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It’s said that it all comes out in the wash. Well, it all got put out there tonight on “Suits of Woe,” but nothing got clean. With just two episodes left in the series, SAMCRO is on the verge of losing its shoddy leader, Gemma is on the verge of losing her family and her sanity, and Jax is on the verge of making some extremely tough decisions. For once, Sons of Anarchy earned every one of its additional minutes, even with Peter Weller’s intentionally slow-moving direction happening therein. That goddamned Peter Weller’s Charlie Barosky is gonna find himself killed very, very soon. But first…
”I told him, Gemma.”
First things first: Gemma is now on the run, as almost everyone in her life is now privy to her past sins involving putting a carving fork into Tara’s head. If you’ve ever wondered what a Sherlock episode of Sons of Anarchy would be like, it’s happening through this episode: Jax takes Abel’s blatantly stated claim of Gemma’s guilt and traces it backwards, once again getting it blatantly stated to him later in the episode. If only he’d have had a magnifying glass.
I’m so happy that Katey Sagal finally got another episode to do things in, with her time talking to ghosts mostly held to a successfully crafted shot in the opening. Gemma only gets to work with a few emotions in any given week, but mortal fear has only come up spottily in the past. Sagal shows about 17 different shades of it in “Suits of Woe,” with each new bit of information striking a new blow to her already shattered confidence. And it’s a good thing she and the other central actors nailed it all, since the episode was a big long rehash of things that audiences were already aware of and expecting.
Even seeing Gemma give Abel “Gardbye Garmra” Teller the SONS ring was nice, but the capper was the one between her and Nero, though that scene was stolen by Jimmy Smits. Gemma still gets a few good lines in about her past and her outlook on motherhood. But the best part of that scene was seeing her close-to-composed face get cut out of the frame when Nero finds out about Tara, because it’s basically the same one she’s wearing when she comes back into the frame. She has already moved on from Nero discovering what she’s done. She’s now in self-preservation mode. Poor Jimmy Smits.
Jax is, like, really broken up about it all.
So, Jax has quite a few things dropped on his head tonight. He has it confirmed that his mother killed his wife – is it ex-wife now? – and that Juice helped her cover it up. This happens just as he’s coming to grips with the fact that he let a lie jumpstart his gang war that Bobby died for. A war that came to a quiet climax with Juice stabbing Lin to death as he hung handcuffed to a pipe. And now Jax has got to go to ALL THE TROUBLE of staging Juice’s impending death. But we all know Juice is just going to off himself first, right? He has to, right?
Speaking of Jax drowning in fallout, he also learns in that same conversation that cop buddy Barosky was the rat that tipped Lin off to the stolen guns that one time. It’s on a recording, which means that it can be used against Jax now that the other charters will be calling for his head. But I doubt that recording lives on. People can think that Jax killed Jury based on false pretenses, but without evidence, Jax will avoid a Mayhem vote. Probably. I don’t believe his virtuous acceptance of all sins for one second. This dude wants to make it out alive and well with his club and his sons intact and together. Too bad he stole a car and is currently hiding out from an APB.
Why the APB? Because he decked the shit out of Unser, who took it upon himself to speak disparagingly of Tara’s brutal murder and Jax’s tarnished fatherhood abilities. It was beautiful to hear someone put it all together like that other than me and my wife every week. Here’s what I’m not sure about: did Unser provoke Jax to violence specifically to keep him in check and Gemma temporarily safe from unknown harm, or was Unser just really pissed off about being lied to? Either way, great moment, as was the one with Jax snapped at Chibs. (Oh, no, he di’inin’in’t!) Some club shit happened as well that will pit Alvarez and SAMCRO and others against Marks and the rest of the Chinese at some point, but that’s for later.
”Thank you for telling me the truth. I’ll make sure it’s quick.”
Even though Juice’s story this season irks me in the worst way, it’s still there, though it may be coming to an end. (As is the whole season, which is a shitty default.) He swindles a confession out of Lin and delivers a tearful confession to Jax that he helped Gemma cover up Tara’s murder. ‘Twas a really solid scene for Theo Rossi and Charlie Hunnam, both of whom made it obvious just how much history these two characters had between each other. Completely avoidable history in spots, but still. The rage returns to Jax before he leaves the room, but it felt just right to see him crumble beneath the weight of what his life had really been about for this entire season, in front of the one guy who he’s silencing. Plus, Juice gets hit in the face a few times later, so there’s some good vibes.
Other high points in the episode include Gemma giving Wendy some positivity about Abel knowing she’s his mother. It was also nice to see Chucky remaining loyal to Gemma to the end, even though he’ll probably be horrified when he finds out she killed Tara. A lot of people have to deal with the fact that they’ve been sharing their lives not only with someone who killed in “self-defense,” as all of the Sons (and everyone else in Charming) has done before, but one who killed a family member in a crime of misguided passion. Speaking of, why didn’t anybody ever get to the point of WHY Gemma killed Tara? Jax kind of explains it away to himself based on what Juice said, but nobody asks why. Strange.
Next time on Sons of Anarchy: everyone else finds out, and other stuff.
Stuff That Fell Off the Back of the Bike
Of all the things to predict about tonight’s episode, a “jazz-set car chase” would have been closer to the bottom of my list. That was pretty great, all things considered.
And while we’re considering car chases, the traffic safety in Charming and surrounding areas must be AWFUL for locals, so why does anyone ever travel there?
Jax spent the night with Abel. Yeah right. This show earned its “fiction” label with that one, boy.
Priceless Jax Reaction #1:
Wendy: “I’m sorry, Jax. I didn’t know what to do. The vibe between us was just so tense, and then shit just went crazy. Diosa, Scoops and Bobby. Then when Abel started acting out, I guess Juice just didn’t seem that important.”
Is Tara’s non-presence standing in for Hamlet’s father, and I’m just catching on to this? Also, I don’t need to see other characters talking to themselves on this show. Another reason you deserve to die, Juice. That’s number 4,567. I did like that he got pleasure in killing Lin.
“Gemma knows every truth behind every lie inside every secret. She’s the gatekeeper.” Bahahaha. I want that as a tattoo circling my wrist.
Does Jax have kitchen drawers dedicated to stocking white t-shirts?
Priceless Jax Reaction #2
Chucky: “It looks very regal with the club colors.”
“Any idea why Cagney and Lacey are here?” Chibs showing his pop culture chops.
“Trust me. All I am in here is someone’s asshole.” Theo Rossi, once again knocking it out of the park as the most clean-shaven scumbag on TV. It’s always interesting to watch him be feeble in solitude, reverent in SAMCRO’s presence, and standoffish towards authority.
“We need to patch in another Jew.” These guys as reformed accountants could be a solid spinoff idea.
“You’re my best friend, Gem.”
“I accept that.”
No sex in this one, PTC goons, because people were too busy finding out about a murder. Take your victory lap.
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