This review contains spoilers.
Within the first ten minutes of this week’s episode of Sons Of Anarchy, one of the members of SAMBEL has been strung up. Within minutes more, a man has cut him open and is pulling at his insides with tongs. The man, understandably, is in great pain, and within a few more minutes, he is dead. And yet, whilst I was near enough watching through my fingers, I almost couldn’t stop jumping up and down with glee.
Of course, I don’t condone violence in real life, but it feels like this week’s Sons Of Anarchy has gone back to doing what it did best in season one and two, combine hard hitting action scenes with gut punching emotional plot arcs.
So, this week, aside from the terrible Irish accents and the Californian sun blasting over ‘Belfast’, the scenes in the capital of Northern Ireland are absolutely fantastic. The action starts from the word go.
Liam, the one who bombed the truck last week (I know a lot of the SAMBEL characters aren’t very memorable, so he’s the one with the long hair and sounds like he might actually be from Belfast), is caught by the Sons, tortured, and then killed by Jax. It’s a standout moment in the series and one of the very few times where Jax has killed someone.
Prior to expiring, Liam admits that he and McGee have been working with the Army, and the confession is caught on tape for Father Ashby. Shortly after this, and on McGee’s tip-off, Jimmy and his men storm the building. This culminates in a standoff on the rooftop and there is yet another moment where Jimmy could quite easily have been taken out, but manages to escape.
Sadly, McGee knows that he’s been found out, and it’s time for him to go. Clay gives him a kiss goodbye and pushes him off the rooftop. The whole scene was very well done and makes you almost sad to see forgettable characters like McGee and Liam killed off.
SAMCRO’s visit to Belfast has been an absolute disaster for SAMBEL. In the last two episodes alone, around seven of them have died. The charter must be damn near wiped out by now. Thankfully for the viewer, this is tying up a lot of the loose ends, and most of these loose ends have been crippling the momentum of the show.
Above all of these dangling threads, I was glad that the almost-incest storyline between Jax and Trinity was resolved. After Gemma and Maureen walk in on Jax and Trinity, moments before the show could have gone all kinds of wrong, they decide to tell both of them the truth about their father. I’ve already mentioned last week that I hated this storyline and that the show was above it, but the resolution was handled very well. I particularly liked the way that they showed the two reactions one after the other. Trinity seems upset as she’s found out that her father isn’t who she thought he was, and Jax sort of laughs it off, uttering the immortal line: “Two minutes later and I’d have been dancing in Tig territory.”
The slower than a robot dancing in treacle Abel storyline starts making some heady progress at the end of this episode when Father Ashby tells Jax that he made a promise to John Teller that he would not let his son go into the life that he chose. Father Ashby was unable to keep this promise, but he fully intends to stop Abel from ending up following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
As I mentioned a few episodes ago, it might not be such a bad thing if Abel is adopted by a loving family. Jax disagrees. He tries to attack Father Ashby, but ends up being thrown to the ground. Who knew that the Priest was so powerful?
Unhappy with being defeated by Ashby, Jax stabs his henchman and threatens him with a gun, making Father Ashby divulge the location of Abel.
So, finally, Jax can go and find Abel, but will he? Father Ashby has given him a lot to think about. It’ll be interesting to see where Sutter goes next with this particular storyline, now that it has finally picked up some speed.
Back in Charming, and the main matter of business is the kidnapping of Tara and Margaret. With Tig, Kozik, and Piney being the only Sons still in Charming (I’m not sure where all of the prospects have gone, as they were MIA in this episode), they’re in charge of meeting Salazar’s somewhat ambitious demands.
First of all, he wants the Sons to kill Alvarez, and then he wants them to steal $250,000 from the safe in his house. This is problematic, as the Sons know that killing Alvarez is out of the question. They do, however, pay Alvarez a visit.
There’s naturally a lot tension, with guns being pointed on both sides, but Alvarez says that he will spread a rumour that he is dead for 24 hours, even if it bad for his business. All that’s in the safe is some insurance documents, his child’s baby teeth and two watches, so the Sons will need to find the money elsewhere.
At the end of the episode, they seem a little blasé about the whole thing, so I’d imagine that they have a surprise or two in store for Salazar. Truth be told, I’d be very surprised if Salazar lives to see season four.
So, to conclude, I was very happy to have what was easily the best episode of the season this week. It was a happy reminder of what a great show Sons Of Anarchy can be. There are only three episodes left in the season, and with a lot of the weaker storylines now being resolved, I would like to think that Kurt Sutter can keep up the standard.
This season has not been a good one, but if the final three episodes are as good as this last, then I’m sure we could all find it in our hearts to forgive him.
Read our review of the episode 9, Turas, here.
Follow Den Of Geek on Twitter right here.