We're back! Will the stakes be artificially heightened yet again this week? Probably! Based on the glimpses I got of people watching "Sons" on Tuesday night while I was watching some awesomely stupid baseball game, this sounded like a particularly ridiculous episode. So let's go through some "Sons of Anarchy" group therapy together, shall we?
As always, if you have a gripe, quibble, or just need to vent, let it all out in the comments below. I'm here for you.
Ridiculousness for the sake of ridiculousness:
- The episode opens with a long tracking shot in Diosa, showing the SAMCRO members sitting and brooding amid like 30 bodies. [I wrote that as I watched it. Apparently the final body count is 16 people murdered at Diosa. Still: THAT IS SO MANY MURDERS.]
- Gemma gets the call about Diosa and doesn't want to let Juice know about it, so she plays it off by saying there's a "problem" at Diosa, capping it off with, "Whores will be whores." These are meant to be your friends at best and are your boyfriend's employees at worst, Gemma. Can you take two seconds out of your day to not treat everyone that isn't you or your son like dogshit?
- Nero is pitted against Jax by the Lin Triad. When he confronts Jax, Jax tells him what he believes to be the truth. Jax says, "I don't want to lose you, as a pawn or a friend." Nero somehow takes zero offense to being called a "pawn."
- I'm not sure which of my three headings to put this under, so I'll put it under this one: Abel doesn't want anyone to hurt his baby brother, but is convinced that someone is going to, so he guards him with a hammer.
Honestly, I don't know if this was good or terrible.
- Tig attempts to shove a flute up a pawn store owner's butthole.
Then they kill the guy.
- A guy tries to talk to Juice outside his motel room, then comes INTO Juice's motel room. Juice shoots him to death, then shoots him a bunch more times in the face, because Juice right now is a WILD CARD and a LOOSE CANNON.
THE JUICE IS RELEASED.
As predicted, the guy Juice killed is a motel employee who was trying to find out why Juice is still there because Unser and Gemma are mega-geniuses who only paid for the room through the day before. Everyone is an idiot.
- Yet another scene of 15 guys brandishing and firing automatic weapons in broad daylight. I get that it's the Stockton docks or whatever but come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
- Bait and switch and convince a different gang is responsible all the time, because Jax is a super genius, remember? You don't remember? Maybe because it's been 10 seconds since we told you.
- Jax convinced the cops of whatever the shit town they're in to help them kill the entire Lin Triad.
- Jax and Henry Lin have a one-on-one hand-to-hand brawl in the street, surrounded by everyone. It was supremely stupid, but at least Bobby turned to Chibs and said, "We don't have time for this."
- There's a drive-by shooting at a Lin Triad place set to "Age of Aquarius" at the end of the episode. This is probably the least-ridiculous thing in the episode. Okay, it definitely is.
Things that don't make any sense:
- They STILL aren't showing any urgency in getting Juice out of town. They have already gotten him kinda-out of town, by getting him literally out of town to a motel, but they are still close enough to Charming for Gemma to get a call about Diosa and head on over there in a reasonable time. Juice, at this point, has a death warrant out on him from SAMCRO and an actual APB out on him from the cops. Hiding out makes sense in a way, but hiding out more than like 20 minutes from Charming is probably a better idea.
Of course, Juice has been wandering around Charming for weeks unnoticed because he owns a baseball cap, so maybe everyone's just a complete idiot.
- HOURS later, all of the bodies are still hanging around, uncovered, and Sheriff Jarry posts up on a kitchen counter and shoots the shit with Jax, who -- as previously established -- is just a dude hanging out with a fuckton of dead bodies in a whorehouse. It all seems pretty unprofessional and low-priority, is my general point here.
- Jax still bangs a gavel to signal the end of a meeting. You can just leave the table, dude. Everyone was getting up anyway.
- After all those attempts at subterfuge by Gemma, Juice goes out to get a soda and sees a newspaper with the headline MORADA MASSACRE. This is apparently really important to him? Everyone seems really unrealistically attached to the people at Diosa in these episodes. Too bad they didn't establish this closeness earlier. It's almost like they're just making it up as they go along!
- Gemma willingly, knowingly started a massive gang war by putting the blame for Tara's murder on the Lin Triad. Seems pretty counter to Gemma's prior motivations of doing anything to keep her and her family safe.
- After the entire ruse with the cops on the take and the would-be execution of the Lin Triad, not a single person gets killed and SAMCRO is somehow totally fine with them all being arrested on ... possession charges, I guess? I would say that the entire Lin Triad could testify that they were falsely imprisoned by cops on the take, but cops not getting away with absolutely heinous shit would be too big a break for reality, even for this show.
Actually good things:
- Chibs and Jarry had sex! Which led to SHIRTLESS CHIBS.
- The opening credits happened six minutes into the episode! That's reasonable!
- The location where Peter Weller hangs out with and meets people is the Eagle Rock Italian Bakery & Deli in Eagle Rock (Los Angeles). It is a really great place to get a sandwich and one of the few places on this side of Los Angeles where you can get a black and white cookie. It's just neat to see it week after week. Shut up, I'm allowed to enjoy this.
- Chucky (the guy who got his fingers cut off for jerking off too much) is helping take care of SAMCRO family at the ... I think it's at the warehouse where their porn studio is set up. Jax thanks him and Chucky shrugs it off, saying "you're my family." The tiny character moments make this show. Too bad there are so few of them these days.
- Jax's baby's hair.
- Gemma snaps at Jax like a dog to get his attention and to get him to walk over to her. This is absolutely perfect and a great, tiny, possibly unintentional touch.
- Nero is (understandably) really fired up about Diosa and about being lied to by SAMCRO. This all makes perfect sense, because he was shown as working closely with the people at Diosa, being friends to them and a good and caring boss. See how that works? Seems really simple.
- I just realized that Unser is exactly what future Jon Taffer is going to look like. He might actually be future Jon Taffer.
- During the Lin Triad would-be execution, SAMCRO receives a call and says, "The real cops are on their way." I am choosing to believe this is a Dirty Work shout-out.
- The final confrontation between Juice and Gemma was actually really great. Something finally came to a head and ramped up stakes and suspense in a believable way! Of course, Gemma will talk her way out of Juice killing her in the opening two minutes of next week's episode, but I'm enjoying this moment of genuine tension while it lasts. It's the poor man's "WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO HANK?" of course, but this is the poorest man's "Breaking Bad," so we take what we can get.