Sons Of Anarchy's Poenitentia: That Lee Toric Is One Wacky F---

So last week I’m running my mouth about how important Nero is going to be in taking down SAMCRO, and this week, Sutter & Co. are lining him up to take the fall for a murder he had nothing to do with. So if there’s anything about Sons of Anarchy you can predict by listening to me, it’s that everything I want or assume will happen will be immediately written out of the show. There’s still a good chance a mini-battle of “Nero vs. Jax” may occur, but Lee Toric (U.S. Marshall, retired) is consistently proving himself to be the wildest card of all, somehow becoming legitimately dangerous in a short amount of screen time. Chalk that up to the well-rounded talents of Donal Logue, who can be charming, hilarious and menacing with one smile.

Toric isn’t tied to anyone but himself and whatever voices are babbling on behind that coifed face of his. Every time we see him, he’s blazing a trail of hot lava all over Charming, and the all-consuming heat is now more strategically melting the heels of those closely tied to Jax and his crew. A guy uses up all his good favors on getting Otto raped on a regular basis, he’s going to have to really dig deep into the psychotic bag of tricks to reach his goals. And using two men’s faces as bottle openers is definitely something reserved for special occasions. I hope this show doesn’t take place around any holidays where fireworks are in large supply. (Or do I?)

Sons is generally particular about the levels of violence that it pours on and how it presents them, and this was clearly more of a nod to horror movies than to some kind of militaristic torture. Toric even ends the scene with a corny one-liner about the bottle being a twist-off. If they’d have wanted this to be truly sadistic, there would have been a lot more screaming and no attempt at humor. But still, this is some twisted behavior, and that dude’s lip looked completely unfixable.

But this is TV. We’ve seen people who take on authoritative roles and use violent means to get information. What about his behavior in the opening, when he murdered one of Colette’s girls that he’d recently finished plugging away at? When he left his address at the escort service last week, I expected bad things to happen to her. But then when he first shot her, I couldn’t tell if it was genuinely an accident, or if he was just really good at acting like it was an accident. I’m pretty sure she was going to die. Just maybe at a later date.

And definitely not in a way that possibly could have been as creepy as him passively trying to soothe her as he placed a pillow over her face and shot her through the head. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” People shouldn’t be doing that, y’all! That’s some disturbing material.

All so he can use the body to plant DNA in Nero’s truck, so that his crew can be blamed for the weapon that was used in Matthew’s school shooting. Of course. That’s the second time SAMCRO fell for that trick this week. (Get Smart, am I right?) This guy is talking to a District Attorney while a dead escort is on the ground twenty feet away, and then he starts cutting pieces of her clothes and hair while she’s flopped out in the bathtub.

This isn’t just “I’m some kind of a drug addict and I’m going to avenge my sister’s death” shit; this is “my sister’s death may or may not have been the catalyst for unleashing a catastrophic universe of barely concealed evil” shit. If he doesn’t get his way, he takes it one step further. Clay won’t cut a deal? He blames a hooker’s death on Nero. It’s like some twisted food chain of events.

It makes the scene with Jax, Toric and Clay all the more rewarding, even though it sounded great in the promos. “I don’t give a shit what you do to him,” Jax says, as the camera captures Clay down and out by his right hand, with Toric’s reflection seen just over his left shoulder. “But if you try to come after my wife, try to tie her to this murder, you’re gonna feel how personal this is for me.” Toric would probably rip Jax’s throat open using just his paper “Visitor” tag, and I’m wondering how long he’s going to last trying to get at them from a legal standpoint before he just decides to go at it alone.

Stuff That Fell Off The Back Of The Bike

Aw, come on, Tig! Not Tig! That we didn’t see him die makes me think he’s going to get some kind of a drawn-out death scene next week. Or a possible escape, but I doubt it. I’m going to start making “Free Tig” shirts this week.

My wife thinks it would be great if Toric’s real endgame in all this was getting Terriers back on FX. I second that emotion.

What the hell is up with Peter Wellers? He could turn out to be damned near as psycho as Toric. He just sliced a dude’s throat open without a second thought. The guy deserved it, to be sure, but this isn’t the kind of person Jax needs to be associating with. Other than it being Peter Weller of course.

I have theories about Tara’s pregnancy and Wendy’s fake mugging story, but I don’t want to jinx them.

Welcome back, Roosevelt!

Did Toric give himself the idea to blame Nero on for a murder he didn’t commit after cleverly telling Clay that it was ironic that he got busted for just that?

It’s not irony, but it’s really weird that Clay, a man who for many years fronted a motorcycle club that had a strict “No black guys” rule, had to metaphorically get in bed with them to potentially save his life. He is still a wanted man by all accounts, but now he has a shiv with him. I wonder where this is all going.

Yet another instance of Jax brushing off a piece of Chibs’ advice.

Can’t Bobby just remember these guys’ names without needing to put them on a map?

“Send me the business plan for your adult entertainment enterprise.”

So Jax doesn’t mind watching Colette bang Peter Weller (whose character name I’m aware of, but refuse to use)? Is this going anywhere?


Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.