suspicious Face — I’ll just reiterate this again, because my conspiracy theory bell rings in almost every scene with Chibs. The camera tends to linger an extra beat on his face, as though it’s trying to tell us something, and that something is: CHIBS IS BAD F***ING NEWS.
NOSE FLARE ALERT — Jax was throwing five-alarm nose flares at Gemma this week, telling her to stay the hell away from Tara and his family. I could see through into his brain and down into his soul, and it is black.
Breaks My Heart That You Had to Do Something So Wrong To Do What You Thought Was Right — I saved the Tara piece for last because I don’t know if this is a popular sentiment around here or not, but I hate what Sutter did with Tara this week. Last week was awesome. We finally got a scheming female character willing to do something as detestable as the male anti-heroes (TO PROTECT HER CHILDREN) and this week, Sutter tore it all down. He used the two Deadwood alumns, Wayne Unser and Ally Lowen, to shame Tara for what she did, and I am powerless against Deadwood alums. Then Sutter brought the other reasonable character, Bobby, in to guilt her into staying with Jax. BULLSH*T. Now she’s having second thoughts, she’s staring into the mirror, and she’s wondering whether she made the right choice. Why can’t Sutter just let her and Gemma go at it. Awesome Evil Bitch vs. Awesome Evil Bitch. Keep the shame and the guilt out of the equation. Let them scheme and plot to take each other down. Whichever character is willing to stoop the lowest wins.
Right now, I feel like Sutter is going to cop out on this. That Tara is going to get back with Jax, that she’s going to smooth things over with Gemma, and that she’s going to let her conscience get the better of her. Screw that. I want to see the ultimate Gemma/Tara showdown, and I want one character to come out the winner, and the other to come out in a body bag. BRING IT. Keep this weak, “Babe, please let me back in” sh*t out of here.