Now that we’ve got a pretty good feel for the tone of the final season of Sons of Anarchy (dark and darker), this week we were finally given an episode that starts on a lighter note. The episode begins with all of the guys at the porn warehouse watching the filming of their first Red Woody movie. It’s pretty humorous to watch as these hardened men sit engrossed in the filming of a ridiculous lesbian version of Frankenstein. It was also great to watch because it showed a moment where they could be giggling boys watching porn. A single moment where they didn’t have to be serious or cunning or planning out their next killing spree. They looked happy, even if it was only for a moment.
The moment passes, though, and soon after, we see as Juice begins planning what his next move will be. He’s decided to use Unser as an ally. He wants to reach out to the club one last time before he runs away for good, so he asks Unser for a favor. Of course, favors never come free, and in return Unser is asking Juice to give him information about Tara’s killer. Now of course Unser has no idea that he is actually talking to someone who is directly involved in Tara’s murder, but we all do. It’s obvious by now that Unser is going to find himself in over his head soon. I think it’s only going to be a matter of time before he starts figuring it out, and when he does, I’m curious to see how Gemma will respond. As much as I hope that she doesn’t have it in her to kill him, I don’t think there’s much that Gemma wouldn’t do to protect herself and her relationship with Jax.
There were a few subplots introduced today, all of which I thought were interesting additions to the show.
The first shows Gemma intervening as an abusive father gives his daughter, one of the girls from the brothel, a hard time. Gemma hits the father and then the father hits Gemma and then Nero steps in. It’s an important scene because in all of the chaos, nobody notices that Abel is watching. Gemma quickly takes him away, but the damage is done and Abel asks, “Does my Daddy do bad things?” There’s no good answer to that question, and I am reminded of what life must have been like for Jax as a child. His father was one of the founding members of SAMCRO and he must have at some point (probably when Jax was pretty young) lived a life similar to the one that Jax is living now. In the end, Jax’s father tried to redeem himself and, though Jax once wanted to follow the same path, he’s now found himself on the wrong side of good or bad.
Second, we see the beginning of something between Chibs and the new sheriff, Althea Jarry. It was a quick scene where Chibs is dropping off a bribe and they talk for a moment. I was surprised, because I wasn’t expecting Jarry to be the type to take a bribe, although I still think that maybe she has ulterior motives. But that’s not what I thought was interesting about this. I liked seeing Chibs flirting with a girl and I think it would be a really great thing if they ended up getting together before the show ends. It’s definitely something that I hope to see play out in a good way later in the season.
The least interesting part of the show today, at least in my opinion, was also the main part of the plot. Jax is beginning to see that August Marks isn’t going to believe the lies that he’s been feeding him and that he doesn’t trust Jax (he seems to be the only one able to see what’s really going on). August threatens both Jax and the rest of SAMCRO. So what does Jax do in response? He puts his plans for Lin on hold for a moment so he can begin making allies with the One-Niners against August. There is a lot of lying and conniving and promises are made and then, in some cases, immediately broken. The war between the gangs is reaching levels I never thought the Sons would let them reach, let alone be the driving factor behind.
Almost worse than the war that Jax is starting, was Juice making one final attempt to reach out to the club. He meets with Chibs who swiftly shoots down the idea once and for all. Juice is out of options and getting desperate. In a sad moment, before Juice leaves, he says to Chibs, “I’m sorry brother. I never meant to hurt the club. It’s the only family I have. I love you.” Juice knows that this was his last chance and from here, nothing good will go down between him and any of this brothers from the club. Though his story doesn’t move forward much in this episode, clearly it will soon.
Though this episode may have started on a good note, it certainly does not end on one. Gemma and Jax pay a visit to the father who hit her earlier in the episode. Gemma’s made a cake and makes it look like she’s coming to say sorry for what happened earlier. Unfortunately for this guy, it’s not actually a peace offering that she’s there for. Once invited inside, Jax follows and the episode ends as he attacks the man.
Ultimately this episode was interesting, but mostly it just felt like a stepping stone. It was needed to see where Jax and the rest of SAMCRO are headed this season, but it was nowhere near as important as the previous two episodes. It did what SOA has always done best, and made us care about the characters. The only thing missing is the main character that we’ve always loved. Jax is becoming more and more like Gemma: ruthless and cruel. I’m still holding out hope that we will see the side of Jax we all grew to love before the series finale, but with each episode it looks less and less likely to happen.
Tune in to FX Tuesdays at 10/9c for the final season of Sons of Anarchy.
All photos used credit to FX Network.