You want to know what we really learned from this week’s episode of Sons of Anarchy? We learned that Kurt Sutter does not f**k around. When his season-long plans were scuttled due to Donal Logue’s scheduling conflicts, and the subsequent (and abrupt) death of Lee Toric, Kurt Sutter did not reset. He did not pull back and recalibrate. He didn’t slow it down and develop some new plot threads. He did a quick substitution (CCH Pounder for Donal Logue), and then he plowed on through, throwing another extra-long episode at us that culminated in perhaps the most disturbing sequence in A SHOW FULL OF DISTURBING SEQUENCES, and then buttoned the episode with a gauntlet that said:
THE WAR IS ON, MOTHERF#@$#%S.
Your Musical Montage Moment of the Week — Typically, Kurt Sutter likes to hold the musical montage until the end of the episode, which usually culminates in yet another traumatic murder, but they changed it up this week, leading the episode with the montage, and setting the tone for the rest of the episode. I remember him doing this once last season with the episode that ended with Gemma crashing her SUV. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from an opening musical montage in Sons of Anarchy, it’s that if there’s a scene with one of the kids sleeping, then WATCH OUT KID.
There was no time for grieving Otto’s death, however. A nice little nod to Chucky, and what Otto meant to him, and we’re off to the races. “If it weren’t for Otto, I wouldn’t be here,” Chucky says. And if it weren’t for Chucky, nobody in SAMCRO would be around after last night’s events, so Otto, by virtue of saving Chucky, actually saved all of SAMCRO.
I’m Letting You Tap My Mom, That’s Gotta Be Worth Something — There had been some friction brewing between Jax and Nero, and that very well may come to a head soon. The District Attorney is now pushing Eli Roosevelt to arrest Nero and even turn Tara on SAMCRO, so that she can pin the school shooting on the club. Eli had to wait for the lab results, however, on the prostitute’s DNA, which of course only came when it was convenient to the plot. (The lab results will be in tomorrow. The lab results will be in later today. The lab results will be in in a few hours. Wait? Nero is in a convenient place where I can witness the destruction of SAMCRO’s clubhouse? THE LAB RESULTS ARE IN!)
Anyway, the Nero storyline was mostly a stall, although with Eli snooping around, Robocop got his robo-knickers in a twist, and threatened to boot SAMCRO out of the Stockton whore business if the case heats up. Well guess what? THE CASE HEATED UP.
Also, this is the look of a man who just realized that his prostitute girlfriend is banging Jax for free.
I’m going to jail. I have to face that reality — The plausibility of the Tara/Gemma/Wendy plotline is a bit more of a stretch than I’d like it to be. I mean, first of all, it was a little too convenient that Otto’s death actually made Tara’s imprisonment more likely, although they managed to make some sense of it by suggesting that Otta killed Toric on behalf of SAMCRO, and therefore, Otto must have also killed Toric’s sister under orders from the club, which implicates Tara. The catch that’s not discussed, however, is that neither SAMCRO nor Tara, nor anyone else, had any connection whatsoever to Toric’s sister until Otto killed her. What’s the motive, other than a random act of Otto’s crazy?
But even looking past that, the Wendy situation is hinky. Tara hated Wendy. Gemma really hated Wendy, now all of a sudden, both Tara and Gemma are buddying up to her. Don’t forget that both Gemma and Tara, at various times, have threatened Wendy’s life, so it’s especially strange for Gemma to be saying how much she loves Wendy, and how good she and Jax were together, and blah blah blah, we sure had some good times, didn’t we, hon? Then, for one conversation with Gemma to make Wendy question her loyalties is, well, silly. But I’LL LET IT SLIDE.
The point is: The exit strategy, tenuous thought it is, is still in play, and Unser — who volunteered his services to Tara — may help execute it, but he’s going to need to know all the facts first.
Another Fine Irishman Brought Down by the Bottle — The real fun in last night’s episode was the brewing war with the Irish. There was a certain amount of bulls*ht we had to wade through, while he went through the motions with Jax trailing one Irishmen to another, to a phone number, which connected them to the bosses. But the phone conversation was thrilling, all the more so when we found out that Galen was sitting at the table the whole time. That Galen is an evil son of a bitch, and makes the parting of Toric easier to take.
The gist? Jax brought the Marks deal to the Irish, but Galen had no interest in working with “first the sp*cs and now the n****rs,” because he’s a terrible person. Of course, nobody had to tell Chibs, who understands Irish racism. The confrontation between Chibs and Jax over the deal, however, ultimately brought them together, and Jax agreed to be more transparent, and saved us from another extended, “Everything I do is for this club” (nostril flare) speech. Galen, meanwhile, still prefers to work with Clay.
Undress. I wanna see those t*ts — And now, welcome to the f**ked up portion of last night’s Sons of Anarchy, folks! The Irish, see, left a note for Clay, telling him that their plan was to jailbreak Clay, bring him to Belfast, and have him run SAMCRO’s gun deal. It turns out that Clay, however, is genuinely remorseful about his actions over the last few seasons. So, he arranges a “conjugal” visit with Gemma to relay the plan to Jax and get his advice on how to proceed. In theory, the plan actually gets SAMCRO out of guns. The downside is that Clay survives and SAMCRO’s debt (Tig’s life) is re-activated with August Marks.
Then comes the wrinkle. The guards — who had already been paid off — insisted on turning that “conjugal” visit into a conjugal visit (no quotes) because they like to watch. I’ll let the director of the episode, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, take this, via EW:
“The whole situation was creepy enough,” says Horder-Payton, who needed the actors playing the guards to keep their performances simple so the ick factor wouldn’t mask the emotional impact of the scene — an overwhelming sadness. “In the end, it’s just so sad because of the intimacy they once had, and that they’re now having it again, in a way, but only because they’re so sorry that this has to happen. There’s a certain empathy and respect for each other in that moment, even though the relationship is over,” she says. “It was difficult. I cried a lot while I was directing. It was awful.”
So, was this scene really necessary? Not really. Was it icky as hell? YES. Basically, all it did was to give Jax and Nero two more people — the prison guards — to kill later in the season, which should be fun. Nero will probably make it a long and painful death, and Jax will probably stand on the sidelines and offer, “I like to watch.” Karmic justice.
KABOOM — The Irish, it turns out, had bigger plans than just signing up Clay to run the guns. They had also planned to wipe out the entire club, leaving a bomb in their distribution center. Fortunately, Jax figured it out at the last second, although there was some legitimate tension, not that Jax or any of the other SAMCRO members would die in the blast, but that Abel would.
I don’t like it when kids die, y’all.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, here: The War with the Irish IS ON. I kind of expected they’d hold that back until the final season, but we’ll take it here. The less obvious questions, however, are these: How did Jax not see this coming? (I dunno. I didn’t see it coming) Did Clay know? (Probably not) Will this bring Jax and Clay together? (Maybe) Was anyone still inside (Probably not). And how will this affect Eli’s arrest of Nero? (I have no idea).
Tune in next week.