Goddammit, Sons of Anarchy. It’s impossible for me to hold back my disgust for tonight’s episode, “Greensleeves.” This wasn’t a terrible hour or so of television, mind you, but there were so many things about it that I hated. I guess it was bound to happen after seven seasons, and at least Opie didn’t have to die again in order to make this happen. Let’s lay my gripes out in order from most to least aggravating, shall we?
1. Abel knows Gemma killed Tara.
In the annals of fiction, when has it ever been best to give the most important piece of information to the shittiest, least deserving character? I’m pretty sure that number hovers around zero, and yet somehow Kurt Sutter & Co. decided to let the stone-faced Abel catch wind of his grandmother’s wrongdoing. I’m not even griping about how blatantly ignorant it was for Gemma to confess her sins to the unassuming baby Thomas while the door was open and other SAMCRO members are walking around, because I’m already used to that lazy form of televised exposition, and Gemma was plenty nervous about heading to that cabin without any knowledge of what they were doing. No, my complaint here lies solely in Abel being the one who overheard her.
I hate it because it probably means we’ll have to go through more Abel scenes; ones where he almost tells someone and makes the audience go bananas, but then he doesn’t. I’m definitely intrigued by the out-of-context plot point of a child finding out his family’s horrible secrets, but not when it’s a monotone dipshit who doesn’t deserve to guide this story’s conclusion. That said, I cannot WAIT until he lets it slip, because people are either going to believe him immediately and everything will get bloodily topsy-turvy, or no one will believe him and he’ll feel like a total dummy. (I obviously have no remorse for hating TV children.)
2. Bobby loses an eye. I’m not going to lie here, I almost wish August Marks’ crew had just killed Bobby. I love Mark Boone, Jr. and I of course wish that Bobby would have made it through the finale scar-free. But they took his fucking eye, man! Sure, the eyeball isn’t the life force that makes each day worth living, but you can bet they aren’t stopping at just taking his sight. Bobby is going to suffer a lot more by the time we catch up with him again, and all because Jax thought that lying to everyone outside the club was somehow the perfect plan.
So yeah, I hate this from the perspective of loving the character, but I also hate that they recorded the torture, uploaded it onto a tablet, bought a gift box to put it in and then delivered it to SAMCRO. That’s some incredibly theatrical shit, especially when Jax’s message service usually involves corpses being dumped onto private property. Put the eyeball in a box with the patches if you must, but leave the electronic devices behind next time. Still, let’s hope Six Feet Under’s Matthew St. Patrick returns for more in the role of security head Moses “I really admire your level of camaraderie” Cartwright.
3. Juice is helping SAMCRO again.
I can’t win for trying when it comes to Juice’s story. Seven episodes in, I’m ready for him to be completely out of the picture, yet he’s back to fighting for the club he lives for. On Jax’s order, Juice gets himself thrown in jail by shooting at some cops, but the point isn’t to make the character suffer prison life. He’s in there to kill Lin, and he’ll be using one of Tully’s guys to help get the deed done. It seems like Tully’s guys could have just done this for SAMCRO for some money or something, but I guess it gives Juice a last hoorah. I don’t want him to die by cop or by Lin though. I’d be fine with a lengthy scene where his case gets thrown out and he’s a free man, only to have Jax step out of the shadows and cap him in the face.
4. All those heart to heart conversations.
There are several times in “Greensleeves” when characters have conversations that reestablish people’s feelings for one another in obvious ways. Jax sits at the head of the table and talks about how much he loves the club. Then Nero and Gemma have a long talk about her possibly joining him when he leaves this life behind and heads to the farm-based Promised Land. (This one was admittedly more effective, as I actually do root for this couple to stay together, regardless of how naïve that is.) Then we have scaredy-cat Gemma rattling off at the mouth to anyone listening about how she feels. (Except Chuckie.) This isn’t a show that’s so complex that we don’t know exactly what everyone is feeling at any given moment. Tig? He’s horny for anything. Have Jax actually do something for the club instead of just get emotional about it.
The Good Stuff
Again, this episode wasn't bad or anything. It moved the plot forward by further connecting SAMCRO and the Mayans, while Jax’s attempts to intimidate Marks have led to one of his guys missing an eyeball. While I don’t particularly care about the perverted preacher storyline, it introduced us to the titular pimp Greensleeves and his gang of battle-ready whores. Seeing Greensleeves nail Jax’s bike made me giggle a little too hard. It was disappointing to find out that the cop who got shot by the rednecks is going to keep her mouth shut about it, under the guarantee of safety. Or maybe Unser was just playing Jax when he said that, since it doesn’t seem like a cop would do that.
Will Jax and Marks finally go head to head next week? Will Juice and Lin? Will Abel and the front of a car? Find out next week.
Stuff That Fell Off the Back of the Bike
I’ve changed my mind. I want Juice to meet his fate by getting into a steel cage match against Abel.
What’s up with that old ass computer? How’s Windows 95 doing these days, guys?
I wonder if there are any uncircumcised actors in Cox and Bagels.
“We can show you a picture…” Goddammit, Happy, you loveable psycho.
If there’s anything that I don’t need coming out of Jax’s mouth, it’s reassurance that someone’s faith is all they need. Especially since he’s wrong about everything all of the time anyway.
“I’m aware I’m some kinda mascot.” Just not Hamburger Helper mascot material, Chuckie. And Gemma, it doesn’t help if you pat someone on the head like a pet after you tell him he’s not a joke.
I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed as heartily at Sons of Anarchy than when Jax tried to dramatically throw Greensleeves through the window, only to have him get impaled on a piece of glass and not go anywhere. I half expected Chibs to have a Groucho Marx mask on. “That was a very sloppy suicide.”
Unser getting aggravated by Tig touching him roused another laugh out of me. That's how my friends work.
“Not to sound anti-semantic, but the whole Jew thing, I think it’s kinda bullshit.”
“I’m not really the girl you take to the opera before I swallow your cock.”
“He’s got a foreskin that almost reaches his knees.”
Somebody give this character her own show! Or at least a tie-in fictional blog.
When is Wendy going to make a difference in this plot beyond just being someone who babysits and gets information second-hand? Maybe Malcolm-Jamal Warner can join her.
“You can say whatever you want, Mom. You just gotta do it up at the cabin.”
Kudos to Katey Sagal for her rendition of “Greensleeves” to close the episode out.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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