Before I get into the rundown of the body count in last night's Sons of Anarchy (and who surprised us by escaping harm), can we take a second to bask in the memory of that lovely scene of Jax standing shirtless in the kitchen next to the baby's bottle warmer? Such a tender, abdominally appealing moment. Almost like we were being fortified for the nonstop brutality that was relentlessly churned out for the rest of the 90-minute episode.
Tig is alive. Hooray, because I love Tig, but boo for the explanation that August was using Tig's seemingly imminent demise as a sort of loyalty test for Jax. I don't know, this abrupt about-face on Tig being in danger just felt like a cheap tease. Do you happen to remember the Can You? game from Stephen King's Misery, in which he describes a school creative assignment where students have to finish each other's stories, and afterward, everyone judges whether or not they did it honestly/realistically/memorably? (King's character Paul, lying in bed bound by the diabolical Annie Wilkes, remembers this game in terms of coaching himself into writing: "If you want me to take you away, to scare you or involve you or make you cry or grin, yeah. I can. I can bring it to you and keep bringing it until you holler uncle. I am able. I CAN.”) I'm sorry to say it because I've been a longtime fan of the show, but increasingly my feeling towards SoA is this: you can't.
Tara's working with Wendy. Called it! Whatever Tara's got going on in this subplot to protect her kids, it seems both intriguing and smart -- except for the part where they decided to meet in her office, where people like Unser and Gemma randomly show up ALL THE TIME.
Chibs is getting increasingly uneasy with Jax. Chibs' discomfort with Jax's sole decision to end ties with the Irish led to a pretty great exchange:
“We have become the whipping boy for the IRA and the cartel. We’ve dwindled to six guys while RICO and that psycho Marshal circles us, just waiting for us to make the next bad move. Brother, nothing here works! I’m trying to change that. I’m trying to give us a future. And yes, if that means stepping outside the lines or making a couple calls on the fly, then that is exactly what I am gonna do.” -- Jax
“Do you know who you sound like? The guy who used to sit in that seat.” -- Chibs
Nero wants out of SAMCRO. Jesus, who could blame him? Caught in firefights, associated with school shootings, forced to kill his own homeboy, framed with a dead hooker, etc. etc. etc.
The Irish are pissed. Galen didn't exactly take kindly to Jax's no-guns policy or being punched in the gut, and the blowback took out Filthy Phil (nooooo!) and prospect V-Lin. The Irish then mutilated and hacked up their bodies, leaving them in the warehouse for SAMCRO to find. Aye, hands off!
Also: Nazis. Between Breaking Bad and SoA, I'm getting a little weary of cartoonishly villainous neo-Nazis, but anyway, Jax and the gang get revenge on some white supremacists for carving up Unser. I'm mostly distracted by all the orders Jax gives after the deed is done: wipe down the guns, make it look like an internal beef, burn this, bury that. How about pitching in with some of the grunt work, Jax. I mean, can we get a hand over here? It seems like you have extras.
Toric and Otto are dead. Clay once again refuses to turn on the club, so Toric brings him to a barely-alive Otto as a warning to Clay. Instead, Clay slips Otto a knife during a hug ("No more, brother," Clay murmurs), which Otto uses to stab the holy crap out of Toric. "Wow, I didn’t even see that coming," Toric says dazedly, before Otto slits his throat and is immediately gunned down by cops.
I'm not sorry to see Toric go, but I really feel like the potential for his character was squandered this season. He started out with so much creepy promise, and then it was like the writers just didn't know what to do with him. But thank god Otto is finally dead. At the rate he was going, he would have eventually just been a limbless, suffering torso -- and frankly this show's got enough of a torture porn vibe as it is.
What did you think of last night's Sons of Anarchy? Are you a fan of the 90-minute format for the show, or do you feel like it runs too long?
Image via FX