This Sons of Anarchy review contains spoilers and salty language. You’ve been warned.
Dear Mr. Sutter, I am not buying what you are selling. No. No, sir. No way, no how, not in the least little bit. It has come to my attention that at some point in each season, Sons of Anarchy goes off the rails, jumps the shark, runs out into the weeds whilst flailing its metaphorical arms. What makes these episodes so painful to watch is that they are embedded amongst episodes which showcase otherwise powerful writing and colossal acting. Okay, to be fair, the acting is always colossal.
This episode was a hot, pandering mess. What is worse, it was an unbelievable mess; which is the bigger sin.
There was some good. I was delighted that Nero decided to jump ship, take his son, and escape the bullshit. The decision was way overdue. And watching him extend the invitation to Gemma, watching her struggle with the weight of that decision (leaving it all behind). Wow. Powerful stuff.
Excuse me, that was a powerful five minute scene. The rest of the episode? Sweet zombie Jesus; I think I developed an eye twitch.
Long story short, the club decided to let Juice buy his way back in by getting arrested and being their man inside prison. There. That was easy, right? Too bad Sutter needed to draw the “will Juice snitch on Gemma” drama out over the entire episode. Not that letting Juice live was plausible. I get that Jax is a cunning dude, but Juice has made so many mistakes and el Presidente is running perilously short on mercy.
As was evinced by him casually chucking a Jewish pimp through a window. What, exactly, was the point of that? If Jax has learned nothing else over the course of the past seven seasons, it is that every act of violence has repercussions. But I will get to that in a minute. Back to the Juice dramz.
What the fuck with this bullshit? Jax summons Gemma to the cabin to deal with a mom/son junkie issue but does so in the most covert and cryptic fashion possible? Telling Rat and Happy to withhold information (that did not matter anyway) just to fabricate conflict for Gemma? Sutter! You are so much better than this! And having Gemma confess her sins to Thomas while Able overhears? What the ever loving fuck is this bullshit? You do not need to manufacture plot development for Gemma! That shit storm was already rolling downhill under its own steam.
ARGH! I have not been this frustrated since Dale was eaten by a slow moving, cow killing zombie on The Walking Dead. Respect your viewers, you bastards!
But I digress. Naturally the episode closes with Gemma figuring out that Juice did not snitch and Jax is not (yet) trying to kill her. Of course it worked out that way; the season is barely half over. Oh, and good luck trying to retire with Nero. That dude is a dead fucking duck. Man, am I pissed!
On top of this hot mess, we have the August Marks problem. Remember back when Marks worked for Pope and was dismembering Niners, getting Opie beaten to death in front of Jax, and burning Tig’s daughter alive? Remember that? Suddenly his threat level is so low on the scale of relative bullshit that Jax feels he can fuck over Mark’s street business and just manipulate that dude through “leverage” (read “blackmail”).
What the fucking, fuck, fuck? If there is nothing else Jax knows, after dealing with Clay, Pope, Donal Logue, Henry Fucking Rollins, and the Irish, it is that someone like Marks needs to be eliminated with extreme goddamn prejudice. As if to make my point (and to make me insane while doing it), Marks’ response to Jax’s blackmail ploy is to kidnap Bobby, cut out his eye, and have it delivered to Jax.
You bought that one, dumbass. Now excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall and curse Sutter’s name.