This week on Sons of Anarchy, none of the major events were unexpected or surprising—in fact, most of the developments have been heavily foreshadowed all season. I’m the kind of guy who believes that this kind of storytelling only makes these moments even stronger when they finally arrive. This episode delivered a pleasant balance of humor, heavy, and action—ending on a very depressing—yet reassuring— note.
Last week (or rather, two weeks ago because of the holiday), was a massive episode for the series. This episode primarily dealt with the loose ends, while setting up for next week’s finale (and likely for the next season as well). Most of what went down seemed to take place as a transition between eras. Though I wouldn’t say it it was one of those “moving the pieces” type of setup episodes that most shows have—despite feeling like it was a transitionary episode, some big stuff went down. Very big, in the case of Tara and likely Nero.
As I said, it truly felt like a shift in eras. Big changes happened, and are going to happen.
Oh, and by the way, seems like next season’s going to be about an all-out gang war between pretty much every faction that the show has established in its history. That will be fun.
Bobby’s in the cabin recovering from his gunshot, with Tara by his side. Last week she seemed to be prepared to give DA Patterson a key piece of evidence—the bullet she pulled from the man’s body—in return for protection and immunity. She struggles with the decision for most of this episode, especially when Bobby tells her that he loves her (not in some romantic way, like Unser did with Gemma. It was familial. It was sweet.)
Tara doesn’t really make up her mind until the end of the episode, and her decision tears Jax apart. More on that later.
SAMCRO still has a lingering problem in Lin’s gang—Happy’s been with these guys, eating chinese food, watching cartoons, and maybe getting lightly tortured, for a while now. Sadly, he missed out on the action last week. Ready to get their friend back and make good on their deal with the chinese, SAMCRO kill the Irish guys, telling Connor that it was Lin’s gang. They end up luring the chinese into a trap, turning on them and leaving quite a pile of bodies.
And the Sons aren’t alone in the firefight. The 99ers return, a show of August Marks’s power for the IRA. After dropping a massive bag of cash and leaving it with Connor, it looks like the gun business has finally moved away from SAMCRO and into the hands of August Marks.
This does, however, create quite a power shift in the streets. The 99ers aren’t the only old gang to show up again this episode, as the leader of the Mayans has a meeting with Nero, explaining out the shift in the balance on the streets. Seems that now the 99ers are going to be the ones with the gun connection, the delicate peace is going to be at al end. And he wants Nero’s gang to join up with the Mayans, predicting that it’s going to be “brown and yellow against black and white.”
Of course, that’s not going to be easy for Nero, who has become very close to Jax and SAMCRO.
In order to talk about Nero, first I’ve got to talk about poor Juicey. Dude’s coping with a lot of bad stuff, and has been for a while. Seems that Clay’s death is pushing him over the edge. Bobby gives him some advice—no, an order—to go blow off some steam at Diosa. Juice takes a bunch of pills and overdoses, and Nero ends up being the one taking care of him. In a daze, Juice apologizes for something that Jax made him do at the beginning of the season—killing Darbany, the mother of the kid who shot up his school.
Man, I really hate “previously on…” segment. Right off the bat it reminds me of something that happened earlier this season—when Jax lied to Nero—so I pretty much know what to expect from this episode. Especially considering that the Irish and Clay appeared to be wrapped up after the colossal events of last week… The thing that I’ve been dreading most appeared to be at hand. The falling out between Jax and Nero. As soon as Juice showed up high to Diosa, it was all too easy to see how things would play out. Nero learns that Jax lied directly to his face, and Jimmy Smits does a fantastic job of showing Nero’s confusion and then a calm, slow, rage.
But then—when everything came together, Nero once again proved to be the stand-up moral center of the series, appearing to let go of his anger and sense of betrayal in order to be the father figure that Jax really needed at that one moment. In the final moments of the episode, Nero seems to put aside any rage at Jax, and gives him a strong and supportive hand to hold.
Jax needed Nero’s support, because, of course, Tara made her decision. And it’s devatstating. She takes her kids from Unser and Wendy at gunpoint. But she never shows for her meeting with DA Pattersion. Instead, she hits the road. She’s last seen with the boys in an unknown hotel room, presumably far away from Charming and SAMCRO.
Earlier in the episode, DA Patterson makes a prediction. If Tara takes the kids and runs, she says, the club is going to hunt her down and kill her.
We’ll see if that happens in the season finale.
Lots of great quotes this episode:
“Not the hair, man. Not the hair.” Oh, Tiggy.
“Yeah—he’s huge. You’re gonna need both hands.”
“There ain’t no Switzerland in the hood.”
Nice to see the guys just hanging out and laughing. “Brbrbr. Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay.” Tig has some hilarious lines in this episode.
Chucky wants to accept chinchillas as payment for car repairs. He wants to breed them!
[Photo via Prashant Gupta/FX]