As of late, Sons of Anarchy has grown a bit tedious and has even compelled me to ask the oft-posed car-ride question: Are we there yet? Perhaps that's why tonight's episode went down a little smoother than most of its recent efforts have, as we were given developments and resolutions aplenty.
A Strong Start
Tara (Maggie Siff) propositions Jax (Charlie Hunnam) on the possibility of finally moving on from the club, but for the time being, he balks. The scene leads right into a slightly rockier relationship, as Clay (Ron Perlman) and Gemma (Katey Sagal) share a post-coital cup o' joe. Who knows what's going through her head. Later, after speaking to their lawyer, Jax and Tara realize that she's facing the possibility of doing time as an accessory to the brutal murder perpetrated by Otto (Kurt Sutter). Go figure, some real drama with nary a gunshot or explosion to speak of. We're off to a decent start.
A Wheeler and Dealer
Jax tells Juice (Theo Rossi) that it's time to put up or shut-up on his bid for redemption, while Clay has Tig (Kim Coates) over for a chat. SAMCRO's former president subsists on wheeling and dealing the way most do on oxygen, and he isn't afraid to leverage Tig's daughter's murder in an effort to get some help with opportunities "outside the club." Wonder if Jax's willingness to throw Tig to the wolf (Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau)) will come to light and make Clay's proposition more attractive. Spelled out, that sound in your head looks like this: hmmmmmmm.
All the Right Moves
Clay meets with the Galindo Cartel and they tell him they're prepping to take Jax down, because they fear he's going to back out of the gun deal. In a surprise move, though, Clay buys some time and asks for the chance to speak to him first. Despite Clay's insistence that Jax smooth things over with the Cartel, he seems assured that he's making the right moves. Later, the young president and some fellow SAMCRO members meet up with Nero's (Jimmy Smits) old crew, intending to sell them the guns they need to defend their turf. Things take a turn for the worse when a couple dozen gangsters hop out of their cars, armed to the teeth. We're then treated to a shootout set to heavy metal music -- guess Sons had to throw its violence-craving crowd something this episode. Luckily, after their getaway car is riddled with bullets, they careen down a hillside and escape unscathed. Jax lets out a primal yawp and the rest of the crew seems equally excited. If ever there was a scene that rejoiced in bloodletting, this was it. Weren't Nero's guys supposed to be in the market for guns? Seems like they're doing alright in that department.
Jax seems a step ahead as he placates the Galindo Cartel by passing off the gun deal to another suitor. He's also handed the drugs off and managed to take a whole lot of heat off of the club in one fell swoop. The only business left unfinished is settling things with Clay, as Jax finally comes out and tells Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) and Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) that everyone's favorite schemer was responsible for his father's death and the attack on Tara. The show closes with Bobby paying Clay a visit and saying that he's there to keep him alive.
This episode was one of Sons' better efforts this season. It was paced well and provided the sort of slow-burning drama that the show has been sorely lacking in recent weeks. What did you think? Did you see Jax's big move coming? Or did you think he was in over his head? However you've felt about this season, the dominoes have started falling, and it looks like plenty of plot points will be coming to a head in next week's show.
"If you ever found yourself at a crossroads with the club, you know, maybe growing tired of watching your president, sucking up to the guy that burned your daughter alive -- my door would be open."
--Clay propositioning Tig.
"The Dr. Seuss thing is new, but he's pretty much certifiable."
--Gemma jokes about her rhyme-obsessed helper.
"You mind if we get outta here? This Kenny G s___ is gonna give my cancer cancer."
--Wayne (Dayton Callie) suggesting he and Tara move their conversation somewhere with some better music.
--Jax calling the role after the shootout.
"I'm tired, of being crushed under the weight of greedy men who believe in nothing; I have to change that."
--Jax laying down the law for Clay.