Before I get to this week’s Sons of Anarchy recap I wanted to take a second to applaud FX. Too often networks spend time leading up to a show by half-ass promoting it, throwing a few commercials here and there during primetime, teasing the audience only to show three episodes, move the time slot, stop promoting it all together and promptly cancel it. Not FX. No boy. They have gone absolutely balls to the wall with their promotions for SAMCRO and this is for season two. I have seen commercials on seemingly every network, during all hours. Today I saw a lengthy promo on the television at my gym on ESPN at 5PM! It is a strong commitment to a show that more than deserves it. With the absence of The Shield FX has clearly chosen Sons of Anarchy to take over the award-winning helm and are committed to its success. Kudos. On to the recap.
Last week’s episode ended with a horrific scene where Gemma Teller was raped by the White Supremacist toadie AJ Weston. “Small Tears” opens with a scene with Gemma on the floor of the warehouse interposed with Teller family photos while “Ruby Tuesday” (actually sung by Katey Sagal) plays in the background. I typically don’t spend too much time on individual scenes but the last five minutes of last week and the first five of this week were brutal, award-winning television; solidifying Sons of Anarchy as among the very best television has offer.
Gemma is purposely vague about her rape. She is insistent on Clay and Jax never knowing what happened to her. At first, it is unclear why she wouldn’t want immediate revenge until she reveals that letting on about her abduction would just let the Aryans “win.” This is a startling admission about Gemma’s loyalty to SAMCRO. Almost like someone taking a fall for a crime in the name of the gang, Gemma is willing to sacrifice it all in order to not let her horror influence the club. The situation also creates a unique bond between Gemma, Tara, and Wayne Unser (the police chief). They are all working to create a façade where all is right in Charming.
On the leather mafia front, the Sons have decided to help take over a pornography outfit all in the name of creating a “legitimate business.” I laughed just typing that out. Just sounded funny. In order to maintain their end of the sexy bargain, SAMCRO has to go enforcer all over another smutlord (played by Tom Arnold). In order to keep their talent, they bust up one of his shoots in a melee of baseball bats and silicone. A nice, comically violent, interlude in an otherwise morose episode.
A gun deal with the One-Niners goes bad as they come under fire from the Mayans. We learn the Aryan brotherhood tipped the Mayans off to the deal, confirming White Power is keeping their foot on the pedal in the pursuit of bringing SAMCRO down.
“Small Tears” ends with a couple of fairly telling scenes. First, Gemma stares for a brief, pained second at her ex-husband’s bike left at an alter in the clubhouse. Secondly, Clay gives Jax a not-too-subtle warning about how to handle situations concerning the club and the decisions Jax makes. Finally, Jax and Gemma meet on the clubhouse roof. For just a moment the pain and horror are lost and it is just a mother and son sitting normally in an entirely f$#%^-ed up world.