Regardless of what kind of person you are, the above exclamation was the only way to react after “Faith and Despondency” faded to the Reaper. If TV episodes could be judged by the rampant anticipation that spontaneously erupts for the next week’s installment, then tonight’s ep could be considered the best in the series. That’s not how it works, of course, but “Faith and Despondency” delivered more than enough shocks and turns in its super-extended runtime to make it ONE of the best. The main problem? Nobody made a giant wicker Bobby Munson effigy to drunkenly burn to the ground. Wasted opportunity.
Abel Lets the Murder Cat Out of the Murder Bag
Sweet Jesus of the Nazareth M.C. charter, my least favorite character on TV blew my mind tonight. Twice! Not in the “he acted like an actual child” kind of way, but in the “he acted like a pathological maniac” kind of way. With all that bland hate for his “gambra” (or whatever the shit he mumble-calls her) building up inside of him, the only way Abel could think to release it was to inflict fairly serious physical damage to himself and then blame it on Gemma. That’s some twisted shit for a child, even if he is the son of a mass murderer. It’s also not the kind of ideas that this anti-brainiac is going to have, but I genuinely love how dark his motivations were, and Paris Barclay’s direction during that pre-break restroom stall scene hit an enjoyably suspenseful peak.
Kudos to the writers for putting in a fairly big moment for the series – the reveal to Abel that Wendy is actually his mother – as window dressing for the bombshell: “So is that why Gramma killed my other mommy, so my first mommy could be here with me?” That’s a howler of a last line, and it unlocks the Pandora’s Box of Sons of Anarchy’s final season. Of course, Jax has every right not to believe Abel, but I think we’re going to see a family tree burn to the ground in the coming weeks.
The Parting of Moses’ Red Sea
August Marks was awaiting his hearing this week, so we didn’t get to see him get skinned alive just yet. Instead, Jax reverted to his old tricks…well, trick. “Kill everyone” has worked pret-ty well for him in the past, and so it goes here. It also adds a small layer of dramatic purpose for the Aryan Brotherhood, with the backscratching favors happening between Jax and Big Bald Guy. It also ties into Juice’s jailtime antics and Tig’s bedroom antics, but the A.B.’s biggest moments here naturally involved the ambush against bodyguard Moses and his gang of killahs.
I was mildly surprised by the way things turned out here, which was a big surprise in and of itself. Rat and T.O. unintentionally get caught up in Moses’ reign of violence in the name of finding the preacher’s family, because Tyler gets caught in Moses' crosshairs. Thankfully, Tyler’s ties with Jax are legit and he helped them out in the end. Moses is a goddamned dummy for not bringing anyone important with him to find “the cabin,” but it doesn’t matter. He got his eyeball ripped out and his fingers cut off before eating a few bullets. I hope Happy wears that souvenir finger around his neck in next week’s episode. No one is going to miss you, Moses, you militant prick. (I'll miss you, Mathew St. Patrick!)
Tig and Venus Sitting in a Tree
There’s always a level of exploitation involved with Tig and Venus’ relationship that strikes me as odd, given the tenderness shown for the…couple?...in tonight’s episode. As a viewer and a fan of these characters, though, it’s a heartwarming blast. Here’s how Venus shows her seemingly miscast affections for Tig.
You’re a man who dares to dance with the freaks. I perpetuate that deviance for you, allow you to show the world you live outside the box. But I know that’s where it ends for us and I understand it comes with the territory of my complicated identity. But my feelings for you are simpler. They live very much inside the box. I’m afraid, Alexander, that I may have fallen in love with you.”
How does Tig show his? By delivering a series of equally sweet sentiments, and shooting a dude in the dick for calling him a tranny-humper. It’s a match made in heaven, people! I'm not sure if Walton Goggins will reappear in later episodes or not, but this was a fine capper if Venus is gone from our lives forever.
The Matches Not Made in Heaven
I don’t know how this is going to play out in the overall scheme of things, but Tully and Juice are totally an “item” now. Granted, I think it’s an item that Juice wants to return to customer service immediately, but such is the life of a traitorous prisoner who deserves everything bad in the world. Tully’s got a crush, as evidenced best by his presents of Emily Brontë’s collection of love poems, lube and coke. Weird shit.
Jax is getting over his grief by sticking his dim sum in Winsome, the prostitute he met a few episodes back. He cries after sex in front of her, and she makes an extremely dark joke about getting gunned down by Chinese gangsters. I think she’s the one, guys. But she’d better find a better description than “pretty and pretty duh” if she wants to become a functional temporary old lady.
Add to all that Rat’s infidelity and Nero’s pseudo-victory in getting Gemma interested in moving to the farm with him, and this was a w-wild and crazy (kids) episode of Sons of Anarchy through and through. I hope next week’s episode starts off with Jax slamming Gemma’s face into her giant birdcage. It’s going to be a long seven days.
Stuff That Fell Off the Back of the Bike
That eyeball flopping about, though.
I’m kind of surprised a soulful acoustic version of “It’s Raining Men” wasn’t the song played over the ass-filled opening.
“I just had to let off some…”
“I don’t need to know.”
Fun fact: if Abel had said that Jax was responsible for his wounds, no one would have believed that Jax had been around long enough to cut Abel with a fork.
Child services should be brought in to talk to Courtney Love’s teacher, who clearly doesn’t understand how children and/or freshly bleeding wounds works.
“In the meantime, I’m gonna keep that little Puerto Rican real close.” I wonder what 1994 Marilyn Manson would think about 2014 Marilyn Manson. Is Sons of Anarchy the “Dope Show” he was talking about on Mechanical Animals?
“I can’t let this psycho take out my goddamned eye.” Even if it hadn’t been a sham, I still wouldn’t have called you a traitor, T.O. A brother’s gotta keep his goddamned eye.
As seen on Venus Van Dam’s refrigerator: a flyer for The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Charity Ball.
So not only does the Chibs/Jarry relationship have the cop/criminal element going, but now the intimacy is physically violent. Not always something that weed provokes, but whatever.
No R.I.P. for Racist Leland. Don’t be trying to kill Unser’s possible lover like that. What’s going on with them, seriously?
The Aryans kept Moses’ cars in return for cleaning up all the corpses. I like that kind of business mentality.
Does Wendy still have an apartment?