I am going to try and exercise as much restraint here as possible, but last night’s episode of Sons of Anarchy, “Greensleeves,” was a mess. In a final season overwhelmed by mediocrity, last night’s episode was a new low. It appears that Kurt Sutter — who is capable of writing very good television — has lost the handle on Sons of Anarchy. It’s become a meandering, lackadaisical, poorly plotted, emotionally-vacuous disaster.
It’s also been a season characterized by arrogance. Hour and a half episodes should be a rarity, limited to premieres and finales, if that. These episodes seem to be driven by showrunner who thinks we’re more interested in being in the Sons‘ universe than economy of story (and perhaps, he’s also driven by a desire to allow FX to air a lot more commercials). Last night’s episode hit the season’s nadir with a minor villain named after a song, which would later be performed by Sutter’s wife, Katey Sagal, as part of a maudlin, pointless montage. Come on, Sutter! We love you. We love Sagal. But you have to draw the line, and you can’t promote your wife’s music career by shoehorning one of her songs into the show.
There were no interesting developments last night, only ridiculous ones, but let’s go ahead and rank them from bad to worse:
6. Bobby lost an eye — There was one slightly interesting development during the episode. Namely, August Marks finally figured out some sh*t and managed to kidnap Bobby and remove his eye. The best part of that, really, was that we got to see Mathew St. Patrick (Six Feet Under), who is head of security for August Marks, drop off a box for Jax with the eyeball inside. I would like to see that we’d riot if it were actually Bobby’s head in the box, but to be honest, the only thing that Bobby has really done this season is rub his beard in contemplation.
5. Nero wants to be a country mouse! Nero has decided that he wants to give up being a high-end pimp and low-end gangster and run away to the country with Gemma and live happily ever after. Basically, it’s an excuse to have a five-minute scene between Nero and Gemma that doesn’t advance the plot at all, but does allow them to shed a few tears and make out. Of course, Gemma is not going to run away to the country, and of course, Nero is not going to the country. He’ll never live long enough to get there.
4. Happy and Rat Boy take a trip with Gemma! Fearing that Juice has ratted her out to Jax (why hasn’t he?), Happy and Rat Boy take Gemma to the Sons’ cabin, and for some reason, don’t tell her why she is going, even though it’s clearly not a secret. The mystery surrounding the circumstances, however, provokes Gemma’s paranoia and she pulls out a gun and nearly shoots Rat Boy and Happy before discovering the reason why she was brought to the cabin: To help a junkie Mom get off the smack, so that she can continue to operate in a very convoluted and silly storyline about yet another Sons‘ land deal that is driving the plot. Can a land deal be a MacGuffin? Because that’s what it is in every other season of Sons.
3. The terribly staged suicide — The convoluted land deal required bumping off a blackmailer, a fake Jewish pimp named Greensleeves with foreskin down to his knees. His only contribution to the plot was to kill time and allow Sutter to add Sagal’s rendition of “Greensleeves” to the soundtrack. Even his death sucked.
2. Juice lives another day — As the show did last week, the episode picked-up mid-action — robbing us of not only of context but maybe some interesting confrontations — by showing Juice accepting his cuts again, before driving away, shooting at police officers’ motorcycles, and speeding away until he was arrested. At first, I thought it might be an interesting way to execute a traitor — force him into a suicide-by-cop situation — but it was much less interesting. Jax wanted Juice to be arrested, so he could be placed in prison, where he could murder Lin. Alas, Juice was inexplicably placed in solitary confinement, which was Kurt Sutter’s way of allowing Juice to survive another week.
1. Granny’s got a secret — Gemma confessed to Thomas — Jax’s toddler — that she killed Tara. What she didn’t realize was that
Harrison Abel was eavesdropping, so I guess now he — of all the characters on the show — is going to be the one that rats out Gemma. “Daddy, why did Grandma say she killed Mommy?” That was beyond dumb. Jesus, Gemma. GET A F**KING THERAPIST.
Body Count: One pimp, and one eyeball.