In strict opposition to last week’s episode, as well as those preceding it, tonight’s episode of Sons of Anarchy was free of horrific bodily horrors and cringe-worthy sexual debauchery. Granted, that means that almost nothing got accomplished in this episode, with only minimal plot forwarding. But you know what? That’s okay with me, as these 90-minute episodes are overkill, and having a good old laugh-filled time is a lot easier than watching yet another shot of pseudo-rape with a severed limb chaser. Let’s run down through some of that awesomeness, shall we?
Juice Tries to be Tig
He doesn’t grow a mustache or style his hair wild or anything, but he takes clear steps in building his rep back up within the club. Granted, he decides to do this by smart mouthing and beating up a cop after being handcuffed to his motorcycle, but hey, that dickhead dirty cop deserved it. He continues on in this manner, implying it’s because he doesn’t think Chibs fully forgives his past discretions, but I can’t help but think there’s something more sinister bubbling beneath his tattooed scalp. I mean, he jumped from a speeding motorcycle into a van. Even Bobby notices and comments on Juice’s newfound confidence. Which brings us to our next point.
After a bunch of mini-appearances in the past few episodes, Bobby has finally ceased his “circled names on a map” round-up, and it turns out he wasn’t trying to go Nomad at all. He wows Jax by telling him he was just recruiting some strong, dependable family men that were torn from a better cloth than Clay and Jax. I gotta say, when I saw Bobby step out when Jax is talking to Jury, I was embarrassed by how wide I smiled, and was truly saddened that we didn’t get to see more of Bobby, Tig and Chibs clowning around. I’m pretty sure they could have cut at least fifteen minutes out of Jax’s long, drawn-out expository speech in order for the trio to shoot a few jokes back and forth. Anyway, it’s great that Bobby is finally back for good, and in better spirits now that Jax has actually taken the steps to get SAMCRO out of gun running.
Venus is Back!
Probably the greatest guest spot/cameo this show has ever given viewers was in last year’s episode “Orca Shrugged,” when Justified’s Walton Goggins showed up as a femmed-out prostitute named Venus Van Dam. While I never thought Venus would make a return to the show, it’s a lovely (bad choice of words) surprise. Though instead of doing some sassy sashaying around and putting men in their place, a black-eyed Venus tells a sad story to Gemma, humanizing herself in the process. It’s such a strange juxtaposition between Gemma’s ruggishness and Venus’ stripped-down emotion. Nowhere near as good as last time, but now Gemma knows how big a heart Nero has for women of all kinds that are in need. Fingers crossed that Venus comes back next week in a scene with a bullwhip and a chair.
Roosevelt, Nero and D.A. Patterson
Ok, so nothing in the plotline was very fun, per se, and it cyclically ended almost right where it started, but it was all handled well. Roosevelt comes clean to the D.A. about Toric having set Nero up, but Patterson doesn’t want to hear it unless there is definitive proof. And since it’ll take days to get DNA results from Toric’s hotel room, Patterson is apparently going to use this time to break whoever she can in order to bring SAMCRO down for the school shooting. She pops her wig off to go “hood,” but her only immediate action is to tell Tara that the deal she proposed (which Tara wasn’t taking anyway) was off, and that her trial date was being moved up. So Tara is kind of fucked at this point, especially if she can’t get all of her divorce and custody paperwork finished up in time.
I’m still not entirely behind Tara’s storyline, even though I’m interested in seeing how it all comes out. There’s no reason the boys should still be in Charming, especially after one of them narrowly escapes getting exploded. I’m pretty sure social services would have stepped in at this point. But I don’t think that Wendy is the right person for the job (or any job), and Gemma even made it clear to Nero in this episode that she had to stay around to help her family. I seriously don’t see her going somewhere else with her grandsons and leaving Jax behind. All I know is, they’d better not kill those kids at some point, or I’ll quit watching. (For the six days in between episodes.)
Stuff That Fell Off The Back Of The Bike
“I’m afraid your minute might have run out in that classroom last week.” Damn, Roosevelt, that was harsh.
Can we get a Call of Duty: Charming at some point?
Is anyone else out there hoping that Lee Toric has a twin brother that is going to show up and seek revenge for both the death of both siblings?
I have to assume the set decorators that worked on the destroyed clubhouse aren’t familiar with how explosions work, as there isn’t any clear ground zero, and all the burnt-up debris is just tossed around the room willy nilly. Even that one piece of non-burnt wood.
Remember that cop Gemma pushed? I’m pretty sure if it’d been a woman, she would have gotten her face slammed into the side of a desk.
“You got a long distance call, Jackson.” I honestly can’t remember the last time I used the words “long distance call,” here in the era of cell phones.
It was interesting to see the club perform a silent vote at a different table, and quite rejuvenating to watch a huge group of burly men yelling and slapping a table. Man I miss the tables scenes of seasons past.
Somebody please give Abel a hat that fits, or the child will never see where he’s going.
“I’ve seen Smokey and the Bandit a thousand times. Love that movie.” This whole scene, along with the subsequent chase, was a nice callback to how fun and exciting the club’s antics used to be. Before daughters started burning and people started biting their own tongues off.
If Gemma and Nero got married, whose last name would she drop?
“I’m afraid I ran smack into a low-hanging branch from my gnarled family tree.” This is probably the best line in the whole episode, from the wording to the performance. Goggins rules!
Hell, even Happy ringing the bell to the junkyard made me laugh.
“This okay with you, Mom?” “Blow me, boy.” Tell him, Bobby.
Really, the whole last scene with the dirty cops was superb. It’s more fun than I remember watching Jax actually have a good time while doing something. And if it’s making cops apologize to every single member of the club, that’s even better.